Aberdares National Park
The very first time I attempted Rurumeria, I couldn’t go beyond the third false summit. That right there is what totally drains your energy…3 false summits. I was tired and the air was getting thinner by the minute. It had rained the night before and so the ascent was not easy. I had to turn back…I always trust my gut feeling.
Attempt number two was a breeze! The weather was perfect, my spirits were racing, and the team was leaner-this helped as we tended to move at an almost similar pace. I knew what lay ahead for the better part of the ascent; at least until the third false summit. I’m always more confident when I’m aware of what awaits-the fear of the unknown makes me a bit nervous.
The hike is generally tough, unforgiving maybe. Not to be attempted by first time hikers. Well, if you want to test your endurance and sanity levels, your body will hurt for days on end and you’ll be cursing for the better part of the day. You may even loath hiking.
Lying about 3860m ASL, altitude sickness for most people tends to check in just as you approach the third hill/false summit. I had to take it easy at this point, taking deep breaths every often. I felt perfectly fine. Nothing would come between me and the summit. This could possibly pass for summit fever. There was a Chinese gentleman who decided to carry his laptop with him. Let me just mention that he had the most horrible day up that mountain. However, the gods were by his side because it didn’t rain. We could hear thunder from across the ridge and pitied anyone who was attempting Mt. Kipipiri that day. Had it rained, Sunny Boy (as we nicknamed the Chinese with a laptop) would have danced to the mountain music.
Uncle Wong, yes another very interesting man really got me thinking about my life. Would I be as fit and energetic at his age? He was probably in his sixties and pacing like a teenager! For some time I could not keep up with him. There was another lot that would stop for a smoke every often. I always presume smokers are advantaged because their lungs are used to minimal oxygen levels anyway. Oh well, whatever the case, I had a summit to conquer.
We summitted around 1330 hrs. Whenever I am at such high elevations my appetite eludes me but on this particular day, I devoured my pasta (Jay normally makes some delish pasta with sausages and peppers for hikes). The waning sun ensured we got some summit photos before it disappeared and the wind started howling; the weather changed in an instant. Having conquered, I was ready for the descent and looking forward to a hot shower and warm bed. We walked for at least 10 hours.
To the summit…