The day started with a 6am rise which suited me fine as it was to cold to sleep, breakfast and on the track by 7am. Lim was left behind to pack up the tents, do dish’s etc but somehow passed us after only an hour. Full kindly pointed out to us this evenings camp site… way off in the distance on the opposite rim.
Today’s stories were about the tourists who had died on the mountain in the 6 years our guide had been taking people. A real confidence booster for Amanda. The up shot of it was that if you fall it is better to die than to break a leg as a dead person only requires 2 porters to carry them out where a injured person needs 6. Arriving on flat ground by the lake was a welcome relief.
From here it was only a 10min walk to a hot water fall. This was much needed as we were starting to get a bit stinky. Amanda took the bull by the horns and went in clothes and all.
After our swim we headed back to the lake for lunch and prepare for our 700m near vertical ascent to camp 2. Not long after starting a muscle in Amanda’s leg that was giving problems on day 1 flared up again and as we headed north the clouds closed in.
When the going got real tough, Full and I divided Amanda’s pack up for the 3-hour scramble up to the ridge. Apparently 3 French people have fallen to their death on this part in recent times – the trick is don’t look down. From here the walking became easier but it got really cold again.
Sighting camp was a welcome relief; most of us were unprepared for the cold using our sleeping bags to keep warm waiting for dinner. 40% of hikers intending to reach the summit don’t make it. That doesn’t surprise me, as the last 1,026m requires a 2.30am start with torches in temps of around 5 degrees. And after that you still have to walk 5hrs downhill back to civilization.