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Mt Kenya - North Face (Standard Route)
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Jul 6, 2012, 1:29 PM
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Registered: Jun 23, 2011
Posts: 3

Mt Kenya - North Face (Standard Route)  (Africa: Kenya: Mount_Kenya: Batian)
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Hi all,

I need some urgent help please as I'm booking a trip to Kenya... I want to do Kilimanjaro, but I'd like to do Mt Kenya as well first.

I have about a year and a half of climbing experience, but only bouldering and lead climbing on bolted sport routes (up to 5.10d, and maximum of about 25 m high). I've never done a multi-pitch, ice climbing, trad climbing, etc. I have been up to about 4,800 m altitude for work.

I found a company who organises a climb up the North Face Standard Route of Mt Kilimanjaro to Batian Peak (5199m altitude), which is rated a UIAA IV+ or V. It's like 16 pitches or so and about 1,100 m.

It's been a lifelong ambition of mine to climb Mt Kenya, but am I crazy to even try to do this or will I be ok? Has anyone ever tried this route?

Quick replies would be very much appreciated!




Jul 6, 2012, 2:39 PM
Post #2 of 2 (1637 views)

Registered: May 3, 2008
Posts: 155

Re: [jamolamo] Mt Kenya - North Face (Standard Route) [In reply to]
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I looked into it when I went to Kenya. There are companies that will charge an outrageous amount of money to guide you. They were Brits I think, and you cant trust just any guide there. The contact was posted somewhere on this forum i think. HOWEVER, you are definitely not experienced enough to do this without a guide even though I think it was only a 5.7 . That is a fact. Also it sounds like you are in a rush.... not good for a dangerous activity. During my experience there I also realized 4 things.
1: Kenya was awesome and unpredictable. People were nice, but I wasn't sure if it was because they wanted something or knew I had something. The culture was great, the scenery also great, and the Mara (south of the sarengetti) was more impressive than I imagined (I thought I would enjoy a safari only slightly but it was a highlight of my life). My brother in law lives in Kisumu and has had friendly people try to get him out of the public and take advantage of him. There are certain precautions that need to be taken to ensure safety.

2: Mt. Kenya will not go anywhere. You will have a chance if you chose to go back and climb it when you have more experience.
3. I live in the USA. We have one of the most spectacular areas of climbing within California (yosemite and surrounding sierras). At these places I can focus on and push my climbing up to my limit with the fact that YOSAR is always an option. There is great scenery AND security. I find that I wanted to climb overseas to say that I did it instead of thinking about what I may be overlooking or my reasons for why I wanted to do it (why climb everest if all it takes is money these days. The same kinda goes for Kilimanjaro). What was the draw to Mt. Kenya? for me it was because you couldn't summit it without climbing a 5.7. I would not have been as interested if I could have just walked to the top.
4. Overall, Kenya's health care is sub-par. I wouldn't want to be injured there and receive their care. There are places where they reuse needles because they can't, or wont pay for properly sterilized tools.
I hope this helps you. This was what my conclusions were after some thought for myself. Like I said, I had plenty of other things to do while I was there and was very happy with my trip. I did bring some shoes and a chalk bag and found some low ball bouldering problems, but I still make sure there were no scorpions in any pockets or holds before I climbed. Preparation and foresight is the best way to avoid injuries or epics.
Let me know if you have any other questions.

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