I made the decision to go up Mt. Kenya in December 2017! being an amateur hiker or so my Instagram Bio says; I needed to get ready; Physically, Psychologically and gear wise.
In preparation, I hiked on Kenton and Nathan hills and Elephant Hill. The Kenton and Nathan hike was more of an endurance test, since it’s a 10 hour hike covering 22km. Elephant hill is more physically challenging at an elevation of 3,600m asl but it’s an 8 hour hike.
Over Easter, Myself and 23 other energetic and naive in need of the tonic of the wilderness young things joined the talented guys from Xtrym adventures in ernest to explore and learn all things mysterious and unexplorable.
The Thursday before Easter we left Nairobi at a few minutes to six and drove towards Nanyuki; arriving at the Sirimon gate around 1pm. We had a sumptuous lunch and began our trek towards the Old Moses camp.
The trek from Sirimon to old moses covers 9km which we covered in 5 hrs. It’s a beautiful trek with distinct vegetation of mixed broadleaf forest, gallery forest, bamboo and others.
Old moses stands at 3,300m asl.
At old moses you get the option of camping or a dorm with the availability of bunkbeds. Since we were a huge group we opted for the bunk beds. Due too much snoring from daktari I slept fitfully and was up by 6 am.
After a heavy breakfast(I opted for light instead) the trek from Old moses to shipton camp began at 7.30 am towards. We followed the uphill track and forked left at the junction crossed several(I think 4) rivers that carry clear clean water which we refilled our hydration parks with.
This was a long day as we arrived at Shipton at 7pm, having been rained on extensively.
We made it to Shipton at 7 pm, vehemently exhausted, with some of my colleagues already experiencing mountain sickness. Shipton stands at 4,200m asl.
I was extremely exhausted from the long walk, the rain, and hunger but with zero appetite. I had tea, and got into my sleeping bag only for me to realize that it had been rained on. I had no will to complain, I crawled and willed myself to sleep. I couldn’t get any sleep and was awake all through.
We were up at 1am ready for the summit, we left shipton at 3 am and started the trek towards the summit. It’s quite a steep stony quarry climb. This is where shit hit the fan for me; at about 4,500m asl, altitude sickness hit me hard.
I remember a wave of dizziness hitting me out of nowhere, followed by a migraine-the kind that pulls your head towards the ground, an upset stomach and extensive nausea. My legs became extremely heavy and I had zero energy. The porter offered to carry the bag for me.
And so the slow hike to the summit began. All I could do was take a step then rest, a step then rest. My body had almost shut down. Due to the sheer determination of the guides, we summitted at 9am and began the trek back towards Lake Michaelson.
Through hailstorms and long walk to the lake; It took us 10 hours from the summit to get to michaelson- This has to be the longest day of my entire life, since we had been up since 1 am. We walked for 17 fucking hrs to get to michaelson. My body was numb and all I could do was put one foot in front of the other. We finally made it to Michaelson at 4 pm, completely dredged and woe unto me we didn’t have a tent. At least we decided to camp with a friend until our tent arrived.
Lake michaelson is breathtakingly beautiful-and this was the first night of decent sleep. I got to my tent and my 11 pm I was out.
Woke up to a magical morning and the trek towards the meru bandas started. We left lake michaelson at 9.30. And thus our journey back to Nairobi began.
Below are a few photos from our journey. Enjoy!