At this point we were probably around 2800 meters (about 9,000 feet) up since Station 8 is at 3100 meters. The air was getting thinner and thinner. While I didn't feel any altitude sickness I did find it increasingly harder to breath and now we were exerting even more energy by hoisting ourselves up and over rocky protrusions sometimes with little to place your feet on firmly.
And then it began to rain.
My heart sunk. I could not imagine how much more difficult it was going to be if these rocks got wet and slippery. Thankfully it did not seem to get too bad. I think the fact that much of the loose rock was lava and the more solid rock did not have moss on it made the rain water just wet the surface and not become a sloshy mess.
Sometime in here when we took a short break my English speaking friend who had given me the oxygen tablets mentioned that Station 8 was not our destination. Our hut was actually the last one on the trail and was another hour and a half of climbing past the Station 8 hut. As I sat there trying to catch my breath and gauging the strength I had left (my legs were turning to jello and beginning to spasm) I made the decision to stop. I was not going to be able to do this for another hour and a half.
|Our youngest climber was looking a little tired.|
The arrangements were made and my son and husband pooled their cash so that I could spend the night. They continued on and I was relieved to find an English speaking attendant at the hut who would explain the procedure for my stay. I began to relax for the first time all day.