• Brian D. Hinson

The Muddiest Trek on Earth

In Uganda, generally shrouded in clouds, are the Rwenzori Mountains. This range is the home of Africa’s fourth highest peak, Margherita, at 16,763 feet. In 2014, I took a trek that climaxed in the ascent of icy Margherita. That climb is for another blog.


To get to the base of Margherita, there’s some trekking to do. Glorious, scenic, steep, rough…and muddy as hell. There’s a lot of water accumulating up there, and a lot of vegetation that really enjoys it. But I do not enjoy muddy trails. The trekking outfit gave me and the other folks rubber boots (wellies, as some folks call them). Slipping around and cursing was how a lot of my time was spent. Tree roots that intersect the trail are extra slick with the lubricant of mud. So, it’s slippery in the mud, and slippery on the roots between the spots of mud. And you’re either headed uphill or downhill, so that doesn’t help one’s balance, either.


But the scenery, though often foggy, was spectacular. Waterfalls, mountain streams, little lakes, all draped in verdant finery, a feast for the eyes. Tinted orange with minerals, some of these streams made an eye-popping contrast with the earth and sky. Although the Rwenzoris have similarities with stretches of the Andes in Colombia and Bolivia, it still stands uniquely apart in its beauty.


But the mud! It made that trek far more difficult than just the grades and the altitude. I’ve had much higher hikes that felt like less work just because of the sure footing.

With this information, make the call for yourself. It’s beautiful, it’s remote and very lightly traveled, but it’s hard.

Think I'm kidding about the mud?

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