Two climbers from Kiulu conquered Mera Peak in the Himalayas, marking a significant historical achievement

KOTA KINABALU: Florensia Grace Gainus and Shartner Liew, both from Kiulu, have made history by successfully conquering the summit of Mera Peak in the Himalayas, Nepal.


Lead by their close friend Jaistin Tamin of Membakut, who had been trekking and climbing the peaks of Himalaya on three occasions since 2013, the trio embarked on the challenging trek from Lukla after flying in from Kathmandu on the 16th of December, trekking through the icy cold and snowy trails to Chuttanga, then across the strenuous Zatrwa La pass at 4,620 m (15,157 feet) to Thuli Karka.

From Thuli Karka, they trek to Khote on the next day, December 19, to Thaknak on the 20th, and then to Khare on the 21st.

The team took 3 days of acclimatisation in Khare by hiking to the high points and down.

The rule of ‘climb high, sleep low’ needs to be followed.

In Khare, they also did some basic rope training in jumping and abseiling with the experienced Jaistin as their coach.

The trek on the 24th of December from Khare to the crampon point is quite difficult because of the thin air above 5000 meters.

The real test comes when they arrive at the crampon point, especially for Shartner and Florensia, both of whom are wearing climbing boots and using crampons for the first time.

Climbing guides Gyalje Sherpa and Raza Sherpa taught them some alpine skills in negotiating a rather steep slope of ice on the way to the High Camp.

On the summit day of December 25th, which happened to be Christmas Day and Florensia’s birthday, they started climbing at about 3 a.m.

Obviously, Jaistin and Shartner were not in their best form. Both were having bouts of diarrhoea since they were in Khare.

Shartner had another problem, which was gastritis. Nevertheless, they soldiered on courageously.

At some point, Jaistin asked Shartner to reconsider his decision to go ahead with the summit push, as he looked really weak as the climb progressed.

Gyalje too, being the very experienced Sherpa, persuaded Shartner to make up his mind whether to climb on or turn back.

At one point, Shartner decided to turn after successfully making progress on difficult slopes, but at that point, Gyalje urged Shartner to continue after reassessing his condition and because they were already near the summit.

Finally, after the slow and painful pace, the team reached the top of Mera on December 25th at about 11 a.m., coinciding with Christmas, thus celebrating the festive occasion at the high altitude peak.

The achievement was particularly special for Florensia, as she also celebrated her birthday on December 25th, making the joy of reaching the summit of Mera even more memorable.

“This is truly a blessing from God. The three of us safely reached the summit of Mount Mera. Climbing Mera was incredibly challenging compared to Mount Kinabalu.

“However, I constantly reminded myself to give my best and never give up. With a strong determination, we finally made it to the top of Mera,” expressed Florensia upon their arrival at Kota Kinabalu International Airport today.

Florensia received a warm welcome from her family, which included her mother Agnes Timah Dusip, who had been extremely concerned until her daughter called via WhatsApp to assure her that she had safely reached the base camp.

Shartner was equally elated to have fulfilled his dream of reaching the summit of Mera.

“Prior to this, I had read numerous accounts of climbers who failed to reach the top of Mera or lost their lives during the ascent. However, those stories did not deter us from persisting and striving towards our goal. After a day of climbing from the base camp, my confidence in reaching the summit grew. Thankfully, I was in good health, which made the journey to climb Mount Mera somewhat easier,” he shared.

Mera Peak, also known as Puncak Mera, stands at a height of 6,479 meters.

Apart from Mera Peak, the Himalayan Mountains are also home to Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, towering at a height of 8,849 meters or 29,032 feet.

Jaistin expressed gratitude for overcoming various obstacles and challenges to successfully conquer the mountain.

“After facing numerous hurdles, we are grateful to have triumphed and reached the summit of Mera Peak. It is truly a remarkable accomplishment,” he stated.

As the saying goes…where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he said.

All three received certificates of success in climbing Mount Mera from Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) & Everest Trekking Routes Pvt Ltd.

According to NMA records, the three Sabah climbers were the first group from the island of Borneo to successfully climb the peak of Mera, Nepal.

Related Articles


Latest Articles