Thursday 10 December 2009

Mera Peak trek continued. October 2009

After a night in relative luxury in Lukla, the team started the climb to get over the ridge separating the Dudh Kosi valley from the Hinku valley to the east.

After a wet night in tents, the group climbed over the Zatrwa La - at 4610M our highest point so far and only 200M lower than Mont Blanc, the highest in the Alps. Everyone managed fine so our acclimatisation regime was working well.

We then descended only 300M or so to Thuli Kharka - the highest settlement in the area with tea rooms, for our next camp. We were greeted the following morning by snow, so much in fact that it had caused our mess tent to collapse on the porter sleeping inside. Fortunately he was uninjured. Up to this point, the weather was still poor and we had another day of trudging in the rain with no views.

However that afternoon the weather seemed to be improving as we descended into the Hinku Valley. At our next campsite at Kothe, we had this view the following morning, of the distant south face of Mera Peak.

We spent two nights at Kothe and attempted to walk up the valley visible here below the south face of Mera - only to find the trail so disused as to be almost impassable

From this point on we had good weather which was to remain for the rest of the trip. This view is up the Hinku Valley, the west face of Mera on the right and the peak on the left is Kyashar 6770M.

There is evidence of a recent serious flood in the valley bottom and if you look in the middle distance you can see a moraine that has been cut through and behind that - a hanging glacier. Inbetween the glacier and the moraine lies a lake - the Sabai Tsho, the lake's level has been lowered by 100M as, during a cloudburst 5 years ago, the lake cut through the moraine causing serious devastation below. Due to global warming such glacial lake bursts are becoming a real hazard for people living in these regions.

By now were were sleeping in tents and had been for the last 4 nights. we were being supported by a team of porters and a cook. The porters carried our holdalls, tents, cooking equipment, food and fuel. Our team were fantastic and couldn't do enough for us, they all worked very hard indeed and often in cold uncomfortable conditions yet we always got hot food and drink 3 times a day.

This picture was taken at Thangnak at the start of our 5th camp, the view behind is looking back down the Hinku Valley in the direction we had come from.

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