Well I’m done for. We were supposed to wake up at 2am to start the hike up the summit, only for me to wake up at 12am without the ability to breathe. Yep. I get altitude sickness. I thought the tent had run out of oxygen and I panicked to open it up and get some fresh cold air inside.
After that I hardly slept and my stomach was whirring, so when I got up at 2am I was already exhausted. I really couldn’t think to hike but knew deep down I had to atleast try.
The group didn’t stick together as each couple went off at their own pace. I felt bad for the American girl who was with me as I felt like I was slowing her down and eventually she went ahead of me and didn’t look back.
The hike up the summit is split into 3, the first part is a steep winding uphill, the second is the long straight slight (I say slight but I think it’s about 40degrees) incline and then the killer 3rd part which felt almost vertical. None of it has solid ground.
It’s true what everyone told me, you take two steps forward one step back. It’s so difficult to move forward especially on an incline. I managed to get the first part of the hike done without too much anguish and pain, but I was already tired. About half way on the second part my stomach really felt funny and my chest was hurting with every breath, and this was where I had my breakdown.
I moved to the side to let everyone pass, and just cried. I felt like I had no control of the situation and I was all alone. I didn’t want to turn back as I’d made it this far but I really couldn’t get my mental block out the way. So many people passed and asked if I needed any sugar which was really sweet and I tried to keep going but after every 10 steps I was exhausted.
I was finally rescued by a local guy who asked me if I was ok, to which I responded ‘no I’m turning back’ and cried. Ha I was an emotional mess. He then gave me his walking stick, his gloves and scarf and told me I had made it this far and I’m going to make it to the top. I still strugged despite being pulled along now, and I had to make quite a few breaks. The guy offered me some of his hot drink which looked like milky coffee, but tasted like ginger had jelly bits in and burnt like alcohol. I didn’t drink much…
Some time later I finally made it. Yes the sun was already up when I was only 30m away from the top but I sat down and admired it from the slope. I almost gave up again only to be given a sweet by a passing girl and told this was once in a lifetime. It was bloody hard for me, and I cried at the top because I couldn’t believe I made it. It’s so beautiful at the top, just so out of this world.
My guide saw me at the top and apologised for not seeing me and helping. He helped me back down by pulling me down the slope so I was practically running (not fun), and my shoes were just full of stones.
Eventually I think I got back around 6.30/7am only to start walking again 30mins after….