Ascent of Adams Peak on 2014-12-03

Climber: Johann Schelesnak

Others in Party:Ashleigh
Date:Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Start at Home
Peak:Adams Peak
    Location:Sri Lanka
    Elevation:7359 ft / 2243 m

Ascent Trip Report

We got up around 2.30am, had a quick snack and started our hike from our guesthouse at 1300m. The weather was perfect, no rain, good temperature and we both got enough sleep. In the distance we could see the occasional lightning strike, but it didn't seem to move towards us. Our guesthouse is right on the trail towards the mountain. We had to use our headlamps as we hiked. The trail is all paved and has many, many stairs. We first stopped at a massive Buddha statue that was laying down in a cave. Most Trekkers received a white bracelets for good luck (donations highly recommended), but we didn't need luck. Other Trekkers were on the trail, but since the official pilgrimage season doesn't start until the 6th of December, it was still quiet. Many shops selling tea and snacks are lined up along the path, but most weren't open yet. The whole town is getting ready for this massive pilgrimage that attracts thousands of people annually from different religions. The trail was easy to follow and after a good half hour, the stairs began. They were steep, a couple feet high at times, making the progress up slow. We took our time, aiming to reach the summit for sunrise. Two hours later just after 5am we had reached the peak. The guidebook advised it can take between 2.5-4 hours, I guess we were on the faster side. The trail was good, and not busy so we didn't have to wait behind anyone. We arrived at Adams peak (2243m), Sri Lanka's fifth highest peak, yet the most prominent one, just in time for the sun to come up. There were many other people there as well. We took in the sun rays, as they penetrated through the clouds in the distance. The low clouds looked beautiful, making the surrounding hills pop up above them. Adams peak is most famous for the footprint that is on the summit, now hidden within a building. Some say it belongs to Adam, from when he first stepped on earth, after he was cast out from heaven. Others think it belongs to Buddha. Unfortunately the building with the famous print was closed, but it will open up soon for the many pilgrims. We stayed there for an hour before heading back down. The way down was tough, having to descend 5200 steps is hard on the knees and legs. We only stopped briefly, otherwise our legs would start to shake uncontrollably. We made it back to our guesthouse for a delicious breakfast and a much needed shower. We checked out after and went for the bus. Total of around 10,400 steps!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3094 ft / 943 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Trailhead:Dalhousie  4265 ft / 1299 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 

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