Mount Kenya Fitness training program continues. Last weekend we returned to the famed must-visit trail in Aberdares, the Rurimueria hill. It is paramount to invest in a preparation hike if you want to conquer Mount Kenya successfully. Our starting point was at International Life House, and it took 3 hours to get to Ndunyu Njeru Market by bus. Ndunyu Njeru is where the Kenya wildlife service office is; this is where you pay before proceeding to the forest. We also paid for an armed guide and continued to Gathuthi Primary, where the trail starts. Rurimueria welcomes with a steep stretch. Technically, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to walk from the school to the electric fence. The fence separates the residential area from the forest.
The trail is approximately 8 kilometers. From the starting point to the summit, then back to the starting point again. Generally, It will take two to four hours to trek up the Rurimueria hill. 1 to 4 hours to descend. It may take longer in the event of rain. The reason you should have a proper trekking boot. Your level of fitness also determines how much time you take.
Rurimueria hill stands at an elevation of 3,860m, equivalent to an altitude of 12,670ft. When compared to other mountains in the Aberdare National Park, Ruremeria is the third-highest. Mount Satima takes the lead with 4001 meters (13126.6ft). Mount Kinangop is the second highest. Stands at 3,907 meters (12,815.5 ft).
Rurumueria requires a standard level of fitness. At least, it is paramount before you attempt this hill to have climbed several other smaller trails. The difficulty of hiking Ruremeria is moderate to high, depending on your fitness and experience level. Not ideal for children, older people, beginners, and persons with any health complications. Additionally, you will need proper hiking gear like a good hiking boot, warm clothes, and a hard-shell jacket, which most beginner hikers don’t have. Most of the hiking trails in the Aberdare ranges like Rurimueria, Table Mountain, or Satima are prerequisites for preparing for high elevation treks like Mount.Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ruwenzori.Ruremueria is also a perfect trek for hikers who love traverse hikes. From the Ruremeria peak, you can traverse to Seven Ponds and Table Mountain summits on the West and Mount Satima on the North.
Rurimeria landscape has steep rocks, bogs, swampy black soils, and thick grass and moorland. All these will slow you down and also make hiking Ruremeria difficult. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate-hiking Ruremeria landscape 5 out of 5. Having a proper hiking boot with high ankle support and good grip will make walking easier. Also, you can buy some hiking gaiters to keep your shoes and hiking pant from soaking the mud and water from the bogs and thick grass. Having two hiking poles can also make your navigation through the steep terrain easier. It is easy to get lost in the Ruremeria Moorland, especially when it rains and the ribbons which mark the trail get lost on the thick grass. It would be best if you took a guide with you to avoid such trouble.
From the starting point at the Geta Bush, where there is a fence marking the entry point, you will encounter the hot sun rays, but upon reaching the first peak, the beautiful sun disappears, and you begin to experience cold weather from the strong winds and most likely rain.
Carry a hard-shell jacket, raincoat, and balaclava to protect you from the harsh mountain cold weather. If you plan to visit Ruremueria or any mountain in the Aberdares, anticipate heavy rains. From April to June or October to December. June, July, and August are the coldest months. Remember, the heavy rains will make descending Rurimueria hill twice as difficult, so you must be prepared with the right mindset, stamina, and gear to overcome. The mountain weather is highly unpredictable, so make sure you have your raincoat and warm clothing to be on the safe side.