Katie Sarah in Himilayan trek in Bhutan for Sight For All
ADELAIDE’S moutaineer mum Katie Sarah is helping others give back to the people of the tiny Himilayan kingdom of Bhutan.
The 49- year- old mother of three recently became the first woman on earth to complete the gruelling Seven- Seven challenge by climbing the highest peaks and highest volcanic peaks on all seven continents.
Now Sarah, who guides moutaineering and hiking trips when she’s not climbing herself, has led a group of eight Aussies on a walk through Bhutan’s mountains to raise an incredible $ 60,000 for Dr James Muecke’s Sight For All charity.
The charity, formed 15 years ago by Dr Muecke and fellow ophthal- mologists Henry Newland and Bob Casson, has a simple vision – a world where everyone can see. Implementing that vision, however, is far from simple and Dr Muecke said the money raised on the trek would make a real difference to the people of Bhutan
He said the funds had purchased “fundus fluorescein angiography camera”, a specialised camera that will allow the ophthalmologists of Bhutan to better diagnose and manage diseases of the retina, the fastest growing cause of vision loss in the world.
“Katie had been preparing us for the trek for close to a year, taking us on many a gruelling walk in the Adelaide Hills,” Dr Muecke said.
He said Sarah guided the group “with preci- sion and grace across awe- inspiring mountain passes and sublime glacial valleys, ensuring our wellbeing and safety, at all times.”
Sarah said the sevenday trek was tough in parts, but everyone rose to the challenge. “For many it was their first taste of altitude, and for some it was their first taste of camping,” she said. “Everyone thrived.”
As for Sarah, her eyes are now on the 8163m summit of Manaslu, the eighth- highest mountain in the world.
She leaves for Nepal on August 27 and plans to celebrate her 50th birthday on the summit.