Mt. Kenya, Diamond Couloir, complete ascent. On October 26 my girlfriend Séverine Bornet, who is aspirant guide, and I climbed the Diamond Couloir. It was not in fat condition. The ice was fairly thin, aerated and a little soft, due to warm temperatures. The entry pitch was completely iced and comparable to a French 4+, though the ice was not attached to the rock in some places. The headwall was of similar difficulty to the Modica-Noury on Mt. Blanc du Tacul, which is graded 5+. We easily used ice screws.
On the day before the ascent, as we were approaching the route, there was a considerable amount of rain. Next morning there were 5cm of new snow covering the base of the couloir, which near the top increased to 10cm. We took six hours from the start to the summit of Nelion. The weather was perfect that day and the next three, in which we climbed the north face of Batian before going home.
Fred Salamin, Switzerland