Mera – the First Dog to Ascend a 7,000 Metre High Mountain

Sometimes you encounter a story of a stray dog that joins people during their greater or smaller adventures. Mera had quite an enviable adventure. Moreover, she has become the first dog that ascended a 7,000 metre high mountain. So, it means she has been to higher spots than most of us ever will.

An inquisitive dog named Mera appears to be a cross between a Tibetan mastiff and a Himalayan sheepdog. She joined a group that was descending from Mera Peak in Nepal and she was also named after it. The expedition then continued to Baruntse, a peak in the Himalayas just south of Mount Everest, and the dog followed them.

The 20-kilogram animal became friends with the group’s leader Don Wargowsky, who shared his tent with her. She even got a sleeping pad and a jacket to use as a bed.

Such mountaineering is not only physically, but also mentally demanding. A dog companion in such situations can be a great way to relax a little and relieve stress.

However, it’s not common here for mountaineers to be friends with stray dogs due to the prevalence of rabies. Mera won over the mountaineers and accompanying sherpas with her nature and her excellent climbing skills though. Wargowsky said they had never met such dog before. He stated that Mera was special and brought luck to the expedition. Some members even thought she was blessed.

At one point Mera was unable to follow the climbers and spent two nights alone on a glacier as high winds raged. They were all convinced she would be unable to survive. However, two sherpas had to return in that direction and they saw her. They encouraged her to cross the difficult section, so she was able to follow the expedition again and continue her ascent.

When the climbers finally set out for the summit at 2am, Wargowsky left Mera sleeping in his tent. She reportedly slept until morning and then caught up with the team. She crossed terrain which had taken the mountaineers seven hours in just two.

On the final ridge the dog ran ahead of the climbers, who were moving slowly due to the rarified air at high altitude. Despite fine weather, it was around -20 °C.

Of course, after the dog leaned up against Wargowsky and wanted to be petted, he wished to adopt Mera. However, he was unable to fly the dog out of Nepal, but the dog has been adopted by the expedition’s base camp manager, Kaji Sherpa.

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