18-Unusual-Animals-That-Will-Become-Extinct-Before-You-Die Mount Kenya – Up High at God’s Mountain

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Mount Kenya – Up High at God’s Mountain

Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. It is estimated to be 2.5 million years old, and Kilimanjaro at 750,00 years old is truly a new beginning. Time has indeed taken its toll and the peak is thought to have fallen from 6500m those millions of years ago to 5199m today. The mountain is an extinct volcano whose plug forms what is today the summit area. The crater was made long ago, to death, by nature’s tireless agents of erosion.

Mount Kenya is a stunning spectacle that dominates the central highlands of Kenya. It is perhaps understandable that the Kikuyu people who inhabit its lower slopes thought it fit for the abode of the gods. And it inspires people in strange ways. In 1943, Felice Benuzzi, an Italian prisoner of war held in Nanyuki at the base of the mountain, and his two companions, escaped and attempted to climb to the top. With only a few handmade climbing tools, he managed to reach Lenana Point, the third highest peak of Mt.

But Benuzzi was at least an accomplished climber. In 1988, the Mount Kenya Rescue Team discovered and retrieved an elder of the Meru people in the cold heights of Peak Nelion (5,188m). Only experts, with the right equipment and guides, reach Nelion. He seemed unconscious of the feat he had accomplished, and was disturbed by the clamor raised by his rescuers. He explained that his mission was “to go to God.” He was dressed in a way you won’t see recommended in any guidebook – a single blanket and open sandals. Animals also do strange things: a few years ago, the frozen bodies of a leopard and a colobus monkey were discovered in Nelion.

Mount Kenya is located 180 km north of Nairobi. The mountain falls within the Mount Kenya National Park. The park consists of a protected area above 3,200 m altitude, together with two small peaks reaching 2,450 m along the Naro Moru and Sirimon trails. It was established in 1949 and covers an area of ​​715 km2. It is further surrounded by the Mount Kenya National Reserve, which stretches over 2,075 square km. The park has the distinction of being a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.

The mountain consists of three main areas: the region of rocky peaks, the Afro-alpine terrain with the distribution of giant vegetation, and the broad lower slopes covered with montane forests and bamboo. The amazing ecological diversity is one of the attractions of this giant. The ecological processes that have brought about the Afro-Alpine flora particularly intrigue scientists. There are 81 species of plants here that are found nowhere else in the world.

In the lower forest area, there is a lot of wildlife including buffalo, elephant, sykes monkey and bushbuck. However, animals are generally difficult to see. Further, animals are even fewer although hyena, leopard, buffalo and civet cats have been seen. The only animal you are likely to see at the top

alpine areas is rock hyraxes. Although it is the size of a domestic cat, it is more like a mouse. The seemingly humble rock hyrax has some powerful relatives in the animal kingdom and considers the elephant its biological relative.

The mountain attracts over 30,000 enthusiasts every year. Lenana Peak (4,985 m), the so-called peak of trekkers, can be reached by any fit and properly prepared person. The peak has the twin peaks of Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m), and is accessible only to those with technical mountaineering and rock climbing experience. This mountain is not easy to conquer and every year no more than 100 climbers reach the twin peaks of the peaks. Mount Kenya is actually considered to be more technically challenging than the higher Kilimanjaro (5,894m). But those who make it to the top experience some of the best rock and ice climbing in Africa.

The mountain has many admirers and especially fascinates technical climbers. Author and mountaineer, Rick Ridgeway – author of Seven Summits, declares that of all the mountains in the world this is his favorite. Halford Mackinder planned and led the first recorded expedition to reach the summit in 1899. But if Elder Meru mentioned above is anything to go by, the locals must have been on top of the mountain long ago. The Mackinder expedition was a great success and his party discovered many species of animals and plants then unknown in Europe. A new species of eagle owl, for example, was first recorded by this expedition and subsequently named after Mackinder.

Although Mount Kenya is practically on the equator, you will find snow and ice and even glaciers. However, in the hundred years since Mackinder conquered the mountain, the number of glaciers has dwindled from 18 to just 7 remaining today. The culprit for this is global climate change that has accelerated in recent years. Scientists tell us that during the ice ages the great glaciers reached below 3000 m. Today the largest glacier is the Lewis Glacier with a height of 4600 m. The continued retreat of the glaciers is expected to have a negative impact on downstream ecosystems, not to mention the mountain’s scenic appeal.

Mount Kenya is the source of the Tana River – Kenya’s largest river – and has for many years been seen as an inexhaustible source of water. Not anymore – the loss of glaciers and forest cover has brought this assumption into disrepute. The loss of forest cover is of particular concern because it is avoidable. How to save the forests of Mount Kenya has long engaged the environmentalist Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was born on the lower slopes of the mountain and during her life has witnessed the changes up on the mountain.

You can reach the summit area by taking one of three routes: Naro Moru, Sirimon and Chogoria. Good roads will take you from Nairobi to Naro Moru, Nanyuki and Chogoria – the base towns for each of the trails. There are alternative routes, but most have fallen into disuse and you need superior navigational skills and stamina to attempt them. These include: Burguret, Meru, Kamweti and Timau. It is highly recommended that you stick to the three popular routes. But if you have a good reason to do otherwise, or indeed for the beginning of your route, you must register with the park authorities.

The Naro Moru route approaches the mountain from the west and is easily the most popular. The trail is well serviced with rest huts and is the fastest route to the summit. However, it is steeper and climbers vulnerable to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) may struggle. The hike will take 4 days, although you can opt for an extra day at the summit. You start with a fairly steep 5-hour walk from Park Gate to the Met Station (3050m). Here you spend the first night and acclimatize to the thin mountain air.

The next day is the longest and you will walk, under different terrains, for anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. You spend the night at Mackinders Camp (4200m), near the summit area. You really should have an early night on this day. Very early the next morning – 2.00am is the usual time – you set off to try Point Lenana. The mountain is generally clear in the morning and stormy in the afternoon – so the idea is that you climb and descend the summit when you have good traction. This is the part of the hike where some experience symptoms of altitude sickness.

It will take you about 5 hours to reach Lenana. You should take some pictures here, to show the people at home how you got to the top of God’s mountain. Then 3 hours down to Mackinders Camp for breakfast. Then, climbing back up the Teleki Valley via Camel Rocks, you reach the Met Station in about 4 hours. Overnight rest is at the Met Station, before the final descent to Park Gate.

Sirimon Road has its base in Nanyuki north of Mt. The route offers easier climbing than the Naro Moru trail and is also more scenic. It usually takes 5 days up and down the mountain. You start with a 3-4 hour hike through the rainforest until the night at Old Moses Camp (3,300m). The next day after breakfast you walk through the Liki and Mackinder mountains and valleys. You reach Shipton camp (4200 m) after a 6-7 hour hike. You spend the night here before setting off very early the next morning to try Point Lenana.

The Chogoria route begins in the town of the same name west of the mountain. This is far from the most beautiful and picturesque of the popular roads. You will enjoy dramatic views of waterfalls, valleys, tarns and rugged rock formations. But the trail is not as popular because it is also the longest and therefore more difficult. It will take you 6 days to climb and descend the mountain. There are no usable service huts along the route and you must carry a tent along the route. Whichever route you take, you can extend your enjoyment of these heights by taking a day to do the summit circuit.

It’s important to get enough water — about 4 to 6 liters a day — to keep dehydration at bay. Dehydration makes you more vulnerable to altitude sickness and hypothermia. Hypothermia is a drop in body temperature and symptoms include clumsiness and disorientation. Victims of the disease should be quickly provided with a warm and dry environment. At altitudes above 3,000 m, oxygen levels decrease and altitude sickness threatens the traveler. Therefore, a quick ascent is not recommended, as you do not have the opportunity to acclimatize. Symptoms for acute mountain sickness (AMS) are nausea, headache, fatigue and general malaise. You should always descend to a lower altitude at the onset of symptoms.

Other more serious medical conditions that can occur are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). The onset of HAPE is betrayed by a dry cough and difficulty breathing. HACE is characterized by slurred speech, severe headaches, and disoriented behavior. HACE and HAPE are both potentially fatal and you should always descend to lower altitude and seek treatment. To reduce the chances of mountain sickness, it is advisable to acclimatise by spending an extra night near the Gate Park or in the mountain huts above 4000m. If you temper your zeal for peaks and take a reasonably slow hike, you’ll enjoy the adventure and be fine.

You will generally need a guide and porters so you can focus on the hike. Always go for those who have high altitude experience and are accredited by the park authorities. They will know their way around and a good one is worth its weight in gold, in case of illness and other contingencies. Porters shoulder the heavy stuff while you carry a daypack with essentials such as warm clothing, the ability to make a fire, some food and drink, a flashlight and first aid kit.

Things to bring include: warm clothing, waterproof hiking boots, rain suit, sleeping bag, flashlight, sunglasses and gloves. Many climbers find it convenient to buy one Mount Kenya Climbing Package in order to benefit from those with local knowledge. Such a package will include transport, accommodation in mountain huts, meals during the climb, park entrance fees, services of an experienced mountain guide and porters and cooks.

The main rainy season in the Mount Kenya region falls from late March to June, with secondary rains occurring from late October to December. You can climb the mountain at any time of the year, but the most comfortable climbing is achieved in the dry months of January and February and from July to October.

After your climb, you can rest at some of the excellent hotels and resorts in the Mount Kenya area. Before you leave the country, take to heart the sentiments of Italian mountaineer Carlo Spinelli, who said: “I consider myself a nature lover more than a mountaineer and therefore Kenya has the best of both mountain and desert.” Take time to see wildlife on a Kenya safari in this region or other parts of the country.

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