It wasn’t easy to sleep in that cold night with the noisy roommates. The light was still on and they were still talking until it was around 9pm. The worst part was that we had to wake up before 2am for breakfast and continue for another 3 hours hike to the summit. But my roommates were already awake and getting ready at 1, so I probably only had about 5 hours of sleep. And trust me, 5 hours of sleep after a 6 hours hike was not enough. But we need to get ready eventually and started hiking again around 2.30am.
The hike to summit was even harder than the 6 hours hike from the gate. The dark night and the starry sky. It made me sleepy. It felt like sleep walking with heart beating so hard I had to stop for every few steps I took. And whenever I stopped I would feel myself asleep standing there.
It took us longer than expected to get to the summit. When the sun started to rise, we were about 200 meters from the summit. It wasn’t too bad and the view was equally great from that point. Everything was beautiful, the rocky summits, the sunrise, the clouds, the rocky mountain floor, the wind.
I stopped there couldn’t gather myself to walk up another step. But my hike mates were so determined to get to the top, so they hiked on and I decided to wait for them at the mini summit of mine. But it was too cold to stay there so my guide advised me to walk down first and wait at the summit gate instead (half an hour descent from the summit).
We all were crazy tired when we get back to the resting point at Laban Rata. I tried to swallow as many food as possible before another journey back to the park entrance. It would take us another 5 hours of going down the hill.
It surely felt easier to go downhill than to climb up. But surely the illusion was just for a few moments. Going down hill didn’t come with the lack of air problem. But the weight we put to our knees was soon become the major slowing factor. It was less resting for air but traded with the enduring pain on the legs.
When we got to the main gate after four and half hours later, our legs were all shaky and weak, but glad that we are at the bottom and there were cars to transport us around.
It was exhausting but I was glad I did it. After another heavy late lunch and hot shower, I tucked myself into bed and slept through till the next morning.