Day 2 - Black ice scramble up Sapitwa

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
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Trip End Jun 12, 2006


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Thursday, April 6, 2006

A nice clear morning and we left at 7am for the climb back up Sapitwa Peak. At just under 10,000 feet it was about 8,000 feet up above the valley floor and the plains I had climbed up from the previous day. It was also the highest point in Malawi. We could actually see all the way out to Lake Malawi that must have been over 100 miles away.


There were a lot of flowers on what turned out to be a very tough steep climb. Besides the slabs of exposed wet rocks that were like black ice, we also had so scramble under boulders with only just enough room to pass under and also through thick bushes. It didn't seem like the most used trail in the world.



About halfway up the clouds came in and a bit later at a point that seemed close to the top my guide mentioned it was another 90 minutes. He did of course have no idea what he was talking about and from that point it took us another 30 minutes to get to the top. I'm not sure if because of the mist that was his way to try to persuade me to quit early. He obviously had no idea who he was dealing with :-)

The guide seemed so lethargic and unenthusiastic on the way back down that I decided to change my plans and my route. I was to head back to Chambe Hut that afternoon and back out the way we came the day after. This cut one day off the hike. Besides I knew the 4 Belgium's, Gail, Rolland, Eva and Marie were there so it seemed like it would be a lot nicer to spend the evening with them that my bored guide.

Back in Chambe I took a refreshing dip in a cold stream before taking advantage of the beer on hand. Mt. Mulange was a hot and humid place at this time of year.

The 5 of us pooled all our remaining food and had a feast. Chicken and Mushroom soup for starters. Pasta, white sauce, fresh tomatoes, sardines and tuna for mains and cappuccino biscuits and Milo for desert.

We all sat on the porch that night and watched the clouds clear, the moon rise while checking out all the stars.
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