6 days Chogoria – Sirimon Route
The Chogoria route is our recommended and arguably the most magnificent ascent route to the summit area. It is the driest route up the mountain and the walk beside the Gorges Valley truly spectacular. The descent by the Sirimon route takes one through some beautiful forest tracks and completes the traverse of the mountain. Accommodation on this trek is 3 nights in mountain huts and 2 nights camping. Nonetheless, if you prefer to camp you can do so on all nights on the mountain.
Day 1: Nairobi- Mt Kenya Bandas (2,900m) 3hrs, 10km walk, 950m ascent.
Depart from Nairobi at 0800hrs, driving through agricultural country up to Chogoria town for lunch. After lunch, we take 4×4 and drive up to the edge of the bamboo forest where we start our trekking through the dense bamboo forest for distance of 10 km up to the Mt Kenya Bandas.
Dinner and overnight at the Mount Kenya Bandas.
Day 2: Mt Kenya Bandas – Lake Ellis Campsite ( 3,600m) 3hrs, 9km, 700m ascent.
After breakfast and sorting of porter loads we set off up the mountain at a nice and easy pace A slightly longer walk via Lake Ellis gives scenic views of Mugi, Ithanguni and the Giants Billiards Table, whilst if we follow the river near road head, upstream for about 3 km, the foreground scenery and flora is particularly beautiful.
Lunch on the banks of a stream, then it’s time to cut up the left hand hillside to our camp at about 3,600m, well away from any of the more “touristy” areas.
Day 3: Lake Ellis- Minto’s Camp. ( 4,200m) 4 hrs, 12km, 600m ascent.
Similar early start. Again well off the beaten track to follow a ridge up the mountain for about 3 hours to eventually join the tourist track on the normal Chogoria route at an altitude of about 4,100m. Breath taking views over the Gorges Valley and back over towards Ithanguni and the Northern Moorlands.
Lunch is served at a small stream crossing, before continuing for a further hour to the Mintos Hut area at 4200m and our night’s rest.
Afternoon is spent relaxing at camp, though a 10 minute walk to the “Temple” is well worth the effort. This is a 150 meters vertical cliff that gets its name from the position visitors often adopt when peering over the edge – they look as if they are praying.
Day 4: Minto’s – Austrian hut 4,700m(top hut) 4 hrs, 7km, 500m ascent.
Today we begin our trek ascending up along the foot of huge rock walls.
From the top we’ll have an excellent view of Mt. Kenya. After ascending for a couple of hours you reach Tooth Col. From here you traverse until you reach the Austrian Hut for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Austrian camp – Pt Lenana – Old Moses. 6 hrs, 20km, 285m ascent – 1,400m descent.
Leave at 5.00am for predawn attempt, climbing for 1 hour across bare rock and scree slopes characteristic of the alpine region up to Pt Lenana – the hiker’s summit, arriving in time to catch the African sunrise.
Descend to Shipton’s camp for breakfast and a short rest. After breakfast we begin a 5 hour descent via Mackinder’s valley to the Old Moses camp (3,300m). The descent is gentle and it offers ample time to enjoy fascinating scenery which includes the moorlands before reaching the camp.
Dinner and overnight at the Old Moses camp.
Day 6: Old Moses camp – Nairobi. 2 hrs, 9km, 680m descent.
After early morning breakfast, descend for 3 hours up to the Sirimon Park gate to catch a vehicle for transfer to Nairobi arriving late afternoon.