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Kenya

Peak Nelion

  • Where?

    Kenya

  • Altitude

    5,199m

  • Duration

    11 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P4

  • Technical

    T6

  • P4 - Sustained physical effort calls for a state of high conditioning. You should already have experience of tough challenges (P3) and be regularly training as part of your normal routine. Expect days of up to 8 hours and longer while carrying a pack up to 8-14kg in weight. Summit night could be easily in excess of 12 hours.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T6 - Expect punchy sections of more technical rock climbing or prolonged Alpine climbing at Scottish Winter III or Alpine AD. Good skills on rock or ice is paramount.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQ's

Overview

Mount Kenya 5,199m is Africa’s 2nd highest mountain, a stunning extinct volcano regarded by many as “a mountaineer’s mountain”. Standing like a sentinel amid the vast Kenyan savannah, it’s known for being technically unforgiving but hugely rewarding. An ascent to its summit encompasses the best of African climbing adventure.

Our approach via the magnificent Chogoria Trail takes us through dense cloud canopy rainforest rich in wildlife including elephants and primates, across moorlands hiding crystal-fresh lakes, and over steep otherworldly gorges. To aid acclimatisation we ascend Point Lenana where we’ll stop to take in the impressive views across the Lewis Glacier of our ultimate objective – the snow-dusted twin peaks of Mount Kenya. There’s no easy way up the African giant. The Shipton Route is 18 pitches long and follows superb volcanic rock up jagged prominent peaks. The climb is best between December and March but volatile temperatures, from freezing nights to bright sunshine are common.

Due to the technical nature of the route you need to have climbed up to VS (F5) grade, and high altitude experience is recommended though not essential. Our experienced Western guide will summit with you one to one supported by our amazing Kenyan team. Let 360 and our guides take care of the organisation while you focus on your goal.

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Kenya, Peak Nelion Kenya, Peak Nelion

Date & Prices

We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.

Included

  • International airfares
  • Local guides and a 360 guide
  • Scheduled hotel nights
  • Full Board during the trek
  • Park Fees
  • Group climbing and cooking gear
  • Scheduled restaurant meals
  • Porters
  • Ground transportation to the mountains and return to Nairobi
  • All accommodation based on two people sharing
  • All food whilst on trek and breakfast when city based

Not Included

  • Personal equipment
  • Staff/guide gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Trip Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, room service and so forth
  • Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals in Nairobi
  • Visas
  • Lunch and dinner when city based
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Depart UK

Today we will depart the UK.

DAY 2 : Arrive Nairobi

Chance to explore the city centre and to get ready for the climb ahead. Thorough brief over dinner.

DAY 3 : Mountain Lodge (3,000m)

We will drive for about five hours to the Mountain Lodge at 3,000m on the Chogoria Route. This lodge is just above the forest and affords great views toward the many peaks surrounding Mt. Kenya.

DAY 4 : Lake Ellis

Today we hike for 4-6 hours to our camp at Lake Ellis with an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Kenya in the distance.

DAY 5 : Mintos hut

We move camp, which will involve a 5-hour hike to Halls Tarn. The rest of the day can be spent resting at the tarn, exploring the area, or climbing to the top of one of the many high ridges in the area. All the high points around Hanging Tarn offer fantastic views of the entire area.

DAY 6 : Point Lenana (4,956m)

Austrian hut Today we begin our trek ascending up along the foot of huge rock walls. From the top we will have an excellent view of Mt. Kenya. After ascending for a couple of hours we reach Tooth Col. From here we traverse until we reach the Austrian Hut. If time permits and we are feeling strong we can ascend the nearby trekker’s peak of Point Lenana (4,956m. 2 hrs return to Austria hut.) Stunning photos can be made from this lofty perch of the main Mount Kenya summits and a distant Point John.

DAY 7 : Point John ascent (4,850m)

Today we have an acclimatisation climb up the striking tower of Point John – five pitches (up to Severe (F5). In the evening we prepare for the ascent of Mount Kenya.

DAY 8 : Summit Day

Trek to Nelion via the famous Shipton route.

DAY 9 : Summit Day

Trek to Nelion via the famous Shipton route. An early morning departure. We easily cross the Lewis Glacier and climb the Shipton’s route, a technical rock climb with the majority of the climbing at the severe grade and a few short sections of Hard severe (F5 ). After taking our summit photos we abseil back down to camp for the night.

DAY 10 : Naro Moru route

Descent to the gate head via the Naro Moru route.

DAY 11 : Fly to UK

Transfer to Nairobi and flight home.

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the expedition and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

A 80-120L duffel bag to transport kit. A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable

Daysack

Approx. 30-40L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Padlocks

For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag

Quantity: 2

Dry stuffsacks

Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks

Sleeping Gear

4 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag rated to -15C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights

Sleeping bag liner

Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer

Sleeping mat

Full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Buff/Scarf

Essential for protection from the sun and dust

Sunglasses

Category 4 wrap around style is highly recommended. These sunglasses allow for the highest available protection against harmful UV light found at altitude and from glare from snow and sand surfaces. Worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion

Quantity: 2

Down jacket

These provide the best insulation and are worth every penny. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -25C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you

Gloves

Consider a light polartec pair or better still liner gloves for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes that can be worn in combination with liners

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended

Long-sleeved top

Thermal top

To keep you warm at colder temperatures

Quantity: 2

Lower Body

Shorts

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts

Long Johns

Thermal insulation for the lower body

Quantity: 2

Waterproof trousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you

Feet

Boot heaters

Heating elements that can be inserted in to your boots to ensure your feet are kept warm

Gaiters

To protect the tops of your footwear from harsh conditions and to provide some added insulation

Walking boots

Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support

Comfortable trainers

Comfortable Trainers for evening use and to give your feet a break once we reach camp

Trekking socks

Single layer or wearing 2 pairs is a personal choice and lighter weight merino wool is a good option

Quantity: 3

Spare laces

Just in case

Evening Wear

Spare clothing

Useful for fixed camps/ refuges or towns

Technical Equipment

Belay plate

Of your choice

Quantity: 2

Climbing helmet

A plastic helmet is more suitable rather than the expanded foam helmets available. Make sure you try it on in a shop with a woolly/fleece hat underneath

Climbing shoes

Climbing grade of the crux 3 pitches is VS up, F5a, 16 Aus.

Figure of 8

Figure of 8 or other descendeur  for abseiling

Climbing harness

Try a variety on in a shop before you buy to ensure a good fit. Legs clips are a good option and avoids having to step into the harness to put it on

HMS Locking karabiners

Sling (60cm)

Quantity: 2

Hydration

Water bottles

A good combination is a Platypus/Camelbak plus 2 x 1L Nalgene bottles. Platypus for use before the water starts to freeze at higher camps!

Water purification

Purification tablets are better than any other system.  Highly unlikely to be needed.  Always good to have in your bag

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Wet wipes

These are great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Insect repellent

For early stages and once back down

Toilet paper

Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps

Medications

Personal first aid kit

Blister patches, plasters, antiseptic, painkillers

Personal medication

Keep this in your daypack

Misceallaneous

Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Snacks

You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable

Entertainment

iPod, book, Kindle etc.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Passport photos x 4

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Yellow fever certificate

Check with your travel clinic or the nurse at your GP surgery

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

FAQ's

Food and Water

Where does the drinking water come from?

For the first day bottled drinking water will be used. At the higher camps we will use locally sourced drinking water from streams or springs. These are usually fresh being topped up from melt water above or by rainfall but we also increase their purity by treating the water with purification tablets and by boiling it. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.

What is the food like on the mountain?

All meals on the mountain are of the highest possible standards. In fact considering that our cooks have to produce the best possible meals in a wilderness setting using only the most basic of facilities (kerosene stoves) the meals they produce are nothing short of miracle. The meals are always fresh, nutritious and varied. We ensure that dietary preferences are always met and that the best local ingredients are used.

The underlying aim is to provide balanced nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to refuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity. On top of well balanced meals clients are provided with coffee, tea and snacks upon arrival into camp. The morning wake-up call is usually accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee in your tent.

Bring along any of your favourite snacks and goody bags from home if you want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs such as Jelly Babies to give you that boost on an arduous day.

Accommodation

Will the toileting facilities will be “Au naturel”, or pit latrines?

We bring along our own toilet tents with Portaloo units. This allows us to maintain the best possible levels of hygiene without contributing to the toilet problems that can happen at some camps.

Will the camp be freshly set up or will we be staying at existing camps at a set site on the way up?

Our local camp crew will set up the tents for you each night. We send them ahead of the group to secure the best site and to get it prepared before you arrive. Bear in mind that these guys are also porters and when our walking days are shorter we might get to camp before them. If this occurs then have a cup of tea in the dining tent and wait for your tents to be ready.

How does tent sharing work? And how big are the tents?

Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend tent sharing from the onset of all our Kilimanjaro expeditions. Tent share is always organised according to sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if you are climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents.

If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made. We use high quality 3 man tents to be shared between 2 people to provide extra space for your own comfort and your gear.

Health and Safety

Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?

There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude related problems can happen. The most common of this is high altitude sickness. (AMS – Acute Mountain Sickness).

Symptoms for this generally include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

In all this sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere.

For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others. For our guides this is all part and parcel of ascending a near 6,000m peak and although we asses each clients personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding affects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and continuing headaches.

AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed. 

360 ascends the mountain on the Rongai and Lemosho routes. As these are longer routes and coupled with extra rest days we have greatly reduced the incidences of AMS developing.

What can I do to help prevent AMS?

In most cases AMS can be avoided by following guidelines:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Walk slowly
  • Stay warm
  • Eat well

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause. During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it.

The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your guides how you feel. Our guides have seen every condition that the mountain produces, and they will always know how to deal with problems. 

Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?

HACE and HAPE rarely occur on Kilimanjaro and our guides are fully trained in the recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.

Do I need to have a yellow fever certificate?

An International Vaccination Certificate should be carried with you. This certificate shows which inoculations you have had and when. In the past 2 years there have been some remote YF outbreaks in East Africa which have resulted in travelers having to provide proof of vaccinations before entry. This is not always enforced however but the International Vaccination Certificate is well worth obtaining. On the occasions when they had been necessary clients without the document have had to pay $50 to receive the inoculation at the airport before being permitted entry to the country.

Please contact the 360 office to obtain the most recent travel information.

You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it have in it?

We advocate a little bit of self help on the mountain. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop, take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.

Your own first aid kit should contain: a basic blister kit, plasters, sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (aspirin and Ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters.

Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday. Your 360 expedition leader and / or a local porter (we call the ambulance man!) carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications. They are fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own FA kit as compact and light as possible.

Do I need to take Malarial drugs?

The Malaria protozoa generally does not survive over an altitude of 1,500m so once on the actual Mount Kenya climb Malaria poses no threat. (The entry gate is at 2,800m). We personally would not take them. However we recommend that you visit your Doctor or travel clinic before departure for the latest advice. If you are extending your stay in Kenya to visit other areas, then you should take them.

What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?

All our guides are in communication with each other by satellite phone and radio. In addition the national park operates a rescue service on all the routes we use, this service is linked by radio to the park headquarters.

In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with any problem that will arise. Our guides are either doctors or qualified with the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency, in the vast majority of cases without national park assistance.

Kit

What equipment do I need for this technical route?

Rock boots and harness. The rest is brought by your 360 team. For clothing see the recommended advice for trekking to the peaks basecamp.

What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the mountain?

Kenya straddles the equator and daytime temperatures are warm. When in Rome do as the Romans. Shorts and T-shirts are fine to wear during the course of the day. Eveningwear generally tends to be casual: long trousers and casual shirt are fine for all hotels and restaurants. Kenyans are generally quite conservative in their dress code and are generally well dressed despite their situation in life. Your town and party clothes can be left in a safe lock up and will not need to be taken up the mountain.

Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?

It is possible from our local ground crew but we advocate testing and trying personal equipment before leaving home whenever possible. This is particular important for the use of boots and high altitude clothing. You can also rent gear from our partners at Outdoor Hire: www.outdoorhire.co.uk

How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?

Should be rated within the -15 C comfort zone. From the first camp upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night’s sleep is important to giving you the best chance to climb this mountain. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating at this comfort zone rather than as its extreme zone.

Our guides take sleeping bags rated to well below -15C to ensure that they are warm at night. 3 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using an inner silk liner (or similar). The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that’s your own body temperature.

For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.

What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?

Your day to day sack should weigh no more then 3 – 4 kg and a rucksack of around 30 L capacity will more than suffice. This rucksack can be filled to brim with extra stuff when checking in at the airport. It is important that this bag has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs (your strongest muscles) to do most of the carrying. Your porter bags should be a soft material “duffel bag” or (at a push) rucksack variety and should not be a suitcase or hard bodied metal case. Furthermore they should weigh no more then 12-14 kg when packed for the mountain. On all our Mount Kenya trips we have found this weight to be ample and usually everybody can plan to take only enough clothes and equipment needed for the mountain. Please bear in mind that park regulations restrict porters to carrying 20kg and that on top of your load porters will also have to carry a share of the food, kitchen equipment, camping equipment and their own survival gear. Inside the porter bag should be a change of clothing, your clothing for higher up the mountain, a sleeping mat (thermarest), sleeping-bag, personal toiletries etc. (see kit list).

What should I carry inside my daysack?

A daysack is worn at all times during the trek. The content of this is mandatory and should include a fleece (for when taking breaks or weather changes), a full set (top and bottoms) of waterproofs, sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.

What is the best type of footwear to use to trek in?

Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending this mountain it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support.

In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local gear store. When in-store try lots of boots on, use the ramps in the shops to test their traction, make sure they are comfortable as you will be almost living in them for days on end and they are very important.

To ascend Mount Kenya it is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used for climbing this mountain unless you plan to do more ambitious climbs in the future.

What clothing should I wear on the mountain?

We advocate the beg, borrow and steal principle for first timers instead of buying brand new stuff that may never get used again. The cost of equipment is usually a major deterrent for people coming onto trips in the first place.

Our guides usually start the walk wearing long, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts. Long trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, stinging plants and to act as sun protection. Shorts can also be worn on the initial few days of the trek as the temperature is usually warm. Ensure that you apply sun-protection frequently.

The prevailing conditions on the mountain will dictate what you will wear: if it is cold when you leave the camp in the morning then wear a fleece. As things warm up take advantage of the zipper system which most trekking clothing has and open and / or close the zips to adjust to your own preferred temperature. If you get too warm simply take a layer off.

Water proofs: are needed on hand at all times. Mount Kenya is a big mountain that creates its own weather system. It is not unusual to be caught out in an afternoon rainstorm low down on the mountain. Waterproofs should be Gortex material or similar.

What clothing should I wear on the mountain during Summit day?

On summit day it gets cold and temperatures of -10 to -15 C are not unusual.

Typically our guides wear 2 sets of base layers (long Johns) a fleece layer (top and bottom) and then on the legs waterproofs whilst on the upper torso a down jacket is worn. As the wind picks up near the summit ridge our guides will put on their wind proof layer to ward of the wind-chill. On their hands they’ll wear a thin layer of working gloves over the top of which is a thicker set of “ski gloves” or mittens. Their heads are covered by a thermal “beanie” hat and the hood of their down jackets. On their feet the guides wear one thin sock and one thick sock.

On summit day waterproofs are used as an invaluable wind shield to protect you against the effect of wind-chill when a strong wind blows.

The Climb

How does this itinerary differ from the trekking itinerary?

Think a major Alpine ascent when considering an ascent to the true summit of Mount Kenya. The route we propose to guide you on is around 800-900m in length and involves continuous rock-climbing. It’s 18 pitches long in total. If you are comfortable climbing a multi pitch route at GB VS, F 4 or US 5.8 then you have what it takes. The good news is that it is on fantastic granite and even though the nature of the climbing is traditional, the quality of the rock is safe and normal mountain hazards are minimal. Below we have some information for the trek to the basecamp of the main event. Note that this itinerary will include a practice climb to the summit of Point john. An equally impressive 400m route of grade Alpine D standard.

The Weather

How cold can it get?

The temperature at the top of the mountain can vary widely. Sometimes it is only a degree or two below freezing, but visitors should be prepared for possible temperatures as low as minus 15 Celsius, especially in conjunction with wind chill.

Insurance

Do I need special insurance for this expedition?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

Entry into Country

Do I need a visa to get into Kenya?

Visas are compulsory for entry into Kenya for all foreign nationals. Although these can be acquired relatively problem free at the border (Nairobi airport and all land borders) for a fee we recommend that you contact your nearest Kenyan High Commission (call 360 for details) to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance problems.

Training

How can I best train / prepare for climbing the mountain?

The 360 Expedition physical training programs have been devised to be expedition specific. Use these as a guide but also feel free to contact us for individual advice on how best to incorporate a suitable fitness program with your own lifestyle. If you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip.

Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio-vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long duration walks ( longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 10kg.

This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get used to your equipment. In combination this will pay dividends when you reach Mount Kenya because even though you can’t train for altitude your body will be ready for arduous days and you will be familiar with how to best use your equipment, both adding to you being able to enjoy and appreciate the mountain all the more. Please also see the recommended training program for Mount Kenya.

Finance

What additional spending money will we need?

Depends on how much beer you drink. There is little expenditure on the mountain apart from a tip to the porters at the end The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy when you come off the hill. As a basic rule of thumb $120 USD should be more than adequate for any post expedition spending. Kenya is a relatively cheap place and when indulging in the local custom of haggling then goods can be very good value for money. Your 360 leader will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices plus where to get the best value for money. The only cash you’ll need to consider taking with you on the mountain is the local crew tips which are presented to them before you sign out from the national park. (See local tips and tipping.)

Money – am I correct in thinking we only need to take American Dollars with us?

American dollars are readily recognised and are easily converted to the local currency. Upon arrival there will always be a bureau the change at the airport. Generally these provide a better rate of exchange then your hotel. For most situations when buying gifts or small goods such as drinks or snacks etc. the use of small denomination US ($) dollars is not a problem. Getting change for a $20USD bill when buying a $1 USD coke will be a problem. Larger bills are good for tipping your porters at the end of the expedition and a sufficient amount should be carried with you. Your 360 leader will advice you in the pre-expedition brief as to what is the correct amount to take on the trip with you. There is an ATM machine when arriving in Nairobi airport. It accepts all major credit cards and gives you Kenyan shillings.

How much do we tip our local crew?

Our local crew work extremely hard to assure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory, once you see the hard work the crew provides and realise the minimal amount of money they get paid in relation to our own wealth tipping will seem the least one can do to say thank you. As a general rule we suggest around $120 – $150 per client for the entire local crew to be shared amongst them. For the leader this is your call.

Electronics

Is there mobile phone reception on Mount Kenya?

For the initial few days there is mobile phone coverage but this weakens to almost non-existent as you gain altitude, bar one or two surprising spots. Your 360 leader will have a satellite phone that is used in emergency situations only.

Do we need a travel adaptor for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as UK?

The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.

The organisation of the trip was friendly, intimate, efficient and definitely fun. I felt more like a friend than a client throughout.

Terry Lee, General, 2015
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