Ascent of Kitumbeine on 2018-01-16

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Sean Casserly -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Martin Richardson
Adrian Rayner
Date:Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:9419 ft / 2870 m

Ascent Trip Report

From NW, note there are two summits 3km apart, very similar in height, the NW summit higher as far as I could tell, by about 2m.

The day after Gelai. From our guesthouse at Bomba Gelai it's just over an hour on quite rough 4x4 dirt roads (giraffe, zebra and dikdik) to the Ranger office at Loosirwa. No one around, our driver phones the ranger; after 30 mins we continue to the main village, meet the ranger there, pick up a local guide and hike from the office, leaving at 0930. Approx trailhead -2.85449, 36.20752, 2280m. Good track leads up thru fields and forest (many birds, all I identify are African pied wagtail, Baglafecht weaver and golden breasted bunting, in the village), reaching the summit area we divert L of the main path to reach the NW summit at 11:30, in trees above a steep drop, GPS S2.87938° E36.21169°, elevation 2874-2871m on first visit, 2867m on return 2hrs later on way back from SE summit.

We've noticed that Peakbagger and Peaklist have different summit locations. We can see the SE summit, my hand level suggests it's slightly lower than the NW summit. GPS readings for NW summit, in the 30mins we spend there over lunch, vary between 2874-2871 as noted above, 15m higher than the expected 2858m (on Gelai and Hanang the GPS reads within 2m of the expected elevation). Our local guide confirms it's possible to reach the far summit via an overgrown trail. Setting off, we soon have good binocular views (the safest kind!) of a herd of water buffalo on an adjacent hillside. We enter a patch of woodland with copious amounts of washa-washa, the local heavy duty stinging nettle, quite painful although after 20 mins the afterglow is quite stimulating, we discover! Crossing a tussocky col we climb up through woodland infested with some truly dreadful washa-washa, at last reaching the highpoint, S2.89368° E36.23245° 2866m (S2.89389° E36.23143° approx same height). GPS readings suggest up to 5m lower; the hand level confirms we are lower, by probably a couple of metres. Given the tree cover on both summits it would be difficult to accurately survey them, whether by differential GPS or Lidar. So best visit both.

We follow a good trail down, free of washa-washa, initially keeping L of the big drop then turning L to rejoin our outward line (with washa-washa). Quite a tiring walk down, in afternoon heat, 8hr round trip. Back to the guesthouse for a very welcome shower. Heavy rain overnight.

Kitumbeine photos

Next day a travel day. Quiet dirt roads, Wildebeest, zebra, Grant's gazelle, Thompson gazelle, grazing with domestic cattle; kori bustard, Egyptian goose, Ker Massi towering above the attractive crater Engareseru o Oldonai Lengai, Hall of God 1127 p90, one of Lengai's volcanic outlets; we make the short climb to the highpoint of the craggy rim, nice viewpoint. Also visit the summit to S with comms mast, 2-3m higher by GPS and hand level; our visit quite a surprise for the Maasai guard! 1132m by GPS, around p80-100m. Ostrich, glossy and sacred ibis and pied crow en route to Twiga Lodge, Mto wa Mbu, a peaceful lunch stop. Then on good paved roads to Katesh ready to climb Hanang tomorrow.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1873 ft / 570 m
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1873 ft / 570 m
    Distance:11.8 mi / 19 km
    Start Trailhead:7546 ft / 2300 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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