‘We were hit hard by the rain the whole day!!’…this was the first statement I heard in relation to this mountain from my fellow adrenaline seeking friend. What stood out during our conversation was how beautiful the forest was. I knew for a fact that I had to attempt.
Off we set on a beautiful Saturday morning. As a hiker, one is always ready for the rain. Mountain weather is absolute rubbish! One minute you’re sun-bathing, the next you’re soaked. The weekend before this, we could hear the thunder from the other ridge that is home to Rurumueria http://www.safirinajays.com/rurumueria/. I was geared up for whatever weather the mountain was willing to serve us that day.
From the onset, it’s a never-ending gradual ascent, this is never fun, but it sort of allowed me to acclimatize. Slow does it always. At an elevation of about 3,349 meters ASL, it’s important to take it easy. The path leading into the forest is a canopy of trees. The birds were chirping and the fine breeze swept by briskly. It was going to be a beautiful day.
Anyone in shorts that day for sure must have nursed cuts or pricks and danced in the shower that evening. The path narrowed the deeper we went into the forest and we all had to move in linear motion due to the overgrown vegetation.
Someone got hit by altitude barely an hour into the hike and lagged behind with one of the guides. She was determined to keep pushing and having experienced altitude sickness many times before, I absolutely was in her shoes. The forest vegetation (especially the flowers) was such eye candy and I decided to test the iPhone camera prowess…
It always amuses me how cows feed at high altitude. Maybe the air is much fresh up there? No…not much oxygen. I think the grass must be grassier and tastier up there :-). Away the cows lazily munched the grass. Anyway, there were some bones we came across of some animal that must have been preyed on years back, survival of the fittest at its best.
This hike was a breath of fresh air. It had been a while since I thoroughly enjoyed being on high elevation. The sun was out-though for the better part of the hike we were hidden under trees. There’s some rejuvenation that the rays of the sun give especially after enduring the biting cold of the morning-I can’t explain it, you’d have to experience it.
Lunch in the mountains is always welcome (of course upon summiting), unless you’re altitude sick at which point you cannot stand it’s sight. My expert in making amazing pasta, sausages and pepper was not around but he had done me the honors and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.
Strength, endurance and everything else left in me after summiting was required to descend. When I read ‘Into Thin Air’ (a book about the Everest disaster of 1996), I fully understood the reason many people die while descending the Everest-they deplete all their energies when ascending, forgetting that they will need to descend. . Gathering my energies, off we went.
It was a lovely hike, the forest was beautiful and the company amazing. This is one hike I’d like to attempt again in the near future. I probably loved it because of the greenery :-).