In October last year, Nepal experienced what was arguably one of the worst trekking disasters in history. A number of snowstorms hit the Mustang District Area and caused severe avalanches that tragically took the lives of 43 people. South Australian based Markus Herderich was trekking through the Mustang District Area when the snowstorms hit. He’s extremely grateful he made it home safe and sound – and that he had his trusty I/O Merino to keep him warm and comfortable during his three week trek.
Damodar Himal from West

Calm before the storm in The Mustang District Area. Photo by Markus Herderich.

The Nepal snowstorm disaster was a tragic event that shocked the trekking and hiking communities on a global level. It was also a huge reminder of just how powerful, and dangerous, Mother Nature can be.

One of the first calls for international assistance was raised by the Israeli embassy in Kathmandu after trapped tourists sent a hand written note from the top of a pass to a local guide. During the search and rescue efforts, up to 400 people were found with severe injuries including frostbite.

Markus and his group were incredibly grateful they were well prepared, experienced and came home with no injuries when there were many others less fortunate.

Markus says, “The plan was to fly-in to Jomsom, walk up to Lo-Manthang, cross over the Damodar Himal with a climb up to Mt Saribung and walk out via Phu to the start of the Annapurna Trail at Jagat. Just before our halfway mark and on approaching Mt Saribung we got caught at 5000m in the unseasonal heavy snow fall and decided to turn around, walking out 200km over 10 days via Muktinath – Tattopani – Poon Hill”.

As an experienced trekker, Markus knew he was going to withstand some extreme weather conditions. And the snowstorms made it even worse. During the trip he well and truly put his I/O Merino through its paces and says his ‘go to’ pieces were the Elemental Jacket and the Altitude Long Sleeve Base Layer. According to him, they “Did a fine job in keeping me warm”.

warming up after the snow storm camp 4800m Ghuma Thanti-Damodar Himal

Markus staying warm in I/O Merino. Photo by Markus Herderich.

Markus and his group were only able to shower twice during the three week trek so they relied on wet wipes to keep clean. He says, “That’s one reason Merino is super”. Our MicroMerino® fabrics have natural antimicrobial properties to help keep you odor-free even after a long day. Or long couple of weeks trekking in Nepal. So if you’re ever brave enough to take on the Mustang District Area, don’t forget to pack your I/O Merino.

*All images provided by Markus Herderich.

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