Mount Kenya trek to Point Lenana

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  • view-towards-summit-on-naro-moru-route – Copy (2)
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The Mount Kenya trek is a challenging and enjoyable journey to Mount Kenya’s highest trekking peak (Point Lenana) at 4985 metres. From the summit there is a beautiful view of the dramatic volcanic massif and the two main peaks of Batian and Nelion, as well as long views over the central plains of Kenya. It has long been a popular and very attractive hike through an ancient landscape dotted with glaciers, rock spires, high tarns and some beautiful unique flora and fauna like the giant groundsels and the odd looking rock hyrax which has evolved from the elephant.

Mount Kenya trek (Sirimon/Naro Moru route) itinerary

Day Elevation Travel Time Programme
175km 3-4hrs If you are flying in to Kenya then we can help with airport transfers to Naro Moru, evening arrivals will mean at least one night in Nairobi before transferring up to Naro Moru on the West of Mt Kenya. Accommodation is available in a variety of places, but for the purposes of this itinerary we use a local hotel called Blue Line.

Mount Kenya (5)

1 2000-3300m 9km 3-4hrs Load up the vehicle(s) for the 50 km drive around the west of the mountain and up to the Sirimon gate. After checking into the park we head off along the vehicle track through the forests hardwood forest. After 15 minutes or so we cross the equator, with a big signpost to let you know you are there! We stop for a picnic lunch at a convenient spot before continuing on up to our first camp at Old Moses (also known as Judmier Camp), where you have good views of the peaks ahead.

Mount Kenya - Sirimon Route (10)

2 3300-4200m 13.5km 7-8hrs We set off across the alpine heath and moorland and traverse around and over a couple of streams and ridges before dropping into the MacKinder Valley. We usually have lunch under a cave-like outcrop before continuing up the valley towards the main peaks. There is a short steeper section as we pass Shipton’s Cave and then another as we arrive into Shipton’s Camp. Here we again set up camp next to the huts and prepare dinner.

Mount Kenya - Sirimon Route (25)

3 4200-4590-4200m 2-4km 2-4hrs Today is a day hike from Shipton’s to aid acclimitisation. There are a few options for this but a good one is to climb up the side of the valley to the West and onto the Hausberg Col. The col sits just next to the main peaks and high above the camp and the valley we walked up the day before. It also allows us to see across to Point Lenana and most of our route for the following day. We then return to Shiptons for lunch, rest and final preparations for our early morning ascent to Point Lenana.

Mount Kenya - Sirimon Route (3)

4 4200-4985-3050m 18km 11-13hrs This morning we will be up around 4am to prepare for our night-time ascent to Point Lenana, it is an exhilarating feeling stepping out into the cold under the starlight and crunching up the frozen scree. Passing the bowl of Harris Tarn we skirt above it and then cross an area of bare rock and a small scramble. If we are ahead of schedule there is a small niche/cave where we can huddle up for a rest before continuing to the top. The sun will rise around 6am and after enjoying the spectacular view we drop down the ridge of Lenana on the Naro Moru route to Austrian Hut. The ridge is initially quite narrow in sections but it does get broader as you get closer to Austrian Hut and we will take our time over the short sections that need hands as well as feet. there are steel cables on the upper two thirds of the ridge and though they are not really necessary, they can be reassuring. From Austrian Hut we continue down to Mackinder’s Camp for brunch and R&R before continuing our descent down the Teleki Valley and the infamous ‘Vertical Bog’ to reach Met Station and our camp mid-afternoon.

Mount Kenya - Lenana Summit

5 3050-2500-2000m 10km 2-3hrs Leaving Met station we follow the track back down through the forest and bamboo to the Naro Moru gate. There are a couple of short sections where the track goes up-hill and this may try your patience a bit but soon enough we will be at the gate. We take the short drive back down to Naro Moru.

It is possible to get back to Nairobi on this date, however if you have time then a couple of days in Naro Moru is well worth it. Aside from our own Moving Mountains projects, Naro Moru offers safe and comfortable accommodation at the Blueline Hotel, some great walks and other activities in the surrounding area, including the Mau Mau caves, a number of excellent restaurants and day visits to the curio shops at the Equator.

Mount Kenya - Naro Moru Route (6)

Other options include tailor made safari’s, climbs on Kilimanjaro, visits to other Moving Mountains projects and Game Reserves around Mount Kenya or transfers back to Nairobi for city tours.