Sweet crag with awesome sport routes


Nemesis route is the namesake for this crag. While it is a sweet route, there are several great sport lines here. Full sun on the crag in the morning, but by afternoon, it is all in the shade.

Access issues

Most of the climbing at Lukenya is on private property owned and managed by MCK (Mountain Club of Kenya). You need to go with an existing MCK member to climb. Non-members pay 800 Ksh per person, members can access Lukenya for free. Contact MCK for a chance to climb this awesome area with lots of trad, sport, and bouldering. Some parts of Lukenya, including Nemesis, are shared with local residents and farmers; be respectful but do not pay anyone besides the caretaker at the Lukenya Academy gate.


After entering the main gate at Lukenya Academy, drive straight through the school, and keep right through a gate, dipping down and back up. Go left past a house along a dirt track going upwards. Nemesis wall is located shortly after this house. Look for the large striped orange and black cliff only a short distance from the track. Park on the side and hike straight up to the base on a path through bush. P.S. You can access a few of the anchors from the top. head around the right side of the crag for an easy walk-up approach to the top.


As with any climbing and outdoor area, please be kind and whatever you pack in, pack out. Please help extend the life of the anchors by using your own draws/anchors for top rope climbs, and only rappel or lower off the anchors when cleaning.


History timeline chart

Nemesis was first developed by Iain Allan and Ian Howell, two eminent climbers in the history of Kenya and the MCK in the 1980s in response to growing calls for sport routes in Kenya.


Some content has been provided under license from: © Mountain Club of Kenya (Copyright Mountain Club of Kenya)


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Grade Route

On the left side of the cliff on the brown/orange wall. Up the prow, moving right to the finish. The crux moves between the second and third bolt is as good as any 3* boulder problem in Lukenya. As of 28 Feb 2021 there is no anchor, so either top out or make an extended rope anchor from the tree at the top of the crag.

FA: E. Baron, 1999

Currently the hardest route in Lukenya and one of the highest quality routes I have ever bolted.

Start on the far left end of the cliff under the obvious right-rising traverse. Work through the traverse culminating on a hard move to a good rest jug. Chalk up and prepare for the V7 crux through steep terrain to perfect jugs above.

FA: Kristofer Fiore, 16 Jan 2020

Route to the right of Banana Cheeks. Sparsely bolted with very hard crux in the middle. Not known if it has been climbed or who put it up.

Named after two women who keep the route opener on his toes. To the left of a small tree is a thin crack that trends leftwards, finishing left and up of the last bolt (anchor hidden behind a small ledge over the overhang. A steep route that has a sting in its tail.

FA: A. Fiksman, 2000

Beautiful route between Nemesis and Twisted Sisters, with interesting but pumpy moves and one decent rest. Now has new anchor bolts installed. In memory of Jason Spindler!

Between Jason's route and KL. An excellent, steep, juggy climb. Pumpy, but not as hard as it looks. A lovely route.

FA: S. Marlow & W. Dove, 1999

Fun line up the black streak between Nemesis and KL corner. Stay strong through the crux low down to finish on easier, fun climbing to the top. Found, FA'd and named by two strong young brothers!

FA: Livio van Enckevort, Luca van Enckevort & Sven van Enckevort, 28 Feb 2021

The corner crack between the two faces is climbed free (natural pro).

FA: D.D. Gray & Ian Howell, 1971

On the right face, to the left of the obvious scoop used in Turbulence and As Good As It Gets, is a thin crack that slants up to the left. Very technical moves past the third bolt.

FA: M. Heileman, 2002

This route starts in the same hole as the start of Turbulence and As Good as it Gets, but goes left and straight up from the hole. The crux comes between the second and third bolts, with the route then going straight up, cutting through a shared bolt on Turbulence through some big moves through the overhang directly above.

FA: Luca van Enckevort, 15 Oct 2022

Start 6 m right of K.L. Corner, move up into a scoop and then after passing the second bolt, move straight up and then left below an overhang, which is pushed through before reaching Happy Birthday Piers Wood. Keep going past the third bolt, even if you're pumped.

FA: Iain Allan, 2000

Same start into the scoop as Turbulence, but at the second bolt keep moving rightwards and up. A beautiful route.

FA: Iain Allan & Ian Howell, 1999

The much harder direct start to As Good as it Gets. Crimpy, cruxy moves straight up until you join up with the easier ground of the top half of As Good as it Gets.

Immediately to the left of Leap of Faith. Very crimpy start to the first bolt, easier ground after that.

Start about 6m right of As Good As It Gets, leap for first hold (or opt for a stylish start if you can!) and then up into scoop. Move up leftwards, then direct to finish.

FA: Iain Allan & Ian Howell, 1999

To the immediate right of Leap of Faith. Slightly tricky and crimpy start, then lovely moves through the middle section. Keep your nerve through the slabby run-out after the last bolt.

FA: Iain Allan & Ian Howell, 2000

Start about 5 feet to the right of a flake-like boulder that is separated from the main face. Move up and left to the crux at the second bolt showing faith in friction. After that, left into a scoop and then up to rail. After the last bolt there is about a 5 metre run-out to the anchors, up and left on easy ground but potentially scary and dangerous for beginners.

FA: Iain Allan & Ian Howell, 2000

The easiest route on Nemesis, located round the corner at the right-hand side of the crag. Slightly slabby start up to good jugs to the top. Try not to pull too hard on the flakes!

The last bolted climb to the right of the crag, round the corner. Climb the first few meters of the slab, then step left and straight up the route with the crux of the moves coming after 10m of climbing. Multiple options for holds enable climbers to finish it in various different ways. Be gentle with the flakes.

Set: Henrik

FA: Henrik, 2017

Same start as Smooth or it is possible to begin about 2m to the right. Clipping the first bolt of Smooth is definitely offroute. After reaching the first pocket on Smooth, climb a left-lacing crack (will take a cam) about 3m to the right of the bolt and move up and left of an orange dihedral (a smallish wire can be put behind a flake). Continue up steep ground to a horizontal crack (flexi-cam placement) and either move straight up onto a good horizontal ledge or move left and up using good holds and a hanging flake higher up (possible pro here). Exit rightwards.

2020 Edit: This route is probably the same as 'Bliss of Nemesis', which was bolted without being aware of the existence of this trad route.

FA: C.W. Rechman & C. Ward, 2001

The story revolves around an attractive reddish diedre, the start of which is about six to eight feet to the right of Smooth and Some Like It Rough. Initially quite easy, one heads up to a prominent ledge on the left side. About ten feet up, a vertical slot on the right can take a large Friend. However, if the Friend is not at hand, slightly higher up there are two bomb-proof wire placements; these are just before surmounting the ledge on the left. At this point the diedre may appear rather smooth and lacking in hand-holds, but by moving slightly right, one is passed the first climax and is comfortably gripping the slithery arête. Sinking one’s hands into the moist cavity just below the hanging orchid garden, one should notice a beautiful side-slot for up to two wires. Some rather exquisite moves follow just to the left of the hanging garden (the second climax), which allow one to grip some gorgeous jugs, although care must be exercised as this point can be rather strenuous. A wire slots into a good hand-rail allowing one to protect the easy, final moves to the finish.

A polite request: the hanging orchid on this climb is a rare and quite beautiful plant (well, it’s beautiful when it flowers); sufficient holds and protection exist to climb the route without disturbing it, so please keep to the r.d. and let’s not destroy it.

FA: Charles Rethman, Andrew Gremley, Cindy Huang & Felix Berg, 2002

Named in honour of a Congolese dance-style that may or may not help in getting up this route. The route follows a ramp that slopes up to the left (very manky RP placement). Move onto the wall (beware of loose holds) and traverse left across the top of a prominent hollow until reaching a good ledge (crux). Surmount the ledge and move upwards (good, small wires) on steep ground with juggy holds to a horizontal crack (good cam) between the 'hanging gardens'. The 'hanging gardens' are wild orchids, so please do not damage (natural pro).

FA: T.W. Mbatia (Ms) & C.W. Rechman, 2000


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