07.03.2012 - 07.03.2012
We started up the mountain at 7:30. it was just the two of us and our guide: Genius. We had to make it to Laban Rata by 10am, which was 6 Indonesian kilometers away, (they feel twice as long as a normal kilometer) so we set off straight away. Genius didn't speak much English so he generally left us alone by walking ahead of us, or behind us.
We had heard from people that the climb would be tough but I think both of us were surprised with how tough it actually was. Those 6km felt like 10-15kms, no lying. Every 500m was marked with a distance sign, and by the end of the hike I hated them because they seemed too far apart, and I loved them because they meant I had less to go. Stupid signs!
By the time we reached Laban Rata it was 10:02 and I was wrecked. The 6km had basically been straight up with hardly any level places to rest the legs. It was step up after step up after step up.
I was walking faster than Kevin solely so I could rest for a minute or two until he caught up with me.
On the way up it was quite cloudy too, so we didn't really get good view of the mountain until we got near Laban Rata.
When we reached there on time we were given the go ahead to try for the top.
(I should mention at this point that it was the day after we had been caught in the rain storm, so the guides were a little wary about the weather.)
So, after a quick bite to eat and a rest for the legs we set off for the top. When we reached the gate we were told that we would have to make it to the top before the last group came down (something never mentioned to us before) which would be in 10 minutes or so (an impossible feat).
Originally we were told to reach the top by 12:30, so we thought we had two hours but now we only had ten minutes or so, ridiculous! We set off anyway and sure enough, ten minutes later we met the last group and were told by the ranger that we could only go to the base of the wall (the last big part) which we did in five minutes. We asked Genius if we could continue but he said “no”. So, we didn't actually make it to the top, but we would've had we been allowed. We were only 300m from the summit though which sucks even more.
However, the worst part was that it never rained at all that day, so we easily could've got up and down. Sickener!