Tuši's blog

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Kenya: Day 6: Mount Kenya, Part 4

Today was the day to conquer Point Lenana on Mount Kenya at 4985 m a.m.s.l. We were a bit worried yesterday, since it was raining a bit in the evening, but when we woke up little past midnight, all was OK, just the tent was a bit frozen and the temperature on GPS had a minus infront of the number, so we were good to go. Our plan: Sunrise at the summit.

We packed everything and first couple of meters were easy. At the spring, that we found yesterday, we filled our bottles with water. Then the steep part on the rocky landslide began and we continued quite slow, we even lost the main track for a couple of meters, but it was easy to find it back. Nevertheless we reached the altitude of 4800 meters and the Austrian hut an hour earlier than expected, so we went inside. Hut was empty, outside cold and windy, so we decided to spend this hour inside the hut with a sleeping bag. First couple of minutes we were shaking, but than it was better. Let me mention at this point that someone deliberately hide my gloves and I had to be without them all the time. Nada is my prime suspect, although she denies everything.

After an hour we had to wake up again, which was the hardest part, but we managed. We still had 1 hour of walking to the peak and we did it, just as the sun started to shine, we reached the peak. A group of tourists with porters/guides arrived some minutes earlier, so we were a group of 8 at the top.

Photo-session of smiling faces and the great views was the main thing at the top. Since it was cold and the other group started descending the same way as we wanted, we decided to follow them. In all the hurry we forgot to make a commercial for the pate (Gavrilović pate that hiked with me for more than a year, and is probably the pate with the most ascend meters in the world) and we totally forgot about the GeoCache. We realized that on our way down and it was too late to go back. Well, our highest GC will remain the one on our highest mountain.

The way down was very long with one big brake near the Minto's Hut, but the scenery on Chogoria Route was awesome. After almost 14 hours we arrived to Road Head Camp at 3300 m. Tired legs and backs were the reason we first rested for a while and then ate. Soup was delicious, followed by another rummy session. Before bedtime nearby group of porters and guides received a visit and the guy offered us a transport to the city tomorrow for 90 $. Goodbye was the only word we said, I rather walk whole day.

Backpack. We had enough food to stay at the mountain for 4 more days.

From wikipedia: In July 2012 a new via ferrata developed by the Kenyan Wildlife Services, opened on Mount Kenya, providing safe passage on the Northwest approach to Point Lenana (via Austrian Hut), as well from the south side (Shipton). Christened "Olonana", it is the world's highest via ferrata, at 4,985 metres (16,355 ft) replacing the via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia, as the record holder.

The summit. Nada and Tuši are happy!

Batian and Nelion, better luck next time


Honey schnapps at the top

There are currently 11 small glaciers and they are retreating rapidly. Every year there is less new snow accumulating in winter than melting on summer, even on the Lewis Glacier (the largest of them) in winter, so there is no formation of new ice. It is predicted to be less than 30 years before there will no longer be ice on Mount Kenya.

First part of descent on snow

On our way down we looked back many times. As we figured out, the peaks Batian and Nelion always became cloudy during the day.

Simba Col, where some tracks cross

One of rare signposts. "See Green Poles" was useless here, since we didn't see any. This is probably done intentionally, so the people would always hire porters, guides and cooks. In the conversation with one of them, they even want to make this as a rule to enter the park (like on Mount Kilimanjaro). This is bad guys!

Another view over the shoulder

Quick 5 minute rest

Not sure about the names: Helichrysum, Dendrosenecio keniodendron or Giant Groundsel and Lobelia telekii

Just can't stop looking back

Just before the Minto's hut

Hall Tarns

Nithi River made this nice canyon

Just for my ID

View to Lake Michaelson near 200 meter cliff

The Gorges Valley is a major feature on the Chogoria Route

Nada over the bridge

The Gates Waterfall

Protea caffra

Where is our campsite?

Just over this stream and here we are.

Honey schnapps bottle was empty.

Hike to Mount Kenya 4/5.

Previous days on blog of Kenya travel days with Nada:
Pre-Pre DayPre-DayDay1, Day2, Day3, Day4, Day5.

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