Sometimes you have to search deep inside yourself, move past all the doubt and self loathing and in there somewhere you will find your spirit. That naïve and powerful thing of playfulness and adventure that always knew that everything is possible. And you have to nurture it and believe in it because so much is possible when you come to realize how much it believes in you.

If you ever walk the endless and arduous undulations among the valleys and foothills of the Himalayas, what the locals describe as ‘Nepali Flat’, you’ll understand what I mean.

Mera Peak Day 3 Briefing

Sitting exhausted and aching but feeling content in the Tea House at the end of Day 2 of the Mera Trek and Ang, our Lead Guide, called for silence so he could tell us about day 3. ‘Please give us an easy day!’ I silently hoped as he started into the schedule.

Didn’t sound too bad at first. Along a path, a few ups and downs and then we’ll get to see Mera Peak in the distance for the first time. So far so good I thought…

On the trail on Day 3 with Mera Peak above my head in the distance Oct 2017

“We’ll start our decent into the valley…”

“Then we’ll start our decent into the valley,” He continued.

My ears pricked up… how far? I wondered…

“it’s 1,200m down.” He said.

Holy crap! I thought

“And be careful of your footing because it’s very steep and lots of loose scree…”

My though process started swearing profusely.

“We go down for about an hour and then we stop for morning tea break.”

Hold the bloody bus! He’s already described three weeks of walking and all we’ve made it to is morning tea break?!! I hope it’s special tea!!!

Above: Looking across the valley from ‘Tea Break’ to the location of our Tea House on the other side of the valley where we’d be stopping for the night. Oct 2017
Below: Zoomed in view of the Tea Houses where we’ll be stopping for the day

“We stop for lunch.”

“Then down to the bottom of the valley where we stop for our lunch.”

LUNCH?!!!!!! Having just descended 1,200m on a steep slope through loose scree my knees are going to feel like someone’s been playing xylophone on them for a month. I’m going to need 3 hours in a Jacuzzi with a litre of whisky.

A bowl of veg noodles some lemon tea and a 3 year old bar of chocolate isn’t going to work. Surely to God the afternoon walk MUST be easy!! Maybe a steady mile along a tarmac path?

“And then we go up…”

“After lunch we cross a bridge….”

Don’t say it I mentally pleaded, please don’t say it!

“and then we go up….” 

Awwww he said it!

“700m up towards the next valley where we stop at our Tea House for the night.”

He finished with a beaming smile as I cried silently into my look warm Veg Chow Mein.

“By some miracle I was still going.”

Next afternoon after crossing the bridge after lunch and we started our steep 700m ascent through the rocks and lush vegetation of the valley floor roasting in the afternoon sun of the Indian Sub Continent that I realized by some miracle I was still going.

My Group were eagerly climbing ahead and above me already and I plodded along at the back with Newang, the Sherpa who had been assigned to me so I could walk at my own pace. It dawned on me that my body was already exhausted and yet I had no doubt that I would make this 700m climb. The fact was that something far deeper and stronger than my body was driving me on.

Above: High on the Mera glacier at first light on Summit Day. I turned around shortly afterwards due to a mix of exhaustion and the effects of altitude at 6,140m
Below: This is why I do it. Everest over my shoulder taken from the entrance to High Camp on Mera Peak 5,800m Oct 2017

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