What if they gave a hike and nobody came? This was the thought of the two of us waiting at the meeting point at 7am, but three latecomers soon swelled the ranks enough for us to give up all ideas of cancelling and going back to bed. We did all set off in quite a sombre mood though, having passed by the scene of a seemingly-fatal motorcycle accident along the Doi Saket Rd.
We started hiking just before 08.15, and one group member
managed to keep her feet dry at some of the 14 stream crossings by cadging a piggyback
from an obliging porter.
Others wore sandals or just got wet boots. A slight detour (aka bushwhacking) – just before the point where the trail actually left the stream to start steeply up the ridge – added about 20 minutes on to the hike but the small group made good time and even took a detour to the cliff top viewpoint a little off the main route just before the plateau. Good views down into the valleys, but too misty to see (from) the highest points of the ridges.
Someone had very kindly hacked a route for us through the head-high fern garden right at the start of the plateau, so we reached the misty and chilly summit stupa well before noon and had a quick lunch before coming to the unspoken but unanimous decision that warming up again by walking was more important than rest. The goat track down from the summit was negotiated without incident, after we decided not to hunt for the new ‘bypass’ in the mist. The level-ish ridge walk then passed quickly and we found that the final steep downhill, often slippery, section was pretty dry, but also so overgrown that slips were still a danger. (Hope your hand and situpon get better soon, Anders.)
Total hike time just under 6 hours, back to the cars just after 2pm. Recommendations for next time include (1) not needing to meet/start quite so early, (2) waiting until the rainy season is well over before negotiating this stream/overgrown trail again, and (3) not trusting all the signs you meet. Still a great hike though.”
Filed under: Hike Reports