Kenya gets its name from Mount Kenya (Kirinyaga) (5,199m/17,057ft), the second highest mountain in Africa behind the highest Kilimanjaro over the border in Tanzania. Despite being located just south of the equator Mount Kenya has been snow-capped for thousands of years making it possible to ski Kenya if you hike up carrying your gear (unsurprisingly there are no Kenya ski resorts with lifts as such). However there has been no fresh snow reported here for many years and the remaining snowfields and glaciers are rapidly melting away – so time is running out.
The mountain was original a giant volcano although it has not erupted fior at least two million years. It was first climbed to its summit in 1899 by César Ollier, Halford Mackinder and Joseph Brocherel and the first descent on skis is attributed to E. Neilon, E. E. Shipton and P. Wyn Harris in 1929.
Some geologists believe that Mount Kenya, which is located about 140km (92 miles) north of capital Nairobi, was once higher than Kilimanjaro and indeed one of the world’s highest mountains at over 7,000m but that glaciations has reduced it to its current height, removing any sign of the caldera that once existing here.
The glaciers have also largely disappeared and what remains – 11 small glaciers at the last count, down from 18 larger ones counted a century ago – are diminishing rapidly. Some estimate they will all have gone by 2030. At last report they covered areas in the top 600 vertical metres of the mountain above 4600m so it is quite a climb to the snow/ice line. read more...
Kenya: latest snow conditions round-up
Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Kenya. Fresh snow is forecast at 0resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.