On the Move
How much will you carry?
The general mountain format is one where we carry all our own gear. In this format you will be carrying tents, sleeping bags & mats, food and personal clothing. We will be aiming to travel light but his may add up to perhaps 10kg. In the Rainforest we will travel even lighter with the need for warm layers greatly reduced. Therefore our packs may be down to 7-8kg. Carrying all your own gear can greatly enhance the experience and the sense of achievement. We will keep the ammount of equipment that we carry to an absolute (safe) minimum.
If you have any concerns regarding the ammount that you are able to carry please do speak to us. On any trip we are able to arrange for additional porters to cater for personal requirements or preferences. The use of additional porters will of course incur a supplemental fee.
Keeping in touch with home
Your mobile phone may work on parts of the mountain (slightly dependant on which network you are using) as long as you have roaming access but are unlikely to work in the rainforest. Please note you cannot charge batteries anywhere in the rainforest or on the mountain unless you bring your own backup battery/solar cell. Also note that anything delicate, absorbant or electronic is likely to suffer from the damp atmosphere, all such items should be housed in a good quality waterproof stuff sack or pouch. Ruptable maunfacturers include Sea to Summit, Ortlieb and Overboard.
Keeping dry and warm
You will begin to understand the name of the rainforest very quickly, even when it is not physically raining you are usually drenched from the humidity and from perspiration that doesn't evaporate. On the mountain waterproofs are necessary for protection, to some extent this may be against falling rain but more importantly against the wind. Particularly higher on the trail and on the mountain the wind can quickly take a damp body to low temperatures with the wind-chill effect.
Work on a ‘wet and dry’ system so that if your T-shirt gets wet during the day, you always have a dry T-shirt and warm top to change into the moment you get to camp. This is really important for morale if nothing else. Don't let people keep wet clothes on. It's such an obvious point but commonly ignored.
Generally breakfast is between 7.00am and 7.30am, and departure from camp is at 8.00am. There is a lunch at midday, tea and biscuits around 4pm and dinner at 7pm. We are likely to be on the move for most of the day but due to the terrain we will not actually travel very far. In the rainforest the path weaves up, down and around, through rivers and amongst enormous trees with mud and wet leaves under foot. Higher on the trail up the mountain we will be scrambling up rocky ground and over huge rock slabs.
The pace is generally very slow with the focus on acclimitisation to the heat and altitude and enjoyment without overly depleting energy stores and maintaining fitness rather than crossing over into levels of fatigue from which the body struggles to fully recover. This can be a very fine balance as the right level of exercise at altitude can help stimulate the body's acclimitisation mechanisms. It will be essential to maintain energy and hydration. We will stop regularly at water holes called pondoks which occur on the trail every 500m or so to fill up with water and grab a snack from our bags or pockets.
We will be constantly monitoring the weather and the condition and level of acclimitisation of the group. We build in enough spare days and flexibility to cater for a reasonable degree of the variation in both factors. It is inevitable that different people will adjust at different rates and that the weather will have a very strong influence. In the end we aim to see all the contributing factors coming together at the right time to allow a safe and enjoyable summit experience.