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Mount Kenya climb

New Year's at the top of Mount Kenya.

(author A. Trubachev)

photographs

This program is designed and organized by the School of Mountaineering and Climbing AlexClimb. Climbing equipment was provided by CAMP. Sincere thanks to all!

Africa, Tanzania, climbing Kilimanjaro

The first, and perhaps the strongest impression of Africa - a radiant glow. Nature spared no effort to decorate the land, mixed their best colors, the richest and most saturated colors ... Still, how much different world ... It seems to be made of the same material, it is proved by science, but look - and not believe. I think that the Lord, who made a stern and majestic world, looked at his creation and invited artists to not only light was, but it reigned in the joy and excitement. And these masters have tried to honor all their imagination invested in the business, all the unique power of the soul ..

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro Those who got to decorate Africa to fully cope with the task: the most unexpected colors and shapes intertwined here elusive, very difficult, but it is a logical pattern, without mixing and mingling with each other as if existing in themselves, but in inseparable interaction. Everything is wonderful here for European eyes, accustomed to the dull tones and shades of gray to pale, rarely smiling persons: plants, piled on each other, competing in the abundance and brightness of colors, dazzling sea of smiles on the faces of black, carefree and resilient, and red earth fields, and the white snow on the mountain tops ..

..Gremya And splashing mud, to the great delight of many kids, waving his arms to the side of our jeep rolled down the main street of the village of Naro Moru - lush green handful of peasant shacks, randomly scattered on both sides of the road and a small, neatly whitewashed Catholic Church. The kids, of which there were a great many, happily smiling, jumping and waving their arms: tourists travel was an event for them, to diversify vremyaprevozhdenie day.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro Passing the village, broken dirt road while winds among small banana fields and sugar cane plantations, then straightened up, shook off the multicolored outfit gardens and slowly began to pick up - where gentle waves broke cultivated fields impregnable wall of dark impenetrable virgin forest.

Oily reddish dust was apparent from the numerous cracks in the back, settled on passengers and dumped in the trunk of backpacks. The driver, James pressed on the gas pedal, holding fast to the steering wheel and not paying any attention to potholes, each of which could be the reason for a heart attack in a civilized car owner.

Ahead of green foam up leaving the forest, hung ominous dark blue cloud, somewhere in her fat belly hiding our destination, the highest mountain in Kenya, last wore name Kirinyuki - Residence Ngao, the patron saint of local farmers, and now became a national symbol and get a new name, a responsible official status - Mount Kenya.

..Osobennyh Illusions about the weather we did not have before the start of the trip - a prolonged warm autumn in Europe, fierce cold snowless in the Far East, typhoons and hurricanes in America. And continuously thundershowers in East Africa - according to forecasts, without any hope for change for the better. Mess with the weather all over the world in Africa has led to a prolonged period of tropical rains, usually ending to attack the Catholic Christmas in Kenya - after December 24 are installed dry and sunny weather. On the basis of these statistics, we planned our terms of climbing program, including the acclimatization climb to Mount Kenya, and then climb the highest mountain in Africa - Kilimanjaro ..

In the meantime, as we approach the mountain, it became clear that the output of the route will not be comfortable .. Honestly, I've realized that even a jeep from this stinking-rattling tin can on the street in the pouring rain on their own nobody will not ask ..

Road, sandwiched on both sides by dense thickets of bamboo, was getting steeper and steeper. Serpentine bends, jeep, winding clay on all four wheels, has repeatedly tried to go into the bushes, but implacable driver's foot as if rooted to the gas pedal .. Wet clay shreds flew from under the wheels, the cabin was a sharp smell zhzhёnoy rubber and traction.

With some difficulty overcoming the last completely broken recently have driven an ATV lift clay, jeep rolled out on the green lawn in front of the blackened from dampness small shed, the former weather station, and now a transit point for groups, climbing Mount Kenya from the west, from the Naro Moru ..

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro ..Za tents with interest watched sitting nearby on a high bamboo bush monkey. And the interest was clearly not idle, a little distracted - and everything, something is not enough .. After a few minutes, and without poor negros-porters poorer one cap, and the next morning I realized that he was no pants, - they are cleverly dragged out from under the canopy tent. Meanwhile, in the colony of monkeys, judging by the din coming from the bushes, was a holiday - there sharing the booty. After all, baboon, secured pants and cap had all the chances of getting a job in a national park ..


Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro for a civilized city dweller getting into the natural environment, suggesting a struggle for survival - it is always a shock. No batteries to dry wet things, no hot tub, no usual great food and TV. Still, a strange creature man. He spends years trying to build a comfortable home, to provide themselves with the most comfortable conditions for life .. and then look for any opportunity to escape from it all, to climb on a jeep in the impassable swamp, shaking from the cold, climb to the inaccessible mountain top, brutal mosquitoes feed in the dense taiga in the pursuit of a wild beast. And very rarely satisfied with what he has at this moment. The city gets a job and bustle in the swamp dank and dirty, in the mountains - cold in the taiga wildly. And only in a very short, almost imperceptible moments comes happiness, harmony, as if in mockery donated by someone above, it is not clear what and why .. Those who have ever experienced it with nothing incomparable feeling forever remain under his influence, and the whole life becomes a pursuit of these volatile and brief flash ..

..Pyatye Day did not stop the heavy tropical downpour .. Wet outfit turned into a pile of dirty stuff. Constant fraction of raindrops on which almost nowhere to hide. Negros, busy route as guides and porters, has long grasped the simple truth - rubber boots and plastic wraps are much better protected from the rain than the most expensive and modern super-impermeability gorteksovo-breathable clothing and footwear, and respectable size umbrella in these mountains are indispensable ice ax. Such is the specificity of African mountaineering.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro first week trip went unnoticed: the transitions under heavy charges shower constant concern is to keep dry in even photographic equipment and a sleeping bag, tent and constantly wet feet in the mud (we walked in Tebah - light sandals, in order to keep the dry bulk shoes, wet feet freeze which means climbing is the temperature above four kilometers below freezing, and hopes that the wet shoes will be able to once dry, was not there) ..

Within a few days, with great difficulty we managed to climb to a height of 4300m - in theory, hence under favorable conditions, it was possible to make the ascent. Left behind tens of kilometers muddy trails, bandaged plexus slippery roots in moist woods, immersed in black mire of swamps, hiding among the tall, covered with tough grass tussocks alpine zone. All the ascent weather so never once lifted a heavy curtain of clouds that hides the top and did not show us the mountain - the goal of our journey.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro Evening New Year's Eve was no different from the previous one - the same swirling rain and low clouds. Nevertheless, it was decided to try to get out at night to the top - despite the rain, we followed the schedule of travel, and New Year's Eve we had planned on top.

Service was brought by two o'clock in the morning - with the expectation that after a short lunch together and go out on the climb in three hours - all the same at night, when the earth cooled, and the temperature was lowered, it was possible to rely on a small window in the bad weather ..

Briefly sat at the shifting light candle candles symbolically performed the outgoing year, and without any festive feeling, went to sleep. And heavy fog hung wet tents and made their way through it large drops of rain.

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm from a strange sensation. Something was clearly wrong. A few minutes after waking up, I enjoyed the warmth of down cocoon, exploring their feelings and New Year's strange new feeling of lack of something very familiar. Waking finally realized - the rain stopped and no longer drumming on the tent tent! Not believing in what happiness is, I got half of the sleeping bag, unzipped his entrance and looked out. Wonderful, unreal picture opened sight: a huge white full moon lantern hung almost at its zenith, Contrast Highlight each hyphen, each stone around the camp, dimly shone from broad leaves Roder, bright silver and glaciers covered with fresh snow-capped volcano dead. What a surprise! None of our team no longer hope is not something that the good weather, I could not believe even that will be able to at least take a look at the mountain. But Santa Claus was not lazy New Year's Eve visit the equator, frosty breath pin swamp damp tropical storms, freeze and shake like a dusty rug, gray rain clouds ..

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro Dark silhouettes rose on a background of the night sky illuminated by a strange light of the setting moon, twin brothers - Batian and Nelion two highest peak Mount Kenya. As the moon waned fell to the horizon, all the more clearly stood out in the sky shining millions of points, and in the thick darkness of the valley flickered sparks diode flashlight - not only we went out that night to climb.

Sometimes we stopped to look around the shining firmament: could not find the Southern Cross, the most famous constellation of the Southern Hemisphere. Only when somewhere an hour before dawn sky began to fade, the left and right of us stood out in the sky two major constellations previously hidden radiance surrounding stars. On the left, near the horizon, delineated turned upside down the Big Dipper, and on the right, approximately at the same level relative to the horizon there was a clear, slightly tapered cross-hairs of five stars - the famous constellation of the southern hemisphere, decorating flags and coats of arms of some southern countries - the Southern Cross.

The trail went up a hollow smёrzsheysya talus, as rise gradually covered with snow. Noticeably colder. The going was easy and free, all related to the height of trouble fully compensated unreal beauty of the night landscape - flooded starry radiance wild cliffs equatorial peaks, open and clear firmament, strewn with millions of the brightest stars and the horizon - the city at night, glowing like embers of an abandoned campfire.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro By the time the edge of the summit plateau at an altitude of 4800 meters, the eastern horizon acquired dark shade of turquoise, the stars faded, and the trail completely disappeared under smёrzshimsya, tightly packed snow wind.

In the "Austrian hut" - a small house built right in the middle summit plateau, flickering candle flame - someone ready for the ascent. But to come to visit, we did not - the horizon brightened everything, pour crimson, and the top was only two hundred meter rocky ridge - no more than forty-minute walk: a chance to meet the first dawn of the New Year at the top of every moment became more and more real. But this should hurry ..

Lena summit ridge was slightly longer than it seemed from the hut. Black rock places were tightly packed with hard snow, painted in the reflected light from the sky purple. And the eastern sky continued to brighten.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro to the summit Lena was no more than 50 meters, when the bright - scarlet flame flared dark hulk standing opposite Neliona - top, 200 meters above the one on which we were raised, and because of the high complexity of the available only experienced climbers.

..Prozvenel Third call, prior to the beginning of the play remained a matter of seconds .. Hardly looking up from Neliona burning with all shades of red on a background dark blue sky, I quickened my pace and in a few minutes was already on top. The next moment on a perfectly flat and clear the horizon appeared a narrow strip of scarlet. Flushed crimson flames tiny cloud - started the first dawn of the new, 2007. Mesmerized, silently watching this spectacle from the top of a half dozen people who came from different parts of the world in order to experience a single moment, which played a strange game and get an amazing prize - a moment of involvement in the awakening of the world ..

Rite lasted less than a minute - as soon as the lower edge of the world looked up from the horizon, solemn silence gave way to the general hubbub, all vying rushed to share impressions and sensations, top of the mountain flooded joyful holiday feeling and common New Year's gift - an incredible spectacle perfect sunrise on a mountain top.

Breaking from the horizon, the sun confidently and quickly start your day's journey across the sky, and we stood there a little more on top and absorbing the force of the place, began to descend toward the camp, taking with them a strange feeling of fullness and joy bubbling inside.

Then there was a descent to the sunlit base camp, where we waited another joy - the ability to throw the first week on the hot stones and dry wet things.

Climbing in Africa, climbing Kenya, Kilimanjaro for the first time the existence of Mount Kenya became known in 1849. To pay the natives to Christianity John Ludwig Krapf was the first European who described the summit, significantly raised above the surrounding landscape, which local people call Kirinyaga and honored as sacred dwelling place of the deity Ngai. But the only missionary gave a description of the mountains. The first documented ascent to it was committed by a group of English travelers under the leadership of Halford Mackinder fifty years later.

The top of Mount Kenya is located directly on the equator, 180 kilometers north of the capital of Kenya - Nairobi. Dead volcano, the height a little more than five kilometers, which last eruption occurred about three million years ago, has three major peaks - Nelion, Batian and Point Lenana, with the greatest number of climbing is done on Lenanu, due to its technical simplicity. Two other peaks are of interest for experienced climbers: there is a fairly complex routes fifth grade of difficulty, and the most simple variants lifting - not less than "Quartet" (routes to Kenya are not classified in the Russian classification system).

Like most African volcanoes, Kenya at the bottom of the foot to the height of 3300-3500 meters, surrounded by a zone of tropical rainforest. The first reason for this - very fertile soil, rich products of ancient eruptions. Secondly, but not least - there is never a lack of water. Top, where the snow is melting and glaciers, running thousands of rivers, creeks and streams, and because of the constant conflict of warm air masses from the plain and cold from the top - every day condense and fall rain, many tons of water.

The top of Kenya and the area of tropical forest that surrounds it, is a national park, national property of the Republic of Kenya and is protected by the state. Over the entrance to the National Park entrance fee is charged a fair price, which is quite justified, considering the amount of labor invested in equipment routes, laying tracks, without which in the rainforest or in the area of highland bogs climbing it would be practically impossible to build huts, make the route pretty comfortable and affordable, maintaining cleanliness on the mountain.

Unlike Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya on there is no need to take compulsory guide or sleep only in huts - the absence of these rules makes climbing more interesting and inexpensive - again compared to Kilimanjaro.

Because of the topography, vegetation and abundance of alpine zone of swamps, climb to Mount Kenya can only be laid on four routes - is the Naro Moru, Chogori, Sirmione and Itanguni. All routes in the average length of 40-50 km, a gentle rise, according to a well-visible trail, without any technical difficulties. Routes converge on the top of the plateau Mount Kenya, where you can make a foot ascent of Point Lenana, or on the wall technical trails or climb the Nelion Batian. Season ascents of Mount Kenya is quite short: two winter months (January-February) are considered the best weather conditions for months, and two less popular summer months (August-September). Rest of the time - it's equatorial offseason constant showers, thunderstorms, wind storm, mud, mosquitoes and leeches.

In 2003, South African Airways Airlines plane (South African Airlines), with 12 passengers on board and two crew members crashed into the top of Mount Kenya. No one managed to escape. Another crash on top of this occurred in 1972, when just at the top of a military helicopter crashed.

Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.
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