Stray dog becomes first to conquer Himalayan summit after tagging along with climbing expedition
The Majic Message
There was an uninvited guest that decided to tag along on this mountaineering expedition. Panting alongside the team was Mera the stray dog. Mera seemed to invite herself on this difficult and dangerous journey. Although the team was worried about her at first, Mera not only proved that she was more than capable of completing the mission, but she provided companionship and comfort to the team as well. Mera now lives with the expedition’s base camp manager, Kaji Sherpa. Now you have to ask yourself – does everything happen for a reason? Enjoy the story.
A stray dog befriended a mountaineering expedition and followed them to the top of a 23,389ft Himalayan peak in what may be a canine first.
The dog named Mera reached the top of Baruntse in Nepal without any assistance and was still able to run once she had reached the summit.
Sherpas accompanying the expedition said they had never seen such a feat and an organization that documents expeditions said the climb may be the highest recorded for a dog, according to the outdoors magazine Outside.
“I am not aware of a dog actually summitting an expedition peak in Nepal,” said Billi Bierling of the Himalayan Database. “I just hope that she won’t get into trouble for having climbed Baruntse without a permit.”
Dogs have been known to hang out at Everest Base Camp with a height of 17,600ft and follow climbers up to Camp II (21,300 feet), but Mera’s climb in November may be the highest recorded, Ms Bierling told the magazine.
The 45lb stray is thought to be a cross between a Tibetan mastiff and a Himalayan sheepdog.
She bounded up to climbers from the Kathmandu-based Summit Club when they were already at a height of 17,000ft and latched on to Don Wargowsky of Seattle.
He said the expedition Sherpas at first only tolerated the dog, but then began to appreciate her climbing ability.
“They’d never seen anything like this happen. They said she was a special dog, that she brought luck to the expedition,” Mr Wargowsky said. “Some even thought she was blessed.”
At one point Mera spent two nights sleeping out exposed on a glacier leading Mr Wargowsky to fear she would die of cold. But she seemed unharmed and later shared his tent and ate his food.
On the day of the final ascent, he said she seemed unconcerned by the altitude or precipices on either side and bounded ahead of the group.
“I have no clue if she’d been up there before, but she seemed very confident in what she was doing,” he said.
She ran ahead of him on the final ridge approaching the summit and waited for him panting with her tongue out, he said.
“I’d never been on top of something like that with a dog. She was leaning up against me and wanting to be petted. It was pretty surreal.”
Mera now lives with the expedition’s base camp manager, Kaji Sherpa, he said.
Story as seen on The Telegraph