I have had hiking Mt. Kenya on the top of my bucket list for the longest time. There are opportunities out there but there is a caveat; it requires prior and proper preparation. Which is something I lacked. So I decided to do mini hikes in preparation for the big one. I have done Nyambene Hills in Meru, Mt. Ololokwe in Isiolo and my most recent hike was in The Aberdare Ranges whose temperature almost matches that of Mt. Kenya. I think I am ready for it. For now, read about my most recent one.
ROAD TRIP; SATURDAY
At 7 am, we left Nairobi and got to our location at 3 pm after a few stopovers. We got to Aberdares through the Shamata Gate.
We then set up camp. From our camp, we could see the rock we intended to climb. However, we didn’t as it had rained and rocks tend to swell up and fall off when wet.
HIKE ABERDARES DAY; SUNDAY
It was a warm Sunday morning. We had a healthy breakfast then packed our essentials for the hike, which included, energy-giving snacks, gloves, and raincoats.
We headed for the peak Satima at 8 am and got there at noon. The ground was mushy so we kept jumping to solid grounds. Once in a while, one would almost lose a shoe to the mud.
It was worth it in the end. The views are breathtaking; numerous rock formations among them; the twins, the pyramids, dragon teeth, and the nipple. On such high altitudes, tall trees are scarce and, the ones we came across had a maximum height of 6ft or thereabout.
About a year ago I hiked Nyambene hills with Tripple F Adventures and I remember complaining of the cold and shaky knees during descent. Well, that was due to poor preparation.
This year, I’ve proven myself stronger and boy, am I proud of me. I got rained on, my fingers were numb and swollen due to the cold, and my feet soaking wet. But still, I was strong enough to lead the crew during descent. The trail is so well defined.
This didn’t come easy though. I started a work-out routine a few months before in preparation for this hike. I worked out twice during the week and ran at least once on the weekend. That was enough to set me for a hike. And now I am looking forward to hiking Mt Kenya with Tripple F Adventures.
Before a hike, it is good to prepare right. Your body, your mind, and the right outfits.
Your body needs exercise;
It needs to get uncomfortable to attain endurance to face challenges. You will need prior practice so it does not fail you during your hike. It is very possible to get symptoms that cause you to stop your hike halfway and go back to camp. The first symptom usually is shortness of breath resulting in headaches. This is normal with the change in altitude. However, when it escalates to dizziness and nausea, one should take a break. It is advisable not to take any painkillers to kill the headache. Hydrating often rescues you from this. Because all your body is craving is enough oxygen which is depleted at higher levels above sea level.
You need to prepare your mind for the summit;
Even as you work out, keep the end goal in mind. So, set your goal – that you intend to conquer the mountain up to the top. But if your body completely goes against this with the above symptoms, then it is okay to not hit this goal. You can always come back. I think it takes a lot of self-examination and realization to set any goal. So work on yourself.
The right outfits;
This matters so much more than I knew. Clothes and shoes will determine your comfort while hiking. When comfortable physically, you will be able to explore right. Before you go on a hike, please get the right hiking shoes. They will give you such a good grip on the ground and confidence in your walk. I had ankle-length boots and waterproof so they also kept me from absorbing water for a while. They only got soaked when it started raining and my trousers began dripping water. I was advised that waterproof shoe gaiters help.
When hiking in a cold area where it rains often, your go-to clothes are windbreakers. The ones that make a riffling sound when you move. You will notice them in my YouTube video.
A raincoat is also a must. It came in handy for us as it was raining tiny hailstones. For roughly an hour or so, we were in the rain.
Gloves are important, waterproof gloves since the cold can get unbearable and cause swelling fingers. At some point, I could barely feel my fingers as I tried closing and opening zips.
A good camera
A good camera makes the experience worth it. How else could I have recorded and shared with you my experience. My new Xiaomi note 10 came in handy for all of us. The camera is a 108mp, a quality I was looking for as I shopped for a new phone. The battery however drained fast as the location was cold. I am wondering how it’s gonna hack Mt Kenya.
I found the Aberdares to be friendly. It was hardly steep like Mt Longonot, it was mostly leveled ground but mushy (that’s how everyone got their shoes soaking wet).
With the right preparation as I’ve stated above, you are set to conquer Aberdares.
Among us was an 11-year-old and a 48-year-old. They both got the peak Satima – the highest peak in the Aberdare range.
This time, I did a video.