My Blog

Aug, 26th, 2010- Day Four

9.14.2010 | My Blog

Shira 2 – Barranco Camp via Lava Tower

Last night was terrifying. For some reason my lungs decided that they wanted to show me what it felt like if they were to say, oh I don’t know, EXPLODE. I woke up in an absolute panic, unable to catch my breath, and feeling as though my chest were being crushed under a tremendous weight. I was in a tent by myself (Ali, Christopher and I traded off on sleeping alone each night, to the great confusion of our poor porters), and was scared absolutely stupid. I wanted to go and find Reggie or Ali, but I didn’t want them to think that I was being silly… so I stayed in my tent, propped myself up on my backpack, had a little water and tried to fall back asleep.

In the morning when I woke up, I realized that perhaps my pneumonia from earlier this year had come back to haunt me.


This should be fun to deal with at 15,000 ft, eh?

Off we go!

Let me quote you from today’s journal entry, written after the day’s hike was complete:

Worst. Day. EVAR. Holy shit. I am done. Nauseated, dizzy, exhausted… I’m a mess. As much as my mind wants me to summit, my body may not let me, and I’m ok with that. I might be disappointed, but I won’t be dead.

As you can see, this was not a fun day for me. In fact, aside from the final summit push, Day Four was my worst day, hands down. This hike was killer for me. Up, up, up, up…. then down, down, down, down. So much down that my teammates and I were getting rather cranky and we started to mutiny when our guide got all snitty when we wanted to take breaks.

We did have one AMAZING break, though – lunch at Lava Tower, which is situated at 15, 000 ft!

Needless to say, exhaustion coupled with high altitude make finding the energy to lift a forkful of spaghetti to your face, stuff it in your gob, and chew quite a challenge.  Oh, tasty, tasty exhaustion…

After our lunch, we got back on the trail and headed to Barranco Camp, which we finally reached after experiencing the World’s Longest Downhill Torture Test. But what a sight!

Seriously, that is AWESOME. A huge, sheer, WALL of awesome. Thank god we take a trail around that thing, because climbing up it would be ridiculous!!

So… Ali and I fell into our tent, swore at the video camera for a couple of minutes, (The Barranco Bitchfest), then had a quick nap. We woke up, she went to the mess tent for dinner, and I went to find a nice quiet rock to barf behind in private.

I must say this: dry heaving at high altitude is very, VERY scary. I’m not kidding! You simply can’t catch your breath, and you feel like you’re going to choke and aspirate.. actually, I’ll be honest, it’s so scary that you kind of WISH you’d choke and aspirate. Nonetheless, I felt better afterward, and went to have some pasta. Pasta cures everything. Oh pasta… I love you… what can’t you do?

And so, now onto Day Five tomorrow… we hike for about 4 hours to Karanga Hut… but gain only 158 ft. Yeah, you read that right – 158 ft.  Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

Next Time: What do you mean there’s no path around the Barranco Wall?!



[…] This is the Barranco Wall.  We have to go around it, remember? […]