Team Tortoise are Cheryl, Min, Opus, Elaine and Carrie

5 torts making their slow and steady ascent up Mt Kinabalu...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Party of 5

After a few rejections, I knew better than to keep my hopes up.

In December 09, Elaine texted about having lunch. She had a little window in her super busy social calender to have lunch before the new year clicked over.

We hadn't seen each other for ages. The exact details of our lunch conversation, I forget. But the pieces started to fit. Elaine runs 10ks. She's hiked to Bhutan, Peru and all sorts of exotic locations. I wondered if she had gone to KK? Would she want to do this?

So I popped the question.

Want to climb Mountain Kinabalu in 2010?

She said yes!

Then I emailed Opus who also runs 10ks. Who also said yes!

I wasn't sure they were sure. I told them that there was no better time. Better now than when the big 40 hits us.

For Min, I asked her during a morning walk in Botanics. She had just drawn swans, catfish and terrapin. She is most happy with her sketchbook in hand and surrounded by nature.

Whatever it was, after popping the question 4 times, they agreed. First Elaine. Then Opus. Then Min and Cheryl.

I met Cheryl at a Chinese New Year gathering this year which I almost didn't go to, feeling anti social. I met my husband 19 years ago also at a party I didn't want to go to. Like most social events I don't want to go to, I tend to meet the most significant people.

The travel agent couldn't believe that everyone agreed.

They'll change their mind after seeing the photos of the staircases.

When you suggest, sure they'll say they're on...then after that all sorts of excuses.

Usually I confirm groups of 2 or 4. Pairs because the girlfriend signs up, then the boyfriend no choice has to sign up also.

So I highlighted the ugly bits.

The ugly
  • First part of the climb will be views of mountain huts and 6 hours of staircases.
  • Then we stay in unheated lodging with many people in one room and it will be very cold, 7-9 degrees with winds. Communal toilet for your enjoyment. Low water pressure in the shower.
  • Second part of climb to the summit will be in total darkness for 3 hours. More staircases and scrambling up a steep rock face where you will be holding onto a rope for your dear life and finding it hard to breathe due to the thin air.
  • And if you thought going up was bad, going down is #$!% on the knees.

And the answer was still - Yes!

I've been told that the hill top lodging is very basic (read: spartan and just bearable), but c'mon, it'll only be for a couple of hours. We should really just worry about the climb. But who ever said scaling a mountain was easy? Isn't that part of the reason why we nutters signed up for this? Haha, think of the feeling of triumph when we get to the summit! So shall we go buy some head torches? - Elaine

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