Mount Kenya Nelion Peak

 8 Days Trek and Climb

A multi-pitch technical climb of the Southern East face of Nelion Peak. Eight days including west-east traverse of the mountain and two summit days.



Days Summary.

  • Day 1: Transfer from Nairobi to the Sirimon National Park Gate and trek to Old Moses Camp.
  • Day 2: Trek from Old Moses Camp to Shipton’s Camp.
  • Day 3: Acclimatization hike and second night at Shipton’s Camp.
  • Day 4: Trek Shipton’s – Point Lenana – Austrian Hut.
  • Day 6: 2nd climb day.
  • Day 7: Trek from Austrian Hut to Lake Ellis and on to Nithi Falls.
  • Day 8: Trek from Nithi Falls to Meru Bandas for 4x4 transfer to Chogoria town and then transfer back to Nairobi.

You can as well Adjust the Itinerary and add a safari.


We offer guided ascents of the Southern Face standard route to the summit of Nelion (5188m), the second highest of Mount Kenya and only around 10m lower than the highest peak of Batian. After the trek in and acclimatization on the Naro Moru or Sirimon route, the technical climb is normally completed in one long day as a series of 18 – 20 pitches, although it is possible to bivouac on the summit in the Howell Hut and descend the next day.

The best month to summit Nelion are generally December – March when the sun will be on the route and it will be relatively dry. Although its wise to always anticipate and prepare for rain, snow and wind. Always take a lightweight warm sleeping bag and bivi bag with snacks just in case.

The route is about 400 vertical meters, and doesn’t follow a direct line; route finding can be tricky in low visibility. A lot of the route is roped-up steep scrambling and running belays on steep rock, with the longest pitches around 50 – 60 meters. A strong efficient climber who is well acclimatized can move swiftly and reach the summit in about eight hours. Although the guide will lead, its important to have good belay skills when seconding and be familiar with types of belay devices.

The descend is a series of abseils following a slightly different line to the ascent and using bolted rings in the rock. It is important to be competent in abseiling unassisted (without a top line) and be complete familiar with using descenders. It is possible to descend with 8 abseils but guided climbs commonly take up to thirteen.

The summit day begins from Austrian Hut which is about a 45-minute hike across the Lewis Glacier to the base of the route at 4800m. this used to need crampons and an axe but nowadays the reduction of the glacier means you can manage in boots and being careful of mini mud slides and moving scree, especially coming back down potentially in the dark and exhausted.

The climb of Nelion takes between 6 and 9 hours to complete, plus an additional 1-2 hours if the crossing of the gate of the mists to Batian is made. The route is usually tackled in 15 to 20 pitches, varying from scramble to UIAA 1V+ (UK VDiff to Severe, (US 5.5). Technically it is not especially demanding for a seasoned rock climber but the length of the route and the altitude make for a challenging day. Its important to climb consistently and completely to get it all done in the day.

Objective hazards include rockfall, long runouts, exposure from the weather, time limitations due to the length of the day and route finding.

There are two potential summit days, but cold and bad weather clearly have a significant role in decision making. There is potential third summit day if the walk out to the gate is condensed into a single day. The walk down is long way, so please don’t underestimate this.

Nelion was first climbed by Eric Shipton and Percy Harris on 6 January 1929 and they crossed the gate of the mists to summit Batian at the same time.


Price and booking enquiries.

Note: the cost of this trek will vary depending on the number of the persons traveling as well as the dates of travel.
Please indicate preferred date of travel, number of adults and number and ages of children if any.

This form was created by ChronoForms

Quotation price Includes:
  • Return transfers from Nairobi to Mt Kenya (private)
  • All Park fees.
  • All food while on the Mountain.
  • Accommodation in mountain huts/ camping where applicable.
  • All guiding services
  • Porter support for the climb.
Not included are:
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Tips and gratuities for guides and porter
  • Beverages while not on the mountain

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