This week is a continuation of my friend Ratia’s hike up Mount Kenya, where she finally reaches the summit. In case you missed the first part of her journey  you can read it here.

We soon came to the mammoth Mackinder’s valley. No sooner had we got here that clouds engulfed us and we could no longer enjoy the scenic valley, surrounding rock formations and vegetation. It was calming however to hear the sound of water falling from small rock formations. The whole combination of the walk, the clouds, the sound of water calmed me down tremendously. The experience was absolutely awesome despite the cold.

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 9

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 11

 

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Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 13

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 2

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 3

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 4

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 5

 

Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 6

 

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Mount Kenya_Mackinder’s valley 10

 

We made it to Shimpton’s camp before sunset. As would be expected, the clouds that had been trailing us opened up and we were battered by an intense hailstorm all the way to the camp. This was a great experience and the whole ground was white and sparkling. At Shimpton’s camp we received a nice warm cup of coffee, had some time to relax and an early dinner before calling it a night.

Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp

 

Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp_me

 

Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp_brother

 

Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp_view

 

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Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp_view 3

 

Mount Kenya_Shimpton's camp_rock covered in clouds

 

The third day was going to be the toughest as our pursuit was double edged. Traversing a very rocky terrain, summiting the Peak, walking back down through Mackinder’s valley and back to Old Moses Camp. This double conquest was set to start at 3:30a.m. Due to the nature of the climb to the peak, one of the porters had to come and assist our guide in case we needed extra help, and sure enough he was quite helpful.

Mount Kenya_ready to summitWith our headlights set and ready to go.

Climbing the rocks was not an easy task and the temperatures were quite low and one had to be very careful. We made it to the peak at around 6:15a.m reaching our target without any troubles. Getting there was preceded with a good walk in the dark, being urged on by the moon and a beautiful night sky full of shooting stars.

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Mount Kenya_ascent dawn

 

Mount Kenya_Lenana Peak

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The peeking sun was a sight worth savoring, so I stopped to register this phenomenon from over 4,000mts ASL. We got to Lenana Peak and the whole Country seemed to be covered under a blanket of clouds, so calm, so beautiful. Yet my feet were strongly planted in the ground and not in an airplane.

Mount Kenya_sunrise at peak

 

Mount Kenya_sunrise at peak 2

 

Mount Kenya_sunrise at peak 3

 

Mount Kenya_clouds

 

All was good at the peak but the winds were excruciating, burning my hands so hard when I took them out of the gloves to take some photos. It was extremely windy at the top for us to spend a lot of time there but I managed to snap a few photos. This is an experience worth investing in, a once in a lifetime kind of experience.

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We descended a bit lower where there was shield to have breakfast before starting journey back to Old Moses camp. Despite the long walk back, it was a wonderful expedition and another check off my bucket list.

Mount Kenya_descent

 

Mount Kenya_descent 2

 

Mount Kenya_descent 3

 

Mount Kenya_descent 4

 

Mount Kenya_descent 5

 

Mount Kenya_back at old Moses

 

Mount Kenya_group photoThe team poses for a group photo

Much thanks to David our guide who planned the whole trip and ensured we had everything we needed. He customizes the trip to your expectations and makes it worthwhile. David does several hikes around the country, Kilimanjaro, Ruwenzori among others. Check out his company here http://www.lastmiletreks.com

 

This week Safari 254 links up with;

1. Reflections enroute #wkendtravelinspiration

2. Adelina’s Pack Me To in  #SundayTraveler

3. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays

 

Please visit the sites for more wonderful photos and posts.

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19 Comments

  1. October 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm — Reply

    Rachel and Ratia, This hike looks inspiring and the photos are stunning. I’m chilled looking at them! Thanks for once again linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration!
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – China’s Great WallMy Profile

  2. October 21, 2014 at 6:51 am — Reply

    What amazing scenery! Looks like quite a climb.
    ladyfi recently posted…Zen-sationalMy Profile

  3. October 21, 2014 at 9:08 am — Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for taking us along on this journey. The photos made it really come alive. That first one practically gave me vertigo with the slanted mountain side yet the people standing straight up vertical. I wished I could see the shooting stars overhead at night, but at least I can imagine it. The sunrise is beautiful, and oh my what a view from the summit. I have truly enjoyed this series.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Wild Color and Good Eats on BuranoMy Profile

  4. October 22, 2014 at 1:35 am — Reply

    Wow. That is all I have to say. Those sunrise shots are stunning! I love the trees in that third photo. The one in the front looks like one of those cartoon camels caught mid chew to me. Maybe I have an overactive imagination…
    Adelina // Pack Me To recently posted…A Quick Tour Through the Portland Food SceneMy Profile

  5. October 22, 2014 at 2:15 am — Reply

    I am so glad you took us on this journey. I know that I would never do this myself so to see so many beautiful candid photos of the climb makes me appreciate what it would be like. I can imagine how atmospheric it was when the clouds descended. The summit photo – wow and I loved the red rock but the variety of shots is amazing. I feel like I climbed it too in a very small way.
    jan recently posted…The Thrill of Discovery in TurkeyMy Profile

  6. Keniamoja
    October 22, 2014 at 11:46 am — Reply

    According to an article in Yahoo travel.
    “Forget Kilimanjaro: Mount Kenya is Africa’s Most Rewarding Peak”

    Mount Kenya is not only the continent’s second-tallest peak. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site has more intriguing landscape – lakes and gorges, freaky flora and fauna, over 130 species of birds. To the people of Kenya (the country took its name from the mountain), it is like Mount Olympus. The Kikuyu, the Embu, Meru and the Kamba believed God dwelled here.

  7. Hakquim
    October 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    The scenery is stunning! The Mackinder’s valley is a sight to behold, your photos are so vivid and capture the mountain in all it’s dimensions.
    I will make an effort to climb the Mount Kenya one of these days.

  8. October 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm — Reply

    Wow. What a journey. The fog is so beautiful, but the hail doesn’t sound so nice. Then the cold. Looks like the sunrise reward was worth the effort.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…What Does A Maori Chief Look Like? WW and a Bucket ListMy Profile

  9. October 22, 2014 at 10:45 pm — Reply

    Amazing images! Wow!
    Kemkem recently posted…Malaga at midnight, a walk through the centerMy Profile

  10. October 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm — Reply

    Such perseverance – what a journey! Glad she finally made it to the top. It must’ve been such a satisfying experience. The views from the top are gorgeous!
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted…Views around the Rim of Crater LakeMy Profile

  11. Manesha
    October 24, 2014 at 9:32 am — Reply

    This has never been on my thought but somehow this post has made me consider making this bucket list climb…ok added to my to do list!

  12. October 26, 2014 at 10:09 am — Reply

    Wow, Ratia..what a journey and I admire all your perseverance. Your pictures are stunning and such an unforgettable trip. Thanks for taking us on this trip virtually.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…Cliffside Viewing at Two Lovers Point GuamMy Profile

  13. October 31, 2014 at 6:41 am — Reply

    Great reading about the finale, congrats! Such beautiful views! These posts keep reminding me of our recent Mt. Kilimanjaro climb:)
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted…Beyond Oktoberfest and Hofbrauhaus: Festivals and Beer in Bavaria GermanyMy Profile

  14. November 3, 2014 at 3:45 am — Reply

    H Ratla, congratulations for summiting Mt. Kenya!
    Lovely photos! The vegetations and the landscape reminded me of part of my climb in Kilimamjaro. I hope to conquer Mt. Kenya sometime. You’re inspiring!
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted…Varanasi: Evening Rituals on the Ganges RiverMy Profile

  15. Mike
    November 8, 2014 at 7:40 am — Reply

    WOW!! Awesome job and huge congrats to you Ratia! Thank you so much for sharing her with us Rachael. I love how you built it up with so much suspense of the impending summit quest and that you did all in the dark! Just like those Everest climbs I’ve seen on tv. Absolutely beautiful indeed! 🙂

  16. June 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm — Reply

    First of all, I asolutely love your new design. It’s so nice! Secondly, congrats – what a mile stone!!! Wow girl, you rock :). It’s been on my bucket list as well :).
    Agness recently posted…Taste Of Portugal: Top 5 Dinner Options On The CheapMy Profile

    • June 27, 2015 at 9:30 am — Reply

      Thanks Agness. I didn’t climb the mountain, my friend did. If you ever decide to tick it off your bucket list then we should meet up.

  17. July 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm — Reply

    WOW! What stunning pictures! It is difficult not to look at your blog home page and not get completely sucked in. You did a great job. Makes me tempted to just book a flight to Kenya right now!
    Erika recently posted…Snorkeling in French PolynesiaMy Profile

    • October 5, 2015 at 9:15 pm — Reply

      What is stopping you?I am more than ready to show you around.

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