Today we had a large climb, an even larger descent, and then had to reclimb to about the same altitude as the day before (just slightly lower). We left at about 8:30 am and climbed about 400 meters from Bugata Camp up through Bamwanjara Pass.
It was fairly steep, but had many amazing views. There was a forest fire in 2011 that killed much of the vegetation, so the forest looked kinda of eerie.
The climb was relatively dry and there were many rock pathways we were able to walk up, which was a nice departure from the mud. We still had on our gum boots though because they are very sticky on the rocks.
Once we reached Bamwanjara Pass, we took in the views which were spectacular. But we headed down shortly after because it was going to get chilly with us standing around all sweaty.
Next was the long descent down. The climb down was extremely steep and tricky. The rocks and roots somewhat made stairs to climb down, but the mud made it challenging.
The climb down was just as exhausting as the climb up. We eventually reached a valley and I thought we were down, but after the valley, we continued to descend the steep wet rocks. We finally reached our lunch spot and refueled.
Then we started back out on the hardest part of the descent. This section was even more wet than the previous section. Climbing down the rocks became a little scary. There were multiple ladders we had to climb down and steep sections that seemed to go on forever.
In all, we descended about 500 meters. I ended up slipping and falling on some wet rocks right after lunch which shook my confidence some, but I took it slow and made it down.
Once we finished our descent, we had a long hike across another valley. This section was like walking through a swamp. There were branches laid down to step on, but they would move and squish in the mud making it extra challenging. Some sections had board walks which made it much easier, but you could feel the mud squish underneath the boards.
The final climb was the most difficult yet. It was about another 100 meters up, but it was like climbing wet stairs. The mud made us slide all over. I was exhausted by the time we finally reached the ridge and dropped down into Hunwick’s camp at around 2:00 pm.
Jay was feeling pretty good after the hike which was good because he was feeling really sick the day before. I however had a headache and was a bit dizzy. It seemed strange that I would have altitude sickness because we were actually lower than we were the day before, but we did have some large ascents and descents today. I took some Diamox around 4:00 pm and ate some dinner around 6:00 pm and started feeling better. Our hike up to Margarita camp tomorrow is the last one before the summit day.