Weather the best we've
seen in days. No rain is falling and there are even brief patches of
blue sky. The elevation is present. Chris Korbulic has light altitude
sickness. He and Hendri Coetzee decide to wait at Bujuku Hut to see if
he will acclimatize or need to head down. Jesse Coombs, Ben
Stookesberry and I will continue on to Elena hut and wait for them to
join us the following day.
Ben on the trail to
The trail to Elena Hut is considerably steeper.
Jesse climbs a ladder in the steepest section.
A quick look back at Bujuku Hut. Porters are little white dots on the
bottom left. It feels like another planet up here.
What the porters go through is beyond words.
Ben taking in the view above Bujuku Lake.
Jesse walks through Everlasting flowers in the alpine zone.
They only open when the sun is out, we're glad to see them today.
Past the last short bog around 14,000', Jeese climbs through
Looking down on Bujuku Hut, now far below.
Rising above the clouds.
Almost there now, one last rest before the final push to Elena Hut.
The weather is dramatic and quickly changing as we get above tree line.
One quick, final climb to Elena Hut has us out of breath. Temperatures
are slightly above freezing and we quickly change into down jackets.
Jesse enjoys the
outside Elena Hut.
Somewhere closer to 15,000' than 14,000'
Ben films clouds rolling up the valley we trekked up.
All the maps said Elena hut
was at 14,900'. It feels like it. Headaches set in for Jesse
I. Dinner is tough to stomach. My first experience with altitude
sickness. The ever changing weather keeps me distracted. Snow and hail
come down intermittently. Then the clouds break for a while. I step
outside into crisp air and am enthralled by a thunderstorm unfolding in
the valley far below. Flashes of lightning illuminate the clouds, while
above the stars shine bright in the equatorial sky.
It's too cold to spend much
time outside, besides the below freezing temperatures quickly drain my
camera battery. I head into the small hut for the night, wrap up in all
my gear and trying to ignore the headache. All I can do is stay
hydrated and hope for the best at this point, unsure of what tomorrow