1. It’s dark. Real dark. In fact, all you see during the hike up are stars, flashlights, and the dirt your light shines on. This is a good thing though, because if you could actually see the scrambling you were doing, you may end up turning right around.
2. It’s cold. Real cold. If you’ve been spending the last while at the beach, nothing can prepare you for the chill you’ll feel when the winds rip across your sweat covered clothing, freezing it to ice and causing you to shiver uncontrollably. Ok, it’s not actually that bad, but bring a windbreaker. You’ll take it off on the way up but be thankful you have it at the top. A toque would be helpful too!
3. They feed you breakfast, but don’t eat the egg right away. Just in case you didn’t follow number 2, the hot boiled egg will provide some much needed warmth in your near frozen extremities. Keep it safe, and when it’s cooled down the protein will give you strength for the climb back down.
4. You may not actually see the sunrise. Climbing the 1717 meters to the top and not seeing what you came for can definitely be disheartening. Just keep in mind, it’s not the guide’s fault (they have the pictures and all the excuses to prove that sometimes there is a sunrise worth making the climb for). You on the other hand have the pictures to prove you made it to the top, and as you go down and look back up, you feel exceptionally proud that you managed to climb all that you did… in pitch black.
5. Insist on going all the way to the top. The majority of guides will stop 20 minutes short of the peak, probably due to the frigid cold and the incessant complaining of their trekees. Whether there is a sunrise or not, there’s a sign and photo op that congratulates all your hard work that you can use as bragging rights with all your friends.
**Sooo, congratulations Matt and Dossa for showing us up and scoring that awesome picture worth bragging about. Lesson learned.