Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

The treacherous mountain climb


My quads are so sore that walking down stairs has become the greatest challenge of the day. And, even though it hurts to move, it’s even worse to sit like a statue cause then trying to even sneeze after a period of unmovable stillness is a nightmare.

I went hiking yesterday.

My day started at 5.30am – something that hasn’t happened since I woke up to cram during the last few precious hours before my final Psychology Honours exam in November 2006.  It’s probably also worth mentioning at this point that I faced 9km of pretty crazy mountain climbing with about two hours of sleep on my side. Actually, thinking back on it, that number is greatly exaggerated.

And so it happened that I found myself making tuna, cheese and avo rolls (hiking lunch) for three guys and myself at 6.15 in the morning while hallucinating of what life might be like if I had exercised my right to say ‘No’.
But then Matt pulled out the 1 x awesome hiking food pack which consisted of a bag of salted and roasted mixed nuts (I have an obsession with almonds), Energade jelly sweets (they’re really good), yoghurt snacker bars and mini cheddars. Okay, maybe this day wasn’t going to be so disastrous after all. And besides, I was making the most mouthwatering sandwiches ever created. I could do this.

Willows arrives. He looks pretty tired, which delights me because at least I’m not alone in this. Matt and Geebs are freaks – they’re oddly cheerful and it’s starting to confuse me terribly. But Willows works for the guys that make Red Bull. And right now, that means Willows is my favourite person on planet earth.

And so we’re off. Matt is just about bouncing off the walls like a gummy bear due to a protein shake, peanut cluster chocolate bar (Geebs is my all time fave superhero for buying us these) and a red bull. The clock hasn’t even struck 7.30am yet. The treacherous mountain has nothing on us. We meet the rest of the crowd and everyone is amped. We’re going to kill this lump of rock. Or as Geebs puts it, “We’re going to walk. HARD!”

It’s 2pm and we’ve just hiked 9km. We’ve encountered mud, massive they-can’t-be-from-planet-earth rocks, moss, a river, scary plunge-to-your-death ledges and somehow managed to survive 40 minutes of watching Matt sit on a rock psyching himself up to jump four meters and conquer his vertigo fear. I’m so thirsty I drink a two liter bottle of Valpre and find myself disappointed when I finally drain the last sip. And my shins are killing me. I can literally feel the bruises appearing. I feel great. Dirty but amazing.

The funniest thing about hiking is listening to the conversation that happens while hiking up the mountain. On the way down, everyone is concentrating so hard on not keeling over and dying that there’s very little talking that happens.

Here’s some snippets of what was heard on the way up:
–    “So after listening to the song for like four minutes, you still don’t know who let the dogs out?”
–    “Whatever! Girls don’t fart. I dated Claire for two years and she didn’t fart once.”
–    “You make your own handbags? That’s amazing!”
–    “Note to self don’t change for anyone. Note to self don’t die.”
–    “I have the unedited Wolverine movie with no special effects”. “Dude, why would you want to watch that?”
–    “No, I’m not watching Monsters vs Aliens with you because Ice Age was crap.”

Note to self: Go hiking more often.

Hiking tips:
1.    Always walk with someone who knows where they’re going. I get lost in Spar. If you’re the same, make sure you walk fast enough to keep up with the person who actually knows where they’re going. Either that or find someone kind and patient. Or go Muay-Thai training for a month before and then bull-dozer your way down with someone who has a now-now-now personality. (Note: If you’re this kind of person, please contact me urgently. We’re looking for a hiking companion for Geebs. None of us can keep up with him. Because he’s a freak.)
2.    Wear long pants. They won’t stop the bruises, but they’ll prevent scratches from those irritating scratchy bushes.
3.    Take a long cotton top and a light raincoat.
4.    Get some decent sleep the night before. It makes getting out of bed easier.
5.    Be prepared to be stiff the next day.
6.    Go with lots of guys and make them carry your back pack.
7.    Be in charge of making the sandwiches. That way you know they’ll be good when you reach the top.
8.    Take a camera. Or make someone else take theirs.
9.    Check the weather. I heard hiking in the rain is crap. I believe it.
10.    If possible, hike with hot guys. At least then there’s always something good to look at.


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