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Rwenzori: To Bujuku Hut

   We gear up in rain jackets and rubber boots for the day. Not your typical hiking attire. The landscape is enshrouded in fog as we set off to Bujuku Hut.
Jesse Coombs walks on roots at the edge of the trail to avoid the knee deep mud.

The scenery feels prehistoric, but we can't watch too much of it. Eyes must be kept focused on the trail to avoid deep spots in Bigo Bog.

In many sections it's all mud; Jesse hops across a series of grass tufts.

The Bujuku River has turned into a small stream that's just deep enough to require an improvised bridge.

It's a trail, it's Bigo Bog.

For about a kilometer is a new boardwalk. The boards are spaced just far enough apart that you can step through them, so avoiding a twisted ankle demands constant attention.

The bog lets up for a short section as we gain elevation in spurts.

The second part of Bigo Bog has reclaimed the boardwalk.

Time to rehydrate from the Bujuku River.

Ezra and Jesse take a moment before the next climb.

One more slippery bridge over the Bujuku.

Ezra going just a little further to a brief abatement of solid footing.

It's too short though. Jesse Coombs deep in the mire of the upper Bigo Bog.

Through the worst of the bog, the final approach to Bujuku Hut at 13,000'

I had thought it was Incredible to see foliage above ten thousand feet. Jesse Coombs makes the final approach to Bujuku Hut through outlandish vegetation.

Looking down from Bujuku Hut with Bujuku Lake in the background mists.

   As the rest of the team works their way through upper Bigo Bog we spend some time with the guides and porters. It's an interesting setup, each guide has his porter, and each porter has his own porter. Suffice to say there are a lot of people involved in this operation. There are porters who bring only coal, used heat their hut. Even more astonishing is that they brought a big propane tank and burner to cook on.

The heroes dry off after a day in the rain.

I was told the goat head has something to do with luck and summiting Margharita peak.

Cooking up dinner on the propane tank stove.

As a guide in my own time I know how valuable true relaxing time without clients is, and head outside to stroll around and take pictures before dark.

One must wonder if some of the climbing gear used in the Rwenzori are leftovers from the very first expeditions.

I guess it is that time, Hendri Coetzee cooks a mashup dinner on our fickle whisperlight stove.

After dinner we spend some time talking about the following day with our guides.

The weather is a lot colder at this elevation, which is no surprise. We hunker down in the hut, hoping to acclimatize a bit before the climb to 14,900' Elena Hut tomorrow.

Looking toward the Congo from Bujuku Hut.

On to Elena Hut