People May 6, 2024 | 8:05 am

Thais Herrera’s journey from Mera Peak to Mount Everest

Mountaineer and adventurer Thais Herrera has achieved a remarkable feat by conquering the 6,400m summit of Mera Peak in Nepal, becoming the first documented Dominican to accomplish this ascent.

Her endeavor to scale Mera Peak forms part of her rigorous training regimen aimed at preparing her body for the formidable challenge of climbing Mount Everest in the imminent weeks, strategically timed for optimal weather conditions. Over the course of this preparatory phase, spanning approximately 160 kilometers across the rugged terrain of Langtang and Makalu Barun national parks, Herrera has ascended an impressive altitude of around 10,000 meters, all without allowing herself a single rest day.

Reflecting on the demanding journey, Herrera describes these past weeks as intensely immersive, involving a seamless transition from her initial training in Ecuador to the rigorous acclimatization process in Nepal.

Upon reaching the pinnacle of Everest, Herrera stands poised to etch her name in history as the first Dominican to summit the world’s tallest peak. Her ambitious project, aptly named “A Dominican finding herself at the top,” entails conquering the highest summits on each continent—already having scaled five of these peaks—alongside skiing expeditions to both the North and South Poles. Despite encountering setbacks, such as permit delays forcing a shift from the north to the south face of Everest, Herrera remains resolute in her pursuit.

Navigating the challenges inherent to the southern face of Everest—including extreme altitude, biting cold, traversing the perilous Khumbu Icefall, and navigating through crowds, with nearly 500 permits issued alongside Sherpas and Western guides—Herrera relies on her adaptability and the expertise of seasoned Ecuadorian guide Paul Guerra, who diligently documents their ascent.

Expressing profound gratitude for the outpouring of support, messages, and prayers, Herrera carries the collective encouragement of her well-wishers close to her heart, symbolized by the flag she proudly bears.

Beyond her mountaineering exploits, Herrera’s multifaceted identity encompasses roles as a mother, entrepreneur, and speaker. Armed with an educational background in Industrial Engineering and Senior Management, she spearheads Asertiva RD, a company specializing in outdoor training and team-building initiatives for corporate and educational entities. Additionally, Herrera imparts her knowledge as a faculty member at Barna Management School.

A certified storyteller and adept in group dynamics, Herrera’s diverse repertoire extends to triathlon competitions and philanthropic endeavors. Notably, she holds the distinction of being the first Dominican woman to complete an Ironman, having conquered this grueling challenge six times. She is the driving force behind the internationally acclaimed sporting event, Pico Duarte Express, an annual feat where she ascends and descends the summit of the Antilles within a single day. Her philanthropic endeavors further underscore her commitment to social causes, actively engaging with esteemed foundations to drive impactful change.

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