Mt Kenya is a super Mountain and is well with in reach of most climbers out there! I climbed the south face std route. And despite its chossy appearance its amazingly good rock!! I remember placing a #1 DMM nut and I would’ve been happy to belay a stance on just that 1 piece!! I had 1 set of nuts 1 to 10 DMM and camalots (new ones) .4 .5 .75 1 2 and 3 I didn’t need any bigger… leave the quick draws at home and take 6 to 8 60cm slings. Most (85%) of the gear I placed was more to show my girlfriend the way. There were times when I lead a full 60m pitch with 3 or 4 pieces of gear… The most intensive pitch I did was perhaps 20m with 5 maybe 6 pieces of gear. I did the whole climb in hiking boots, left my rock shoes at the base, only wanted them on 1 pitch, but managed without. Best to get beta from climbers coming down about the ice conditions on the top, as they change from week to week… SLEEP on top (Nelion) especially if your girlfriend is with you
the hut can sleep four comfortably, we had -20 bags the temp could have been much less than that but then our bags zip together
which is also handy beta… some tat might be handy to help with the return from Batian to Nelion, 2 or 3 meters should do.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO TAKE WITH….. description of the decent!!!! Thank u to the guys who gave their print out to me (early Jan this year)!!! Here it is, its also available on summit post . org. I have edited it to make certain sections more understandable:
ONLY USE ONE 50 OR 60 METER ROPE!!! Or u WIL have to cut them at some point… and don’t forget the knots on the ends.
There are a few key sections on the abseil route where it is important not to lose one's way.
Ab #1: from Howel hut walk towards and rightwards of Austrian hut. Cross the chossy ascent gully at the top of the Nelion Standard Route to a platform on the left. (+/- 20m).
Scramble: Follow the green painted arrow diagonally down to the left to the top of a vertical red face (which u cant see). This steep face is seen about 50m above the De Graafs Variation pitch on the way up. The abseil bolt can only be seen when looking over the edge.
Ab #2 to #6: Five single rope abseils tending slightly rightwards and past the De Graaf's Variation to the loose, blocky rock at the base of Mackinder's Gendarme (below the SE ridge).
Scramble: Back up and over to the SE ridge at Baillie's Bivi.
Ab #7: The bolt is found on a block on the SE ridge 10m or less to the left of Baillies bivi. A 20m abseil straight down reaches a painted green marker on the East Traverse.
Scramble, we used no ropes, a bit scary but do-able, 40 to 50m to the left and down the East Traverse. It’s a long traverse. The next bolt is hidden in a slight recess and is difficult to see from this direction. There may be a cairn and some1 had left a bright cloth there. Follow and trust the direction of the green arrow, or memorise the location of the bolt from the ascent.
Ab #8: Straight down to a big ledge (a short 20m).
Ab #9: Dogleg abseil from the left hand side of the ledge. Go down 5m and left 5m along a ramp (the painted marking is VERY misleading here at 20m).
Ab #10: Straight down another 20m.
Ab #11: Straight down a steep face, followed by a free-hanging abseil over a roof. The abseil ends on an uncomfortably angled slab in an alcove underneath the roof at close to 25m.
Ab #12 to #14: Three more single rope abseils tending slightly leftwards and ending back on the ground about 30m to the right of the Nelion Stardard Route start.
NOTE: Directions (left and right) are described as seen when looking in to the mountain face.
TIME: Allow between two and four hours for the descent, depending on your speed. If you can use 2 ropes and alternate abs on each 1…
Happy to help with more info if required