Going on a 4-day backpacking trip seemed daunting to Maryann and me since we had never attempted it before. So making the decision to hike to point Lenana peak on Mt. Kenya was an exciting feat, but also brought a bit of fear and anxiousness. We were wondering if we could actually make it to the top. We had never carried everything we needed for a trip on our backs. We didn't have the right equipment and weren't even sure what to pack. Basically, we had no clue where to start. However, we were so glad we didn't let those things stop us from going, and were especially thankful we had a friend to guide us through the journey.
After 2 days of hiking we camped at the base of the peak. The temperature dropped as fast as the sun did. Once we finished our dinner, consisting of trail mix, beans, and some sliced meat, we put on all the clothes we brought and crawled in our tents to get warm and get some rest for the ascent. After attempting to sleep for about 4 hours, we began our ascent at 2 am. It was difficult to leave the comfort and warmth of our tent and I felt like climbing back in my sleeping bag. Our water bottles were frozen and so was my face. As we began to hike, we could only see about ten feet in front of us, barely enough to stay on the trail.
Even though it seemed crazy to start walking in the dark up a trail we had never been on and couldn't see where we were going, we trusted our friend that leaving at 2 am was worth the discomfort.
After three hours of trudging uphill, we were nearing the 16,355' peak. Oxygen was increasingly hard to find. Every few steps we would stop again to catch our breath. It seemed like the peak was out of reach and we became more and more uncomfortable the closer we got. We looked for encouraging words to give to one another, but it was hard enough to be positive with ourselves and the extra oxygen it took didn't seem worth it.
Then, all of a sudden, the peak was in sight and each step progressively got easier. The struggles behind us were already being forgotten as we took those final steps to the top of point Lenana, Mt. Kenya. The views were amazing, the sun began to rise, and after a two and a half day struggle, we were on top of the world!