Monday, October 13, 2008

Climbing Mt. Sinai

Those of you who know me well know how religious I am (not very!). Given the religious significance attached to St. Katherine’s and Mt. Sinai, however, I cracked open a Bible for the first time since freshman year of college, when it was required reading for a humanities course.
A quick history lesson for those of you as indifferent to religious history as I am. In the book of Exodus, Moses spends 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai, while his followers stay at the base worshipping the golden calf (a false idol!), and he is given the ten commandments and ordered to created the ark of the covenant and the rest of the tabernacle. For those of you already getting bored, THIS IS THE ARK INDIANA JONES IS AFTER IN “Raiders of the Lost ARC.” “Whatever you do…don’t open your eyes!”
At the beginning of the forty days, Moses is commanded by God to climb Mt. Sinai. At this point in the story I fell asleep reading, which was probably a good thing, because I had to wake up 4 hours later to follow in Moses’ footsteps. At 1:00 AM we groggily arose to climb Mt. Sinai.

Sign at the beginning of the hike.

The true residents of the aptly named Camel path. At time they would come out of nowhere in the dark and I nearly got run over, sandwiched, and kicked in the dark (it's hard to see too far ahead when you have to concentrate on the ground in front of you)

Around 1:45 AM we set out on the camel path up Mt. Sinai, and reached the top in around 2 hours. The trail was fairly well established but there was absolutely no light so my flashlight was relied on heavily.

Brett – I almost had a “giant-yoshi at the end of grumble volcano” moment when in the dark I failed to notice a quick switchback leading away from a fairly steep precipice.

After walking for about an hour and a half we reached the plateau before the top, after which there are 750 more steps that need to be climbed. Once at the top, the wind sliced through you no matter how many layers you had on. I had, it seemed, picked an inopportune moment to shave off all my hair! I did bring a winter hat which pretty much saved my life (okay, just the experience). Just after 4:30 we started to see some light coming over the mountains.

this was one of the vendor's huts on the way up

This last picture was taken at 4:45 AM.
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Emily said...

love the IPHS reference.

Jeff said...

i wonder what ever happened to Giesenkirchen...