Katie Sarah in Him­i­layan trek in Bhutan for Sight For All

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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