Adventurous stray dog climbs 7,000m in Himalayas

Posted on 8 March 2019

A remarkable story recently came to light about a stray dog that summited a 7,000m ascent in the Himalayas early last November.

Mera yawns. Image: Don Wargowsky

Mera, believed to be a cross between a Tibetan mastiff and Himalayan sheepdog, was found on the Himalayan slopes by some climbers on a mountaineering expedition on the peak of Baruntse, a mountain in Nepal, according to Outside Magazine. The friendly hound tagged along under the guidance of expedition leader, American mountain guide Don Wargowsky.

Mera with the expedition crew. Image: Don Wargowsky

Together, the group crossed glaciers (where Mera spent two nights in strong chilly winds), the intrepid dog even took the lead, guiding the ‘pack’ for some parts of the ascent. Wargowsky’s canine companion for the next three weeks shared a tent with the mountain guide and slept on his jacket. Don fed her pieces of meat, soup and some of his pasta.

It’s tiring, all this mountaineering… Mera lies down in Don’s tent. Image: Don Wargowsky

Naturally, the team was concerned about Mera’s health and survival, especially ahead of a difficult section of the climb, which included steep drops and heavy snow. They tied the dog up at camp, but she soon got free, chewing through her rope-leash, and joined the group again quickly. Again, early one morning they left her sleeping in the tent. The determined Mera got out and took only two hours to rejoin the group that had set out nine hours earlier.

Helping little Mera climb up. Image: Don Wargowsky.


‘I’d never been on top of something like that with a dog. She was leaning up against me and wanting to be petted,’ Wargowsky told the Outside. ‘It was pretty surreal.’

After finally completing the expedition, the first ever dog to summit Barunste was adopted by the Nepal base camp manager, Kaji Sherpa.

All images by Don Wargowsky via Facebook

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