The preferred route on Nelion is the MacKinders route. This is a 5th class rock route to a maximum difficulty of 5.6. There are easier sections where the party can move together, but typically, some 17 plus pitches are belayed. Descent is by the same route, with a few of the rappels taking more direct lines down cleaner rock. This is a fun route, on generally good rock, sunny. Rock shoes are appropriate. Approach boots can be left at the base of the route. Though still long, this route is considered to be easier than the North Face Standard Route on Batian. With better rock, and a sunnier position, it is also more fun.
The climbing season is usually November through March when the South East face of the Nelion peak is relatively snow-free and climbing conditions are best.
To give you a more clearer picture of the trip, kindly see below an itinerary for the entire climb.
7 Day Mt Kenya climb Chogoria – Sirimon Traverse.
Day 1: Nairobi- Mt Kenya (2,800m)
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 trek through the dense bamboo forest for distance of 10 km up to the Mt Kenya Bandas.
Dinner and overnight at the Meru Mount Kenya Bandas (3000m)
Day 2. Mt Kenya Bandas- Lake Ellis Campsite ( 3,600m)
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)
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 500ft 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 hut – Top hut (Austrian hut) – (4,780M).
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.
Dinner and overnight at the Austrian hut.
Day 5: Austrian hut – Nelion- Batian (5,199m)
(CLIMBING DAY) South East Face of Nelion.
Day 6: Austrian hut- Old Moses Camp (3,300m)
After breakfast descend to Shipton’s camp via Simba col after which you begin a 5 hour descent via Mackinder`s valley to the Old Moses camp. 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 7: Old Moses – Nairobi.
After early morning breakfast, descend for 3 hours to the Sirimon Park gate to catch a vehicle and transfer back to Nairobi arriving by 16:00 Hrs.
NB: Due to the unpredictability of weather around the Summit, we sometimes allow for an extra Summit day thus extending the climb to 8 Days. However, kindly be aware that an additional day on the mountain attracts US$ 165 per person.
Prices are per person in US Dollars and based on group size.
1 passenger (Pax): US$ 1,795
2 Pax: US$ 1,700
The following items are included in the above prices:
- All transportation to/from the mountain(private)
- All Park fees.
- All food while on the Mountain.
- Accommodation in mountaineering tents
- All guiding services
- Porter support for the climb.
Not included are:
- Personal clothing and equipment (see equipment list)
- Tips and gratuities for guides and porters (recommended to be 10 – 15% of climb costs)
- Beverages while not on the mountain