Mulanje Trip Report (#5757)

  • Signed By: Richard Potter
  • Date submitted: August 26, 2003
  • Date(s) climbed: 8th August 2003

I was one of a group of 14 16-18 year olds who spent a week trecking on the Mulanje plateau as part of an expedition to Malawi with an organisation called World Challenge Expeditions. Out of this group 8 made it to the sumit, accompanied by 2 adults and our guide.

In total we apent 8 days on Mulanje, which also incorporated an attempt on Chambe Peak which had to be abandoned due to a lack of the necessecery equipment (The final part of the climb to the Chambe peak is very steep) and a trek right across the plateau.

Apart from the attampt on Chambe and the ascent of the plateau the group had very little experience of treking and climbing, however despite this the climb up to the peak posed very few difficulties, and was, in my opinion, a good deal easier than the ascent onto the plateau (bearing in mind I was carrying a 25kg pack for the ascent onto the plateau and only 6 or 8 kg for the ascent of Sapitwa). We were using a guide called Peter, the nephew of Wonderford, who, despite only being 16, was a very good and friendly guide, and a great help when the markers became a bit thin on the ground (alarmingly often)

The night before our ascent we rough camped at the bottom of Sapitwa, at a place marked shelter on the map, and although there was no established hut, there was a river and a toilet (of sorts). This cut our ascent time to 4 hours (despite taking a 1/2 hour detour) and i would recommend to anyone tackling Sapitwa that they camp here the night before and the night after, as it is also a stunningly beautiful spot. This also allows you to keep down the weight that must be carried up the peak.

By the time we reached the top the clouds had started rolling in, reducing the view, but despite this the view was stunning. You can easily see the whole plateau, and then beyond that for miles and miles.

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