Darin McQuoid Blog Reviews Tutorials River Directory

Rwenzori: The fourth day

   I wake up early. It is brutally cold out and half an inch of snow has accumulated.  The headache is persistent. The nausea makes it impossible to eat breakfast. Not wanting to be a strong headed fool I know it's time to head back down to lower elevations. Jesse Coombs is in the same boat. We quickly pack gear up, and talk over a plan with Ben Stookesberry. He said he'll quickly join us on the trail back down, since the majority of the team has altitude sickness. One of the guides is feeling the elevation too, so Ezra,  Jesse and I head out looking forward to more oxygen.

It doesn't take us long to reach the Bujuku Lake overlook.

At the overlook we talk over the options with our guide and decide that Bujuku Hut is probably too high. We take an alternate, shorter path back to John Matte hut.

Jesse and Ezra back in the Bigo Bog.

Jesse puts Bujuku Lake behind him on the trek back down.

Thick vegetation and thicker oxygen, we start to feel a little better.

Rain is more dispersed today, allowing for a few opportunities to savor the beauty of the Rwenzori.

Jesse does some tuft hopping.

Root walking to stay above the mud.

Descending from higher elevations.

A raised root system keeps us off the ground in the worst parts of the trail.

Moving fast in the search for better air we make quick time down to John Matte Hut and enjoy beautiful views in the constantly changing weather.

A brief moment of sunlight is always welcome.

The Bujuku River near John Matte Hut.

Sunlight quickly changes to fog in the unending saga of weather in the Rwenzori.

   After a few relaxing hours at John Matte hut, a few porters straggle in. Plans changing as swiftly as the weather, Ben Stookesberry decides to summit Margherita Peak and afterward is met by Hendri Coetzee and Chris Korbulic near Elena Hut. They continue the trek circuit and reunite with us at Nyabitaba Hut. Jesse and I return to documenting the struggle for clean water in Uganda as Ben, Chris and Hendri continue on to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Our ride back to Kampala is a whole story in itself, best told by one image.

We managed to stay amazingly warm and dry in the cold, wet enviroment of the Rwenzori. Key pieces of gear:
First Ascent BC-200
First Ascent Hangfire Hoodie
First Ascent Downlight Sweater
Feathered Friends Grouse
Kokatat Tempest Pants
Gum Boots
Seven EN-EL3e batteries