The clouds have always made me enthusiastic. The feeling of being above them or even better walk in them, make me feel marvellous. Throughout this story, you can take a major part in my newest adventure of peak climbing. I want to share my adventure to Mera Peak situated 6,461 meters above sea level in Himalaya with you. Welcome aboard on an adventure over the clouds and in the deep valleys in Nepal.
My adventure started out in Lukla. The village of Lukla has a kind of famous airport, situated on high elevation on a hill side. The reputation appears from a perfect storm of small facts and factors. Tiny planes and turbulence is your least concern, making it the world’s most dangerous airport. From Lukla I began my hike towards the Zatrwa La pass which you can see in the second picture. The path to Zatrwa La went through some small settlements in a jungle of rhododendron trees. The rhododendron flower is known as the national flower of Nepal. During late March and April, the flower turns to blossom. The smell of this flower could remind you of pure incense. Could this be the hidden secret of why the local people of Nepal are always so warm and kind? All the native people I met during my path in this jungle greeted me with a Namaste and a warm smile. After the first day of hiking I settled down for a rest in Chutang, in a house built out of stones from the mountains.
As dawn turned up, my adventure continued towards the pass. To get to the pass I had to climb 1300m in a steep ascent. The struggle of climbing in high altitude came back to me from my previous experiences with altitude from the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro. The struggle went on for three hours and the climb was completed at the top of the Zatrwa La pass on an altitude of 4,600m. From the top of the pass the view took the breath out of me, with peaks so far the eye could see. Majestic above the clouds, the peaks covered in snow was shining from the light of the sun. The path continued down into a mystical valley filled with fog and clouds. The weather in the valley was heartless with winds and snow, creating a whiteout. Due to the weather conditions, I had to find shelter and spend the rest of the day in Thuli Kharka on an elevation of 4200m. This gave me an opportunity to sleep at a good height to become acclimatized for even higher elevation in the future.
The weather turned during the night to great conditions on the fourth morning. This meant that the adventure continued deeper into the valley. The path was descending towards a village called Khote. This village is situated in the valley on an elevation of 2800m. The village offers different shops, showers and even internet. At this place, I could fill up my backpack with some energy and chocolate bars for the rest of the adventure. During my stay in Khote, the guides and porters sat around the camp fire and told stories from their mountain life, such as stories from Mount Everest and Ama Dablam. The different stories made my great passion for the mountains grow even higher. After a rest in Khote the path continued to Thangnak in a scenery that is hard to compete with.
Walking in this valley was mystical. During the day, the clouds came into the valley and I was walking in the clouds. The path was located just beside a river created of the melted ice from the glacier on mount Mera. On the path to the next settlement, Thangnak, I came across a monastery located on the hill side. The monastery was built in the mountain, with painting and statues of the three gods in Buddhism. Here it was a monk who gave me his blessing to achieve my aim to stand on the summit of Mera Peak. While I hiked to the next settlement I slowly increased a higher altitude. Thangnak is located on the foot of the Mera mountain. It is surrounded by mountains such as, Kyasar and Gonggila. The tall mountains often gave sounds and sceneries of avalanches, which reminded me of some of the dangerous parts of being in these hard conditions.
The next day my hike continued towards a new village called Khare. The distance between the settlements is not that far, but when trekking in high altitude you must have in mind that there is less oxygen and more demanding to get around. If you push too hard your body won’t be able to stay in greater altitude. In worst case, you would most likely suffer of altitude sickness which could be lethal. During the time I spent walking between these villages my destination finally turned up. Ascending almost 2000m above me, I saw Mera Peak. Luckily for me I had a rest day in Khare before the path led towards base camp and real great altitude. During the acclimatization day, I went up to a flag post to view the sunset. If you want to give your body an opportunity to stay in great altitude, here is a good tip for you; work high and sleep low. This will boost the production of red blood cells, doing it easier for the human body to transport and obtain a great flow of oxygen.
My body took a great advantage of an acclimation day in Khare on an elevation of 4900m. I had regained energy and the body felt ready to the demanding task ahead. After lunch in Khare, an omelet with 8 eggs, I started my ascent to base camp. The campsite is located close by Khare on an elevation of 5250m. Most of the people hike straight to high camp, but if you consider the elevation from Khare to high camp, you are sadly asking for altitude sickness. During my hike, I met a lot of people who got sick due to the altitude because they went straight from Khare to high camp. The path and altitude drains your energy at all time, and the demanding climb makes your chances to reach the peak low. I decided along with the guide to spend a night in base camp, and I felt it was the right decision. The view was unbelievable, and during the sunset, the sky was filled with stars, there were so many of them.
Spending a night in a tent in base camp gave me flashbacks of the tent life at Kilimanjaro. The true feeling of being out in the wildness could only be achieved if you spend some nights in a tent in my opinion. The task ahead was to find the path to high camp. The path was located on a glacier, called Mera Glacier. While walking on the glacier I had to wear crampons and use my ice axe from time to time. The ice axe is a perfect object to find deadly crevasses which are hiding in the glacier. The climb to high camp was affected by bad weather, and lack of visibility due to another whiteout. This made the climbing even more demanding, but it also gave me a motivation boost. The excitement of slowly reaching my destination and feeling the thin air. I reached high camp, I was above the clouds, and the camp site offered a breathtaking site. The view of Makalu just outside the tent and the view of the special campsite made me excited! It was time to gather all the energy that was possible to find. The time for the final push towards Mera Peak was soon arriving. The excitement grew in the tent, and a sleepless night with a lot of thoughts that seemed to never end, finally ended, and it was time.
The clock was 03.00 pm. I had been waiting for 9 hours in my sleeping bag to start the most demanding part of my adventure. I placed my head lamp over my head, closed my jacket, and clipped the crampons to my mountaineer boots. The footsteps towards the summit could start to lead the way. The weather conditions were good. The stars were shining down at me, the wind was resting and it wasn’t that cold, maybe -15 Celsius. My footsteps were taking me higher and higher in a slow phase into the even thinner air.
After climbing for two hours I finally reached an altitude of 6000m. At this time, you feel the low percentage of oxygen, and how much you breath for every step. On the summit of Mera Peak the percentages of oxygen is about 44%. If you compare this to altitude of sea level the percentages is 79%. The view became more and more beautiful while dawn set in. Several of the highest mountain were visible, such as Lhotse, Everest and Ama Dablam. The view and surrounding took the attention of the demanding task away. The majestic feeling of having the clouds underneath you, and gazing at the view on 5 of 6 highest mountains in the world. The view took all my attention from looking ahead on the summit. The ascent flatted slowly out and suddenly I only had a step wall of 100m to overcome before I could stand on the summit of Mera Peak. At 08.34 am, I stood on the summit of Mera Peak 6,461m / 21.197 ft. above sea level. What an adventure, what a view. My feelings around the summit is hard to explain, they were filled with happiness, fear, pride, and I felt amazing. Thank you for taking a part of my adventure towards Mera Peak. I hope I managed to inspire you to get out in the wilderness to experience new feelings. Bing your friends for an adventure to create everlasting memories. If you enjoyed this adventure, feel free to follow my future expeditions and adventures. My next adventure will take place in Russia, where I will try to summit Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. This will hopefully be my second of the seven summits.