Piga Picha : Photography Competition

Themes: Outdoors, Animals, Mountains, Climbing and Nature. 
Members of both MCK and the Dive Club are eligible to participate. One can submit a maximum of 5 photos.
Deadline for submission is Midnight, July 31st 2011.
Send photos (over 800 dpi) via e-mail to with the subject: MCK Photo Competition 2012
All qualifying photos will be presented and voted by members during an MCK evening at the clubhouse on August 9th
Selected photos will be featured in the MCK calender 2012. Target is to have the calenders ready by end of September 2011.

Upcoming Events

July 26th - Slideshow - Gredos Mountains
August (?) - Bouldering near Kibwezi, overnight. Contact Steven Bennet
August 9th - Calender Photo Comp - Photo selection slideshow at Clubhouse 
August 14th - Beginners Climb - Lukenya. Contact Jeff Mariner
August 20th - 21st - Mt. Suswa, Hiking & Camping. Contact Spencer Morley
August 26th - 28th - Silali (North of Baringo). Contact Jan Naessens
August 29th - September 11th - Rwenzori. Contact Elizabeth Were
August 30th - Slideshow on Grossglockner (highest mountain in Austria)
September 3rd - 6th - Mt. Kenya. Contact Miano Njoka
September 11th - Olmuntus, Hiking (Day Trip). Contact Nikunj Shah
September 17/18th - Intermidiate Climbing - Lukenya. Contact Jeff Mariner
October 1st - 2nd - Kitui Hill. Contact Greame Watson
October 20th long weekend - Ndoto Mountains. Contact Napolean Iberi
November - Member Gear Auction
December 24th - 31st - Northern Kenya perhaps Kulal or Horr Valley. Contact Arshad Khan
December - Christmas Party
Like to go anywhere else? Let us know.

26th July : Supper night

Don’t worry about hustling and bustling for cooking and preparing or quickly eating before joining the traffic on the way to our next MCK Supper & Slideshow Night!!!
The outside caterer who provided us with finger licking-good food last supper night will be back at it, hoping that at least 30 hungry people turn up!
So come hungry, without remorse of not having prepared anything, and excited. We will offer you a choice of:
Grilled Beef Fillet (with BBQ sauce)
Chicken Tikka
Mixed Veg in Mexican Sauce
Buttered Vegetables
Plain rice
Mexican Salad
Fruit Salad
at the bargain price of K.Shs 500/-  (650/- for non-members)
And besides the culinary delicacies (starting at 8.15pm), we will also of course have some visual delicacy:
"Sierra de Gredos" @ 9.00pm
Central Spain in Summer and Winter
Sierra de Gredos is an easily accessible regional park about 2 hours to the East of Madrid and not far from the walled city of Avila. The region boasts fine alpine lakes and rugged peaks. Great hiking, several climbing areas with routes of all grades, ice climbing and mountain skiing are all available in season. A variety of refuges from simple shelters to huts with meals is available. Good guides are available for training and leading trips year round.
The presentation will describe a series of trips in both summer and winter to visit two of the principal valleys, El Circo de Gredos and La Garganta de Bohoyo, and peaks such as Almanzor (2,592 m) and La Galana in El Circo.
For any info, contact Jeffery Mariner

15th - 17th July: Climbing and hiking in Kichwa Tembo

INFORMATION: (by KWS, Tsavo West Customer Care)
Tsavo West has a varied topography and a diverse array of habitats. Most of the northern sector is Acacia-Commiphora bushland, with scattered trees such as Baobabs (Adansonia digitata) and Delonix elata. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges, and, towards the Chyulu Hills, ash cones and lava flows - some of them very recent (240yrs). In the Ngulia area, a range of craggy hills reaches around 1,800m. The southern sector consists of open grassy plains (Jipe Plain)
Climbing – Kichwa Tembo's silhouette rises conspicuously, exaggerating the apparent topography of the park.  Kichwa Tembo is great for rock climbers.
Hiking – The 'Shetani' lava flow, a black lava flow of 8 km long, 1.6km wide and 5m deep, is a remnant of volcanic eruptions which were subject to tales of fire and evil spirits among local communities. The communities named the flow 'Shetani' meaning devil in Kiswahili after it was spewed from the earth just 240 years ago. A cave with two large openings and one ancient tree growing between them is located near the centre of the outflow, offering an excellent trail for nature lovers. The volcanic cones of the famous ‘five sisters’, Chaimu crater and Chaimu Hill are also ideal for hikers. Magnificent Mzima springs are the ‘must visit’ point in Tsavo.
Checkout the following web-pages: 1 and 2
People interested in coming will have to arrange car pooling individually. Please let me know if you have space and willing to give others a lift. You will require an off-road vehicle to access the camp- site area and to move around the park. We can meet at 1400hrs on Friday afternoon at the Mtito Andei, Tsavo West National Park entrance.
Park entrance fees / guide
Safari card – you require a valid Safari card to access entry into Tsavo West National Park. If you do not have one, you can get a temporary or permanent card at the main gate at Mtito Andei Tsavo National Park entrance. Remember, proof of residency and citizenship is requirement at the Park Gate. All rate are applicable for 24hrs of continuous stay in the Park.
Park Fees – Citizens 300/-, Residence 1,000/-, Non-residence $60/- per person per day.
Camping Fees – Special camp site – Weekly one-off fee of 7,500/- (spilt by number of people).
Plus camp fees: Citizens 400/-, Residence 500/-, Non-residence $40/- per person per day.
Ranger/guide – 3,000/- per day per each guide. Recommended group more than 5 - two rangers.
Car entrance fees – 300/- per day (6 seater and below, otherwise 1,000/- for over 6 seater.
Arrive Friday afternoon/evening at camp site, somewhere near Kitchwa Tembo area. Intend to go out with an early start on Saturday, climbing easy routes, or going hiking towards the caves and the surrounding area. Hike/climb all day with a packed lunch and only get back for sundowners and sunset. Plan is to leave Tsavo Sunday after late breakfast.
What to bring / Gear
Water – You should be self sufficient to cater for yourselves, including drinking and washing water.
Enough to support for number of days you intend to stay.
Food – As above.
Gear – For those climbing, if you do not have your own climbing rack/gear, you can hire out climbing gear from the club house on club night (Tuesday) through Catherine (MCK caretaker). For those hiking – please ensure you bring good hiking boots, a 'panga' to possibly slash your way through the thick bush, head lamp/head covering if you want to do some cave explorations, a day pack for your lunch, snacks, water, sun screen, cameras, etc. We will have to create a common area for washing/shower/toilet in order to reduce our footprint in the area.
Contact: Ivy,

12th July : MCK Quiz Night

Let your inner geek shine through at the 2011 MCK pub quiz.
This is your annual chance to prove how smart, worldly, informed, clever, hip, and nerdy you are all at the same time.  Panicked during your last beginner climb? Failed your dive test? Sucked at the Rhino Charge? Withdrew from the Lewa Marathon?  This brains-not-brawn event may be just the ticket for you to regain any remaining self-respect.  Teams will be from 4-5 members and, as usual, are highly recommended to be mixed in as many ways as possible (age, nationality, etc).
Andrew Gremley

Elephant poaching on Mt. Kenya

Elephant poaching on Mount Kenya is escalating at an alarming rate, and the Mount Kenya Trust  statistics indicate that over 100 elephant have been killed in the last two and a half years. In 2009, the  Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) teams patrolling the mountain suddenly began to find elephant carcasses poached specifically for ivory.  Most recently, there has been the shocking discovery that 4 out of 8 elephants collared on the northern side of the mountain by the organisation Save the Elephants were poached between the months of January and March of 2011. These alarming statistics are a huge cause for concern within the region and are a probable indicator of what is happening throughout the vast expanses of Mount Kenya, including numerous areas in which MKT currently is not able to assess the true scope and scale of the problem.  
The Mount Kenya Trust is seeking funds for a horse patrol unit to tackle the identified hot spots between the Imenti, Marania and Sirimon areas of the mountain. The project has the full support of KWS, and MKT currently has two foot patrol teams working in conjunction with the existing but undermanned KWS team on Mount Kenya. The Trust has seen great success with its ‘Marania Wildlife Gaurds’ and ‘Joint Wildlife Protection Team’ (JWPT). The Trust employs and trains rangers from local communities.   In the JWPT model, Mount Kenya Trust ‘civilians’ are backed up by armed KWS rangers; this ensures that government protocol is followed and that some of the teams have armed support.  The KWS Mount Kenya Senior Warden has stated that, “presently the JWPT is the most responsive and effective team on the mountain.” 
With the addition of horses, the proposed new team will be able to cover more ground and will have a distinct advantage when approaching and chasing poachers who operate on foot.  This team will be made up of trained civilians and KWS rangers and they will be in regular communication the Trust’s Marania Wildlife Guards. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, located just to the north of Mount Kenya, has a proven effective armed security team that also is available as support when necessary.

1st-3rd July : Satima from Shamata Gate in the North.

The highlands of Aberdares are Afro-alpine moorlands. Satima is the highest peak in the Aberdares and is usually climbing in a short walk from the road head on the south side of the mountain. The Northern end of the Aberdares Park is much less frequently visited, but has well developed roads and good camp sites. The hike from the North side is rarely done and is over open moorland with many interesting views and rock features. It is a solid days hike up to the summit and back to the road head on the North side.
Previously, the Shamata gate accepted cash and provided official receipts. We will reconfirm before departure that Smart Cards are not required.
We will plan to camp on Friday in one of the high campsites or at the road head (special permision) on the approach from Shamata Gate. On Saturday morning we will hike up to the summit of Satima and return to camp. Sunday morning is available to visit other interesting spots on the north end of the park (i.e. the Twin Hills or the rock formations called the Dragon’s Teeth) with return to Nairobi in the afternoon. 
An alternative descent and return plan is to descend from the summit to the road head on the south side to meet a second car and return to Nairobi from there. Some of the group will probably take this route as it requires less descent to reach the cars.
The meet will leave Nairobi on Friday at no later than noon to drive up and into the park. The most direct route to Shamata gate is through Gilgil to Nyahururu (Thompson Falls). From Nyahururu, the road across the North of the Aberdares in the direction of Nyeri is taken. The right hand turn to the Shamata gate is at a location called 4 miles (or Malonne) and is described as about 4 miles from Nyahururu. The muram road to the Shimata gate is about 39 kms and the gate reports that the turning from the highway and the muram road are all sign posted to the Shamata gate. The drive to Nyahururu takes 3 – 4 hours and 1 hour should be allowed to travel from Nyahururu to the park gate. The park closes at 6 PM. The Shamata gate accepts only cash and provides official receipts. The warden in charge at the gate has confirmed by phone that Smart Cards are not required.
The hike should be a strenuous but well rewarded day. Those wishing to participate will need overnight camping gear. Sharing of tents and cooking stoves and group meals is possible, but each participant will need a sleeping bag and pad that good to the range of 5C. Clothing for a chilly night (including warm hat) and rain is highly advised.
Basic equipment for a day hike is required. Plan to bring sun screen, protective hat, 2-3 liters of water, light pack for lunch and rain gear. On longer day hikes like this in remote areas, t is usually advisable to carry a head lamp and a bit of extra clothing and food in case of emergencies. 
Park fees for two days are required and these can be accessed at:
Two rangers will be necessary and this cost will be shared by the group. The official rate is 1,500 KSH per 6 hours day and we will need to negotiate how many days or program requires on site.
Those interested in the trip should send me an E-mail( to express interest (or reconfirm interest) so we have an up to date list. We will plan to meet at Java, ABC Place, Westlands on Wednesday, June 29th at 7:30 PM to discuss the route, car pool arrangements and other issues.