Altitude: 5199 m.a.m.s.l.
Batian is the highest point on mount Kenya and thus the second highest point in Africa after Uhuru peak
. Named after a maasai elder Mbatian , it lies close to the second highest peak of the mountain - Nelion, although the two are separated by the gate of mists.
Unlike point Lenana
, Batian is not a frequented peak mainly due to the level of difficulty required to climb it. Most of the way there from the base of the mountain involves normal trekking, with the exception of the final part that involves some fifth class professional rock climbing.
There are ropes along the climbing routes, as well as resting or even camping points. Tour guides are not needed if you can prove that you have some technical climbing experience before attempting to summit this peak; However, lone climbers are also not allowed.
There are several rock climbing routes to the summit, such as the popular north face route, the ice route and even a climb from Nelion
in the south east - with the climbing season being anytime not in the rainy season (march to june).
Just like most peaks on the mountain, the summit has a Kenyan flag - hung around a rock; However, the last time we checked there was no signpost mainly due to the difficulty of carrying one up there or anchoring it.
Batian is said to be the top of a volcanic plug, with some theories claiming that the actual peak may have been over 6000 metres high, only to have been eroded over the years by glaciation and weathering .