'Moderate paced ascent' up Sirimon route, 'free day' before the summit & 'gradual pace descent' down Chogoria route.
This route uses the gentlest ascent track on the mountain with additional acclimatisation day included at 4,200m - it's also one of the most scenic. Passing up through montane forest, bamboo and heather zones to glaciers, then down past spectacular chasms, jagged peaks and the glaciated "U" shaped valleys and waterfalls and lush rain forest. On the acclimatisation trek to Hausberg col 4,600m you enjoy splendid views of the rocky towers, tarns and suspended glaciers of the west face of Batian peak then have a free afternoon to relax before the strenuous summit attempt. An early morning hike on day 5 gets us to Point Lenana, 4,985m – the hikers summit then a slow paced descent on the Chogoria trail.
Accommodation on this hike is 1 night comfortable hotel, 4 nights mountain huts and 1 night camping. Accommodation is 1 night comfortable hotel, 4 nights in mountain huts, 1 night of camping. Nonetheless, if you prefer to camp you can do so on all nights on the mountain.
Day 1: TO MOUNTAIN ROCK LODGE, 1950m.
a.m. Transfer from Nairobi – Mountain Rock lodge (200kms /3.5hrs).
p.m. Nature hike. (12kms /3hrs).
Depart after breakfast and journey north past diverse agricultural lands and landscapes to the slopes of Mount Kenya. After lunch at the base lodge you take part in some easy walks around this predominantly Kikuyu area, exploring local farms and villages and perhaps local schools. We can gain a privileged insight into the lives of the people who live on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and know that our visit is contributing towards their local economy. An extended evening walk through the forest, where a local natural history expert will reveal the medicinal plants, birds and animals found here. We'll also get to meet and spend some time with our mountain guides.
DAY 2: TO OLDMOSES MOUNTAIN HUT, 3340m.
a.m. Transfer to Sirimon Gate, 2,600m. (45kms / 1.5hrs).
p.m. Trek, Sirimon gate - Old moses (10kms / 3hrs). Ascent: +740m.
Breakfast is followed by a full briefing and equipment check before we begin the trek - we'll meet the full crew at this point. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Then a short vehicle transfer past the equator to Sirimon park gate. Our ascent of Mt Kenya, following the Sirimon route, this is one of the longest and gentlest route on the mountain. It is also one of the most spectacular. We walk up to our first hut at 3,340m, a total ascent of 740m in just 2-3 hours. On this route, we will pass through zones of dense forest, bamboo, giant heather and out onto high open moorland. 3-4 hours.
Day 3: SHIPTONS CAMP (4200m)
Emerging from Likii valley, climb and pass over a ridge to enter on a steep descent into the picturesque Mackinder Valley where you join to the normal route from the Old Moses camp. You arrive at Shiptons camp for hot lunch after a 4hour trek. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 4: FREE DAY AT SHIPTON'SAcclimatisation trek to Hausberg Col. 4,600m. (approx. 7Kms return. / 4-5hrs).Ascent +364m
We stay at Shipton's for two nights, and have a rest day. This is invaluable for acclimatisation and will make the summit day more enjoyable. Highly recommended is a short walk on the summit circuit trail up to the Hausberg col (4,6OOm) OR go farther, passing between Oblong and Hausberg Tarns to Nanyuki and Two Tarns to enjoy panoramic views of peaks Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m). Having reached a high altitude of over 4600m the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear, Climbing high and sleeping low is excellent for acclimatisation.
DAY 5: TO LENANA SUMMIT, 4,985m & DOWN TO NITHI CAMP, 3,300m.
Trek via the Summit to Nithi, (approx. 15Kms / 10hrs.) Ascent: 749m to the summit then descend -1,685m to Nithi Camp. After the rest day comes the highlight of the Mount Kenya trek: the stiff, but exhilarating, scramble by starlight up to Point Lenana, the "trekkers' summit", in time to see the African dawn from a vantage point of nearly 5,000m. We leave at 4am and climb the 800m to the peak in 4 hours. A further 3 hours down to a late breakfast by Hall Tarns in the magnificent Gorges Valley. Then in the afternoon another 3 hours down past spectacular chasms, waterfalls and weirdly eroded lava flows to camp by the track-head in the giant heather zone.
DAY 6: TO MERU BANDAS, 3,000m. Trek to Meru Bandas (approx. 7Kms / 2-3h.) Descent: -300m.
Short descent through the forest zone to the mountain cabins and afternoon relaxing. Log fires, hot showers, beers, and real beds for overnight. Wildlife viewing in evening - often from your cabin window as the elephant and buffalo graze outside!
DAY 7: TO NAIROBI OR NEXT DESTINATION.
a.m. Hike to pick up point, 2600m (approx.10kms / 2hrs). Descent: -400m. through Bamboo / Montane Forest zones
p.m. Pick up point – Nairobi by car. (230kms / 4-5hrs).
Walk down through the giant bamboo forest to meet our vehicles for the return journey to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon. Drop off within the city or at the airport.