All the alps songs are stuck in my head now- “ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low” and “TROUBLE TROUBLE TROUBLE” in jack’s voice, “don’t listen to a word I say… hey!!”, doe a deer and our group’s song- the man who can’t be moved! I’m in taiwan now but gonna post about alps first to kinda wrap up the journey (though there’s still reflections and tons of photos to sort through haha)
So… pitching tents, sleeping, waking up, cooking, eating, cleaning, walking, peeing, farting (LOL but really it was a big part of the experience) literally doing everything with my teammates for those 14 days, 9 of which were up in the mountains. I was quite scared before the trip cos I didn’t really know anyone well and as a team we weren’t close at all so didn’t know how it would end up. But turns out I didn’t need to worry cos they’re super fun people but also all really nice!
In the mountains my daily routine went something like this: most nights wake up at 1am ish cos I need to pee but it’s too cold and dark to go out so hold it in and try to go back to sleep, repeat a few times until 5ish where it’s bright enough then go pee (and be wowed by the sunrise) then go back to sleep. Around 6/7 get woken up by the leaders for the day, the sun rises really early so even at 6 it’s already v bright and easy to get up! Everyone is super slow to get out in the morning so usually it’s me and jack + some other people getting out first and starting water boiling, then cook oats/ make hot drinks for people. Breakfast usually = oats but somehow we always overcook so everyone gets super full and sick of it though sometimes we had chocolate oats/ oats with honey and banana chips which were better! Some days we had cereal with instant milk or bread with a lottt of nutella plus peanut butter plus milo powder hahaha. Yeah so eat breakfast then by then it’s less cold already so go back to tent to change out of thermals and pack up my own stuff. And help with finishing up food though the guys (esp ryan ong) do most of that LOL. Then help to pack up everything and unpitch our tents then gather to start the day’s hike! I think out of the 9 days there wasn’t a single day where we managed to meet our own starting off time hahahaha
Then the hike itself! We usually start off around 9 or 10am then walk until anywhere between 2 and 6+pm depending on the route for the day. The first two days were very long cos we weren’t used to it and took our time with lots of breaks in between, but 3rd day onwards we reached campsite much earlier cos the routes were easier, we took a lot less breaks and we started packing lunch in the morning to save time! So yeah we’d just keep walking but have some breaks- bags down “eat drink pee” breaks every hour or if someone needs to stop for something, and 1min standing breaks in between. Jack weideng and I were the navigators but usually two of them walked in front cos I’m slower D: but one or two of the easier terrain days I navigated! You just have to follow the tracks/ some parts need to find the track cos it’s not very obvious and know where to turn at junctions, but it’s not that easy cos you only have a map and compass and sometimes it’s hard to estimate how much we’ve walked- average speed is supposed to be 2km/h but it really depends on the terrain cos some days we can go over 4km/h but for like inclines it’s v slow. We got lost a few times LOL but not when I was navigating ok!! But anyway yeah I walked at different parts of the line and talked to different people which was nice! Distracted ourselves with the countries/brands/food/etc game, played 20 questions with jeremiah and evonne, talked to the teachers one of the days and even discussed religion with shaun. So we’d walk until a nice spot or when everyone’s hungry then stop for lunch which is always wraps- sausage/tuna/salami/spam plus lettuce or cucumber plus cheese. Sounds meh but our wraps are always really good, partly cos we’re hungry but also the cheese melts and becomes v nice!!!
Yeah so after lunch continue walking until we reach campsite, then pitch tents and if we’re early we get to slack around a bit! One of the days mr goh brought us to a snow patch to play :D we had a massive snowfight until everyone’s hands were frozen hahaha super fun! And at edmondson hut we had a campfire and roasted marshmallows on legit sticks heh I’m v good at roasting marshmallows!! Other people kept getting theirs burnt/ dropped into the fire lolol. So anyway we start cooking dinner around 5 then try to finish before the sun sets (sunlight hours are very long there like from 6am to 8.30pm). We usually have v good food thanks to shaun our food i/c and resident chef haha though he spams pepper and thyme in everything, and esp for porridge stuff or soup it’s just msg overdose :X and day 3 where we tried cooking mac and cheese which was the worst dinner ever hahaha ended up playing number game but we were still left with some huge bag of disgusting leftovers eww. But other than that dinners were good! Then we take turns to wash up. Oh at first everyone used their own bowls and utensils for every meal, but I started this system where we just used like 5 of the bowls which could stack nicely together, so just 1 person keeps that stack of bowls + some cutlery, then every meal we just share them so it’s less troublesome to take out and keep and much less stuff to wash! Communal eating = efficiency haha :D
And that’s about it lor every night we have debrief then go back to our tents usually by 10+! At some campsites we pitched our tents in a “village” ie. quite close together and it’s v quiet up there so you can hear other people talking at night, clarie and I just more or less immediately go sleep but sometimes we eavesdropped on other people hahaha they talk so much and so loud!!
Speaking of clarie, I really couldn’t have asked for a better tentmate heh in her own words: “taking star photos, unpitching and pitching our tents, starting breakfasts, collecting water Pocahontas style, washing our face in the stream, pausing to take photos, taking turns to appear in group photos, switching cameras, plotting macro shots, strategically positioning insects on flowers to satisfy our photolust! Talking at night before we sleep about SL and SL HAHA, sharing dinners/ breakfasts, swapping trail mix gummies and jelly beans!” :))
Ok I wanna post this already so yup overall I really enjoyed the trip!!! Some days were extremelyyyy tiring especially the inclines I died on day 7 but there were tons of fun moments with my austistic teammates hahahaha and all the scenery up there is just wowww. Go watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxEh85Gzmnw super nice timelapse taken by mr chong!! I should’ve taken a timelapse of stars omgg my only regret D: the night sky is really amazing
So glad I went for this instead of math o hahaha joining alps = best decision of the year! :D