So we hiked to point Lenana with others. But I will come back to that in a minute. I will start by talking about observations that I made during the last 4 days.
If you have been wondering why there is no population explosion among the Eskimo, wonder no more. I have you covered. My research shows it is the cold. Given my experience of the last 4 days, their Willy’sare not bothered to rise to occasion much regularlyas the regular Johns. And while at it, are there any humans who live at or above 3300m ASL. In Kenya, I am almost certain anywhere at that altitude is a national park or reserve.
If you are married or planning to get married and were interested in finding out how your partner, spouse, wife, husband or whatever woke people call it these days, would behave in adversity, mt kenya is a good place to find that out. You start at Lake Elis where you repeat the sweet nothings people often tell each other, then you embark on the trek. In four days, you would have gone through enough challenges to at least know how you fare.
How many under 10 years old have summitted point Lenana? We met this lovely family who said their daughter, who was turning 10, was going to celebrate her birthday at the summit.
So, on Thursday I drove to Chogoria quite early in the morning. The drive to the park gate is 21km of climbing. The climb is so steep one would enjoy it on a bike. I don’t however want to think of the downhill trip as you will be clinging on your brakes almost the entire time. I think I would want to cycle there just for the elevation. We set out from the Bandas to Roadhead, through Lake Elis, which would be our first trek of the hike.
Day 2 we hiked to Mintos campsite rising to an altitude of 4200m. The hike here was most spectacular going through the Gorges valley, seeing Lake Michelson ahead, and at some point, Lake Elis was on our right and the Mt peaks right ahead. We set camp then went for a short walk to Mintos Tarn. This was summit night. I think I must have wore all the clothes I had in my bag. It was effing cold.
At 2am, we set out for the summit attempt. This was the most challenging section of the hike. You are rising close to 800m in under 4km. We got to the summit just in time for the sunrise. And that was the most spectacular sunrise I have seen in a while. I think it was a good idea to make the attempt that early in the morning/night. Doing so in the day looks like it would be taunting unless one has had to do it severally like the two gentlemen we met who were in shorts and had come from Sirimon gate for a one day hike to the summit then down to the Naromoru gate.
From the summit we descended to Shipton’s camp for breakfast and dress down. The less I say about that descent the better. From here we had a long descent of 14km to Old Moses campsite where we put up for the night. I still couldn’t sleep well even thou I haven’t slept properly the last 3 days. The altitude here is 3330m ASL.
On our last morning of the hike, we walked 8km down to Sirimon gate where our cars were waiting. Again, thanks to Muturi who made this possible by arranging to have the two cars driven from Chogoria gate to Sirimon gate. I cannot say thank you enough to this gentleman.
It would be amis on my part if I were not to give a shout out to those who made this hike great. Our guide Muturi and his assistant Kasarani are the real definition of patient. I think anyone, literally anyone, can summit Mt Kenya if their guide is Muturi. Our chef Victor surprised me all through. We had 3 course meals whenever we sat to have lunch, breakfast or dinner and it was wonderful food. Then Congo and the group of porters. These guys were wonderful. Carrying our equipment, setting up tents and staying almost invisible. These guys were all wonderful. My colleagues Clare and Yara, were awesome too. We got along so well making the hike quite an enjoyable experience.
And my BFF who sponsored part of this trip. My wife, always supportive. My colleague who lent me his camera so you will see some almost great photos. And Lucy who was the plug to Muturi. Thank you all so very much.
Pictures will be coming soon.