i'm on top of the world

If I could give any advice about climbing Mt. Kenya it would be : don't climb it during the rainy season.  The trip up the mountain could be described as cold, wet, and slightly miserable.  Was it worth it? Completely.  

As per African Time we said we were leaving Athi River at noon to start the 6 hour drive to Mt. Kenya and we arrived at camp around 2 am.  Around 12:30 am our bus got stuck in the mud and we had to push/pull it out.  My friend Agata and I used two 10 foot strips of webbing to pull the bus and thank God no one got run over. 

backpacking:

to climb to point lenana it takes 4 days totaling about 70km not including driving to the mountain. It rained everyday for about 7 hours.  This is a problem when the backpacks some people rented didn't have rain flys.  It made for a grumpy group of 20 somethings, but every day the sun would come out for a little while granting us a little hope.  The first night we pitched camp in the early afternoon and I had fun pulling away all of our friends and having mini-photo shoots.   

backpacking with 25 people and porters means packing a heck of a lot of food. 

summiting:

the original plan for the last day was to wake up at 2 and start climbing at 3 so we could be at the summit for sunrise, but as the rainy theme of the weekend continued, we started when the rains stopped at 5:30.  The climb was gorgeous and we could see the first highest peak called Baton the whole way up.  It is a technical climb with a 5.12 rating and takes about 2 days longer than the route we took to Lenana, and it looks absolutely terrifying. We summited at 8:20 (beating the British army men who I talked to the day before by about 30 minutes!) and were off the mountain by 9:30.  There were beautiful yellow flowers on the snowy summit I forgot to photograph.  The same day we summited we also hiked back down to Old Moses camp, making for a 30 km day.  My feet felt like they were going to fall off by the time we pitched camp.  

homeward bound:

we made it back to base camp around 1:30 and packed up the bus to head back to Nairobi   On our way we stopped at chicken in where in the picture below you see they deliver chicken in plastic crates to the restaurant on a boda boda.  The whole ride takes about 5 hours and we spent most of it half asleep or singing pop songs at the top of our lungs.  And it's not a road trip in Africa unless you buy bananas out the car window.