kip kener

kylie's mom has arrived safely in kapsowar and spent her first day here enjoying our backyard and meeting people in the hospital. on her second day here we decided it would be nice to do a little hike. ?(un)fortunately the stars aligned for us to climb kip kener, the highest mountain peak in our immediate vicinity.
kip kener from just outside our house

our friends abraham and timothy agreed to guide us and assured me that we could get up in 2 hours and back in 4. a nice climb like this should challenge cherri and kylie but not exhaust them eh? after all cherri is a fast walker and keeps pretty fit. (reenforced lesson: don't believe kenyans when they talk about time)

we started our day early with front door matatu service. the matatu drove us to a nearby town on the other side of the mountain. abraham and i had made the arrangements and we had a nice multiethnic climbing group comprised of kenyans, sudanese, ethnic chinese (hong kong and singapore) and a sprinkling of canadians. the plan was to ascend the peak, eat lunch and then complete a nice 4 hour jaunt through the jungle back to kapsowar.

the first part of the hike was gorgeous... we climbed through tropical rainforest, complete with vines and monkeys. spirits were high and the pace was quick (except when cherri stopped to take her pictures - which apparently require a good 2 minutes to frame correctly). we took one wrong turn that resulted in a half hour detour but we remained resolute.

as the elevation grew (kip kener is well over 10,000 feet) the landscape changed dramatically. we entered a large section of bamboo forest, and then a grove of old thick gnarled trees that looked like they came right out of grimm's fairy tales.

at this point kylie and cherri were getting a bit grumpy and cherri tried to give up but i wouldnt let her... the group needed to stay together and they needed to do this at the top of kip kener.
kylie and cherri at a viewpoint halfway up the moutain

cherri contemplating quitting

finally, after much mud slogging and slipping we reached the peak and a beautiful rocky outcropping where we ate our lunch. the view was incredible, with a 400m drop literally at our feet.

rested and refueled we began our return journey, however it was soon apparent that the hike out would take much longer than the predicted 4 hours. energy levels were waning and we had to push through brush on overgrown and extremely muddy trails. half way home we enjoyed a brief respite in a beautiful communal pasture, but this was followed by over an hour of steady uphill on the way back to kapsowar.

just after the peak of our hikeout, when we were getting close to home and tempers (ie. kylie and cherri's) were reaching the breaking point it began to rain... and not just sprinkle either. it was the hardest afternoon rain we have witnessed in our time here. the path we were following quickly morphed into a rushing creek and kylie's mood progressed still further in a negative direction.

after walking in the pelting rain and mud for about 20 minutes we reached the sanctuary of a local church. here we waited out the worst of the rain, rested and put on the driest clothes we had left. once the rain had slowed we made a break for it and finished our hike in the dark. our 6 hour jaunt had turned into a 10 and a half hour slog and we were SOAKED! i quite enjoyed the whole thing (except for the evil eyes boring into my back) and kylie and cherri at least enjoyed the first half.
as the planner and ultimate executor of this excursion i take full responsibility for all the misery and dampness and any clothing that was ruined. sorry cherri. however, neil and dawn, i want you to let me know as soon as cherri starts bragging about this experience.


Mama Bear said...

amazing jungle pics! I'm sure that kyle and cherri will look back on that hike as a full-on accomplishment. I know I would.

Lowell & Julie said...

Hmmm, reminds me of a certain visit to Chilliwack when immediately after we FINISHED a hike (on the first day of our week-long vacation) SOMEONE said, "Man, the first time we did the hike, we couldn't walk for like a week!"

Which, apparently, turned out to be very accurate.

Thanx for the 411 in advance there bro;)

But good for you guys for finishing! Now you have the story to tell and the pictures to prove it.

J :)

Anonymous said...

Dad mentioned that Cherri had not been in Kapsowar long enough to be acclimatized to your altitude, never mind the steep climb. As Julie said, it reminded us of our climb of Mt.Vedder. We are forewarned!
Love Dad and Mum

michaelia and jason said...

Well, I certainly understand Kylie and her mom's grumpiness- I'd be the same. But I'd still be pretty proud of the accomplishment. Great pictures (especially the Grimms Forest one).

diana said...

My fav pix is Kylie in the rain... which fingers are you holding the stick with?? I can't blame you, Kylie. I would feel exactly the same.

Awesome experience!


diana said...

Ps. Man I miss you guys!

Mama Bear said...

hey, i didn't even notice that kylie was flipping the bird until diana pointed it out.
i'm now sensing the anguish ;)

marcandorkylie said...

thanks for the comments guys. mom and dad, it was elk that made you sore and cherri was actually pretty mobile the next day.

and regarding the various birds we saw on our trip: i'm not sure which particular avian you are referring to but remember that we are missionaries (it was subtle, but thanks for making it obvious).

we are leaving to travel for a week or so this morning so we'll have more news in a while.

Anonymous said...

Okay Cherri, I'm in the better beginnings office and hope that you get back safely ... I wasn't worried until I read this today! No more hikes through tropical forests! Have you met a nice black man yet?