June 18, 1987

6/18/87 Mt Kenya

Gorges Valley, near Vivianne Falls

Yesterday, Mbugua and I went on a scouting trip to look for an animal trail up out of the valley near Vivienne Falls. We only had a couple of hours so we moved quickly. Even though I had my day pack, I’d forgotten to put in my gaiters. To my demise, by the time we got near the falls, my legs were covered with cuts and scratches. The tusic grass gave way to a lot of dead underbrush around the bend from our camp. We cut across the Nithi River and started to climb. All I could imagine was how impossible this climb would be with a 60 pound backpack.

Our first look at Vivanne Falls

We went about three quarters of the way up the south side of the falls. Then we headed up along the cliff face and back to camp. Maria was feeling a lot better but was still unable to eat. Liz was having a lot of trouble too, throwing up her dinner. Amy was a little better.

Because of all the excitement last night, we didn’t get to celebrate Lisa’s birthday. So we decided to do it today after class. A tradition with NOLS is that the person having the birthday has to take the first bite of cake, face first. Lisa’s cake was even more special because it had icing. Almost her entire face was covered with it. Don’t think for a moment she did it on purpose because she was helped, a lot.

This morning, we divided up Maria and Liz’s gear. My group was the first to leave. We made good time, making the rise out of the valley in about an hour and had even moved up about 500’. When the second group met up with us, three of the guys dropped their gear and left running back to camp. It turned out that Maria was having leg trouble and having difficulty walking. They yelled at us to come back down. We ended up at a campsite a little farther upstream form yesterdays camp.

During the day we had more classes on first aid and our first classes on belaying and bouldering. Tonight, because some people are short on variety in their food bags, we’re all having a banquet.