”Wait, we might have gone down too much..." My friend shouted slitely from behind me.
We were going down from the top of a mountain. We were not beginner hiker, we have climbed and hiked many time. But it seems this time is different.
First, we were exhausted enough when we went down. The mountain we climbed this time seemed easy to us. The difficulty rating is only 2 or 2.5 out of 5, and the altitude is roughly 1,200m. Yes, those numbers imply it is an easy hike. However, the reality was harsh. The trail started from an altitude of around 200m, and it was really steep for us. We realized we are old enough and lack of daily excercise. It took roughly twice the starndard hiking time to reach the top.
Our minds were like those of seasoned hikers, and we didn't want to descend using the same trail we had ascended. So we took a different trail to go down. It was a huge mistake.
Soon, I realized that when we were going downhill, there were many paths branching off, and it was unclear which trail we should follow. Normally, or I should say, based on our experience, the correct trail to follow is usually obvious when there are several diverging paths because there is an arrow or short signboard at every junction. It impied that this path is not a main trail and is not suitable for beginners.
We welcomed the adventurous trail and thought we were ready to choose. We descended relying on red markers attached to trees and other objects. And the story comes full circle.
Going beck the trail meant we need to go up again and we didn't have enough energy to do so. We had no choice but to move forward, even if meant taking a bit of a detour.
As a rerult, it became dark while descending the mountain. We lost the trail at one point. Fortunately, a friend happened to have a flashlight, and by chance, we were able to find the right path. However, we were completely lost and in a state of emergency at that point.
Though it turned into a humorous story since we safely made it back, we got some lessons from this experience. Firstly, always download offline maps on Yamap. Secondly, stay vigilant. Lastly, make sure your mountain climbing plan allows for some margin of error.