Day3 – Climb to Shira II – 3,850 M/ 5 KM about 6 hours

Day3 – Climb to Shira II – 3,850 M/ 5 KM about 6 hours

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Today was a really beautiful day. Unlike the rest of the group hiking from Shira I directly to Shira II, we took a detour with Florence to a peak called the Cathedral. Passing through a wide plain, 

which is part of an alpine desert, we came across all types of animal tracks, large and small. And recent droppings.

It was exciting to try to figure out what the animals were. We went through shallow river beds coming upon what looked like a small animal watering hole. The plain had all types of low profile bushes and grasses. In the distance loomed the Cathedral – hi and mighty.

We then entered the strangest enchanted area. Skeletons of dead trees each with evergreen bushes growing within and air ferns hanging from the limbs of the dead trees.
The scene was creepy. Why were these trees dead? And what was this connection to the pine bushes. Further on, by a small outcropping on the hill we came across part of the answer. A fire has decimated the trees so that is how the skeletons were formed. And the pine buses appear to be part of the new growth. That winds carried the pine tree seeds  and were captured by the old dead trees where there was fertile soil ready to take hold. Death and rebirth.

Leaving this small forest we started our ascent to the cathedral point at 3,862 meters. The Cathedral is the highest peak in the distance.
Ori and I made the steep climb and we found this heap of rocks and cross at the top.  The views were amazing. 

I was getting tired and had a slight headache from the altittude. Also my feet hurt. Arriving at camp we saw someone about to go down due to altitude sickness. I was shaken up by this and did not want not to really listen to his story or look at him. Bad luck…

Later in the afternoon, we saw the people we met at Shira I.  In this walk, we started to get to know each other and became friendly. We took a 200 m altitude acclimatization climb and took this picture when we got there.   This started a friendship that continued till we ended our trek 4 days later.

Left to right: Me, Ori, Carol, Deb, Annie, Vic, Sandy

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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