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.

mt kenya peaks

Mount Kenya is considered Kenya’s highest mountain and it is the 2nd highest in Africa that is followed by Kilimanjaro. Climbing Mt. Kenya peaks is an altogether different experience for people. However, they can climb Kilimanjaro but if they look forward to getting a highly thrilling piece of African piece, they will come across Mt. Kenya. It entices countless mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts with various options for bagging one of the three Mt. Kenya peaks.

Three three summits

You will come across 3 summits of Mt. Kenya:

Batian – Batian is the highest peak of Mt. Kenya and it rises to 17,057 feet or 5,199 meters in elevation. This is also the chief summit and is regarded as a hugely coveted goal for progressive rock climbing as well as mountaineering enthusiasts. After you have trekked toward the top, if you plan to summit the highest point of Mt. Kenya, you require getting out of the climbing gear and ascending the standard path on the north face that is ranked IV+.

Nelion – Nelion is the 2nd biggest summit on Mt. Kenya and it is at a height of 17021 feet or 5188 m. This seems to be a highly challenging climb that needs people to have skills in multi-pitch rock climbing when they want to reach there.

Point Lenana – Point Lenana is the lowest among Mt Kenya peaks and the third peak summit on the massif of Mt. Kenya. Hikers find it to be a hugely popular peak as they do not need any technical climbing experience for reaching there. Nonetheless, it continues to be a challenging ascent that needs hikers to be physically fit from within.

mt kenya

The toughness to climb Mt. Kenya

Irrespective of the summit you choose for heading to Mt. Kenya, you must be fit because you will come across several steep parts. Additionally, you need to be careful about the considerable distances over several days. Most of the time, the altitude might this ascent tougher for you; hence, you need to be armed with a sanctioned and experienced guide. While climbing Mt. Kenya, you need to ensure that you haven’t been getting altitude very fast. If you have altitude sickness, then you will require a guide on hand as he will be able to manage this issue.

For scaling Nelion or Batian, you need to have your ideal equipment as it is merely impossible to finish these climbs when you don’t possess the ideal rock climbing gear.

The best time

Most people wonder about the best time when they should climb Mt. Kenya. A person can climb it throughout the year but it is better to avoid trekking during the rainy seasons. Hence, you need to avert the middle of March-May to the middle of October-November as it becomes tough to forecast the rains.

The bottom line

The Mt. Kenya trek seems to be an enjoyable and challenging journey for trekkers. They can see beautiful views from the Mt. Kenya peaks, like the affected volcanic massif, and long views over the plains of Kenya. For a long time, this hike is considered to be hugely attractive via an ancient landscape that remains dotted with rock spires, glaciers, exclusive flora and fauna, and high tarns.

mt kenya

Every year thousands of tourists arrive in Kenya for visiting or trekking Mt. Kenya. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Mt. Kenya National Park was declared a national park in 1949. The principal motto of declaring it a national park was to preserve its biodiversity. Several routes are open to reaching the peaks of Mt. Kenya but the Mt. Kenya Sirimon Chogoria route is the most famous one. These are actually two routes – the Sirimon route and the Chogoria route. In 1997, UNESCO has announced Mt. Kenya National Park as a world heritage site.

Key features of Mt. Kenya National Park

Mt. Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa. It’s breathtaking scenery and pristine wilderness attract tourists and trekkers from all over the world. Lakes, tarns, forests, glaciers, mineral springs, and wildlife makes the national park appealing to international tourists.

  • Wildlife

Tourists visiting the national park can spot varieties of wildlife such as wild-tailed mongoose, black-fronted duiker, mole rats, bushbucks, elephants, buffalos, and elands. You can find some of the rarest wildlife species here such as giant forest hogs, lions, bongos, and leopards.

  • Plant life

The plant life in this part of Africa is another prime attraction that tourists look out for while visiting Mt. Kenya National Park. This is the place of 11 species of endemic plants such as giant lobelia, Helichrysum citrispinum, Silene kilimandscharica, Senecio keniodendron, and Alchemilla johnstonii.

  • Birds

Over 130 species of birds are found in Mt. Kenya National Park. Some of the most beautiful birds spotted here are violet-back sterling, olive pigeon, African green pigeon, black-and-white manikin, Jackson’s francolin, red-fronted parrot, and hunter’s cisticola.

  • Kenya

Mt. Kenya itself is an attraction to the global heritage. Every year many mountain trekkers come to this national park to climb the peaks. About 5,199 meters (17,057 feet) tall, Mt. Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is also the highest mountain in Kenya and the highest water tower in the country. The glaciers and snowfalls of this mountain are the chief sources of water in the country.

Mountain trekking

Trekking is the most common and popular activity in Mt. Kenya National Park. There are about seven different routes to this mountain but the Mt. Kenya Sirimon Chogoria route is the most popular one. It is very rewarding for the trekkers who make it to the top.

  • The Chogoria route starts from the Eastern side of the via Chogoria town. The route is comparatively longer but the sloping is gradual which helps trekkers to climb comfortably. Ice Rock Trekking arranges trekking from this route regularly. You get full technical support from them.
  • Sirimon is the best when you prefer forests and wildlife. This route is calmer and more comfortable than the other routes. You will spot some of the rarest species of plants, birds, and animals while traveling through this route.

It is always feasible to contact expert tour organizers such as Ice Rock Trekking to get the best of Mt. Kenya Sirimon Chogoria route.

mount kenya

Travelers enjoy mountain climbing as well as camping with the glacier-clad peaks of mountains along a perfect backdrop of lush greenery. Mt Kenya is one of them and the second highest mountain in Africa. It gets benefitted from an equatorial climate as it is located in the tropics. Travelers or trekkers opt to climb this mountain due to various reasons and the perfect weather conditions. Trekking to Mt Kenya can be started on a perfect sunny morning when the temperature is around 25 degree Celsius and the temperature keeps changing while climbing up the mountain and the temperature is normally around 10 degree Celsius. However, lured by the beauty of the wildlife of Kenya and adventurous trekking trip to Mt Kenya, if you wish to experience the same then contacting a reliable trekking organization is a must.

More about Mt. Kenya

Mount Kenya is a volcanic mountain it was carved by glaciers over centuries. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Mt Kenya’s foothills were the home to several Bantu tribes which also included the Kikuyu. The fertile soils and proper rainfall became perfect for rich vegetation thus suitable for the tribes to start intensive agriculture. This mountain was considered sacred to the tribes and they thought it as the home of their god. However, with time and evolution, this place has become a popular trekking and tourist destination. The plant life of this region consists of sub-alpine and alpine flora whereas on the north and west side the bamboo forest is a little lesser. 

mt kenya

The major reasons for climbing Mt Kenya

Trekkers and travelers desire to trek and visit Mt Kenya due to several reasons but the following are some of the major reasons depicted below:

  • Accommodations: Different routes connected to Mt Kenya are facilitated with various basic lodges and overnight campsites. Apart from the lodging, you can enjoy your meals while having the opportunity to swap trekking stories with other trekkers.
  • Great Wildlife: You will be able to see amazing wildlife while hiking to Mt Kenya. This is because the mountain is surrounded by a national park which ensures enjoyment in watching elephants, giant forest hogs, zebras, rhinos, and even leopards. Furthermore, you will get to see outstanding birdlife with a variety of birds.
  • Stunning view: If you hike to the twin peaks known as Nelion and Bation, travelers can experience a stunning view of the U-shaped valleys below the mountain. Along with that, they can also enjoy the crystal clear lakes and volcanic boulders. Moreover, travelers often get mesmerized by the beauty of amazing indigenous flora.
  • Quicker Climb: This is one of the top reasons for opting for Mt Kenya as a travel or trekking destination. It is generally a shorter trek and people face fewer issues of acclimatization. Even the routes connecting this mountain are much easier to access than other trekking trips to Kenya.

Do you want to experience the best Mt Kenya tour? Then Go and visit the website of ICE ROCK TREKKING for detailed information and guidance.