Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mount Kenya with Mary Kariuki

MOUNT KENYA, alt 5,199m (Batian), is the highest mountain in Kenya, and 2nd only to Kilimanjaro for the entire African continent.

My good friend Mary "Mumbi" Kariuki of StandOut Adventures is planning to take us up to one of its 3 peaks, early 2010.

Lenana via the Sirimon Route is a non-technical trail that allows all trekkers to enjoy a magnificent view of east africa without any climbing skills. The other two routes, Naro Moru route and Chogoria Route are more suitable for climbers familiar with rock climbing, belaying and rope techniques.

Day 1 : Sirimon Park Gate to Old Moses Camp - 9km, approx. 3/4 hours hiking through the beautiful rain forest to Old Moses Camp at alt. 3,300m.
Day 2 : Shipton's Camp - 16km, approx. 7/8 hours hike through the Liki Valley via Mackinder's Valley to Shipton's Camp at alt. 4,200m where you enjoy an incredible view of the north faces of Nelion and Batian peaks.
Day 3 : Peak Circuit for Acclimatazation - 4 hours - ascending to a steep ridge through Kami Hut, Hausberg Tarn and Two Tarns Lake through some of the most spectacular sceneries. Return to Shipton's Camp.
Day 4 : Point Lenana at alt. 4,985m and back to Old Moses - 4 hours starting at 2.30am to arrive for sunrise. From here you can admire Kilimanjaro's highest peaks, Kibo and Mawenzi visible from the south, the Indian Ocean from the east and Mt. Elgon from the west. Descent back to Shipton's camp for breakfast. Old Moses for dinner.

Mary and her climbing team are native Kenyans who grew up close to Mt Kenya. All are very knowledgable about protecting the ecosystem. As with Mt Kilimanjaro, the glaciers of Mt Kenya are retreating rapidly due to climate change and low snowfall.

Mt Kenya benefits from equatorial climate. A typical day is a sunny crystal clear morning with temperatures around 25°C in low altitude and around 10°C as you slowly climb. Fog and clouds are commonly generated by mid day but at dawn, the ground surface is cooler and clouds leave the peaks uncovered. Temperature can drop down to -10°C during the night.

The mountain has two rainy seasons from late March till June and from October to December. The best climbing season is December – March and July – September.
Contact Mary for a quote at or +254 722 562449
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Road to Hell by Michael Maren

Shaking up the inertia, as he does so well, I first blogged about Michael a few years ago.

A former food monitor for the United States Agency for International Development
, Michael provokes debate about Aid in Afica. One such discussion comes from AVIF volunteer, Alec, recently returned from 5 weeks in Kenya, mainly rural and Mike, a Board Member for AVIF's CIC, KO2.

M: That is a great article. Some of the poorest Asian countries seem to have
been able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps with relatively
little aid - Cambodia is going to be an interesting case in point when
I visit again eight years on. Corruption on a grand scale but people
who were incredibly, remarkably inventive at making the best of what...
Read more

A: Good article and well put Mike. My own feeling is that withdrawing all aids
to Africa at this late in the day may not be the solution. Perhaps
everyone from both sides needs to stop seeing just $ signs and change
their perspective on what they regards to as aid, and welcome the idea
of just providing and receiving education as a mean of aid......

The discussion continues on FaceBook here ...

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