Another trip up the beautiful Mount Kenya. We headed up the Chogoria Route this time and down the Sirimon Route. I hadn’t been on the Chogoria Route in about 10 years, and it was lovely to be reminded of why this is my favourite route to ascend. The last time I was up the road I was dropping off some friends at the base of the mountain, and the road was somewhat, undriveable. It had been raining, there was a lot of black cotton. Combine this with tree trunks and branches hovering over the edge of the road and the sliding around makes you even more uneasy. We only ended up with one broken window after sliding into some bamboo bushes that came into the road, but it was enough to help me remember the trip! This time round, the road had been resurfaced, and we also walked up rather than drove up, to help with acclimatisation. Fixing the road has made the Chogoria route far more accessible to the general public.
We were very lucky with the weather and only had a little rain on night 3 as we were arriving into camp. Sunrise on the summit morning was spectacular, and views coming down to Shiptons were stunning.
We were met by surprise on the walk back to the main gate, as we found the road was being tarmacked! What a surprise. Many hikers start the ascent up Mt Kenya at the gate and walk to the first camp on the road, to help avoid altitude sickness – will be a horrible walk on tarmac for the first day. It will be interesting to see how this develops in future.