This program is designed for those who dream of reaching the highest point in Kenya, Batian Peak.
One of the most thrilling and beautiful experiences Mount Kenya offers is the technical climbs to Nelion (5188m) and Batian (5199m) Peaks. The best months to climb these peaks via the South East Face Route are between December and March when it is relatively dry. The trek starts from Mount Kenya National Park – Naromoru Gate.
Day 1 – Naromuru Gate to Met Station
Day 2 – Met Station – Mackinders
Day 3 – Mackinders to Austrian Hut – Here, the technical climbing guides will sort all the climbing equipment – ie the cams, ropes, slings, helmets, harnesses, etc. You will also pack your bag, ensure it is lightweight. It is always advisable to carry a light sleeping bag, some snacks, and enough water to keep you going for the whole day when you proceed to climb the technical peaks. The reason we advise you to carry a sleeping bag is that the weather may change any time and it may rain or snow, and it then gets very difficult to abseil down the rocks at that point. You may have to find a safe spot to rest until the weather changes.
Day 4 – Austrian Hut to Nelion and Batian Peaks to Austrian Hut – Wake up early by 3 am, have breakfast, and leave Austrian Hut for the eagerly awaited day. Ensure you are well hydrated and full of energy! Trek/scramble (in some areas) to the base of Nelion Peak. This should take approximately 1.5-2 hours. Take some rest at the base, prepare for the technical climb – wear the harness, helmet, slings for safety, take some energy foods, etc. At the first light, the climbing will begin! You will feed rope to your lead guide, he starts climbing, places cams for safety, and as soon as he reaches a point where he can secure himself, he will belay you. You climb, clean the route (ie remove the cams and place it on your harness safely), and as soon as you reach to the point where your guide is, secure yourself to the anchor with a sling, and hand over the cams to your guide. Be very careful with the cams as you have to use it all the way. The first few climbs will usually make your hands very cold as the rocks are still cold. Ensure to keep hand gloves handy. Once the rocks heat up, it will make the climbs better. Each pitch is usually between 20-25m long. Once you secure yourself with a sling, you will have to feed the rope to the guide again as he climbs the next pitch. This process goes on until you reach Howell Hut on Nelion Peak. Along the way to Nelion, if you are lucky, you will get to see Mt. Kilimanjaro. The views are generally very spectacular all along the way so ensure to take a few seconds to break to just look around. You are expected to reach Nelion by around 11 am. Here, you take a small break, load up on energy, feel the excitement of reaching up to Batian within the next 2-3 hours. The difficult part of the entire day starts now! You scramble along the Nelion Peak until you reach the infamous Gate of Mist. It got its name because there is usually no sunshine reaching here, it is full of snow, or ice and always misty. You have to rappel down Gate of Mist to now reach the base of the final 2-3 climbs to Batian. In order to rappel, you are required to wear crampons just so that you get a good grip on the snow/ice. It is a very thrilling descent down and one of the most memorable experiences you will ever get! You will officially become an adrenaline junkie! You are now at the base of Batian, remove your crampons, and climb 2-3 pitches to the highest point of Kenya! Get a photo with the flag, pat yourself on the back, feel proud, scream! As usual, you can’t stay on any summit for long. You have to start coming back down. Despite the happiness, you still have to be fully focused! Let overconfidence not take over your mind!
The same way you reached Batian, is the same way you will go back. Obviously, it is much faster as you will abseiling now more than climbing. The toughest climb will only be going up Gate of Mist, but your guide will ensure you are very safe going up. It may take you 4-5 hours to get back to Austrian Hut. keep focused and celebrate once at Austrian!
Day 6 – Austrian Hut to Met Station (get picked from here or else stay the night)
Day 7 – Met Station to Park Gate...