teen books
Kili Climb
by Hilary Williamson
(page 6)

Even as I talked, I remembered how it felt in my dream. We were supposed to rest but no-one was able to sleep. Even with ski jackets, hats and mittens, we were freezing cold and kept shivering.

'Why did we - I mean they - have to go on in the middle of the night? Why didn't they wait till the morning?' asked Lizzie.

'They wanted to see the sun rise from the rim of Kibo crater. You have to start at midnight. And it's bad to stay so high for very long. They say you should climb high, sleep low to avoid mountain sickness.'

'This next part of the climb is real hard work with over two hundred switchbacks on scree at night.'

'What's a switchback?'

asked Amir 'and what's scree? You're giving me another headache here!'

'Switchbacks are the zig zags you make when you climb sideways back and forth on a steep slope. It's easier than trying to go straight up.'

'Scree is made up of tons of little rocks.  They're loose and easy to slide down.

I knew that because I did slide down - a long way down.  It felt just like slipping down a ski slope and I was enjoying myself till I remembered that I had to climb all the way back up. It was still dark when I started again and it felt like forever before I caught up with the rest of the group. Then the sun came up and made it all worthwhile.

Lizzie cleared her throat and I realized I'd been daydreaming again.  I went on talking -
'The guides watched the sun rise from Gillman's Point on the crater rim. They're all bundled up but they still look cold don't they? They're at 5,685 meters here.'

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