To start off, i may have underestimated our weekend in oman. I just imagined a small campsite, with a few pretty mountains in the distance, and a flat track with a SLIGHT gradient, and beautiful trip all round.
I had my reasons to be so cocky, I did 14 Km in under 4 hours and a bit, with like OMGz a 64 meter high hill near the end - it was rape but i got through the 64 meter high hill. I thought that was massive, I had to be the wrongest man alive to think O (our supervisor) would let us off that easily in Oman. I havent got the pics off him yet, but once i do, i'll post em.
Lets put it this way, on our practice, the slowest of slow groups took about 6 hours to do all 14Km. On friday, it took them 17 hours to get off that mountain. This wasnt a fun expediton, this was holding on to dear life. We started the walk at 7:30 (the latest, because he knew my group was one of the fastest), so feeling cocky, we gave it all. we thought we made good progress on the sloped trekking path, for about an hour or two. We thought we'd covered like 6 or 7K, because we were all tired as hell. we refer to our map, realized that we've only done 3.5K. O was right, the smallest gradient would drastically tire you. We soldiered on to reach the top of the mountain, no danger yet. Out of nowhere, O pops up, and tells us all to relax at the mountain top while he has a quick meeting with the other staff. We all knew what it was about, Up ahead us, was the route he originally picked, was deemed too dangerous, it was too steep. So we go on an alternate route, down the mountain. This ones still as dangerous, but easier (but doesnt mean its easy - it was the hardest thing i ever had to do). We think it'll be over in an hour or 2. we walk for a looong time, taking our time, and thinking it cant be too hard. 3 hours later, we look to our right (away from the mountain), and the view hasnt changed, we'd only descented 100m, and had another 1000m to go. By now, we were out of water, and didnt think much of it, thinking that theres a checkpoint up ahead, where we can refill. We were then told that the checkpoint is at the village, at the bottom of the village. We still continue to sing, and laugh and walk down the mountain. its only at the final stop, about an hour before the checkpoint where the shit started to hit the fan. We left at intervals, and JM who was in my group decided to bail on me and my group (the guys) and go ahead walk with the girls, leaving us behind, we were about 4 or 5 minutes behind, but the lead kept on increasing, untill we were about 10 minutes apart, and we lost visual of MI, but communicated by shouting. FA tells me to stop, and tells me that he just got a call from MI's dad from kuwait. I didnt think much of it, because FA's mum called me, checking on us, but then i hear the words: 'MI called his mum, told her that hes alone and he's injured'. My heart literally skipped a beat and I immediatly get my phone out and dial O, telling him the situation. He asks why hes alone, and then almost has a go at me telling me you shouldnt have left him blah blah, now go up and get him. I live by the strategy of 'Leave no man behind', and I stuck to that, for about 30 seconds, untill it hit me that it's an hour climb (i didnt know exactly where he was), i havent had water for about 6 hours, i was severly dehydrated because i had a jacket, and my tshirt was soaked underneath it, so perspiration FTW, i had little food for him and me, and if it was physically impossible, because i knew one small mistake would end it all. FA told me that we had no choice but to go down and leave him, but i argued until i managed to get in touch with MI, and he told me that it was just a big cut, and that he got up now, and that people behind him caught up with him, and that he had the wound disinfected and wrapped. As he told me that, I called his dad to let him know that it'll all be okay, and started the painful descent. I could see base camp, and i could hear the other laughing it all away, not knowing the shit we've been through, and most importantly JM, who ditched us and was down there with them. I get to a point where he's looking at me, and i shout 'MI's INJURED!' I repeat it, and i see him immediatly grab his rucksack and start the run up the mountain. He stops about 500m away, and i tell him that its all good, and right after he turns his back, i hit a slipperly rock, and start skipping rocks. I thought 'thats it, i've had it', before my foot hitting this massive rock, which stops my almost fatal descent. I take my rucksack off, quick prayer, and literally, RUN down the mountain, not giving a fuck whether i ripped my rucksack, just making a run for base camp, because by then i wasnt thinking straight, so i had to get down there ASAP. FA keeps up, and we make it to camp. I run to the water butts, and everyone asks whats wrong, so i explain the situation, then O tells me that PJ (staff) has caught up with MI, and was fine now. I'm laying there on the floor, when O calls me, FA and JM over and asks whos feeling fit. FA and JM put their hands up, and I tell him im passed out. He explains that he wants us to go up there and walk MI down (we had visual contact with him, he was about 20 mins away) he told us to take a bottle of water, and nothing else, and go. They go, and i lay there on the floor. When theyre really close, and i've regained my posture (almost), i walk up for a minute or two, to meet up with them. I see FA with the most serious face ever, and JM just wanting to get it over with, and MI face - i can just tell he was just about to crack a lame ass joke, so i beat him to it, and we just chill on the way down, then FA cuts in and says: 'Shut the fuck up now, talk down there, lets get down first' He took it way too seriously, but ah well, shit happened (it did). we got down, we were all okay, and we went back to camp. FA loosened up on the way back to camp, and we all got back, but MI had a bit of a headache, so i gave him my panadol, told him to change and get to sleep, because he was really tired. The sun goes down, we set up tents and all, and we go over to girls camp, to chill. Sun goes down, we start worrying about the other groups, because its impossible to climb down at night (seriously, slippery rocks EVERYWHERE). There were about 2 or 3 groups up there, one or 2 of the Kuwaitis (i love those guys:P) and one with the girls (and some of them were a bit of girly girls; not in a bad way though, im really proud of them for making it) so at about 10:30pm, O comes back to camp with the first group, we all hug, and they're all surprisingly laughing it off, but some of them we're pretty roughed up, scratches everywhere. We surprisingly still have energy at night, so we decide to cramp into RK's 3 man tent, when i say we i mean 8 people:P
All in all, pretty rape weekend, but was definatly worth it, especially the 4 hour bus rides, and the flights. Pretty bomb ass weekend