You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains, by Selebelo Selamolela
In 'You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains', Selebelo Selamolela describes his highlights in mountaineering in Southern Africa and other parts of the world.
[...] Finally the summit was in full view. For a moment I stared at the peak. It looked liked a block of overhanging ice about to fall off. The view of the summit kindled in me a sense of great excitement. In half an hour I would be making history. I would make my claim to fame. I would stand and be counted amongst the brave and courageous who had embarked on the mammoth task of climbing Mt Everest. That moment was the climax of the day. I realised that I still had to climb the last section before I reached the summit. I stilled my emotions and focused on getting to the top of the world. We had been climbing for 12 hours along dubious rocky terrain in bitterly cold, sub-zero temperatures. I was exhausted; it was an effort just to stand on my feet. The climb to the summit was a struggle. I could not turn back. I had come a long way. I would take three steps and run out of breath. I pushed myself and kept moving. Eventually I reached the end of the safety rope. I was too weary to unclip myself from the rope. I stopped to take one last deep breath. Making my way carefully, I walked slowly towards the summit. With each step I took the view of the landscape became more overwhelming. My mind started to play the images I had stored of how I would celebrate when I reached the summit. I had imagined posing for my victory summit pictures. A couple of people from my team were there when I arrived. I recognised Micha and Jamie, our expedition leader. One final giant step and I was at the top. I took off my oxygen mask and my glacier glasses. I paused and my mind and heart were lost in wonder at the Creator's workmanship. My mind could not comprehend the fact that I was literally on top of the world. I felt a sense of awe as I gazed across the endless landscape. Among the hundreds of surrounding peaks, Changste, which appeared gigantic when I was at Base Camp, now looked like an insignificant hill. I snapped out of this trance. I was beginning to struggle to breathe. I realised that I had to leave quickly. Jamie had ordered Micha to descend and was reminding me that I could not stay any longer. I took off my backpack and reached into it for my camera to take photographs of the panoramic surrounds. I could see that clouds were brewing around the summit. In a deep and harsh voice Jamie ordered me to descend. I could not leave - I had not yet taken a single photo. I reached into my bag again for flags and emblems. My camera refused to function on exposure to the weather. Jamie took a few pictures with his camera.
I drank some water quickly and ate a Clif Bar - an energy snack. Jamie was becoming more and more anxious and agitated and told me we had to descend immediately. There were only five people left on the summit. I was the last climber from my team to descend. I replaced my backpack and put my oxygen mask on firmly. I took one last look at the heavens, knowing what lay ahead before I returned to safety. I wished I could go to sleep and wake up later, strong enough to cover the last few miles. [...]
This is an excerpt from the travel report: You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains, by Selebelo Selamolela.
Title: You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains
Author: Selebelo Selamolela
Type: Travel report
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2000
ISBN 9781415200568 / ISBN 978-1-4152-0056-8
Softcover, 15x22 cm, 188 pages, several b/w photos
Selamolela, Selebelo im Namibiana-Buchangebot
You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains is a powerful story of a black South African and mountaineering.
Picturesque Drakensberg presents the famous mountain range of South Africa with captions in English, German and French.
A South African's journey to the highest mountain on every continent
About explorers of bygone eras and modern-day activities available for mountain enthusiasts