Nelion Climb

Ice Rock Trekking is famed for organizing some of the best trek itineraries in the African region. In this article, we will talk about the standard route taken to attempt the Nelion Climb via the southern side of Mount Kenya. You can best access this trek from the Austrian hut.

Mackinder Route is the most used route on the Southern/Eastern side of Mount Kenya, where you will get abseil rings fixed. As per the Ice Rock Trekking itinerary, climbers will start from the Austrian Hut which is at 4700m in height in the morning around 4 PM. After crossing the Lewis Glacier, You will use head torches to scramble up the scree to the climb’s base.

With this, you have completed the first two pitches before first light. This stroll usually takes about 2 hours. If the sun comes out of the mountains, the climbing becomes more enjoyable. Starting from the base, the climb becomes easy with the first three scrambled pitches using a running belay.

The One O’clock Gully

While working through the pitches, climbers will pass through some famous features like the following:

  • One o’clock Gully
  • The Amphitheatre
  • De Graf’s Variation

These local points will present some easy as well as some challenging climbing. The halfway point of the climb is the Bailey’s Bivvy. This Bivvy is a disused hut considered a halfway point on a spectacular route.

You will reach the summit of Nelion in 6-8 hours. Howell Hut is the summit of Nelion. Here, you can stay in an overnight bivvy if your group is interested in crossing over to Batian. Climbers will cross over to Batian via the “Gates of Mist”. This involves dropping 35m off Nelion and further climbing 50m to the summit.

We estimate the time to do the Nelion crossing and return is 3-4 hours. But such a fiat is dependent on ice levels within the “Gates of Mist”. Thereafter, we would recommend a night at Howell Hut. You can begin to descend on the following morning. During the trek, you will see en route to Nelion.

Nelion Climb

Eric Shipton first ascended the summit of Mt Kenya in 1929. PW Harris, before him, was a part of a reconnaissance team on Mount Everest.

You can find more similar stories of this route which are famous and involve famous faces of the past. Your guide can also narrate such incidents to you during your unforgettable climb.

Standard Route To Nelion Climb– South Ridge to Nelion

The Nelion Summit is at a height of 5188m or 17,021 feet. The Batian is situated at a height of 5199m or 17,057 feet via the “Gates of Mist”. The Technical Grade for this trek is 4. The suitable season for this climb is December to March. The typical length of the trek is 450m, 18 pitches. Trek’s duration is around 8 hours of climbing with one night stay and three hours for the descent. The trek requires one guide to two guests ratio. For the Nelion climb, you require ice climbing equipment, such as crampons and ice axes. The whole climb is 18 pitches, which makes it easy to climb Nelion and Batian.

Climbing Batian

Ice Rock Trekking is one of the foremost Trekking Expedition organizers of Mount Kenya. We are well-known for providing some of the best trekking experiences to people from around the world. One of our famous routes is the Batian Climb. We prefer to design the trek route from the North Face of Mount Kenya. This is the standard route to Batian attempted via the North side of the mountain, as the most direct route to Mount Kenya’s summit.

Hardness Level of the Batian Route

The Batian Climb is technically harder than the normal route. It involves some harder pitches. The Normal route climb can be broken up into several sections. The Bivvy here is often taken in the large Amphitheater before heading to the first light summit.

Details of the Batian Climb

The North Face route starts from Kami Hut in the Shipton camp. To get to the top, it will take you 7 to 8 days, which will include two days of climbing. When on North Face, you must stay overnight at the Firmin Tower by putting a tent or bivouac. For this trek, climbers don’t need crampons. In case you want to traverse the “Gates of Mist” to Nelion, then crampons are a must.

The First Ascent of the North Face to Batian was done by Arthur Firmin

In 1944, PH Hicks made a very daring attempt with two brave and internationally famous mountaineers to climb the Bation. Thereafter, the climbing duo would go on to complete several other ascents on Mount Kenya.

Batian Climb

About the Climb

The Ice Rock Trekking follows the North Face standard route from the North Side to reach the Batian summit. The Summit of the Batian is situated at 5199m or 17,057 feet in height. It has a technical grade of 4+. The best season to make the climb is July, August, and September. The length of the pitches is 600m with 24 pitches in total, and the duration of the climb is ten hours. This will include one overnight stay and 5 hour’s descent to the climb base.

Things to take care of:

Every climber is recommended to carry their supply for the trek, as these equipment are indispensable for the trek:

  • Harness
  • Climbing Boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axe
  • Warm Sleeping Bag
  • Bivvy Bag
  • Light Tent

Some of the other climbing equipment needed is friends (chuckles), the figure of eight, stoppers. The tour guide will provide you with the ropes for the trek.

Ice Rock Trekking is a premier Travel and Expeditions Company that offers trekking services to Mount Kenya as well as Mount Kilimanjaro. We arrange technical climbing guides for the main peaks of Batian. As a professional tour company, headed by Mr. Joseph Muthui Gathu, we are well-versed in dispensing our services effectively to our clients. Mr. Joseph Muthui Gathu is a well-known former member of the Mt Kenya Rescue Team. He has graduated from the American National Outdoor Leadership School, colloquially known as N.O.L.S.