We faced death square in the eye. This one moment would be the scariest in my life. And it stretched on for what felt like an eternity. But the story begins somewhere else. Somewhere warmer and less death-y. A few months prior to this we had started up a group on Whatsapp. A group to act as a channel for our many frustrations. I am lucky in the sense that I get to work with some of my closest friends. And the conversations went on in this group.
It was an all-boys club. About 15 guys who would just talk about everything and anything that would be on top of their minds. A platform for sharing memes and venting about work. And then suddenly it became more than that one fateful Saturday afternoon.
The plan was simple. The boys would get together over the weekend and climb a mountain.It was meant to be an escape. A metaphorical obstacle to surmount in place of the real ones that plagued our lives. On Friday night we assembled at one house and prepared for the trip. Food, drinks, video games and laughter were shared. Brilliant by any standards.
The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn. The crack of dawn is not pretty. It was a chilly and wet morning and nature seemed determined to ruin this trip before it even started. As the drizzle covered the earth in misery, we got into four cars and left the city. Nothing was going to get in our way. This was going to happen come hell or high water. Turns out we were going to get both.
The drive was fantastic. Lively conversation and wisecracks from people half drunk on wine and the idea of a weekend of possibility. Mercifully the clouds cleared as we descended into the belly of the Rift Valley and Mt. Longonot came into view. Our destination was set. Breath taking is the only way you can describe Longonot. A play of superlatives. Suffice to say it’s a visual masterpiece.
The climb was largely uneventful save for the melodrama of an individual who shall not be named. “Go on without me. I will only slow you down.” He shouted at us as he writhed on the ground halfway up the mountain. Victim to a hangover after downing endless glasses of wine. (Picture a male version of Courtney Cox in Cougar Town only darker, fatter and nothing like Courtney Cox apart for a penchant for drinking wine out of an over-sized wine glass)