Mt Cameroon in the mist
Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
209Trip End Dec 16, 2012
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Driving into the town of Limbe, we could see Mt Cameroon in the mist, covered in cloud and we started to think, 'we will be climbing you soon'. Preparation for our three days, two nights trek got underway, as we packed for the climb, altitude and packed plenty of energy snacks. We were ready to see Mt Cameroon in the mist.
As we left early, we headed to the town of Buea, where we met our Cameroonian porters and our head guide Samuel
We hiked through beautiful rainforest and soon the mist delivered us with rain. Through slippery conditions, we made it to Hut One, our lunch stop which was at 1875 metres above sea level. A lunch of tuna and cheese on bread, and nuts and biscuits for snacks was just what the doctor ordered for our next stage up Mt Cameroon, that was in the mist.
After lunch, Shaun set off, and Karen set off with the ipod in, needing a bit of music for motivation. This next stage was challenging, as we weren't just hiking up Mt Cameroon, we were literally climbing up on savanna covered volcanic rock. We made it to the magic tree (a tree that has forever survived the common burning off in the area). From there we continued to climb, but before too long, it wasn't Mt Cameroon in the mist, but hut two, our home for the night.
Once our porters joined us at hut two, we set up our beds on top of a wooden bench covered in straw. We dined in freezing conditions on noodles and cup a soup, and we were keen to hit the hay early, literally
The next day, we woke with a great view of Buea, Limbe and the river systems of the area. It was beautiful. What a great day to hike to the summit. Today, Mt Cameroon wasn't in the mist, it was in reach!
With iPod in for both of us, we started the epic day of hiking, Mt Cameroon style. Shaun felt good and headed up the mountain with ease. Karen on the other hand, started well, but soon realised that starting near sea level and not aclimatizing to the altitude was a challenge. Soon the hike got harder and slowing down was the only way up. Suffering from the effects of altitude, Karen made it to hut three at 3765 metres above sea level, for a break and Shaun dosed her up with energy gel, panadol and rehydration salt water.
Mt Cameroon was in the mist, and we were both going to make it. We hiked together, stopping several times to catch our breathe. The last in our small group to make it to the top, we removed our iPod earphones from our ears, held hands and victoriously arrived at the summit of Mt Cameroon together. What an achievement!
At 4090 metres above sea level, we had made it to the summit of the highest peak in West Africa. It was not in the mist anymore, but true to form, Shaun had something crazy in store for our hiking group. Within moments of reaching the summit, there was a full moon on Mt Cameroon, as Shaun stripped to his birthday suit to celebrate reaching the summit. His outty became an inny, and he quickly realised it was freezing. We tried to take in the maginificent views from the top, but the wind soon got to us, so we had to decline.
Going down, and soon Mt Cameroon was back in the mist, as we had a steep decline through volcanic gravel. Before long, we trekked through the lava flow left from the 1901 eruption. It was fascinating.
Hours hiking and Mt Cameroon was definately in the mist again, as we reached the eleven craters from the 1999 eruption. Admiring the craters, lava flow and wild flowers in the savanna surrounds, we started to feel the pain of hiking on a decline, and looked forward to reaching camp for the night.
Absolutely exhausted, we arrived at our campsite after nine and a half hours of hiking
Mt Cameroon was in the mist, and it was our third and final day of our epic hike. We had made it to the top, but today, we just wanted to make it to the end.
Leaving early at 5am, we trekked in the dark through lush rainforest, then back into savanna as the light rose over Mt Cameroon. Soon we found ourselves back in dense rainforest, and back with rain. We hiked through the wet, slippery jungle, often nearly falling flat on our butts. We were hiking with our friend Andrea, as others in group were both ahead and behind us. We were getting over it, we couldn't see Mt Cameroon anymore, and our feet were so sore.
After such a challenging couple of days hiking, we weren't going to give up, and soon we found ourselves back in the town of Buea where our guide was waiting to lead us to the finish line.
Low and behold, to our delight, the finish line happened to be an awesome little bar, where we were truely able to celebrate our achievement with a refreshing beverage
By the time the whole group had made it to the end, we were enjoying our drinks and admiring the locals on television who were, that same day, taking part in the 'Race of Hope', which involves couragous locals running up to the summit of Mt Cameroon and back down again. Amazing, just the thought of it. What we did in three days took the winner of the race, four hours and ten minutes to complete. Crazy Cameroonians.
We had hiked the mighty Mt Cameroon! As we drove out of Limbe the following day, we were still on a high, but we could feel all the muscles in our bodies, they really hurt. As we reminisced about our time climbing Mt Cameroon, we could see Mt Cameroon in the mist, and in the mist for now it would stay.