This is the most recommended rock climbing itinerary where you have a bit more acclimatization time as well as options for second or third summit days to accommodate weather. We also recommend trying to include a complete or partial circumnavigation of the peak as part of your itinerary. This gives you more time to acclimate and also to get to know all sides of the mountain. Last, we really like to exit via the Chogoria route, spending nights at the Hall’s Tarns and also at Bandas, at road end. This is a beautiful and scenic route.
DAY 1: NAIROBI – JUDMEIRE CAMP (3400 M)
After pick up in Nairobi you drive to the Sirimon Park gate (2660m). From the gate, you trek up through magnificent montane forest, bamboo and giant heather zone before reaching the high altitude moorland and to your first hut (judmeire camp) in time for lunch.
Afternoon at leisure giving way for Dinner and overnight at the camp.
This is a gentle trek that takes 3 – 4 hrs gaining an elevation of 680m.
DAY 2: JUDMEIRE CAMP – SHIPTON CAMP (4236M)
Early morning start through Ontulili River up the spectacular Mackinders valley via Liki North ridge with picnic lunch en route arriving in Shipton camp in 7 hrs. This camp is a surreal setting below the towering peaks and glacier. Resident population is of Rock Hyrax and sunbirds.
Dinner and overnight at the camp.
DAY 3: SHIPTON – MACKINDER’S CAMP (4200M)
For better acclimatization you kick off your peak circuit trek stretching 2 days. Today you go anticlockwise, first through Hausberg Col at 4591m, and then pass between Oblong and Hausberg Tarns.
Then you climb up to Nanyuki and Two Tarns before descending to Mackinder’s Camp on the South Western side of the peak, at about 4300 meters for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: MACKINDER’S CAMP – POINT LENANA (4985M) – SHIPTON’S CAMP (4236M)
You rise early and continue your trek up to Top Hut (Austrian Hut) 4800m. From this Hut you make a final short ascent of Point Lenana, 4985m,. Point Lenana is the common trekker’s Mount Kenya ” Summit “. From this summit you then go straight down the Northwest side back to Shipton’s Camp, passing Harris Tarn.
DAY 5: FULL DAY AT SHIPTON’S CAMP
(Hiking – about day) On your 5th day you have the option of either taking a rest day or of climbing a short route on either Point Peter or Point Dutton. In either case you also prepare for the climb of Batian the following morning.
DAY 6: SHIPTON – BATIAN (5199M) – SHIPTON (CLIMBING DAY)
Ascent to Batian by the North Face Standard Route. Starting in the early morning dark , usually between 4 and 5 am, you may climb the first couple of pitches by headlamp.
The route initially follows a wide couloir which you ascend for some 7 pitches, never harder than 5.7.
You’ll then descend via the same route hopefully hitting Shipton’s Camp before evening dusk for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: SHIPTON’ S CAMP – MERU MT KENYA BANDAS
After breakfast your trek out begins and you hike down by the Scenic Chogoria Route . Your trek out begins with a climb up to Simba Col (where porters once swore they saw a lion, hence the name) then a quick descent to the halls Tarns. From here we follow the backbone of a ridge, overlooking the spectacular Gorges Valley . Loosing elevation fast you leave the high moorlands and enter into the forest belt that surrounds Mount Kenya . As you approach the cabins of Meru Mount Kenya Bandas (your destination for the night) you are most likely to spot Cape buffalo, Bush Buck, and tracks of other wild animals.
The Bandas are a welcome luxury!. With hot showers, a fine evening log fire, a BED!, without mentioning a cold beer!.
DAY 8: BANDAS LODGE – CHOGORIA – NAIROBI
After breakfast you hike the first hour or so enjoying the bamboo forest. We often see Elephant tracks, and signs of many other wild animals. Continue further down up to the 10 kilometer mark where you’ll be picked up by a 4 by 4 wheel drive vehicle and continue the drive to Chogoria town and switch to another comfortable vehicle for transfer to your Nairobi.