I am once again taking on a challenge. As a fundraising campaign for the Creative Heart Foundation I will climb Mera Peak of 6,476 meters. I would appreciate very much if you make a donation for this charity trek! If you give a donation, you donate for the projects done by the foundation and not for the climb. The climb is fully financed by myself.

Trekking expedition

The Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal. This will be a milestone for me. But not only that, on the day I want to reach the top, I reach the age of 40 years. Another milestone for me. Although an altitude of almost 6.5 kilometers does not seem that far, it is a bit different that high. The higher I go, the less oxygen there is in the air. Even with a good condition, the thin air makes every step quite heavy, as if you are breathing through a straw. So it is one step after another. During the trek there are important rules: do not try to go fast, and acclimatization is necessary.

I have to let go of everything that I am used to. Even though I train, I usually walk at a fast pace and I am used to long distance running, I have to start slowly. Actually climbing 600 meters a day is the most pleasant. Especially above an altitude of 3,000 meters it is good to descend a little bit after a day of climbing, and then ascend again.

Of course I’m not going alone. I arranged my trip through Hi On Life adventures. A guide and porter will guide and help me. I will carry about seven kilos myself, which feels quite heavy at that altitude. I thought it would be nice not to go alone, the organization set up a trip for the dates I am planning to undertake the trek, namely from 11th to 31st of March. This is because on 25th of March, my 40th birthday, I want to be at the top of Mera Peak. So far, two other hikers have registered. On the route itself we will likely meet more hikers, but they will not be part of our group. The group should not be too large either, because everyone has their own walking pace.

Along the way I sleep in so called “teahouses” which provide shelter and food. From an altitude of 5,400 meters, I will sleep in a tent – it will be cold! But it will be cold along the entire route, the teahouses have thin walls, and only in the common room there is a wood stove, which is only fired up at certain times of the day. Cutting back on warm clothing and other ‘trekking gear’ is therefore not happening.

De Mera Peak route

Start: 11 March 2020
Day 1. Arrive Kathmandu (1330 m), welcome dinner
Day 2. Fly to Phaplu (2415 m) and drive to Ringmo (2800 m) and trek to Takshindu (3000 m)
Day 3. Trek to Kharikhola (2200 m)
Day 4. Trek to Pangom (2900 m)
Day 5. Trek to Nazing dingma (2720 m)
Day 6. Trek to Cholem Kharka (3600 m)
Day 7. Trek to Panchpokhari (4200 m)
Day 8. Trek to Kothe (3600 m)
Day 9. Rest day at Kothe.
Day 10. Trek to Thangna (4400 m)
Day 11. Trek to Khare (5000 m)
Day 12. Climbing training and safety briefing at Khare
Day 13. Trek to Mera La (5400 m) and set up Base Camp
Day 14. Set up Advance Base Camp (5780 m)
Day 15. Summit Mera Peak (6476 m) back to Khare
Day 16. Contingency day in case of bad weather
Day 17. Trek to Kothe (3600 m)
Day 18. Helicopter to Phaplu (2415m)
Day 19. Drive to Kathmandu
Day 20. Half day city tour
Day 21. Departure

Previous Challenging Charity Treks

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness occurs due to the lack of oxygen. Mild altitude sickness has symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and shortness of breath. The symptoms usually disappear if one does not ascend further. However, mild altitude sickness can turn into severe altitude sickness. Headache and shortness of breath worsen and also occur at rest, especially at night.

Some suffer from altitude sickness faster than others. It also has to do with the production of red blood cells. Fortunately, I know what awaits me and I bring the experience from my previous high altitude treks with me. So far, I luckily only suffered from some symptoms at an altitude of 3,500 meters, and therefore also take that into account. Acclimatization is key! Do not be overconfident or think that “going slowly is for wimps”. Such thoughts can result in severe consequences. Of course that applies to so many other things during a trek or climb. Just follow the (climbing) rules, do not ignore even mild symptoms (such as headache), then everything will be fine.

Training thoroughly is also important. What makes it difficult is that everything is flat and at a low altitude in the Netherlands. A few times per week I go to the gym and I work out on the treadmill for incline walking, and on the stairclimber. Also, when I go to Indonesia, I train. When I am there for the projects of the Creative Heart Foundation, I also do volcano treks as often as possible.

Vulcano trekkings

Have a look at messages from a few volcano treks I have undertaken, and where I hold the Foundation flag.

On this website you can read more about the projects of the Creative Heart Foundation. View the annual reports (Dutch) here and follow everything on Facebook and / or follow us on Instagram.