Whenever I pass through Shipton’s Camp at 4,200 meters on the Sirimon route on Mount Kenya, I think of the famous mountaineer Eric Shipton after whom the camp is named. Back in 1929, Shipton was the first to climb Point Nelion, one of the mountain’s twin peaks. He then went on to organize expeditions in the Himalayas but was passed over to lead the 1953 expedition which resulted in the conquest of Mount Everest. The military approach of Colonel John Hunt was considered more likely to succeed than the alpinist approach of Eric Shipton. The rest is history!
Alpinism is defined as ‘fast’ and ‘light’. As a trekking company catering for walkers of all ages and varying levels of fitness, we certainly don’t recommend ‘fast’ on Mount Kenya. A slow pace helps with acclimatization and is really important for a safe and enjoyable trip at such high altitude.
But we definitely prefer the ‘light’ approach. Most of our trips are with small groups of six or fewer, so it’s possible to achieve a reasonably lightweight expedition with less impact on the environment, as well as the bonus of being a more personal experience.
My other objective is ‘comfort’. Personally, I feel the cold so I’m really keen on cosiness. Our tents are small two-man expedition tents by Terra Nova of Derbyshire in the UK. We have fleece liners for our tents, Shuka covered mattresses and we also provide leopard print fleece pillows and matching hot water bottles!
Our guides and the rest of our team are looking forward to supporting you on a ‘light’ expedition with an emphasis on ‘comfort’, and we all extend a warm welcome to beautiful Mount Kenya.
Lucy Booth, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society