Bus on the muddy trail
We have a 4 day climb ahead of us on the Lemosho route. This was suppose to be a scenic route and we were looking forward to the climb, of course with a lot of apprehension about making to the summit.
The start of Lemosho route is a little ways away from the town and we had to get there by a jeep. This was end of rainy season so there was a lot of left over rain from day before. The jungle roads had become impassable, full of mud. At one point the guides decided to remove all the gear / food from the jeeps which porters will carry by foot. Instead a jeep will take just the tourists to the start point. I almost wished that we also walked with the porters. The jeep was dangerously tilting from side to side, and my thoughts were that we were going to be in an accident even before starting the trail. Thankfully we reached a start point without toppling over. This was not the real start of trail, but jeep could not go beyond that. So we had to walk a bit longer. Out of the jeep now we could
Going down the muddy trail on first day
feel the mud under our feet. Some of it was also the chikni mitti type that slipped when stepped on. The path was a bit scary too and last thing I wanted was to fall down and break something even before the climb began. Thankfully no injuries and we reached first campsite close to dark.
The next couple of days are going to be cloudy, rainy a bit cold and we will just be walking, climbing higher and higher. I was so thankful for the already setup campsite and food. It made so much difference. They actually prepared really good vegetarian food. Our guide August was the quiet types and did not talk much. He would just walk, and then wait for us to catch up. He started as a porter, learnt English and then became a guide. He turned out to be awesome guide for the trip.
December 31, 2009
Today we had to hike the only slightly tricky section of the trail, a rather steep wall where we needed to go over the boulders. It looked scary, but was not really scary in the end. We climbed it easily. There was also a high lava
Line of porters going up the trail
tower which was a view point, and also a high point to get acclimatized. We were too tired to climb that, and total cloud cover means no views, so we decided to skip it. We could see the next campsite right in front of us. It looked so near, we just needed to cross a valley. I could not imagine that this will take 4 hrs to cover, and it did!
January 1, 2010
The new year opened with clear skies and beautiful views. When the days cleared, we could see the mountain right on top of us from the campsites. It looked so small, why would it take 3 days to summit 😊 At night we could see the Moshi town below, from an elevation of 13000 ft. It was very interesting view, sitting on slope of such a big mountain and still looking down at the town below. One of the memorable moments when you realize the magnitude of what you are doing. The next day was suppose to be shot. We were just going from 13000ft to 15000ft at our base camp. The trail was also not very steep. The idea was for us to
Campsite of Dec 30 with mountain in the background
reach early, eat food and then rest to start the summit climb at mid-night. It was cold at the base camp, but shinning sun was good. It was hard to even walk down to the toilets. We could feel the altitude. But still we were lucky that day was good, we could see the summit and the path we were going to walk on tomorrow to get there.
We were suppose to sleep in the afternoon and be ready for summit day. Of course sleep would not come, and there were snow flurries that scared me too. Rahul was really feeling the altitude at this point. But despite all this, we tried to relax a bit. Summit day ... next post ...
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