Only mountains surpass mountains

Participants of Belarusian alpinist Seven Peaks project to climb second highest summit on African continent: Mount Kenya

By Inessa Vegero

According to the head of the group, Sergey Varivoda, the mountain in the south-east of Africa is considerably lower than African Kilimanjaro (5,895m) but is much more difficult to scale. “The classic route up Kilimanjaro is actually a 1B category track; the climb to the summit of Mt. Kenya is ranked as being in the 4th-5th category of difficulty — even taking the classic route,” he explains.

Mr. Varivoda tells us that the group will consist of 18-20 climbers, with most planning to ascend Kenya’s lowest peak — Point Lenana (4,985m). The rest will probably attempt Batian (5,199m).

The Seven Peaks’ traditional world route comprises such mountains as Qomolangma (Everest, Asia — 8,848m), Aconcagua (South America, 6,962m), McKingley (North America — 6,194), Kilimanjaro (Africa — 5,895), Elbrus (Europe — 5,642m) and Vinson Massif (Antarctic Continent — 4,892m). However, two peaks in Australia and Oceania — Puncak Jaya (Indonesia, New Guinea — 4,884m) and Mount Kosciuszko (Australia — 2,228m) — are used by some for the Antarctic region. Some alpinists have already climbed both.

The primary goal of the Seven Peaks project is to popularise a healthy lifestyle, promoting active leisure. Apart from mountaineering, other forms of sport tourism are advocated. “In various years, we’ve ascended the highest peak of the Grand Atlas Mountains and Northern Africa — the mountain of Toubkal (4,165m) in Morocco, and the summit of Kala Pattar. We’ve also visited Ecuador’s volcanoes, climbing the highest in the world — active Cotopaxi volcano. We’ve reached the Margarita Peak of Uganda’s Mountains of the Moon and have climbed Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. We’ve even attended the base camp of the tallest mountain in the world — Everest, and Peruvian Ands’ Coropuna,” says Mr. Varivoda.

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