Mount KenyaTerrain and Fitness
Mount Kenya - Terrain and Fitness
GENERAL FITNESS REQUIRED
To climb to Point Lenana on Mount Kenya you don't need to be a super-fit athlete or experienced mountaineer. The trek is accessible to anyone with good basic fitness and an ethusiasm for the outdoors. It will be an advantage to have good previous hill-walking experience and therefore be familiar with walking in the countryside for many hours at a time and there is no doubt that using Chogoria route on the ascent or descent is a more challenging option than the likes of Sirimon or Naro Moru.
You will enjoy the trip all the more if you do have good fitness and experience. Therefore we do advise that on the lead up to the trip you do spend time checking and working on the kind of fitness that you need for the trek. The ideal preparation is spending a good number of hours walking on rolling terrain with a small pack of about 5kg on your back. Other forms of cardio-vascular exercise such as running, cycling and swimming will also of course help with the right kinds of fitness, though especially if they focus mainly on the legs.
All of our staff have climbed Mt Kenya many times so if you have any doubts or questions, do give us a call or email to discuss.
TYPE OF TERRAIN
The first day tends to involve a drive up to the National Park Gate (this could be by 4x4 if you are using the Chogoria route) and then a trek, through the dense hardwood forest (you will not see much evidence of the forest on the Sirimon route as it is still recovering from a bad forest fire from a number of years ago) but this will be on a good vehicle track so the going is generally easy underfoot, unless there has been a lot of rain when it can be a bit muddy. Above the first camp the forest opens out to the alpine heath. The path can at times be more indistinct, the terrain is open and tussocky and can be a bit harder than the path below, but still fairly straight forward on all of the routes.
Higher up, the heathland thins and the way is over more bare, rocky tracks following ridges and rivers to reach the 2nd camp. From here you are up close and personal with the jagged rocky peaks and remaining glaciers which feed numerous small lakes and tarns dotted around the peaks. Summiting Mount Kenya will involve tackling a scree slope before the summit attempt. Approaching from the Austrian Hut has the world's highest via ferrata along the ridge towards Point Lenana's summit at 4,985m