21st August 2017: The summit to OSM (Wesley Ler)
The day starts at 3am in the morning. Getting up itself was much of a challenge as it was still freezing. We groggily put on our equipment at a rather slow pace while boiling water for our trip and it took us about 2 hours before we were ready to set off. The sky was still dark while we set off and I could hardly see anything, as we trudged through the snow, I was the last man of my team. (we were split into two teams)
After two hours of trekking, we were finally reached the base of Ong Siew May (OSM) Peak. My team was excited to summit the peak but were also rather tired out from the trek. While taking off our crampons during the break, we were instructed by Edwin on how we had to continue the next part of our journey which was climbing up the scree, which is a slope full of loose rocks. I was quite nervous during the climb up. As the last guy, I could always see rocks tumbling down the slope as the rest of my team scrambled up the hill. Mastering up my courage, I pushed on and eventually managed to reach the top of the mountain. The time spent up there unfortunately was less than 15 minutes, as our guide wanted us to get down to the area being prone to lightning.
The decent down was scary at first, but after learning the proper technique to descend while on soft rock (placing legs in L-shaped, putting your weight on the heel. It was quite an enjoyable and fun descent. We headed basic to camp shagged out and dehydrated and rested for the rest of the day.
It was mission success, considering that we had managed to summit the peak. However, only 1 team managed to do it. Through this experience climbing, we learnt that summiting the peak was something that requires inter-dependency within team members. As all of us were roped up, we all had to move at the same speed, regardless of who has stronger than the other. Also, another thing we learnt was to take care of our bodies. As it was cold and dry, we were prone to lose lots of water through the water vapour when we exhaled. However, since many of us did not notice it, it resulted in us being very dehydrated and suffering from bad headaches for the rest of the day.
Looking back however, I am proud of our team being able to at least have the perseverance to push on, only turning back when the weather did not permit us to proceed on. However, we should continue to work hard especially in terms of our physical aspect if OSM is considered as a basic mountain.