Mt Kenya Trekking, Sirimon Trail.

Location Mt Kenya  Nationa Park and Mt Kenya Forest
Starting Point Sirimon Mt. Kenya National Park  gate
Ending point Sirimon Mt. Kenya National Park  gate
Walking Duration 4 days
Terrain Forest, Bamboo, Alpine and snow
Difficulty Difficult
Elevation gain 2340m

The aim of this hike is to reach point Lenana on Mt Kenya. The approach is from the West of the Mountain at Nanyuki, and the trail starts at the  Sirimon Gate. It is considered the route with the highest success rate by guides and peak baggers.

The hike usually takes four days, but one can elect to spend one extra day for acclimatisation before the ascending to the summit. Sirimon is on the leeward side of the mountain so the trail is not as we as the others. The ground is predominantly rocky.

The first two days are fair, but ascending to Point Lenana (on summit night) can be trying but manageable.  Accommodation is either camping tent or mountain huts.

Day 1: Sirimon gate (2645masl) – Old Moses camp. ( 3,385masl)

Time 3-4 hrs, Distance 9km, Elevation gain 740m.
From the gate, the trek climbs gently through a magnificent rainforest to give way to bamboo at the road-head. The human/animal track passes through a giant heather zone before reaching the high altitude moorland and on to  Old Moses camp.

This is a gentle trek with an elevation gain of 650 metres over a 9km walking distance that takes 3 – 4 hrs.

Day 2: Old Moses (3385masl) – Shipton camp (4260m).

Time 7 hrs, Distance 13km, Elevation gain 875m.
You break camp and leave early for a 13km trek that takes seven hours at moderate speed gaining of 900 metres in elevation. The trek will see you cross several small streams, including Ontulili and Liki.  The Moorland starts at Liki and the climb gets steep as you continue uphill through the panoramic Mackinders Valley.

Optional Day: Shipton Camp – Acclimatisation Day
An extra night may be spent at Shipton for better acclimatisation. The day is spent taking a short walk to Oblong tarn (4570m) and Hausberg tarn 4560m uphill climbing to 4500m and back for lunch and rest and early to bed in preparation of early morning wake-up.

Day 3(a): Shipton (4260m) – Point Lenana(4,985m)

Time 3-4 hrs, Walking Distance = 2km, Elevation gain 725m

Wake at 2:00 for tea and biscuits to leave camp at 3.am for an attempt on the summit. The trail is predominantly scrambling on frozen treacherous scree (that can get worse if it defrosts before you climb). If all goes well you should reach point Lenana just before sunrise at 6:00 am.

The climb takes 3-4 hours.

Day 3(b): Point Lenana(4,985m) – Old Moses (2,650m)

Time 8 hrs

After the summit, you descend back to Shipton for breakfast at around 9:30 a.m and a short rest. Then you descend further to Old Moses for the overnight stay.

Day 4: Old Moses- Sirimon Gate2 hrs, 9km

After breakfast, descend on through the thick indigenous forest to Sirimon gate for you transport to Nanyuki

Getting There

If using public transport from Nairobi take Matatu to Nanyuki preferably before 7:00 am as the journey takes at least 3 hours. Arrange for your guide to meet you at the bus station for gear inspection and last minute shopping. Then take hired transport to the Sirimon gate.

On your way out, arrange for your guide to organise transport to the Nanyuki town where you may take lunch as you depart to your destination.

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