Before this expedition I had been to Mount Kenya twice. I was successful in summiting point Lenana the first time but failed the second time. So this was also a revenge mission. I had a cold going into this expedition and it exacerbated itself once I reached the foot of the mountain. I had some big doubts if I would really make it. I paid very close attention to my body reaction because I was here before and getting sick in the mountain is no joke.
As long I was just suffering from the cold that I had had when I came with to the mountain I had no worries. So we started hiking up the mountain once it was confirmed that we could not use our truck to travel the first hundred meters. I was always the last. The cold was having a toll on me from the beginning but I took some good rest.
We reached our first base camp around 6:30pm and it started to become cold. Once I started unpacking my stuff to prepare for sleep I realized I did not carry my own sleeping pad lucky I carried lots of clothes so I used that for my padding, it wasn’t efficient but better than nothing. Unfortunately I had one of the worst sleeps ever; I was cold and I had a fever. In the morning, after a nice cup of tea, it got better. We all were getting ready for the hike on the second day. I had to go before my team because knew I was very slow. But as expected in a few minutes they caught up to me and passed me. Usually one member of our team stay closer just to see how I was doing. I was very glad I had a very good team. I was glad for the patience and care my team had for each other. I was feeling guilty and bad because I was very slow.
When we reached our second camp, Shiptons, the team decided that I should stay there so I could get better for the next day at which point I would link up with them. I was ok with that if they could promise that once I linked up with them, then I would summit Lenana which they agreed to. I was so glad not to sleep in the tent. For the first time on the trip I slept on bed and it was so much warmer and softer. Despite all the comfort the mountain could afford, my cold was till hard on my body.
At 8 am I heard Jeff say, “Rise and shine!” That was the worst voice I heard; it meant another gruesome hike. I woke up and got my things ready. I was feeling better and stronger. After taking tea Jeff and I started hiking. I was close with him this time until we got to a very steep place. He became too fast for me but I was happy that I had found a steady pace. I think we hiked for about 6 hours that day. It would have been less hour if I wasn’t slow. When we reached our the next camp, Austrian, just before point Lenana, I found out that two of my team mates were sick. I was surprised because they looked fit in the beginning. Jeff told me he would not be able to go to Lenana and I was furious, so he asked one of the porter to go with me. I did not even rest for 5 minutes before the porter and I left for the summit.
It took us about an hour to summit Lenana from there. I was so proud and happy with myself. We took pictures then we started our hike down. When I got down I was told to rest for 30min and then prepare to keep going down because my team mates were sick and going down would make them better. I took 5min of rest and then we started descending.
After an hour of going down, one of my team mates could not walk, so I helped give him a piggy back rides. Our goal was to reach the next camp down so we could put him on a stretcher. Coming down was as hard as going up but finally we arrived at the next camp. We carried him on a stretcher and I think it took close to four hours. I was so exhausted because of carrying him. One guide had to be left behind with me because I could barely walk. It took me 8 hours to hike down to about 2000 metres from Point Lenana to Met Station. I was so glad to see a bed but I still could not sleep well because my body was in so much pain. However, after about half an hour I started feeling better and finally dozed off.
Anyways no amount of writing and talking could really express the experience we had on that mountain and if there is a chance for another hiking to Mount, I will still do it again.