This week is a continuation of my hike up Mount Kenya, marching onward towards the summit. In case you missed the first part 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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