If I had known that we would have to start at 6:30 (which meant waking up at 6…..our usual wake up time is always after 8) I might have had second thoughts but seeing the sunrise while climbing made it all worth it.
We were really lucky and it was only Andy and I in our group with our own private guide. The first section was up by ski-lift which I was very very grateful for as it saved an hour and a half of steep climbing. After the ski-lift we hit a very steep gravel uphill and climbed up for about 2 and a half hours until we hit glacier.
The guide set a steady slow pace which I was very gratefull for as my husband is known to blaze up mountains somehow expecting everyone else to keep up. At the glacier it was time for crampons.
With the crampons attached to our boots we carried on going up and up for about another hour and a half. (At this stage my legs started to sting a bit but I kept a brave face and tried not to let it show too much….. the guide and Andy just seemed to take it in their stride….think I may have to do a bit more gym work when we get home if I want to keep this up!!!!).
After the glacier we took a lunch break and then hit loose volcanic rock. It was still straight up for about another hour and a bit of a scramble as the rocks were not very secure.
I had my first little slide here (only to be followd by 3 further falls later in the day leaving me with a very bruised leg and a broken toenail which I managed to get to stick together with a very thick layer of nail polish once we were home.)
We started to smell the sulphur quite close to the top and when we finally got there it was awesome. The view was magnificent. I can’t quite put into words what it felt like so hopefully these pictures will express it better.
Getting down was even more exciting. The volcanic rock on the way down was a little nerve racking and then we hit the glacier. This was so much fun as there was a long slide all the way to the bottom of the glacier. So onto our bottoms we got and down we slid (Andy much faster than me……). It was well worth the wet pants!!!!!
Then a scramble down the last bit of sandy gravel with a spectacular sand dive (by accident for the forth time) on the last stretch and we had made it!!!!!
It was an awesome day and one I will remember for a long time (I just hope my stiff legs will forget it sometime soon, the toenail will mend and the bruises will disapear before I have to show them in public again otherwise someone might consider me a bruised and battered wife…..)