Adams Peak was by far one of my most treasured achievements from my trip. At 2243m high Adams Peak is a highly religious mountain with many of its legends surrounding the ‘Buddha’s foot’ impression in the rock at the top. Considered a Pilgrimage for most of the locals, as a tourist it was a chance to see some spectacular views and to participate in a wonderful experience.
At first I did take some convincing to do the hike…. which is surprising for most who know me. But I am so glad I did.
Team Photo – Start – 1am
With a 1am start, my group of six was told we wouldn’t be needing torches or a guide, which seemed puzzling for a night hike, but they were right. I think our biggest challenge was finding our way out of the car park! When we finally found the spectacularly lit path we began on our slow and steady hill climb. (After being blessed by several monks and ringing ceremonial bells).
Even in the dead of the night the route did not disappoint. The thousands of people climbing with us were fascinating and more than happy to share their stories. We encountered people well into their 90s making the trip bare foot. If you looked up you were guided by lights to a view of the top. Along the route we stopped at an unbelievable amount of tea houses and found some incredible mini shrines.
This might make the trip sound rosey, but it did have it’s downfalls. After our small hill incline we were faced with 5200 steps to the top….. Now if you have ever climbed an endless staircase you will probably be wincing at the thought of the pain those steps caused, and for those of you that haven’t… It’s gruellingly tough. (I thought my Annapurna endless stair case at 3280 steps spread over two days was bad enough). To top it all, at about 3am it chucked it down with rain. This meant that by 3.30am my waterproofs were no longer waterproof and I was soaked through. Taking refuge in the teahouses didn’t help much either as most of them leaked!
However 5 hours and a lot of perseverance later we made it to the top, where we were greeted with a sea of people all trying to visit the temple and to get a look at Buddahs footprint. Removing your wet socks for a trip inside the temple was a step too far for some. After ceremoniously ringing the bell many of the locals would begin to make the long journey back down. Although the tourists all stayed put waiting for the sunrise to hit at 6am.
I cannot put into words the truly stunning view that revealed itself as the sun rose, It took our breaths away. I honestly stood there speechless, I have never seen anything like it. Once the sun had fully risen we allowed ourselves a moment to soak it all in before making the long decent back down to the car park.
Adams peak didn’t disappoint us in the pitch black and it only continued to surprise our senses in the daylight. We all got split up on our decent and I found myself invited to a free breakfast buffet hosted by some Monks. By about 8am we had all reached the bottom and regrouped. It was a long challenging night, but well worth it. I would highly recommend doing it if you ever get the chance.
Team Photo – End – 9am