I have set the alarm clock for 3:30, but this was pointless, because the others already make a lot of noise long before 3 o’clock. It does not seem that many had already thought yesterday to put the things for the ascent in order to be able to get dressed quietly in the dark. In general, we have slept little, it has become fairly quiet in our multi-bed room only long after midnight.
Accordingly tired and in a good mood I slip out of my sleeping bag and get quietly into my clothes, grab my camera bag and ultra-light backpack, say goodbye to Elisabeth and start at 3.45 from the hut. The hut is now relatively empty, who climbs today in the dark, is already gone. I expect dawn just after 5, so that should turn out well with 600 meters of altitude.
It is still pitch dark, the headlamp creates ghostly shadow figures from harmless rocks and plants. It goes over many loose stones and scree upwards. The path is marked with white paint blobs that reflect quite well when you shine a light on them. The trail itself is not always easily visible due to the nature of the ground, but it is easy to walk. I make good progress, on the mountain in front of me the light cones of the headlamps dance everywhere.
It does not take long until I overtake the first hikers and also quickly leave them behind me. And so it goes on, I overtake one team after the other, after a few days of Mafate training and without significant luggage I literally fly up the mountain. The following picture is a look back and taken just before 5 o’clock.
We eat breakfast together, I repack my equipment back into the normal backpack and 8:45 we start together in today’s hiking day – to be continued in the next post!