Ian Howell on Mt Kenya; by Terry Burke (June 20th 1987)

Ian Howell on Mt Kenya; by Terry Burke (June 20th 1987)

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Ian Howell has passed away surrounded by family on November 26, 2018 in Bath, UK at the well-earned age of 82.

Ian pioneered many climbing routes in Kenya, including at Lukenya, Hell’s Gate, and Mt. Kenya. Astonishingly, he single-handedly built the bivouac hut on the summit of Nelion, in the process completing 13 solo ascents of Nelion in a few week period of 1970.

Longtime climbing partner Iain Allan writes: “He was a climbing force, such as we’ve never witnessed here before… I was privileged to share so many of these climbs with him.” Ian’s impact on Kenyan climbing was enormous and will continue to be felt for generations to come.

We are deeply indebted to Ian for his contributions to climbing in the country, and saddened by the loss to his family, his friends, and the MCK Community.

Please feel free to share stories or testimonies about Ian Howell below. We will keep this page on the MCK website.


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Terry Burke from Cornwall, Connecticut, USA wrote on December 6, 2018:
I returned to Kenya (where I had been at school in the 1960s) from 1986-1991, and shortly after arriving I met Ian at the Mountain Club. For the next five years I climbed regularly with Ian, who put up with my humble level of climbing talent (or lack thereof), and mentoring me in the most gentle of ways. I treasure the memories of those days in Kenya, taking his daughter Sarah and my son Robin up Jacob's ladder, slogging across the vertical bog in a downpour, and drinking a beer at the campfire. Raymonde and I send our love to Ann and Sarah.