Organising the trip started a few months in advance, but as soon as we were out there, the first thing we had to do was find our campsite. Since none of us got any connection, we had to rely on our initiative and physical maps to help us. After finding a tourist information site, we were able to orient ourselves and find our way. This was the moment we realised that we were actually carrying out a challenge, and not just on a regular holiday. Once at the camp, we set up our tents and got to making dinner. We powered on, through an unfortunate event of a melting container, and got back into our tents to avoid the rain.
The next morning, we set off early to make sure we had enough time to carry out the challenge. A quick breakfast and we were on our way. The start was a little shaky, we were getting used to reading the map of the new area, and we had started off going in the wrong direction. However, we were soon able to realise the mistake and correct it, meaning we were back on track. The walk to the base of the peak was fun, with plenty of views as we slowly felt the incline increase. We had a set pace that we wanted to keep up, but we hadn’t factored in for quick breaks to admire the view! That’s why we decided that we should walk in slightly faster if we also wanted time to admire the view, taking a few pictures for Instagram when we got back.
The rain from the night before made the walk harder, with ground giving less support and the path becoming more slippery. The altitude was also starting to become a problem, and as we reached 600m above sea level, we were starting to face issues. The visibility was starting to decrease and the path starting to become more arduous, more climbing than it was walking as you can see on one of the pictures below we were in a cloud so we couldn’t even see the dangerously large drop right in front of us. We still managed to push through and make it to the peak, taking a well-earned rest. However, once at the top we had discovered that one of us wasnít feeling too well. We took some more time than planned, tending to him, but he didnít seem to get any better, instead took a turn for the worse. This was one of the biggest challenges we faced, having to make the team decision to turn back.
We carefully started the walk back down, taking extra care of each other as the route back down posed more risks in terms of slips, trips, and the consequences. We managed to get back to the camp, preparing food and a place for the sick person to rest. We decided to stick with him to make sure that he was okay since we werenít sure about where to go if he started to get any worse. So we decided to let him rest up and fortunately that was all that was needed. The biggest challenges we faced were the organisation of the whole trip, especially since one member went to a different school and it wasnít as easy to meet up and discuss new information. We also had to do make quick decisions that would greatly impact the team while under pressure, such as what to do with our sick teammate.
Some of the skills we got out of the trip were the ability to organise events in places we may not be familiar with, as well as the ability to prioritise when under pressure, especially when faced with decisions that we didnít plan on having to make. But the biggest thing we gained was the experience of being on top of a peak, climbing something that only a handful of people do. The views and sheer thrill as we got to the top is something we will keep with us forever. We would like to thank the Mark Evison Foundation for this great opportunity.