Monday, 1 February 2016

14 Jan 16. Climbing Mt Stanley, Ruenzori Mountains, Uganda - Day 4 Bugata Camp to Hunwick Camp

14 Jan 16. Day 4 - Bugata Camp (4062) to Hunwick Camp (3974), 6.2 km. 6 ½ hours.

I had yet another disrupted night sleep but was nice and warm with my hot waterbottles. I was up at 0710 and packed.  Breakfast was coffee,  porridge and pancakes which I couldn't finish.  I quite enjoyed the peace of brushing my teeth looking over the lake.  We took a team photo and then left at 0830. 

We headed up a steep hill stopping often for Anna Marie to rest.  We were still in the zone where the fire came through in 2011 which meant the trees were bare of vegetation but the greenery had come back on the ground in most places. Looking down the valley we could see Lake Africa though I couldn't really see the similarity.





Fantastic scenery and great spot for a camp. Matt and Nicola looking back down.

Barren from the 2011 fire




It was a big climb up but the views made it worthwhile. We went to 4250 meters and took lots of photos. The trail then flattened out and we entered the area where the fire had not gone through and slogged through the mud across the flats for a while before climbing again through interesting terrain and mossy rocks. We reached Bamwanjara Pass at 4450 meters. It started to rain and got cold so I put my rain coat on for the first time.




Fooling around

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More mud


It is like we are on another planet




We then started the steep descent and Enrok showed us a dead leopard from several years ago - would rather have seen a live one but they are extremely rare. I was surprised there were leopards here.  The descent continued for another 45 minutes. When we reached a flat meadow and saw beautiful Sunbirds on the Giant Lobelia. We stopped for lunch which was potatoe salad I had my second toilet stop of the day, definitely well hydrated and my body was adjusting to altitude by losing body fluids in the most efficient manner.  After lunch we were on the flat in a swamp for 10 minutes and then the vegetation closed in,  thought it was still muddy.


Bamwanjara Pass at 4450 meters

Dead Leopard

The steep descent begins




Looking down at the flat where we had lunch

Looking back at what we just came down

The terrain started to get rocky and we undulated along a hill. It was difficult going and unusually for me I slipped a few times, starting to get affected by the altitude. We came to a beautiful Lake (Kachope Lakes) with mirror reflection of surrounding cliffs which lasted for 5 minutes before the wind came up ruining the reflection. Beside the lake we were having to jump rom rock to rock which was hard going. Once through the rock field it was  another 15 minutes undulating and some very tasty blackberrys later we saw two more lakes through the mist. Then there was another step slippery descent involving some interesting ladders and across an open swamp where we could see Mt Baker and the glacier on this mountain. 


Kachope Lakes


Rock hopping.







Once across the swamp it was then a final steep muddy climb to the camp at 1430 hours. I was happy to see the camp as I was starting to get a bit tired after a hard day clambering over rocks, roots and through mud. It was also nice to be a little lower in altitude than last night to get a little relief and acclimatization. I didn't have a headache today which is a good sign for acclimatisation.

The camp was in a big bowl looking at the two mountains, Baker and Stella. and surrounded by steep hills. There were two accommodation huts, a dining hut and the kitchen where the Porters hung out.  The toilet was downhill on a rickety boardwalk but an improvement over the rock camp.





On arrival I once again made the most of the fantastic service and handed my trousers, socks and waterproof trousers to the porters to clean.   After coffee I walked around taking photos.  The South Africans made a fire and we sat around talking until dinner. Dinner was a chicken and vegetable soup followed by pene pasta and vegetables which was nice but missing something - meat. At 2000 we were in bed and I read until 2150 then a final toilet for the night and into my toasty sleeping bag with two hot water bottle, my own and the one provided.


Sitting around the fire



The bunk hut

Hot drinks in the dining hut

2 comments:

  1. By looking at your pictures, Its showing that you people had amazing camping from Bugata Camp to Hunwick Camp. You people got a chance to watch the mesmerzing views and beauty of nature.

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