|Report Name||Mera & Island Peak - 9 Oct to 7 Nov '04|
A small, contented expedition, marred only slightly by the incidents of illness: Colin & Hetta Morath elected to return to Lukla (and thence up the Khumbu) fairly early in the trip, when Colin’s health (and subsequently acclimatisation) suffered on the approach.
The remaining two team members (Sarah Brown & Dr Denny Levett) made an ascent of Mera Peak in perfect conditions, before crossing over the spectacular Amphu Labtsa. A much needed rest day at Island Peak base camp saw us reunited with the Moraths, but Denny’s chest infetion had deteriorated, so she was seduced down to Pheriche by her boyfriend Dr Mike, who’s doing a voluntary stint at the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) Medical Post.
Sarah & Hetta headed up to high camp the next day, but with Hetta not having had the benefits of Mera Peak, left it to Sarah to summit in the company of trip leader Greg and our two trusty guides Karma & Tenzing: again a perfect day, blessed with little of the icy wind that so often howls up this valley from mid-morning onwards, and we were treated to views of the awesome Lhotse face and the peaks of central and eastern Nepal.
The Khumbu seemed busy after our weeks in the Hongku & Hingku valleys, but we made the most of the facilities, celebrating our way through Pheriche, Namche Bazaar and a memorable night in the company of our porters and support staff in the Yeti Lodge at Lukla.
Shopping and sightseeing were packed into the last two days in Kathmandu (whilst coping with further tummy upsets) before a contented party departed on Saturday 6th... all except Denny, who stays up in the Khumbu with boyfriend Mike, and hopes to climb Island Peak with him: the value of the skills and services provided by the HRA med post at Pheriche were demonstrated by his swift and decisive diagnosis of one of our porters, Dawa Lama, who fell ill on the descent: he was helicoptered to Kathmandu within an hour, had his appendix out that afternoon and is now making a full recovery.
So, many thanks and best of luck to Mike & Denny, respect to the Moraths for their unity and enthusiasm in the face of adversity, congratulations to Sarah on reaching both summits and thanks to all for making this such a successful and contented trip.