Two days east of Lukla was a pleasant yak pasture surrounded by high peaks. When Col. Jim Roberts set out to look for it in 1953, he ended up making the first ascent of Mera Peak and sowing the seeds of Himalayan tourism.
Mera Peak has become a popular goal for trekkers and novice mountaineers, but few people climb to its true summit, and fewer still travel beyond it to find the secret yak pasture that sparked Roberts' journey.
The yak pasture was the Hongu Valley, a hidden sanctuary of grassland, lakes and glaciers linking Mera Peak with the Everest region and Island Peak to the north. Fifty years after Roberts, Mark Horrell embarked on a trek through Nepal's Khumbu region to follow in his footsteps, climb the two trekking peaks at either end of the valley, and resolve a long-standing mystery about Mera Peak's height.
Join Mark on a captivating journey through this enchanting region of high mountains and remote valleys.
About this series
The Footsteps on the Mountain Diaries are Mark's expedition journals. They are edited versions of what he scribbles in his tent each evening after a day in the mountains, with a bit of history thrown in. Light-hearted and engaging, they provide a perfect introduction to life on the trail.
He has published two full-length books: Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest (2015), about his ten-year journey from hill walker to Everest climber, and Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo (2019), about an expedition to cycle and climb from sea level to the furthest point from the centre of the earth.