Wearing a habit while trekking is a bit of a chore. In the morning it’s below freezing and I need to wear all sorts of layers for warmth. Yet, the crew needs to break down the tents on a prescribed schedule. Thus, I really need to get back to the tent and strip off all the major layers before starting the actual hiking. So far it hasn’t created a problem, but I see storm clouds brewing as the week goes on.
Our trek to the second camp, aside from summit day, was pretty strenuous. We climbed about 2,500 feet, which in Portland would be a cakewalk. But our destination is at 12,500 feet, which means the oxygen is dramatically reduced and the work is far more fatiguing. The views were spectacular and we settled in at camp with a sweeping view of the mountain as well as the other two peaks in the range.
The other thing is the rain. On the fourth day we made it to the famed Lava Tower, an up-shoot from the mountain’s side the rose vertically. While eating lunch it started to hail and continued to do so until we descended down to our camp. The trail turned into a river of mud and I had to wear a rain poncho even though it only hailed and snowed. The poncho is only 3/4 length so the bottom half of my legs as well as the habit are exposed. You can imagine what happens to a white habit under these conditions.
I brought two habits for the trip hoping to use one for the first half of the trek and one for the second half of the trip. I had a new habit made just in time for this one, but I feel badly about breaking it in under such filthy conditions. I suspect I will wait until the summit day. There’s less mud because the base camp is above the freezing level (or, so I’m told)