Nestled in the heart of Horton Plains, Sri Lanka, Kirigalpoththa Mountain stands tall as a testament to the island's breathtaking natural beauty. Rising 2,388 meters above sea level, it is the second tallest mountain in Sri Lanka and the highest accessible point to the public, unlike the highest point, Pidurutalagala Mountain, which is a military base inaccessible to the public, Kirigalpoththa offers intrepid hikers a thrilling challenge and rewards them with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscape.
Our journey commenced on a slightly overcast 5th of November, as we departed from the University of Moratuwa at the ungodly hour of 1:30 am. Arriving at Ambewela around 7 am, we embraced the opportunity to capture the misty morning in photographs and relish a gentle breeze for 30 minutes, setting the tone for the adventure ahead.
At 10 am, we finally set foot in Horton Plains, fueled by a hearty breakfast. The trail, known for its moderate difficulty, proved to be a bit more challenging this time. The constant rain had transformed the path into a muddy obstacle course. With every step, we encountered slippery terrain and occasional struggles to navigate through the mud. The trails led us through forests, over water streams, and even through dense bushes, each turn revealing a new facet of nature's wonders.
As we ascended Kirigalpoththa, the difficulty level surpassed our expectations. The slippery trails tested our balance and agility, leading to more than a few instances of getting stuck in the mud. Our pants bore the marks of our muddy encounters, and our food, though a bit wet, carried with it the taste of adventure.
Reaching a point just below the peak at 2 pm, we were enveloped by mist, creating a surreal atmosphere. Our simple lunch of roti took on a gourmet quality as we savored it against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring view from Kirigalpoththa Mountain's summit. The mist cleared momentarily, revealing the magnificent vista from the summit.
The journey back was as thrilling as the ascent to the summit. We were subjected to a heavy downpour, completely drenching us from head to toe. By the time we reached the base, the sun had already set, casting a serene ambiance over the landscape. Getting out of our wet, muddy clothes, we quickly boarded the bus to depart for the campus.
The journey back held one more adventure for us. Just an hour away from the university, both bus tires decided to call it a day. We found ourselves idling by the roadside for 2 hours, but with the spirit of camaraderie, the students rallied together and changed the tires, turning this unexpected delay into yet another tale of our adventurous day. To say that our one-day hike turned into a two-day adventure, arriving back at the campus around 6 am on the 6th of November, none of us were complaining.
If I were to share one piece of advice, it would be to pack an extra sweater along with your extra pair of clothes. The prospect of putting on a wet hoodie post-hike was not an experience to live through twice.
In conclusion, it was a day to remember. The Kirigalpoththa hike was more than just a physical challenge. It was an adventure that tested our mettle, encouraged teamwork, and most importantly, allowed us to embrace nature in all its unpredictable glory. As we returned to campus, tired yet exhilarated, we knew we had shared a day that would forever be etched in our memories.
Faculty of IT