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  • Roy

One hours sleep and an egg!!

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Maybe a step too far in hindsight but I started so I'll be finishing..

In the year between my first mountain and the main topic of this post I'd summited the 15 Welsh 3000ft mountains, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and back to Snowdonia numerous times. In April 2022 I met my now fiancee Charlotte who invited me out to Egypt the following month, after an initial hesitation i accepted the offer with one caveat... if I went to Egypt i needed to climb Egypt's highest mountain Mount Catherine.

Plans were put into action and at 2am following a single hours sleep I was collected from Cairo and driven 5 hours deep into the Sinai, through numerous army and police checkpoints to Saint Catherine where i was introduced to my Bedouin guide Moussa.. a few cups of Jasmine Tea and we were off.

It didn't take long to realise I'd bitten off much more than I can chew.. the heat, the elevation and the lack of sleep were taking there toll. Unlike my adventures in the UK where the mountains are generally right in front of your face.. Mount Catherine was a good 12km hike before your reached it's base.. 12km in 30 degree heat, little sleep and not enough fuel.. i was on my arse!!

We stopped midway at a little cave with a natural spring, Moussa used the opportunity to rustle up some sweet Jasmine tea and get a nap.. I used the opportunity to empty my stomach, not having any toilet paper I had to use a brand new pair of designer pants to clean up.. if anyone finds them, sorry, not sorry... desperate times call for desperate measures.

Recharged we set off again.. I felt for Moussa having to constantly stop because the big lumbering idiot he was guiding hadn't done his homework.. the ascent was relentless, my hips were giving up and I'd ran out of energy long before.. if i was going to summit, i needed resilience and to ignore my bodies screaming.

We summited at around 6pm, we were the only people on the mountain, no phone signal, just Moussa and I in little wooden shack near the summit. Everything was cramping up and the wooden floor which would become my bed for the evening offered little in the way of comfort.

Moussa pulled dinner out of his rucksack.... boiled eggs and a cooked chicken, out of his rucksack!! I knew i was going to be in trouble but I needed sustenance, a few days later the world fell out of my backside and led to months of issues, to be discussed in further posts.

Lessons learnt... do your homework, fuel properly, make sure you sleep the night before.. Charlie Big Bollox, definitely got this one wrong and paid the price, Mount Catherine isn't a technical climb, far from it... however it is a long hike and much more preparation was needed

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