|We woke before dawn to climb Mt Cameroon. By flashlight we began our ascent. Ed the guide and six porters trailed behind. An hour later dawn lit our path. We sweated under long sleeve shirts worn in fear of mosquitoes. By 11 we had climbed 1800 meters but our porters lagged far behind. We waited for two hours without food or water for them to catch up. They trudged slowly up the mountain and complained about the weight of our bags. The water porter refused to go any higher. We ate some food, then continued our trek without the grumbling porters. Only our guide, Ed, came along carrying extra water but he soon lagged behind and we went upward without him. Without our guide we lost our way in the volcanic crater near the top. Wandering past open vents that spewed stinking sulfur gas into the air, scrambling over rocky black shale, we managed to reach the summit at sunset, 4095 meters high. Cold wind blew in our faces and we had a hard time climbing back from the summit in pitch-blackness. It was a great way to end 2001, tripping down a steep mountain in darkness. A full moon rose as we stumbled into a small hut halfway down the mountain, our home for the night.