Preparations for My First 6000 – Mera Peak

A few months ago, my colleague Robert with shining eyes told me that he is planning his first 6000 in the Himalayas to climb the MERA peak. Since we were going live in the Office in his preparations: vaccinations, start of the training, the first training tours, short tremors before the performance test at the sports doctor, even more tours… and the eyes shone ever brighter. Regularly, there was an update on the State of things at lunch.

Now also a small report for you, how to get the idea for such a tour, what says the mother and how to prepare it.

When I told my mother early 2014, Matthias and I want to make holidays in the Iran next year, only loud ranting by the telephone schwallte. I’m crazy, suicidal and and and…

Matthias is a good friend and climbing partner from Riesa, whom I have met while climbing in the Saxon Switzerland. We have made many tours in the Alps until he asked me whether we were even further away.

I’m Robert, have been working since the beginning of 2014 at the mountain friends in online technology and am responsible for the frontend in the online shop. In the mountains I feel at home, even though I spent my past and youth mainly along the Elbe River in canoe racing. Maybe I’m looking for precisely the contrast to shallow water. I connect both with my love of nature and out.

The planning

To organize the tour itself and to make contact with a local guide was for us, important. Our first destination was the Damavand, a 5610m high volcano in the Iran close to Tehran. After the terror of the Islamic State to flood limits in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, we thought about us, whether it would be better to choose a “safe” country. According to the German Foreign Office, this part of Iran is considered relatively safe, yet we have questioned how it will continue with terror in the Middle East. To reassure my mother, we opted for a different target. And where can you connect better mountaineering and trekking as in Nepal? The target – the MERA peak was a 6000 for Matthias, me and three other friends Claus, Daniel and Thorsten. For me this is my first 6000 and I respect mightily!

In early October we go. Our tour will last three weeks. A short stay in Kathmandu is the anticipation of everything coming for us. Then we continue by plane to Lukla, where our tour will start.

Our Trek happening places Tuli Kharka, Chutanga, Khare, Mosum Kharka and then it goes even to the mountain. During the Trek we will in lodges mainly like to stay and so the Nepalese customs and get to know the hospitality. Below the Summit we will set us in a high camp at 5800 m in tents, from where we start the walk to the Summit. Depending on the weather, we have 3 days time, and the weather should be quite stable in October for the Summit. On our route we take many vegetation zones of Nepal. From city life in Kathmandu, rhododendron Park and steppe to the glacier and a Summit there is much to experience and allows us to discover a little of the diversity of Nepal.

Mental and theoretical preparations

As already mentioned this is my first 6000. Therefore, I have just hung me fully, read books, trying to form an opinion about the preparation in Internet forums and of course caught up many tips from friends and colleagues. If some stacked high, books – have the classics by Karl Däweritz, Fritz Eske, Werner Rump (“from Devils Tower to the roof of the world”) – as well as the adventures of Hermann Buhl, me forward Klaus M. meadows (“the sky near”) a good impression and motivation of mountain-climbing in the amount given. In addition to the tremendous and exciting mountain adventures have I tried to get a glimpse of how to prepare, feels on tour and what to expect one in the rough – even if the books have some a few years under their belt.

The equipment

Of course, I had to organize very much equipment. There on the mountain to minus 20 degrees Celsius are prevalent, and it can be even colder in unfavourable weather, the right clothes and the shoes are decisive. The difficulty is the balancing act between the 25 ° C in Kathmandu and the cold temperatures in the height. While I’m on the system. Mainly because of a few laundry I have chosen Merino underwear. In combination with a well ventilated tour and a Hardshellhose, I think that I am “untenrum” well equipped. On the upper body, I will handle it as well. Long thermal underwear made from craft is combined with a synthetic fiber vest/jacket and my Hardshelljacke. For the mountain, I also have a thick down jacket to avoid cooling off in any case. Against black, frozen on toes on the feet I got me the Scarpa phantom 6000 set to – admittedly a real investment, but rather I spend a few euros more than having to suffer frostbite behind. With all things I looking always at the time of purchase on the weight, itself not unnecessarily burden the Nepalese porters and me. So I sleep well at night, Fusion 1300 + was recommended by Matthias of the Yeti. At a test night at-10 ° C I woke up sometime nassgeschwitzt but happy, because I wasn’t sure, not to freeze in Nepal. Matching I got hold of the mattress by Therm-a-rest NeoAir xTherm, to prevent that crawls the cold from the floor in the sleeping bag.

Physical preparations

Medical preparation

At the beginning of the year I was at the sports doctor and have thoroughly checked out can be and I’m ready for a 6000 at all. Also still talks at the family doctor were for me, once again to check whether several vaccines are missing me.

Going to the dentist was also again important to check my small filling. At high altitude, it can happen that extends from trapped air in not quite dense fillings and then blows up the tooth. This is probably the last thing I want experience in my vacation, no doctor nearby and is equivalent to the medical care beyond the European standards.

The training

My training has been very comprehensively and for me no great change. Since I have made good sport since childhood and partially competitive sports at the sports school operation, I knew what I have to do in the rough. The rest I have read me and learn at the sports doctor. As always, the basis of stamina is most important. Roughly broken down I have driven about 4-5 week sports days. Not a big difference to my normal daily routine, except that I have shifted the focus of the sports something. So have I reduced two times climbing/bouldering a week at a time and was jogging, (according to desire and mood) mostly between 10 and 16 kilometres units for two times per week. Fortunately my girlfriend went with frequently, so we could spend however much leisure time together and this resulted in a deficit in the privacy of. A round of rush hour race with colleagues or alone was still somehow in between pushed, but since July, always more reduced. Since I coached more run intervals, where I tried to get my pulse quickly to rapidly recover from strains after an intensive phase of load on a low level. I hope that I can do with these tactics on the Hill, where oxygen is scarce and getting quickly out of breath. I can not prevent altitude sickness so that, as the research agree always. I’m only to the effect that the climb on the mountain after intense passages quickly recovered to go on. Against altitude sickness, you can how universally known not much company, except in enough time to acclimatize.

About Easter and Ascension, I have my first Alpine peaks in the year climb. With snow, debris, and small, steep paths, I could specifically train already early in the year. A beautiful training tour was the trail running and cycling on all twelve 1000 of the Swabian Alb with my friend and colleague Jörn. Hard but horny 😉

End of August Matthias and I wanted to take a high-speed tour in Switzerland on the Mönch and the Jungfrau. Aim was to be for a while over 4000 meters, and without great acclimatization. Unfortunately, as so often, the weather made us a line through the Bill. So, we soaked up in the Ötztal Valley and climbed the Similaun. No real comparison to the Virgin, but still a good workout by the long March through the Valley. No comparison to the MERA peak, but on the 3600m I felt any fatigue, and signs on the height.

A few weeks ago I went a day over the tip of the cross on the Hochvogel im Allgäu, where less than 40 km and 2100Hm were on the programme still spontaneously alone an actually 2-day mountain tour. Tiring, but good. Physically, I’m now pretty fit, now it must work with the height and health.

Only a few days are there until departure to Kathmandu. The excitement rises from day to day and the anticipation mixed with a gravel-feeling. I hope that everything goes well, we come back healthy and take many beautiful impressions of Nepal. Whether the mountain high allows us, the mountain and our health will tell us.