Day 5: Climbing Adams Peak
We were up and starting our climb in the dark at 2.30am (!!!) and we had met a couple on their honeymoon who joined us as well which was lovely to have a chat whilst we embarked on our climb. The guide was very good at telling us how far we had left to go and facts about this pilgrimage that Buddhists and people of Sri Lanka make.
As it was not peak season it was not very busy on our climb - which was 1000m UP!!! And comprised of 5,831 steps of varying steepness and 4 different types! We made it up to the top by 5am awaiting the sunrise and were a little disappointed as it was starting to cloud over (this is the issue out of season!) but at least it was not raining. What it was though - was BALTIC! Make sure you pack a change of top so the sweat doesn't dry cold on you after the climb and hat, gloves and warm clothing as you wait for the sun to rise. We did get a glimmer of first light which was great but didn't stay for more than an hour as the guide said it would not get any better. So we enjoyed the view on the way down... when we got out of the clouds!
It was interesting to hear that during peak season, especially on public holidays or when it is a full moon, it can take 5 hours just to do the last part as it is so packed!! And its a step every 30minutes.... wow. So although the weather was going to be hit and miss. I would much rather it this way. And given that I have never climbed a peak this size before I was very proud of my achievements!
About Adams Peak (Sri Pada)
At the top of this peak around 110BC a King found what was believed to be Buddha's footprint here. In the 14th Century the explorer Marco Polo visited and stated what a treacherous climb it was. It has become a pilgrimage for more than 1000 years with the season starting on the Poya Day in December through to the Vesak Festival in May.
Was everything I had read about... shakey legs and endless endless stepping down!! Luckily it was light so you could take in the view around you!