First post of a Sri Lanka Trip series.


I pull-on my egregiously masculine hiking shoes, tighten them around my ankles for support. Secure my earbuds and start my How Was Your Week? podcast. Look at my watch. 7:07. Let’s do this.

13 steps up. 13 steps down. 13 steps up. 13 steps down.

My cats look at me suspiciously. That Lady has finally lost it.

Practicing Climing Adam's Peak on My Stairs

I am conducting a test run, here in my condo, of climbing Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka. Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) is a mountain in Central Sri Lanka that is a holy site to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims: the large footprint at the top was left by either Adam, Lord Shiva or Buddha, depending upon who you ask. Climbing Adam’s Peak is an important pilgrimage for many Sri Lankans, especially Buddhists.

The trek to the the summit of Adam’s Peak is greater than 7,000 feet — over 5,200 steps. I’ve calculated that climbing my loft stairs (13 steps) 100 times is the equivalent of climbing one-quarter of Adam’s Peak. Minus the altitude change, not factoring in the freezing temperature at the top and overlooking the fact that it’s a consecutive 5,200 steps up.

Adam's Peak Sri Lanka

I finish my trial hike in around 30 minutes, a little winded but not entirely exhausted. I guess that’s that. I guess I’m climbing Adam’s Peak.


I have only one hour until my taxi arrives.

“What do you mean you don’t have knee braces?” I ask. REI, a massive, two-story shrine to trekking, sells every imaginable item a hiker would ever need. Except knee braces (my knees were a little tender the day after my stairs experiment). Instead, I buy special socks to protect my toes, a shirt that “breathes” and official hiking pants.

Crap! Parking ticket. I stop for one minute…

Run to Kaehler Luggage. No knee braces here. Dammit. Down to 20 minutes.

CVS! CVS has knee braces. I throw them in my basket, tossing in Pop-Tarts, Pringles and vodka as I jog to the counter. I’m going to need all of this stuff if I’m really climbing Adam’s Peak.

Read the entire Sri Lanka series.



  1. Daisy 06/10/2013 at #

    I just started to read your blog and I’m enjoying your style of writing so much. I laughed out loud a few times and I’m already hooked. Just wanted to say “hi!” and let you know that I appreciate the adventures your sharing! Keep it coming!

    • Esme 06/10/2013 at #

      Hi daisyjane82 —

      Thank you so much! Writing is more fun if I know someone’s reading it. Coming up: Peru.


  2. Shawna 07/16/2013 at #

    That is some serious determination you’ve got. I mean, I feel like a decent level hiker and I’m winded just reading about the climb to the top of this mountain! Sounds like it will be a pretty special experience though!

    • Esme 07/19/2013 at #

      Hi Shawna-

      I appreciate the vote of confidence, but if you ke reading you’ll learn the real story regarding my determination…


  3. LRE 03/05/2015 at #

    Love your writing style. I have climbed the Adams Peak and although it sounds daunting the climb isn’t that hard for relatively fit person. There are plenty of places to take a break and have a drink or a snack too. From my experience the hard part is getting down.

    • Esme 03/09/2015 at #

      Thanks, LRE. I’m fine not climbing it — besides the obvious effort involved I didn’t want to deal with staying in a bad hotel waiting until dawn, dealing with the cold and feeling tired the entire next day from no sleep.

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