Monday 14 December 2009

Mera Peak October 2009, heading for High Camp

The next day we left Khare at 08:30 to walk to high camp, this was a relatively easy day as most people were fairly well acclimatised.

The first part of the ascent consisted of scrambling up the moraine above Khare to get to the toe of the glacier and then a short steep bit to get on the horizontal glacial traverse to the Mera La.

This picture was taken at the Mera La at about mid-day. The walkers on the left are coming up from Mera La camp to join everyone else heading straight up towards High Camp. Many people in the middle distance are summiteers descending to the Mera La.

This picture of Iain was taken at 15:30 just after arriving at High Camp. From the Mera La onwards altitude really takes its effect and everyone found themselves walking at a snails pace. On arrival at High Camp it was already bitterly cold and the sun was starting to set.

The conical peak on the left is Malangphulang 6573M, and above Iain is the Everest massif of Nuptse 7864M left, Everest 8848M centre and Lhotse 8516M right. Right of these is Peak 41 6648M.

This is a view of High Camp at 5800M. Our tents are the ones to the left of the rock buttress pitched on hard snow whilst everyone else's tents were pitched on the rubbly slopes to the right -above quite a precipice.

Our porters had set off ahead of us in the morning and were starting to erect the tents when we arrived at 15:30. We then took over this task whilst they made us some tea. In this picture Peak 41 is to the left, centre is Makalu 8462M and right of centre is Baruntse 7220M.

Having erected the tents everyone was given some more tea and hot food by the ever busy porters and then due to the rapidly dropping temperature most people crawled into sleeping bags to attempt to get some sleep. Iain took this shot of sunset over Everest before turning in himself.

The views all around at this point were truly fantastic. Earlier cloud had cleared and you could see our route up the Mera Glacier from where we had gotten on to the glacier at the furthest end of its left hand curve. The time was approximately 6pm.

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