Posted by: treksinai | July 31, 2008

gaps and venom

I was told that vipers are very rare in these mountains, some guides have been trekking for 6-8 months and still have never encountered one. so, there is the foreshadowing of my story…

Packed my pack, ate Koshari in the village, and then headed up the rugged mountains at around 7:30 pm. I wanted to sleep at the summit of a somewhat smaller mountain all by my lonesome… I knew that the last stretch was no longer a hike – but a climb – so i wanted to get there while i could still see a little. 

I got to this section – i’ll call it a risky section as a fall or slip would have meant death – and stopped to analyze for the best approach. i tried several times to cross this bit, but it didn’t feel safe enough. So i was going to head down and go up another way (it would have meant 45 more minutes… and it was getting dark quickly), when i decided to relax, switch of the warnings and ‘just go for it.’ i wish i had a photo, as it is hard to describe. when i got to the other side my heart started pounding but my mind started chilling… so i walk about 4 steps further (still thinking about the gap i just crossed) put my hand down to assist my ascent AND right there about 4 inches from my hand was a 14 inch viper… ready to strike.

Must of been a baby (making it much more dangerous) – i pulled away reflexively… then compulsively swore. It was too much for a span of 11 seconds. I started to think this was a dumb idea… — until i reached the top, set up my little camp and played guitar – over-looking the alpine desert mountains. 

Anyway, so that is my story – i just described the snake to a bedouin guide… he made one of those faces that you make when you hear about a bad car crash. We are so fragile…

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