Thankfully, despite the freshness of the temperature outside, we were all cozy and snug inside, but layered up ready for the final trek to the ninth station.
I went to brush my teeth and the like and as soon as I stepped out of the hut, I could see people had stopped and passed out right outside the hut (no more room at the inn...). And, if I looked down below, there was a trail of lights, leading right down as far to the bottom as I could see. The night climbers were approaching, and in their HOARDS!
These were the trekkers who, for the lack of time, or for the extra energy they may have had, chose to do the hike up the mountain, non stop, start as the sun went down and never giving up until they reached base, having climbed, conquered and descended, barely stopping for breath!
I was no such climber, and was very grateful to have the chance to layer up, freshen up and get geared up to go!
The climb was dark - it was 1am, remember! But, we had headlights galore, so much so, I conserved the energy of mine! We were supposed to climb in an ordeerly fashion, one small step at a time, sometimes waiting a little - that's how busy it was!!
There were the odd over-eager climbers, often ill-attired, without a care in the world, ready to puch past, overtake, and break the rules of the climb. Everyone frowned upon these types of climbers, especially, the odd-ball who stopped to cut his nails on a rock as he waited, without a t shirt (!) for his slower friends...!
I think it took us two hours to climb to the top. I didn't mind the time so much. We stopped for breaths regularly and I didn't feel any lack of oxygen (my biggest fear).
At the summit, we were to do a crater walk, as well as watch the sun come up...just wait for the next post!!!