Before Adam’s Peak, I’ve never properly hiked up a mountain before. The closest experience was Bukit Timah Hill or Mt Faber in Singapore. I’m not very fit so I found the journey up Adam’s peak very exhausting. However, I was told that even seasoned hikers find it challenging because of the endless steps – plenty are too steep and slippery. For the benefit of other adventurous amateurs, here’s how I survived climbing Adam’s Peak.
1. Start by believing you’ll make it to the top
Like I mentioned before, positive attitude always helps. See yourself at the top with arms spread out to the side. Picture yourself walking up like a champion, and keep telling yourself, you will make it for sunrise.
2. Keep your eyes busy
It’s dark and you can’t really see much but you’ll definitely see buddhas, temples and shrines on your way up. Pray for strength if you need to. A little faith helps.
3. Consider using a walking stick.
It helps, a lot
Especially for hikers with weak joints, a walking stick will ease the pressure and make the hike a lot better. Towards the end of the climb, we were practically relying on our walking sticks to drag us to the top.
4. Make friends with fellow hikers and laugh at your misery together
Just like Michael Jackson sings, “you are not alone…“. Everyone is going through the same shit together. You’ll make friends, like we did, with some Russians, Portuguese, English, Germans etc… Hear each other swear in different languages. It actually sounds rather comforting.
5. And even make furry friends
This little one followed us all the way up and was encouraging all the hikers along the way. (thumbs up buddy)!
6. Drink up because you’re going to sweat plenty
We packed 3 litres of water for our journey and we finished it by the time we got to the bottom. Yes it will be heavy, but it’s necessary.
7. Do not ask how much longer you have to climb before you reach the top
I made this crucial mistake. The first time I asked how much further the journey will be, I was told 1 km. The next kilometre I asked the same question, and the answer was yet again, 1 km. Every time I hear it’s 1 km further, I push myself so hard only to realise it’s another “1 km” – it’s demoralising. Arghhhh! Don’t ever ask. Just climb on.
8. Instead, stop for a cup of tea
There were several pit stops and even a small cup of warm tea can help fuel up.
9. Keep reminding yourself that it’s going to be worth it
When you’re finally at the top, it will take you a moment to realise you’re actually at the top. I can remember someone shouting to us “12 more steps”. Those words felt like gold.
10. Be sure to bask in the glory of the beautiful sunrise
This was the moment everyone was waiting for. It’s really nice watching the sunrise up there with everyone, because you know for a fact every single person left and right went through the same experience. (Awwwww…)
11. And while you’re up there, remember to wrap up warm because the wind gets strong
I underestimated how cold it would be and had to buy a windbreaker before I started the climb. It only cost me 400 Rupees and it did the job (I don’t care how ugly it looks. Anything goes to keep warm.)
12. Find inner peace at the peak and give yourself a pat on the back for the effort you’ve put in
Locals actually climb Adam’s Peak for religious purpose, so while they’re praying, respect their space or have your own zen moment. It’s good to prepare yourself mentally for what’s to come… the journey back down.
13. Slowly brace yourself for the journey back down.
One step at a time. It’s harder than going up because you might just slip and slide and…
14. At least the view will make it more bearable.
Know that the sunrise isn’t the only reward you’ll get. Feels like you’re in heaven.
15. Stop to take pictures (with proper lighting, finally)
You HAVE to take pictures of the awesome moments, especially with the best companion you can ever have.
16. On top of that, you’ll get to (properly) see what you’ve walked pass in the middle of the night
Take it easy, there’s no hurry. When you go, ooo and wahhhh as you walk, it takes your mind off the painful stairs.
17. And slow down again, to take even more pictures
All for memory sake.
18. Pack some breakfast and enjoy it in front of a priceless view
You will get hungry
19. And keep on taking pictures. After all, when you’re almost at the bottom, you’ll be happier that you’ve come so far, rather than worry about how sweaty and tired you’ll look
20. Turn around and look at it again, congratulations, you’ve just conquered Adam’s Peak
The exhaustion was absolutely worth it
Peace & Love,