June 25, 1987

6/25/87 Mt Kenya

near Kami Hut

My group, including Bo, Mbugua and Amy, was the first to leave this morning for Kamu Hut. Our route was to take us west over Simba Col, past Simba Tarn and then past Lower Simba Tarn. The climb up was made worse because Amy threw up about every fifteen minutes. Again she refused to let anyone take any of her gear. But the hard part of the hike was yet to come. We had to come down a dirt trail that cut across a very steep mountain slope following the cliffs of Batian. We had almost made it across when Amy collapsed. I saw it coming, so I was there to grab her and her backpack. Scared the shit out of me because we could have fallen hundreds of feet down the steep mountainside. She was able to make it across with most of her gear.

What next looked from high up like a nice smooth, level path through a boulder field was actually nothing like a path at all. We ended up climbing up, over and around boulders the size of a living room couch. As we walked into camp a little farther past Kami Hut, it started to sleet.

I had a little talk with Lisa and Mike about the trouble we had, especially my concern over Amy’s health and the safety of the group. I was not a happy man. Because the weather was turning bad, I dropped my gear and headed back out to meet the second group because I didn’t know if they could find us with visibility getting worse. But I was the one that ended up getting lost, way below Kami Hut. I did find the remains of a wrecked helicopter.

I missed the second group but did meet up with the last group. I ended up carrying Katie’s pack the rest of the way into camp. Harvard, Becky and Marshal looked real tired. They said it had been was very difficult to get Katie across that boulder field because she was so scared.

We met three Austrians climbing down from the mountain on their way to the huts. The had tried to climb Batian (17,058’) but were turned back because of the weather.

Mount Kenya (17,058')
View from Kami Hut (14,700')

Tonight, it was announced that because of the technical difficulty, only a group of 10 students and two instructors were going to attempt to climb Point Dutton tomorrow. With three people sick, that meant that three others wouldn’t be able to join the ascent. So instead of pulling names out of a hat to see who would go, three of us volunteered to stay behind. Those leaving for the climb had to prepare to get up about 4am to allow time for the climb and the climb back down.