Seven Sisters take on Mount Kenya!

Jul

21

Around mid morning on Friday, we began our climb of Mount Kenya from Sirimon Gate (2650 metres ASL). We walked for 4 hours, uphill, on a tarmac path. At first we were all very warm from the hot blazing sun! But the higher we walked the cooler it became - and during the final hour there was gentle rain. We arrived at Old Moses Camp (3300 metres ASL) around 4pm. A relatively easy first day - we had no idea what was coming!

 

On Saturday we woke up around 6am, had breakfast at 7am and had started walking by 8am. Whilst we were cold during the night, we were all warm again once we started walking - most of us having to take off layers. The walk was off path, through grassed and rocky areas. The views were outstanding - not surprising as Mount Kenya is a National Park!

 

At the half way mark we had our packed lunches, and then once again began walking. However, the weather took a turn for the worst and we struggled through the cold and hail! It was definitely a tough afternoon! We arrived at Shipton Camp at 5pm - exhausted, cold and wet! After we'd had dinner we went to bed around 10pm, none of us feeling all that great! A majority of the group were suffering from altitude sickness - headaches, dizziness, feeling sick, stomach pain etc. 4 of us woke up at just after 1am to begin our climb to the summit just after 2am - unfortunately those with altitude sickness had to remain in bed as they were too unwell to climb. We all had very mixed emotions - worry and fear, but primarily excitement! After an hour of climbing 1 member had to be taken down as they were suffering with bad altitude sickness.

 

The climb was very difficult - it was dark, it was cold and there were low oxygen levels. However the 3 of us pushed through! We made it to the summit (4985 metres ASL)!!!! The conditions were amazing - there was clear skies and we were able to see the sunrise just before 7am! Emotions were very high - we were all so proud of ourselves and each other for making it!

 

We began our desent just after 7am. It was now light as the sun had risen. Everyone agreed that the desent was a lot scarier than the climb! We could now see the sheer incline and slippery ice! However, we managed to make it back to Shipton Camp just after 9am, where we were greeted by the other 4 group members with congratulatory hugs - what a wonderful team! We quickly got changed, packed our bags, had breakfast and then began our decent back to Moses Camp at 11am.

 

We were all EXHAUSTED. We'd had virtually no sleep, and 3 of us had already climbed to the summit. However, we pushed through and made it back to Moses Camp around 6pm - roughly 7 hours of walking, including a rest by the stream to have our lunch. The 3 team members that climbed to the summit had walked a total of almost 14 hours!

 

We all had dinner just after 7pm and were in our sleeping bags by 9pm! Our final desent began at 7am on Monday morning. We made it back to the gate before 10am - we had done it!!!! We had climbed a mountain!

 

The whole experience was both a physical and mental challenge - the long difficult walks, the climbs, the early mornings, the cold and of course no internet access! Overall an amazing and life changing experience.

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