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Mount Kenya, Kenya

August 5th, 2005 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya, and the second-highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m) and Lenana (4,985 m). The mountain is an extinct volcano standing alone, which last erupted between 2.6 and 3.1 million years ago. Its slopes include several different biomes; the lowest parts are dry upland forest, changing to montane forest of juniper and podocarpus at about 2,000 m, with a belt of bamboo at 2,500 m that the changes to an upper forest of smaller trees covered with moss. Twelve small glaciers may be found scattered among the complex of seven summits. The area around the mountain is protected in the Mount Kenya National Park. The Kĩkũyũ people believe that their supreme being Ngai lives on Mount Kenya, which they call Kirinyaga. The missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf was the first European to report a sighting of Mount Kenya, in 1849. The first recorded ascent of Mount Kenya was made by Halford John Mackinder, C. Ollier and J. Brocherel on 13 September 1899. The highest point (Batian) is a technical climb; the classic Diamond Couloir climbing route is a Grade IV of about 20 pitches, up to YDS 5.9 in difficulty. Nelion was first climbed by Eric Shipton in 1929, and Shipton and Bill Tilman completed the traverse of ridge between the two highest peaks. Point Lenana, at 4,979 metres (16,335 ft), can be reached by a hiking trail. Mount Kenya is best climbed in January or February on the south side and August or September on the north side. On July 21, 2003, a South African registered aircraft, carrying 12 passengers and two crew, crashed into Point Lenana — no survivors. (Source: Wikipedia)

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