| 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.'
next part of the climb is real hard work with over two hundred
switchbacks on scree at night.'
asked Amir 'and what's
scree? You're giving me another headache here!'
'What's a switchback?'
'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.'
is made up of tons of little rocks. They're loose and easy to
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.'