Dedan Kimathi University of Technology goes to the books as the first university to take its students en masse to a Mount Kenya climbing expedition. Three hundred DEKUT students were able to climb to the third highest peak on Mount Kenya and fourth highest in East Africa.
This noble idea was arrived at by the students in a bid to achieve objectives like cohesion and an atmosphere between the students and the members of staff. DEKUT has, in the recent past been faced with numerous students’ unrest issues and this expedition provided a channel of bonding between the various players. The other very important objective was raising of funds to support needy comrades; dubbed DEKUT endowment fund. Various members of the corporate world came forward to support this course. Talent development was also emphasized.
The journey began with the hikers going by bus to the Mt.Kenya base camp-at the KENYA SCHOOL OF ADVENTURE AND LEADERSHIP. They camped there for the night and the following morning set off for the second camp; Solo camp; a six hour hike through the forest vegetation. The following morning they set off for the third camp; Majors camp. Then the following day they set of to climb the peak at four in the morning, registering a 98% success rate to point Lenana.
The mountain conditions are far from the normal conditions most of us are used to. The temperatures at Majors camp for instance, according to Mr.Mwai a mountain climbing expert and DEKUT’s chief trainer, were as low as -16 degrees Celsius-way below the freezing point. The atmospheric pressure up there is almost nonexistent and the oxygen concentration is very low. This led to rise of a few casualties who had to be evacuated to the base camp where the conditions are moderate. The journey itself was the hardest they had ever experienced, having to climb a steep slope for more than five hours a day. That part which had many of them at the brink of exhaustion was a specific slope called the grandmas slope just before you arrive at the Majors camp, and of course climbing the actual peak.
All in all, the journey was attributed to as full of fun, self reflection environmental appreciation. They enjoyed the beautiful sights, the snow and drank the most pure water in Kenya-water from lake Alice; the lake on top of the mountain!