Kenya – Climb Up Mount Kenya, Africa's Second Highest Mountain – VIDEO
Alarm clock. It is exactly 2.30, the time for a quick breakfast, hot tea and the start of the exit. In the base camp at 4 200 meters, the temperature dropped to minus 20, and even below the mountain hut, it is below zero. I totally regret the group of Kenyan students who have not experienced frost until now.
Until evening I realized what I had forgotten. All the while, when shopping for equipment in Nairobi, I told myself that something was missing from my carefully checked-out list. Torch. That was exactly her. All the while I have to stay behind the guide, otherwise I would easily lose a beaten path in the lava field, after which we gradually climb to the top of Lenana. At the highest Batian it is only with technical climbing. Lenana is enough, 4,985 meters above sea level is still almost 2 000 meters higher than I have ever climbed before.
For a while before six in the morning I climb the steepest section just below the summit and open my breathtaking view to all sides. There are about 40 minutes left until sunrise, but the lights are gradually increasing over the horizon. I am at the top of the top, and I see another 30 people below me, who are still waiting for the most demanding part.
On one side, there is the Batian Peak, and beneath it is the largest local Lewis Glacier. Unfortunately, even here the ice melts quickly and today only a small part remains from the first photos from the beginning of the 20th century. On the other hand, the valley stretches into the distance to Chogoria town, which line the sharp ridges of Mount Kenya and glacial lakes glisten between them. I am sorry that I have chosen the shortest route of Naro Mora for the descent and not just the beautifully scenic Chogoria.
Suddenly the red African sun rises from behind the clouds and gradually illuminates the entire surrounding landscape. I don't know if to take pictures, shoot, or just enjoy. There are over 30 of us at the top, but nobody speaks. The only sound is the sharp wind that breaks the rocky ridge, and the occasional click of my Nikon Z6 shutter.
I watch the climbers, who have decided to overcome the highest point, and say goodbye to the mountain, even though I have a difficult way to go down. I thank her for letting me go up and let me fully enjoy the journey and the feeling of victory myself. Not everyone managed to do it at the very top, high altitude sickness took its toll
If the mountains fascinate you like me, I strongly recommend this climb. It is not the cheapest or the simplest, but almost everyone has the chance to handle it.
Text, photos, and video: Matouš Vinš
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