Voyage en haute plans to organize the “Rando d’la traversee” on December 31. This is a night hike to celebrate the transition from 2023 to 2024. To prepare for the event, I carried out the scouting that night of November 10 at Mount Minloa near the Nkolbisson district in Yaoundé. The report in this blog post.
10:10 a.m. is the time displayed on my watch at the starting point, at a place called “Ferme Claritain”, the foot of Mt. This is also the meeting point with Miss V…, a local resident, who wanted to accompany me on this night hike. She was kind enough to reserve some cooking wood, which we will need once we reach the summit. I armed myself with my torch and three bags. The first, a backpack with camping equipment, the other two, shoulder straps containing meals and drinks. It’s not easy to carry these loads with the bundle of wood on your head. We advanced slowly to attack this rocky hill of 991m altitude.
Night at the top of Mount Minloa. Credit: Sidoine FEUGUI
This is also the first time for Miss V… to make the climb and yet she lives right at the foot of Mount Minloa. My mission, to lead it to the top, ensure our safety and carry the bags and the bundle of wood. So many loads that are quite difficult to manage on a course that climbs very steeply as you go. With the added bonus, an effort to be careful to avoid slippery surfaces due to the humidity of the rock. Mount Minloa is a rocky outcrop, from base to summit, with saxicolous grasses. These grasses are very useful for the hiker because they allow you to gain support and avoid the slippery parts of the rock. The route is segmented into three levels, each of which opens onto a flat surface. The first level is the most difficult because it climbs very steeply. The other two are less so.
Abandoning the pack, the mistake of this night hike
The weight of the loads slowed me down considerably, in addition to causing pain in my shoulders. I had to leave the backpack and the bundle of wood at one level to be able to continue easily. The idea was to leave V… and the two other bags at the top, then go back down to get the others. Things said, things done. Except that, on the way down, I didn’t find the bag. It’s not easy to find your way in the dark night. I had to get all the way to the bottom and go back the way we came up. Alas! I couldn’t find the bag. So falls to the water the night in the camping tent and the party around the fire.
I had to leave the backpack and the bundle of wood at one level to be able to continue easily. Credit: Sidoine FEUGUI
A night without fire
I still tried to make up for it by looking for wood in the bush. In fact, between the second and third levels there is a bush with a few trees and shrubs. I was able to get dry wood and dry leaves. Lighting the fire afterwards was a different story. My lighter and some papers brought back for the occasion did not allow the woods to catch fire. I had even planned the plantain and plums to braise. I should have come with oil. I will plan this for next time.
I couldn’t light the fire. Credit: Sidoine FEUGUI
Sheltered under the passage box
Waypoint at the first summit of Mount Minloa. Credit: Sidoine FEUGUI
I have a tent in my camping bag, and everything I need to stay warm. Alas! I couldn’t find my bag. Luckily for us, at the top of Mount Minloa there is a makeshift hut. It is an assembly of stone and wood, all covered by sheet metal, and a large roof at the entrance. We were sheltered from the freezing cold of the summit, well almost. It wasn’t absolute comfort but we were still comfortable under this roof. This passage space is constantly used. Inside we found clothes well wrapped in plastic. Besides, we weren’t the only ones to spend the night at the summit. A couple in their forties was also present. They spent the night under the stars for prayer.
At night in the transit hut. Credit: V…
As for us, we took advantage of the box. We enjoyed our meal and consumed our liters of matango, between chatting, singing, watching a film and listening to music. Brief ! We weren’t bored.
We took the path down early in the morning at 6am. This under the blessing of a layer of fog. We finally found the bag and the bundle of wood lying neatly where they had been left. I left the wood there. Maybe people from the neighborhood will use it. Maybe I’ll find him next time I go back to Mount Minloa.
Lessons to learn from this night hike
This night hike was a great experience despite the few unforeseen events. There was no incident, thank God. For the “Rando d’la traversee” on December 31, 2023, I should take the following measures:
Go up with the wood and oil during the day; Have a single bag that contains food and drink; Ask each participant to have a torch: I am also thinking of making homemade torch retreat style torches; Ask each participant to ‘have hiking shoes: V… had slippers which made the route difficult. Do not abandon your pack along the way
This isn’t the first time I’ve hiked at night. My very first nocturnal experience was the night of December 31, 2021 to January 1, 2022 at Mont Akok-Ndoue. It was a romantic stroll. We hit the road at 11 p.m. to arrive at the summit at midnight sharp. The fireworks seen from the mountain were truly magnificent. I wish other people could have this experience.
My very first nocturnal experience was the night of December 31, 2021 to January 1, 2022. Credit: Sidoine FEUGUI
Besides, the two-year anniversary of my label Travel to heights will take place on Sunday November 19 at Mont Akok-Ndoué.