Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 10 January, 2009

Mount Kenya – Day 1

Day 1 – Mount Kenya

Base to Old Moses Camp (elevation 3413 m / 11200 ft)

The team set off for camp 1 at noon, fully equipped and ready for the 5 night – 6 day Sirimon – Chogoria trek. Katherine and Brooke, who had both been feeling a bit under the weather the previous two days, are feeling much better. Rumor has it Katherine even led the team the entire way to camp.

The team’s ascent was a total of roughly 1000m (3000ft) with a midway stop on the trail for lunch. Brooke decided to save various parts of her gourmet pack lunch and tucked them away in her daypack. Unfortunately, after setting her pack down at rest breaks, an infestation of ants took over. Good news is, she should be crumb free after they finish their work!

Overall, spirits are high and the team is all acclimatising well. They were blessed with a beautiful full moon, sunset and slightly brisky weather. Having completed the climb through the forest and heath ecosystems they are well on their way to the moorland tomorrow.

To keep things interesting, Mara’s bags are missing!


Team 09 - Mount Kenya Park Gate

Many apologies from Kenya as internet has been hard to find and often times disfunctional.

The team has enjoyed having the past couple of days to acclimate to life in Africa and have just set off for their first day of acclimatisation in the mountains.  After an early morning briefing, the team packed their bags and headed to the base of Mount Kenya. Caked with suncream and stocked full of snacks, they looked more than ready to take on their first mountain.  Though several members of the team felt butterflies, nervousness, and anxiety, all seemed to be in good spirits. They will phone in later for an update from Day 1.

Many thanks to all of the friends and family members for your text messages, calls and support. Below is more detail from the past couple days.


Over the past few days the team has visited several community-based projects and traveled many kilometers from Nairobi to Nanyuki.  In Nairobi, on the 7th, the team piled into two Summits Africa vans and battled the local traffic to the Nairobi-Kenya Giraffe centre. There was plenty of action at the centre beginning with Yvette locking tongues with the dominant male giraffe who turned out to be Kelly not Kevin! The highlight of the visit was an altercation with Brooke and Kelly. While Brooke was positioning herself for a group photo, Kelly was anticipating a handful of giraffe nibbles. Upon realizing that Brooke was empty handed, she made her disappointment known by promptly swinging her long, bendy neck and pounding Brooke to the ground with a massive head butt and almighty thud! Whilst cradling the back of her injured noggin and re-adjusting her disheveled sun glasses, Brooke exclaimed “Did that just happen?!” Despite a second of slight panic, the team erupted into uncontrolled hysterics, which continued throughout the day.


Yvette feeding giraffe

The team then visited Kazuri Bead Centre which employs over 340 single mothers providing them with much needed income through the production and sales of hand-made jewelry, on-site job training and free medical care. The team was so inspired by the centre’s philanthropy that they decided to invest in the business by doing a little shopping!


Kazuri Bead Centre

They returned to the Heron Hotel for a gourmet feast and briefing by 2007 climber, Laura Hartstone, about the serious side of the trip and the logistics of the 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge.  Sponsored items donated by Salomon, Skins, Outdoor Research, Pure Inventions, Leki, Loki, Teva, Patagonia, Fox River and Leatherman were handed out with much excitement.


Team 09 - Tropic Air Flight

On the 8th, the team left Nairobi behind for their next destination; Nanyuki – a small town lying at the foothills of Mount Kenya. Upon arrival, the mountain began to appear from beneath the clouds clearly revealing the monumental challenge ahead.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum spent a day and a half with the team briefing them the forum’s activities and various initiatives.  After a discussion about the unbelievable amount of work and accomplishments a staff of just 11 people is able to accomplish, the team was treated to a flight over the Laikipia Plateau.  MANY thanks to Tropic Air for the flight!

Director of LWF, Anthony King, accompanied by Ephantus Mugo (Environmental Education Officer), and Josephat Musyima,  Community Conservation Programme Manager, drove the team out to visit a river water management project, Laikipia elephant project, community business aloe project, and a quick game drive through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  The projects gave an incredible look into the field work and impact on communities and wildlife that LWF helps to support.  Many many thanks to all at LWF for thier hospitality and hard work.  We are honored to support such an incredible organisation.


  1. It is wonderful that you are doing this for those of us unable to be there. Thank you, Laura, for keeping us connected.
    I send healing to Brooke’s noggin.
    Love, light, and energy to all the team members as they make this first climb.
    Hugs all around for all you are doing that reaches far beyond your own selves, to touch so many others.
    A special hug and kiss for Leah from Mom.

  2. Best of luck for your first climb – well done for for all your hard work fund raising for these very worthy causes. Well done for all your trainingas well – I’m sure it will all pay off – and I guess you will know about now if you did enough! I would love to join you but I’m a boy… – maybe I could help carry someones pack..?

  3. Thank you so much for this! I love being able to read these entries. Brookie, so far, you’ve had your lunch eaten by ants and took a beating from a giraffe??? Well done my friend! miss you good luck!


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