My first mountain summit
After a long and tough battle I reached the top of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, on 10-07-07 around 16:30 a clock. Originally it was my goal to go to the mountain to gather some information, scan the environment, climate etc. It took me so long to reach the mountain that I decided to walk to the top at the same day.
I was dropped of at the visitor center and went inside to ask how much km it was to the top. It turned out to be 17 km. I thought that was a task I could complete so I bought some more water and started walking. It was in the middle of the day so the sun was very hot. To hot in my opinion. The extra water I bought became very useful as well as the salted chips and chocolate that kept me going. Still after two hours I was battling not to get a heath stroke. At extreme moments like that you really learn how to be good for yourself. You have to take care of yourself otherwise you won’t make it. You have to eat, you have to drink. Even if you don’t want to.
The road went on and so did I. Occasionally I got a surprised look from people who where going up or down the mountain. What was that strange farrang doing, walking up the mountain in the heath of the day. There was a guy who approved me when he saw me battling the steep mountain road. He turned out to be Dutch like me and he turned out to become my hero of the day. He asked how I was doing and offered me a ride to the top. I rejected. Sure I would like it but then I would not be satisfied at the end. He wanted to help me though and offered to go to the top a little bit later and then wait for me there so that we both could drive back down. He turned to go visit the waterfall first and I went on with my mission.
The battle became more tough every meter and I needed to res a lot. Yet I was determined to make it and now I had a deadline. I needed to be on that mountain to at 16:00 a clock to get a nice ride back to town. I still had 9 tough km’s to go. The whole time dangerously dark clouds hang above me and I started to worry as it got later and later. Worst of all I did not have a jacket. I had bought a poncho the day before I went to the mountain but it turned out to be a child size.
Luckely I found a shop along the way and was able to buy a good sized poncho. The lady also gave me the demorilizing news that I still had to climb 5 km’s. I looked at the sky. The wether got worse. It got late and I was about to miss my deadline. I thought about giving up but could not stand that idea because I was so close to my goal. I decided to push on. The next few km’s there where a lot more moments where I thought of giving up. But I was so close..
At some point Serge, the guy that offered to help me, drove by on his way to the top. I waved but he did not notice me. I knew now that I had to hurry to the top otherwise I could be stuck on a mountain without the promise of a ride back. I was at my breaking point though. The steep parts where horrible and I had to stop every 50 meter to stop the burning feeling in my legs. Every time the road got steep there was a warning sign and I strarted to hate it. Every once in a while a different sighn showed me how much km it was to the top, 5, 4, 3..
The view was breathtaking but I could not bring up the power anymore to look or make pictures. I was determined to reach the top thinking of nothing. Just one step after another. Just as I thought the last 2 km whould demolisch my body. Serge came back from the top. He told me I was almost there. Where did those last two km’s go? He offered me a ride again. I told him I would walk. We went around the corner and there it was the summit. Yet I was so broken down I did not even had the energy to be uforic.
We made some photo’s as prove. It was great that Serge could make them. How would I be able to make those pictures on my own. Serge turned out to be even more of a hero by driving me all the way back to the center of Chang Mai. As soon as we reached Chang Mai, the sky bursted open and rain came down on us in buckets. We got soken weth but I could not be more thankfull that those could that where hanging abouve me did not burst open earlyer that day.
It was an exting day and a great adventure. We celebrated with beers that night. Step ! of my goal was accomplished.