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ACC_Gazette_Spring2019_eGazette

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6 The Alpine Club of Canada | Gazette | Spring 2019 than a Rocky Mountain tick any day! The next leg of our journey proved to be the most challenging. The trail between Ningso and Chhetrakhola camp traversed many steeply‑fluted jungle ridges and gullies with continuous steep ascents and descents often on stone steps of questionable crafts‑ manship. We did not see another biped (human or otherwise) on the trail that entire day except for a lucky sighting of a Gray langur monkey. It was a great relief to finally arrive at our jungle camp in Chhetrakola—a magical setting of huge moss‑covered rocks and waterfalls shrouded in mist. We all agreed a steaming bowl of spicy ramen never tasted better, and we were finally going to be sleeping above 3,000m. The morning of day six we joined the main trail from Lukla to Mera. By that afternoon we had reached the Hinku River flowing through a large open valley in stunning contrast to the jungle. We walked beside the river as its waters raged through big boulders, arriving that night in Khote at 4,182m. We began to leave the trees behind as we moved on to Thangnak which is right on the border of a vegetation zone. Here the dense forests gave way to hills blan‑ keted with colorful shrubs. That afternoon we could see clouds building below indi‑ cating it was raining in the valleys as it did most days. However, for those of us above the clouds it was sunny. We spent an extra night to acclimatize. Return to the Himalaya by Julie Muller ED—Most people have a bucket list, and mountaineers are no different with their dreams of far-off places and distant peaks. And while bucket list itineraries for ACC members are as varied as their diverse interests, I suspect many dream of the Himalaya, either to trek or summit. Calgary Section member Julie Muller jumped at the chance to return to Nepal in the autumn of 2017 with the Alpine Club Global Adventure to Mera Peak, and to share the experience with her adult son. W hen I first heard the ACC was offering a trip to Mera Peak, it seemed a dream come true. I had dreamt of returning to Nepal ever since trekking the Annapurna circuit in 2004. I wanted to go back—to see Everest and climb to 6,000m if possible. For me, the Mera Peak trek had potential for it all! Our group spanned the map with four from western Canada, four from eastern Canada, as well as a couple from Massachusetts, and included other family connections in addition to me and my son Tim, including a father/daughter and a father/son team. The ACC crew all hailed from western Canada, comprised of Sandy Walker (manager), Ric Roe (assistant manager and doctor), Deryl Kelly (ACMG guide, Everest veteran, EMT, and head of Parks Canada Rescue Service), and Jim Gudjonson, (ACMG guide). The road less travelled Our departure from Kathmandu with our local guide (sirdar) Ang Tschering Sherpa for a 14‑hour, 270‑km road trip by jeep to Paphlu was an adventure in itself. Many trekkers start this trek by a flight into Lukla. However, our overland route enabled better acclimatization and gave us the opportunity to pass through jungles and villages not seen by many. Then we started trekking. The next four days took us through rolling, forested hills with nights in the monastery town of Taksindu, followed by Kharikhola, Panggom and Ningsow. It was during our approach to Taksindu that we made acquaintance with the local leeches—which is not as dreadful as it sounds as they are easy to detach, and do not carry diseases. I'd rather contend with a Himalayan leech Above: The author on the summit of Mera Peak overlooking three 8,000ers —Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu. | Ci-dessus : L'auteure au sommet du pic Mera, surplombant les 8 000 m de l'Everest, Lhotse et Makalu. Photo Tim Jordison

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