Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day #15: I Skip the Ascent; Jaguar Bait..

Setting up Camp One... after the ascent.

The 2010 Mount Durika Expedition...at Camp Two

On the trail after leaving Camp Two to return to Camp One.

I felt like I had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish by getting to Camp Two. What I really wanted to see were Jaguar tracks. And I saw plenty of those (still gives me goose flesh to think about it).

The plan was to get up and leave Camp Two at 6:30 am in order to make the four hour round trip hike to the Summit. Then we would break camp and hike down to Camp One--another five hour hike.

I didn't have the energy to do that. Too much for the Michael Mooreish body. So I opted out of the Summit climb.

Instead, I stayed in camp, at 9800 feet--in the jungle--by myself--with Jaguar tracks (fresh!) all around me. I felt like that Goat that pops out of the ground in "Jurassic Park", chained to a tether, saying "neigh", as the Goat waits for T-Rex to come eat him. Every branch that moved in the jungle startled me.

I didn't want to wander off too far from within sight of the Camp, because one of our guides had become disoriented in the jungle the day before. He was the last person in our single file line--and had turned the wrong way after we had started up from a rest stop. Ian found him 30 minutes later, going the wrong way on the trail. And this guide (who is a wonderful person!) had climbed the mountain 8 times before! Anybody can get disoriented easily out in the jungle. We encountered that first hand. You have to be very skilled to find your way.

So I stayed within sight of camp and waited for the Jaguar to come and eat me. I tried to dry my clothes while waiting for my imminent demise.

When the group returned from having a glorious time on the Summit--Ian said he thought I would be adopted by a family of 300 pound Tapirs.

So we broke Camp and scooted down the Green Wall to Camp One. Muddy. Filthy. I adopted the strategy of scooting down (Toboggan fashion) on my butt. I just slid down the wall, not caring if I got muddy or not. Seemed safer.


Katherine Darrow said...

Congratulations Allan! What will your next wilderness adventure be?

Allan Stellar said...

Hi Kathy,

The next wilderness adventure? My goal is to have one major outdoorsey experience a month this year. Been thinking about taking a trip down your way to do Bright Angel...but first these blood blisters under the nails of both of my great toes need to heal. :(