Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the highest in Kenya. It is an extinct volcano crowned with snow a rare occurrence on the equator. There are 11 glaciers near the top some include; Northey, Kraft, Darwin, Diamond and Lewis being the largest. Unfortunately the glaciers are quickly disappearing and will be probably gone in the next 30 years, make a point to see them before they are no more. The highest peaks are Batian (5,199m), Nelion (5,188m) and point Lenana (4985m) though it has other subsidiary peaks; Point Piggot (4,957 m), Dutton (4,885 m),John (4,883 m), John Minor (4,875 m), Terere (4,714 m) and Sendeyo (4,704 m). Point Lenana is the most ascended peak since it does not need any technical skills.
Mount Kenya became a National Park in 1949 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Climbing Mt Kenya offers the best adventure experience since it is a combination of hiking and safari. The wildlife here include monkey, elephant, zebra ,buffalo, leopard seldom to spot and the hyrax that survives on the extreme climate.
It has several lakes and tarns like Ellis, Michaelson, Teleki Tarns and rivers that provide water for Kenyans around the region and the main water catchment for river Tana. Other spectacular sceneries are Waterfalls such as Nithi falls a beautiful sight but deafening as the water splashes with force hitting the huge rocks. Valleys on almost all routes for instance the Gorges and Mackinder valley on Chogoria and Sirimon route respectively. The Mugi hill and the giant billiards table offer a great hill walking and bird watching. The common birds to find include; parrots, hornbills, mountain buzzards and swallows.
The vegetation changes with the altitude as you ascend the mountain. Cultivation land and Montane forests at the foot followed by bamboo, forestline, heathland and the alpine zone (3,500m) has the giant rossete and lobelia plants. After which no plant survive only rocks and glaciers all the way to the peak.
Mount Kenya Climbing Routes
Climbing Mount Kenya is a daunting task when you are not sure the route to choose depending on your level of fitness, experience, equipment and budget. There are several routes that lead to the peaks as briefly explained: