My Thoughts!

The Trip

It was disappointing not reaching Mera Peak summit, but the weather and altitude must come before peoples urge to summit mountains. You cannot play against mother nature ....... but what an experience! I am sure there are other regions of the world just as spectacular, but I was often amazed at the sheer scale and beauty of these Himalayan mountains. I often looked up and they seemed to rise forever into the deep blue sky. It was also very special for me being so close to the mystical peak of Mt Everest, to me the icon of all things associated with mountaineering.

How did I cope with the altitude?

First and foremost, the trek was organised in distance trekked and altitude gained each day, to provide the best opportunity for each of us to acclimatise. Thankfully, I didn’t experience any problems other than the odd headache, and adjusting to breathing with less oxygen. Regards the latter, it took some time to realise that the higher we went the slower I must do things ...... everything! Even turning in my sleeping bag too quick would take my breath away. Also, I soon discovered that a short walk from my tent to the mess tent, up a gentle incline, had to be at half the pace I would normally take at lower altitudes.

The Group

Superb bunch of people from across the Globe, spanning both hemispheres and different continents. A Swiss chef living in Canada, a New Zealander living in Australia, a Belgian, me from the UK and the remainder from Australia. The ages ranged from 26 to 57, but we all lived and acted as if we were equal. Also, considering the conditions we had to live in for 3 weeks - no privacy, two-person tents, hole-in-the-ground toilets - we gelled remarkably well together. At no time did I hear or see the slightest friction between group members, it was more of everyone willing to offer help if any was needed.

Peregrine Adventure Travel Company

I was most impress with the way the holiday was organised, from equipment provided to the routines and service while on trek. Not to mention the excellent accommodation in Kathmandu, courtesy of the Hotel Shanker. (Excellent garden for those relaxing afternoons after the trek!) Also, it was good to see that all the crew, from guides, kitchen staff and porters were treated in an exceptionally good way. Even the provision of good quality clothing and footwear for the cold high altitude section of the trip; also, ensuring each porter was not over-burdened with heavy loads.

The Sherpas

What can I say? Such a great bunch of friendly smiling people. So much admiration for our crew, in particular the porters who just amazed me how they could so casually ‘stroll’ up and down steep mountains sides. Us mere trekkers gingerly struggling along tracks, while often having to step aside to let porters pass. And what about the kitchen crew? The meals they produced on kerosene stoves, in a tent under all weather conditions, were out of this world. Fantastic!

What Next?

Yes ...... what next? The seeds were sown by Mick, our guide, during our final night in Lukla, He happen to mention that I and Lucci (our friendly ‘big’ Swiss chef) would be suited to attempting a peak called Chulu West Peak, located in the north of the Manang region. It is little more technical than Mera Peak, requiring to establish 3 base camps to summit, although a couple of hundred metres lower than Mera. Surprisingly, it is a trip that Peregrine does! Anyway, having looked in their brochure, it looks rather interesting, so that may be my plan for autumn 2004. Time, and money, will tell.

Introduction
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14/15
Day 16 Summit Day Day 18/20        

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