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Monday, 4 July 2011
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Monday, 23 May 2011
Saturday 21st May. Terry, Adam and Mark. Location Scarfell Pike. Author Terry.
Saturday 21st May saw two of the eight Kilimanjaro Climbers tackle Scarfell Pike. After an early pickup we started the walk at about 8:30a.m. For both Mark and Adam (Crown Employee) this was their first ever climb, this being my second time I have tackled Scarfell Pike. Scarfell Pike starts with a steady ascent around the Lingmell Gill.
The ascent was soon noticed by Adam and Mark as their pace slowed. A short way into the walk Mark told us not to wait for him and that he would meet Adam and me at the summit. I then set off with Adam in tow. The ascent then soon went into a sharp incline. After an hour climbing we reached Mickledore and the 200 meter scramble up a very sharp incline. The cloud soon dropped on us and was very dense which made the rocks slippy and the scramble that much harder. I kept referring to the three of us as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli from the Lord of the Rings as the surroundings reminded me of Middle Earth. Me being Aragon naturally, and by order of elimination, as Mark was the shortest, he would be Gimli so that would make Adam Legolas or should I say Leg-less after completing the walk. The part in the Two Towers where Gimli says “I’m wasted on cross country, we dwarfs are natural sprinters, very dangerous over very short distances” kept popping into my head and I could visualise Mark running whilst saying the phrase which made me chuckle and provided me with much needed entertainment. After the treacherous scramble it wasn’t long before we reached the summit and sat down for a snack. After about 10 minutes Mark joined us and shortly after he took some food on board we set off on our descent. What a struggle that would entail.
The cloud remained very dense on the summit and gusts of wind proved very challenging. We set off on which I thought was the path, how wrong was I! After a very dangerous scramble down 200 meters of wet, slippy rocks I decided that I would push forward and confirm the route we was on was correct. After running from under the cover of cloud and half way down the mountain I confirmed our position and made my way back up the mountain. I got to the position where I would expect Mark and Adam to be only to find them not there. After searching and shouting for them I still couldn’t locate them. My attention was then drawn to two specs at the foot of the hill, it was Adam and Mark. After lots of shouting I gained their attention and in our very own form of sign language I informed them to make their way back up the mountain as we had come down the wrong side. To my surprise I was greeted with lots of victory signs and hand movements which I can only imagine that I was good at shanking dice!!
So Legolas and Gimli made their way back up Scarfell Pike for the second time in one day. Their ascent was harder the second time around as the terrain was either long wet soggy grass or large rocks to climb. It took the two middle earth warriors about 1 ½ hours to reach the summit which was again dense with fog.
This time around we descended down the path that we first took to reach the summit. After 4 hours of climbing, legs where tired so this made the descent much harder, coupled with the fact that the path was slippy. It took the three of us about one hour to reach the bottom to which we were greeted with by heavy rain.
All in all the day was a great success. I was very surprised by how both Adam and Mark tackled and completed the mountain. To climb Scarfell Pike is a big ask, but to do it twice in one day on your very first mountain climb is a great achievement. It just shows how much the body can take before it can’t go anymore. Their attitude was great also; they never moaned and applied themselves with great desire. It is this desire that I think all eight climbers will need to complete Kilimanjaro……