Mountain climbing - is it as hard as it seems?
I do not usually let people down when we've made plans, but when I woke up at 5.30am I didn’t want to go and climb a mountain. However, I had said yes, so off I went to meet the teachers and students. We drove into Slovenia and headed up the mountains until we reached the car park and I looked at it and wondered how you could walk up it as it was so steep. I was told we were going to zig zag, which is why it takes so long. So at 7.30am we began our ascent, I wore my Doctor Marten boots as my hiking boots were sadly in England, and after not long I began to realise the enormity of the task ahead. We ascended quickly meaning the oxygen levels dropped quickly and I realised it was becoming difficult to breathe. I had to keep stopping as I physically couldn’t breathe and it was making me nervous.
After a few hours, I realised this was not going to be easy in the slightest, it was just mud and rocks! It was exhausting! It took a whole 5 hours to walk to the top, I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it and I was shocked when we did. The views were amazing; we were above the clouds, surrounded by mountains. We could see Austria, Italy and Slovenia. It was surreal and I was so pleased I had done it. However then I received the bad news from one of my students: that the descent is harder. I wanted to give up, but there was no way out.
So we began the descent, it was easier to breathe but much worse underfoot. We also went a different way down, which was longer. I kept slipping and I was exhausted. My whole body ached, the others with me (who are used to climbing mountains) agreed that it was horrific and hard work. I kept falling over and my feet were throbbing as I could feel every rock. As we sat down for a rest I began to cry. I just couldn’t understand how we were going to get back, it had already been 8 hours of walking and we had run out of water. Somewhere I found the strength and managed to get down, and we were greeted with the others clapping us, it was 6.30pm and it had taken 11 hours.