Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sir Edmund Hillary, Look Out

My man carries his own backpack up mountains. He don't need no stinkin' sherpa. And he doesn’t even take a sleeping bag.

While I was busy working, Jorge went with a few of our friends to Mt. Mulanje, the third highest peak in Africa. It took just two days to hike to the top, but it’s a steep, grueling hike. There were four of them when they set off, but after a few hours of uphill climbing, one had to give up and turn back.

When Jorge arrived at the mountain hut on the first evening, it was filled with fellow hikers. They all came equipped with sleeping bags, mats, towels, food, utensils. What did Jorge have? Some water, a few cans of tuna, a bottle of vodka, and the clothes on his back.

This was not his fault however. Kent, our friend (and perhaps not coincidentally, the one who turned back early) told Jorge that everything they needed could be obtained by joining the Mountaineer’s Club when they got to Mulanje. Only you can’t join the day of your hike, as they discovered when they got there.

So Jorge had a fitful night’s rest, huddled shivering near the dying fire. It was worsened by the fact that he had broken the water faucet just before bed, and got soaked by the spray. Woops.

The next day he hiked to the peak, called Sapitwa (which means in the local language: Don’t Go There) all the time worrying about how he would make it through the second night, in an even higher, and colder location. He tucked his legs into a backpack, lay every piece of fabric he had over himself, and nuzzled in between his two remaining companions. Given the circumstances, I will let it pass that he spooned another woman.

He had a great time though. He’s already planning his next mountain climb, to Kilimanjaro, and in June he will run up Mt. Mulanje in the annual Porter’s race.


Miriam said...

That soooo sounds like the kind of trip Jorge would take up a mountain. It couldn't be your normal run of the mill climb, he just had to rough it, didn't he? I'm impressed though, it was hard enough just climbing up the base of that mountain!

Gwyneth said...

Tell me about it. I thought I was going to die just walking for an hour.

Here's a PS to the story: One of Jorge's other hking companions apparently contracted malaria while on the mountain. Yet ANOTHER reason I like 4-star vacations.

Alex Poveda said...

No sleeping bag, not enough water... almost not food at all, but of course VODKA. That's so Jorge. Haven't change a bit. Well, I think you need to be a little drunk to climb up there.

Dad said...

It's hardly surprising Jorge doesn't need a sherpa if his backpack is almost empty! He really doesn't need to impress us couch potatoes by making his endurance tests more difficult than they need to be.

LEX said...

You husband is a crazy fool! But that's why we all love him.