Mt Kenya is a huge alpine objective with a large variety of difficulties and climbing styles. That being said, all climbs should be taken extremely seriously as weather can be fickle, even in the dry season. Rescue is far away or non-existent and you will be on your own if anything happens. Multiple people die every year on this mountain, most of them hikers, so don't let the presence of school groups on the approach fool you.
But it's not all grim! This is a beautiful mountain, made all the more incredible by its simply improbable setting. Ice, snow, jagged spires, long routes, and incredible flora and fauna make Mt Kenya unique in the alpine climbing world.
See the page for SE face of Nelion for a ton more beta. Pick up a guidebook from the Mountain Club of Kenya for the best beta.
Glaciers have receded severely in the past decades so take most maps and route descriptions with a grain of salt. Even the ultra-classic Diamond Couloir is barely formed most seasons.
Mt Kenya has multiple approach trails but only two are well equipped with huts and infrastructure. Get a guidebook from the Mountain Club of Kenya and ask for information updates as approach beta is constantly changing.
Take either Naro Moru or Sirimon approach if you want to stay in huts - there are comfortable and well-equipped huts all the way to the base of the mountain on both sides. Other approaches are more scenic but require self-sufficient camping. Mountain Club of Kenya members can access the very comfortable, cozy, and well-equipped hut at the base of the mountain on the Naro Moru approach.
Porters and guides are recommended. Water is available at the base but not on the climbs.
Don't underestimate the altitude, especially if you are coming from sea level. Give yourself time in Nairobi, at the trailhead (1 night) and at the base (1 night) before climbing.
Weather station 15.2 miles from here
4 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Mt Kenya
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mt Kenya
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mt Kenya:
Featured Route For Mt Kenya
Southeast Face of Nelion 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Africa
: Mt Kenya
When it's winter up north, this is a sunny 15 pitch climb that can be done with a small rack, single 60m rope, and rock shoes (big enough for warm socks). Lots of novices have been guided up Nelion, even though it takes thirteen rappels to get down (25m raps). January and February are the driest months. The rains might stop by December for Christmas holidays. Mount Kenya from Point Lenana Southeast Face on left. East Pillar & North Face are best done June through September (warmer). cosmic Wiki-photo by Stefan Leitner (month unknown) Once Nelion is climbed, continuing down to the Gate of Mists and up to Batian is more advanced and committing. There is...[more] Browse More Classics in International