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Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

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A stage of acclimatization awaits us today. Our body begins to notice that breathing oxygen at this point is not easy and we have to start getting used to it. For this we will leave the camp Mutinda (3526m) to climb a fairly steep peak, the Mutinda Peak (3,975m), to subsequently lower it by the same path that we climbed and from there follow the path to Camp Bugata, above 4,000m. Quiet stage but with landscapes where only dinosaurs are missing.


8-day Rwenzori crossing

Rwenzori - Third stage. Mutinda hut to Bugata camp

We wake up a little more today today. The night was cold and all the vegetation around the camp is practically frozen. The day is clear but the clouds may appear gradually as the sun begins to warm.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

Today's stage is quite complete. The idea is to go up to Mutinda Overlook, a secondary peak of the Mutinda Peak, with the aim of lengthening the route, already short, and at the same time improving our acclimatization. Once we have reached the top, we will go to Bugata Camp, passing through a step in the mountain, at which point the landscape becomes completely alpine and with little vegetation.


Rwenzori - Stage 2. From the Sine Hut refuge to Mutinda - Mutinda camp

Rwenzori third stage

  • Distance: 7.7km
  • Weather: 7h
  • Total ascent: 893m
  • Total descent: 359m
  • Minimum altitude: 3526m
  • Maximum altitude: 4060m

It's 7 in the morning and the first thing I do is look at the temperature we had during the night. My watch has marked peaks of -3 degrees and that has been noticed by the bottles of water we had outside, completely frozen. Despite this, our body has become accustomed to low temperatures and with a little coat we have breakfast outdoors without problems.


Rwenzori - Mountains of the Moon

An hour later we begin the journey and look up to see the stone colossus of Mutinda. From here it is a 90 degree vertical wall, partly covered by vegetation. Our idea is to border it and attack it from the back. However, before starting its ascent the landscape that we have to cross is really beautiful.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

We draw a Jurassic landscape, full of moss and lichen, but the most interesting are the giant lobelias. At more than 3000 meters high, they grow big, in search of the sun and oxygen so difficult to breathe.


Rwenzori - Mountains of the Moon

And what about the lichen? These are eaten all vegetation and are often used as insulation. Places that are worth stopping for a while and enjoy the surroundings. Something that in very few places in the world can be seen.


8-day Rwenzori crossing

Later we reach an immense rock, probably detached from Mutinda a few years ago. There we would leave our backpacks and carry only what is necessary to ascend to Mutinda overlook. The return was along the same path and we would have to go through the rock in the same way.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

The ascent is quite hard, but the worst by far is almost the absence of a path, where one has to open through dense vegetation. Everything is extremely slippery, and the abundant mud does not help. The most complicated steps have been armed with fixed ropes and wooden stairs, but still you have to exercise caution. More than one of us has slipped and put his innkeepers in the mud.


8-day Rwenzori crossing

In an hour we reach the top, quite rocky and only accessible by a dangerous wooden bridge with little support. If we are afraid of heights, we better stay at its base.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

It makes us a spectacular day and we have visibility of almost all the moon's mountains, although coincidentally the peak Marguerita It cannot be seen from this point. It is covered by the Mount baker.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

The descent is even more dangerous, with several slips that leave our lost mud pants. Something usual in Rwenzori… However, in the big rock we make a stop to have a snack and take the opportunity to clean ourselves a little.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

From the rock we take the path to the mountain pass. The lobelias are slowly disappearing and the landscape takes on a dark hue. Everything is devastated by a great fire that happened several years ago. Nature is slowly restoring the landscape, but it still has a lot of work to do.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

Several hundred meters before crowning the passage, we go back through several wooden scales, which without them the traffic would have been complicated. Overcome this section we reach a landscape eminently Alpine, with little vegetation. With so much change we even find it pleasant. The funny thing is that in this green desert there is water, lots of water, reason to put wooden boards to avoid putting on our water boots.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

The following kilometers are very light. There are no very steep climbs, in fact there are even descents, at which time we will see the Bugata shelter In the distance, just hanging over a large lake.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp - Bugata Lake

We border the something about 50 meters from its shore and cross a group of porters quite loaded. Apparently a group of Norwegians had taken the house in tow.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

From the lake and up a steep ramp of about 100m of unevenness we will arrive at the Bugata refuge (4062m), already without wooden ceilings but with canvases strong enough so that water does not enter.


Rwenzori - Stage 3. Mutinda Hut a Bugata camp

We take a warm welcome tea and take out the drone for the first time. Without trees or obstacles, it was time. We made it fly through the lake and we realized that there are floating islands of moss that move from one lake to another, in the Titicaca style.

Once the sun was gone, the wooden planks that lined the camp quickly froze and temperatures collapsed. The day was over and there was only dinner and thinking about the next stage.


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