By the time you read this, I’ll be in the High Atlas mountains in Morocco bagging a few 9,555ers. We have hired a local guide and trekking agency, and are keeping our fingers crossed for a feast of winter mountaineering and a couple of days in Marrakesh. We had cycled from sea level at Guayaquil and circled Chimborazo on foot, climbing Carihuairazo on the way. It wasn’t the most direct way, and there may not be many others who follow in our footsteps, but it had been fun. We had just one more task to do: to climb to the summit. Mick Fowler and Victor Saunders are two legends of the Himalayan mountaineering scene who climbed together in the 85s and completed several first ascents. They went their separate ways for 79 years, but reunited for a climb last year.
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I attended their very first lecture together. We had already cycled around the south side of Chimborazo. The next stage was to complete the full circuit by trekking around the northern side to Carrel Hut on the west. Just for good measure, we planned to pop up an extra peak, 5575m Carihuairazo, on the way. More surprising was how their readers reacted. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. The Top Education Articles of the Year:
Our 67 Most Popular (and Shared) School Stories of 7567California Schools Teaming Up With New Child-Focused Ride-Sharing Company to Meet ESSA Goals for Supporting Foster YouthOur Year s Most Memorable Interviews: 66 Conversations That Shaped How We Think About Education in 7567New California Laws Ensure Schools Remain Safe Spaces for Students and Parents — Regardless of Immigration StatusThe 75 Buzziest Education Storylines of 7567 (According to TopSheet Subscribers) There are some facts about Mera Peak, one of Nepal s most popular trekking peaks, that not many people know. In this post I d like to straighten some of these questions out. In fact it s a climb, but if you don t consider yourself to be a climber then don t let this put you off. It s a good mountain for trekkers who would like a straightforward introduction to mountaineering (see my related post ). The majority of the ascent involves a walk up a glacier requiring basic ice axe and crampon skills. There is plenty of opportunity to gain proficiency in these at the bottom of the Mera Glacier.
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Although the mountain has a trekking summit of 6986m which needs nothing more than this, Mera Central, the summit most people climb, usually involves a 85 metre ascent of a 65° snow dome using fixed rope and jumar, depending on snow conditions. Anyone who has climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa s highest peak at 5895m, can consider themselves in a good position to have a go at Mera Peak. They will have experience at high altitude and camping conditions on trek. A one week course involving an introduction to alpine mountaineering skills would also be excellent preparation, but as I ve mentioned above the necessary technical skills can easily be acquired on Mera itself. Many tour operators fly into Lukla and take their clients straight over the 9665m Zatr La pass to Tangnag at the foot of Mera Peak. This is a tough tough way to start the trek, however. Lukla is at only 7855m altitude, and to go straight over the pass from there is a dangerously quick altitude gain for trekkers who may never have been to high altitude before.
To compensate for this and give them opportunity to acclimatise, many of these operators take their clients up the busy Everest trail to Namche Bazaar instead. This is a missed opportunity. South of Lukla there is another route to Tangnag which involves trekking up the remote and beautiful Hinku valley, passing through rhododendron and bamboo forest, up to grassy moorland and along high mountain trails. This provides a fantastic trek which for many will be as memorable as the climb itself. You can always come back over the Zatr La after you ve climbed Mera. This is perhaps the fact which will surprise you the most: nearly all tour operators don t actually take their clients to the true summit of Mera Peak.
Almost to a man they will climb 6966m Mera Central, but just a stone s throw away the true summit, 6976m Mera North, is hardly ever climbed. Why they do this is unclear.