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Mount Kenya Expedition

Ama Dablam and Kyajo Ri Expedition
March 4, 2020
Ouray Via Ferrata
May 14, 2020

Guided Climb of Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is truly a “mountain of mountaineers.” Without any easy routes to its true summit (Batian Peak of 5182m) the 2nd highest mountain in Africa, once a volcano, Mount Kenya not only provides a unique climbing challenge, but an exotic trekking journey through equatorial flora, wetlands, heather and alpine zones. Steep, craggy, and with its twin summit spires, it is the kind of peak that climbers dream about when they think of serious climbing adventures.

The Chogoria Route, our approach through the Mount Kenya Natl. Park, is arguably the most magnificent approach route to the summit massif of Mount Kenya. After landing in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and spending the night to rest from international travel, we take a short drive through the Central Highlands, an ecologically diverse environment rivaling Kilimanjaro. With incredibly bizarre plants, it’s also home to an extensive variety of wildlife with buffalo, elephants, monkeys, and countless species of birds. If you’re after an exotic expedition with a true climbing challenge, our Mount Kenya climb will not disappoint you.

Expedition Support:

Our trip is fully supported with porters and cooks to ensure your nutrition and body’s well-being, allowing us to limit pack weights on the approach to help ease the adjustment to the altitude, and give us a greater chance for success on the climb. Additionally we will have a local tourism guide who will make sure that the cultural and environmental components of this trip are a memorable addition to your climbing experience. This. Our porters and cooks stay with us in the mountains, facilitating both our upward progress on the climb as well as the ease of the overall logistics for the program.

Trips Dates by Reservation Only


$12,000 per person

rexerNo Hidden Fees



  • Guiding and trip leadership with an AMGA Certified, Bi-lingual guides
  • Ground Transportation in Kenya
  • All in-country lodging
  • Porters, and Cooks
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Group camping and cooking equipment (tents, stoves, etc.)
  • Group climbing and technical equipment (ropes, etc.)

Mount Kenya Expedition Itinerary

The SJMG Difference

SJMG has been dedicated to train and guide climbers on technical alpine terrain for decades. Our expertise in leading small, off the beaten path expeditions worldwide by some of the best guides in the field is unmatched. Combining these two elements allows us to offer you an exotic yet challenging expedition to put your technical abilities to the test, while enjoying a worry-free leisurely journey with an expedition feel.

Day 1-2: Travel

Depart home country and fly to Nairo­bi, Kenya. Arrive in Nairo­bi on Day 2. Overnight in Nairobi

Day 3: Nairobi-Mt Kenya Bandas (2,900m)

Depart from Nairobi in the morning, driving through agricultural country up to Chogoria for lunch. After lunch, we take a 4×4 jeep and drive up to the edge of the bamboo forest where we start our trekking for about 6 miles up to the Mt Kenya Bandas. Dinner and overnight at the Mount Kenya Bandas.

Day 4: Mt Kenya Bandas – Lake Ellis Campsite (3,600m)

After breakfast and sorting our porter loads, we set off up the mountain with a long walk via Lake Ellis, obtaining scenic views of Mugi, Ithanguni and the Giant’s Billiards Table, the foreground scenery and flora is just spectacular on this leg. Reaching our camp at 3,600m, we’ll be well away from any of the touristy areas.

Day 5: Lake Ellis- Minto’s Camp. ( 4,200m)

Another early start will bring us again well off the beaten path following a ridge up the mountain to later join the normal Chogoria route at an altitude of 4,100m with breathtaking views over the Gorges Valley and the Northern Moorland. Lunch is served at a small stream crossing, before continuing for a further hour to the Mintos Hut at 4,200m to enjoy a well earned night rest. Afternoon is spent relaxing at camp

Day 6: Minto’s -Shipton Camp (4,200m)

We continue our trek towards the Northwest side of the mountain, via the old Austrian Hut at 4800m. and making a final short ascent of Point Lenana, 4985m, the common trekkers’ Mount Kenya Summit. From this summit we descend to Shipton’s Camp, our base for the technical ascent of Batian.

Day 7: Shipton – Batian (5199m)

We ascent by the North Face Standard Route. With an alpine start by headlamp, the route initially follows a wide couloir which we ascend for some 7 pitches, never harder than 5.7. Some scrambling brings us to the Amphitheater, a small basin of easy rock. Ideally we arrive here by about 7:30am, enjoying a short break and the dawn light. Above this is the crux of the route, Firmin’s Tower. There are about 3 difficult pitches, all fairly short, but all in the V grade. Above this, easier terrain leads to a few more pitches and, finally, the west ridge. From this point, we continue on easy but exposed rock to Shipton’s Notch, a prominent gash in the summit ridge. More mixed 4th and easy 5th class rock leads to the airy summit of Batian. We’ll then descend via the same route aiming to hit Shipton’s Camp before dusk for dinner.

Day 8: Shipton camp- Old Moses Camp (3,300m)

After breakfast, we start our 4-5h descend via Simba col through Mackinder`s valley to the Old Moses camp. The descent is gentle and it offers ample time to enjoy the fascinating Moorlands scenery. Dinner and overnight will be at the Old Moses camp.

Day 9: Old Moses – Nairobi

3 hour descent to the Sirimon Natl. Park gate to catch our vehicle and transfer back to Nairobi, arriving there by mid afternoon.

Day 10: Extra Weather Day

Days 11-12:

Transfer to Nairobi airport and fly home. Arrival typically on day 12




Mount Kenya Expedition Equipment List

Duffel BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
1 - 2 Large, durable bags for oragnizing and transporting your gear during airline travel etc.
BackpackDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Osprey Atmos AG™ 50 features Osprey’s Anti-Gravity™ suspension system for quick drying ventilation and all-day comfort. This pack is well suited for weekend excursions or quick overnight forays when you are toting less than 40 pounds.
ThermosDescriptionGuide's Pick
Coffee is the lifeblood of champions. We highly encourage the consumption of coffee on our programs. The darker the better.
Water BottlesDescriptionGuide's Pick
We recommend wide mouth Nalgene (or similar) water bottles for the majority of our programs. Two 1 liter bottles is the standard for days in the mountains.
Bottle InsulatorsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Insulating water bottle parkas are recommended in the winter months, for ice climbing or cold weather alpine trips.
Stuff SacksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Stuff sacks are a great way to organize your gear in your pack and help to keep things tidy in a variety of ways. A great addition to any of our programs.
Personal FoodDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lunch begins when breakfast ends and ends when dinner begins. Bring what you like to eat and consider the length, relative difficulty, weight, and other factors when deciding what to bring in the mountains with you. A variety is always best. Don't be afraid of Mr. T.
SunglassesDescriptionGuide's Pick
A good pair of wrap around sunglasses are an essential item for all of our trips. When the sun shines brightly on fresh snow in the mountains your eyes will thank you for a quality pair of shades. Looking good is important too.
SunscreenDescriptionGuide's Pick
Essential for all of our programs. SPF 30 would be our minimum recommendation. Typically a 4 oz. bottle will suffice but consider trip length when deciding how much to pack.
Lip BalmDescriptionGuide's Pick
Lip balm is important to bring on all trips. SPF 15 or higher is recommended.
HeadlampDescriptionGuide's Pick
A headlamp is recommended for all of our programs and is an essential piece of equipment you will use in a variety of circumstances. Most LED type headlamps will do but we recommend the Black Diamond Storm for its versatility.
First Aid KitDescriptionGuide's Pick
An excellent investment for all of our programs. Our guides always carry a comprehensive medical kit but it's nice to have your own as well.
Small KnifeDescriptionGuide's Pick
A small knife is an indispensable tool to carry with you in the mountains. We like the Spatha knife for its size, weight, versatility, and ability to clip onto a harness.
Digital CameraDescriptionGuide's Pick
While phones these days offer excellent quality, nothing beats the reliability of a dedicated digital camera. You'll be glad you brought it and your guide will make sure to help capture the moment of you being awesome.
SocksDescriptionGuide's Pick
Synthetic socks area must for all outdoor activities. Select a pair that fits well, is warm, and is comfortable. Bring 2-3 pairs depending on the type of trip.
Base Layer TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
Choosing the right base layer really makes a difference in comfort, moisture-wicking, and the balance between cool and warm at the right time and in the right places. The Outdoor Research Echo Hoody also offers good sun protection.
Base Layer BottomDescriptionGuide's Pick
Similar to the base layer top. These are wear all the time in all conditions base layer pants. A must have for alpine and ice climbing trips and objectives.
Mid Weight TopDescriptionGuide's Pick
A midlayer for anything from ski tours to alpine ascents, the CoEfficient Hoody features Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fleece with a gridded interior for increased wicking performance and added breathability. The under-the-helmet hood and full-length zipper let you regulate temperature on the go, so you don’t find yourself overheating a half hour into the day. A slim cut helps the CoEfficient Hoody fit comfortably under your shell, and with a redsigned, trim fit, this layer takes up little space in your pack.
Soft Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
These pants dig climbs that take them a few hundred feet off the deck. The tough but stretchy, breathable but wind-resistant Ferrosi fabric stays cool during long approach hikes, moves with you while talus wrangling and high-stepping on the sharp end, and blocks wind during long hours of belaying up high.
Insulated ParkaDescriptionGuide's Pick
Pack it for those days where you need just a touch of down insulation, or on those cold days on the chairlift when an extra layer might be crucial. Our new hooded version of the Filament has the same design as the popular hood-less version and a DWR-treated shell of ultralight 10D Pertex® Quantum GL keeps moisture away from premium 800-fill down inside.
Insulated VestDescriptionGuide's Pick
Same spirit, same guts, and same award-winning hybrid-mapped design of the Cathode Hooded Jacket, minus the sleeves and hood. An insulated vest is an optional item on our programs but we do think vests offer excellent flexible layering options in a variety of circumstances, weather conditions, and trip types.
Shell JacketDescriptionGuide's Pick
Our Outside Magazine and Men’s Journal “Gear of the Year” award-winning storm shell is engineered for fast-and-light alpine climbs and all-day backcountry tours. You need at minimum either a soft shell jacket or hard shell jacket for local Ouray based winter courses and programs.
Built for flash-storm protection, the 100% waterproof, super-breathable Helium II weighs an incredibly light 6.4 ounces. An ultra-compressible piece you’ll never leave behind, it’s so light and packs down so small you’ll forget it’s clipped to your harness until you throw it on to ward off a sudden mid-route downpour.
Shell PantsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Waterproof, breathable and lightweight, the GORE-TEX® Foray Pants provide dependable rain protection and shrug off the wear-and-tear of the trail and cityscape alike.
Warm HatDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Booster’s reversible design lets you choose. The soft yarn blend will provide a cozy sanctuary throughout winter’s chill.
Baseball CapDescriptionGuide's Pick
A required item on the majority of our programs, a baseball cap helps to keep harmful sun off your face. The Radar Pocket cap is packable, durable, and looks great!
Lightweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Updated for touchscreen compatibility, the StormTracker Sensor Gloves are equally at home alpine climbing, ski touring or ice climbing. Low-profile GORE® WINDSTOPPER®. Soft Shell fabric deflects biting gusts, and a tricot lining retains valuable heat.
Balaclava or BuffDescriptionGuide's Pick
Simple, effective and infinitely adaptable, Original BUFF® headwear is the product that started the multifunctional headwear revolution. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant and able to control odor. We recommend the BUFF for all of our programs as a multi-purpose insulation piece and trendy headgear!
Climbing BootsDescriptionGuide's Pick
Waterproof Gore-Tex® abrasion resistant polyester uppers with a patented TPU Thermo Tech Application™. Extremely durable and lightweight 3D Flex™ insert for excellent ankle mobility Vibram®. Mulaz outsole with a technical edging platform and aggressive rear lugs for superior traction
Adjustable Trekking PolesDescriptionGuide's Pick
This is an optional item on our programs. However, a good pair of trekking poles is a worthy piece of gear to have with you for long approaches or treks through the mountains. There are many added benefits to trekking poles. The new BD Distance series poles are light, collapsible, and adjustable.
Sleeping PadDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season mattress is lightweight, durable, extremely warm, and the ultimate solution to year-round backcountry comfort. Stable construction and 2.5-inch thickness offer greater comfort for a full night of sleep, so you won't feel the uneven, rough terrain beneath you.
Sleeping BagDescriptionGuide's Pick
The Western Mountaineering MegaLite 30 Degree Sleeping Bag large cut sleeping bag for bigger folks or those seeking plenty of space. Have a fear of being closed in or perhaps a wide set of shoulders? This 850+ down fill sleeping bag has a 64" shoulder girth and 39" foot girth. Lay back and enjoy being wrapped in soft, fluffy down on nights down to 30°F.

Training & Follow Up Climbs

As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.

Before Your Trip

In order to successfully carry a 35 lb. pack up to 7 miles a day, endurance is key. Cardiovascular activities such as running, swimming, and cycling are great to build heart and lung endurance. Taking day hikes with your loaded backpack at a local park will help train your legs for the mileage you will do in the mountains. One day on the expedition involves technical rock climbing, beginning by headlamp. It is important to have some experience rock climbing moderate terrain by headlamp.

For our Mount Kenya Expedition you should be ready for:

  • Hiking up to 6-7 miles per day with up to a 30 lb pack at altitudes between 8,000′ – 11,000′
  • Wilderness travel
  • International travel to Africa
  • Technical (but easy/moderate) rock climbing by headlamp

Follow Up Climbs


Nairobi, Kenya: Getting There

For the purposes of practicality, our program begins and ends in Nairobi, Kenya.  However, we spend minimal time in Nairobi and quickly transfer our program to Mount Kenya National Park.  Our itinerary calls for travel to the national park vehicle, which includes off-road travel.

plane-icon We require our participants to fly into Nairobi, Kenya. The International Airport is a busy hub for airline travel and many options exist. Most flights from the US to Nairobi originate in New York, but many options exist. There are multiple direct flights from US to Nairobi, a 15+ hour flight.



hotel-icon-2 We provide lodging in Kenya for the duration of the program.

Program Policies

Registration & Cancellation

Advance Registration is required for this program.  You have the option to either call our office and register via phone or utilize our secure Online Reservation System.  All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.


  • Guiding and trip leadership with an AMGA Certified, Bi-lingual guides
  • Ground Transportation in Kenya
  • All in-country lodging
  • Porters and Cooks
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Breakfasts and Dinners in the mountains
  • Group camping and cooking equipment (tents, stoves, etc.)
  • Group climbing and technical equipment (ropes, etc.)


  • Transportation to Nairobi, Kenya
  • Additional hotel costs before or after the program or those not planned on the itinerary
  • Personal Lunch Food
  • Meals or drinks in towns, cities, and hotels
  • Trip cancellation insurance – recommended
  • Personal alpine climbing clothing
  • Costs associated with early returns, weather delays, or other factors beyond our control
  • Final transfer from Nairobi hotel to airport
  • Guide gratuity


Book This Trip!

We Offer Online Registration

  1. Click on Book This Trip
  2. Select your Program dates
  3. Enter your Info and Payment


Or, call 800.642.5389 to register