This little stray dog has possibly become the first pupper to climb a Himalayan mountain after following an expedition to the summit of Mount Baruntse.
Dogs aren’t normally known for their climbing prowess, but there’s at least one Nepalese mutt that can climb mountains even better than humans can, and do so completely without the aid of ice axes, ropes, or pitons.
Her name is Mera, a 45-pound Tibetan mastiff and Himalayan sheepdog mix. Seattle-based mountaineer Don Wargowsky met her on the way down from Mera Peak last October during an expedition and quickly became inseparable.
It was a strange day when Wargowsky and Mera met. He and his expedition mates were coming down from Mera Peak when Mera came bounding up to him at roughly 17,500 feet up. That’s not a height where many people are, let alone dogs, but Mera seemed completely unfazed by the altitude or ice-cold temperatures.
Wargowsky and Mera became fast friends, but the Nepalese sherpas that were with him took some time warming up to her. In Nepal, stray dogs are often avoided for fear of rabies, but after the sherpas saw how easily Mera took to mountain climbing, they quickly started believing that Mera was good luck.
One even went as far as to say she was blessed by the gods.
Mera followed Wargowsky and his expedition on their next climb up to Baruntse Peak, a climb of 23,389 feet. While the climbers wore expensive, thermally insulated coats and used even more expensive climbing gear, Mera just did a total free climb. She was so good, she would often get ahead of the expedition and wait for them to catch up.
Each night, she and Wargowsky would cuddle up in a tent to sleep and stay warm.
According to Outside Magazine, Mera is believed to be the highest-climbing dog in history as well as the first dog to reach a Himalayan summit.
Unfortunately, Wargowsky couldn’t bring Mera with him back to Seattle, but luckily one of the Sherpas was so impressed with Mera that he adopted her after returning from the expedition. She’s been renamed Baru after the mountain she climbed with her humans. She’s also reportedly put on a few pounds after her adventure, but that just means she’s a happy, well-fed dog.
You can see more of Mera on Wargowsky's Facebook album here.