Day four started early for me, just over midnight after about 2 hour sleep. I felt like there were fireworks in my stomach and really didn’t feel good. My stomabag was also full and for the next hours I just laid in my bed trying to be comfortable along with going a couple of times to the bathroom. I finally managed to fall asleep and in total slept for about 3-4 hours. I realized that the energy gel that I took in twice the day before was something that I really, really could not handle. I even got soars in my mouth because of it.
And so, day four didn’t start well and as I woke up I was having diarrhea. In short that means it is really difficult for me to get in energy as the food only stops for 1-2 hours in my body. In addition to that, I needed a lot more fluid and food than usual. Regretfully I didn’t realize this when we took off.
Thankfully day four was always planned to be relatively easy as we would go up on two easy, nontechnical, peaks and would not have to return down as the hut we would sleep in was on top of the later peak. The hike up was however estimated to take up to 8 hours.
When we got near the first peak, Parrotspitze (4.432 meters), I said I didn’t want to go up, as I was too weak and tired. Everybody somewhat agreed, as we were all tired after a demanding Lyskamm ridge the day before. Gummi and Maggi however decided to try out some version of ice climbing on the side of the peak and I offered to take pictures with Gummi’s big high quality camera.
As we were taking the pictures me and Jón went higher and higher to get better pics and before I knew it, I was climbing up the ridge (ísl: hryggur) of Parrotspitze. Suddenly, on the ridge, I lost every ounce of energy in my body. My feet were shaky and I felt a bit dizzy. Stopping on the narrow ridge wasn’t an option so my only option was to get through it as quickly as possible, which took about 20 minutes, and quite dangerous as I felt like could just as well faint. Therefore I was quite alert for the danger of the situation and was also extremely frustrated that I had managed to put myself in this situation. On top of all of this, I still had the big camera that was dangling on front of me, weighting too much for this type of situation and thereby not making things better.
“Ágúst!!! Picture!!!” . It was Maggi calling behind, It sounded like he wanted me to take pics… I was too afraid to turn in their direction to take pics so I just aimed the camera backwards and took a bunch of pictures, cursing them in my mind at the same time.
It turned out later that Gummi wanted to get the camera so that HE could take pics. But that was after a lot of screaming in the wind and even a finger signal made by me as I had lost all tolerance for the “serious camera problem” they were so focused on while I was dealing with my dilemma.
As soon as I got through the ridge I sat down and swallowed down on chocolate bar and drank a lot. That was all I needed to get energized and comfortable with this narrow ridge. Soon thereafter we stopped and I ate and drank a lot more.
The funny thing is that now I cherish the pictures I took and really don’t regret hiking the peak, which was kind of the most dangerous thing I did, as silly as that sounds. The picture, which is below and turned out great, reminds me how my limits can really stop me but at the same time how far I can still go despite all of that.
The rest of the hike was mostly uneventful except when we were reaching the hut on top of Signalkuppe 4,554 meters. There we saw a helicopter pick up a climber that seemed to have gotten severe height altitude sickness, and had to get down to civilization.
The Margherita hut, situated on top of Signalkuppe, is the highest hut in Europe and is about 1000 meters higher that the hut we were in the night before. This is a lot in terms of height altitude sickness problems. We felt it when we arrived but got used to it quickly. I was also getting better in my stomach so our overall health was good in the end of the day. Were were however getting tired after four days in the mountains and started to look forward to getting back to Zermatt the next day.