Originally Posted By: wagga

My first thought was pommy troops in the desert theatres of WWII. Then I wandered over to (the "much higher" clue) astronauts training in the desert. Way far wrong. Hence Erika.

Erika? No Greek male or female pole vaulters in the Himalayas
Just me at 19,200 ft. New record.
(Everest is in direct center, from the south)