No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A Daring Escape, A Perilous Climb by Felice BenuzziLet me begin by stating that I am a climber and have a desire for adventure; sure, those might seem to go hand in hand, but how many climbers are willing to suffer in their thirst for adventure? My suffering has been hardly that, but the limited hardship Ive endured has brought an appreciation for those who have set their sets higher, further afield or took on a challenge thought foolhardy by many. Which brings us to this book, this author, this audacious undertaking.
Any climber or traveler who has spent some time crashing through the brush, navigating off trail, guessing at what might lie above and the best path to it will appreciate Benuzzis writing, which captures the essence of being outdoors, off the beaten track on an adventure. It is not lost on the reader that the this is the vantage point of one who is restrained (actually prevented) much more than we are from enjoying being out there. He distills his sense of wonder and appreciation into words.
I really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of how they finagled materials to create their gear, amazing. And I enjoyed even more the view of life at the POW camp--really a microcosm of society itself, who would have guessed?
This may be a book that will stick with you long afterwards. I special ordered my copy, and as I rarely keep books (I live in an 800 sq ft home) I sold it back to the bookstore. Since, I have looked for it more than once...hoping to chance upon it for another read. Maybe that next time Ill keep it--it deserves a spot simply to be frequently seen and remembered, it is that special.
Lost in Africa: Climbing Mt Kenya
Mount Kenya and Aberdares
It is the second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro , which is located some miles km to the south. The base of the mountain lies at some 5, feet 1, metres. At the 8,foot 2,metre contour , the circumference is approximately 95 miles km. Its summit area is characterized by steep, pyramidal peaks, principal among which are Batian 17, feet [5, metres] , Nelion 17, feet [5, metres] , and Point Lenana 16, feet [4, metres]. This long-extinct volcano is much eroded, and the highest peaks consist of the crystalline nepheline syenite that plugged the former vent.
Climbing 17, feet above sea level, Mount Kenya in Africa is a beacon dominating the Kenyan horizon between the Aberdare, Samburu, and Meru national parks. This ancient extinct volcano, located mere minutes from the equator, is the second largest in Africa behind Mount Kilimanjaro and stands as the highest in all of Kenya. Meanwhile, avid climbers from near and far pay homage to its magnificence in an entirely different way: by summiting one of its three main peaks. Climbing Mount Kenya is surely an exhilarating experience! The mountain supports a wide range of pristine wilderness, from rainforests clumped with bamboo to moorland with heather and lobelia.
Aberdares mountain range Credit: 50 Treasures of Kenya. Very different in character to the rest of the country, the lushly vegetated and densely populated central highlands that stretch northward from Nairobi are capped by the hemisphere-straddling Mount Kenya and its permanent equatorial glaciers. Rising to 5,m, Mount Kenya is the second-tallest in Africa, topped only by Kilimanjaro, and it is linked to the more westerly 3,m Aberdare Range by an elevated grassy saddle. Oddly, these two massifs represent extremes of geological antiquity. Where the contorted folds of the Aberdares rank among the most ancient in East Africa, dating to before the Age of Dinosaurs, Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano that erupted into existence several million years after our earliest bipedal ancestors first strode across the Rift Valley floor.
At 5, m, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity 3. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provide an outstanding example of ecological and biological processes. Through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, the property also incorporates lower lying scenic foothills and arid habitats of high biodiversity, situated in the ecological transition zone between the mountain ecosystem and the semi-arid savanna grasslands.