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Mera Peak

Highlights

  • Trek through the Sherpa Villages of the Everest area
  • Summiting Nepal's highest Trekking Peak
  • Mera Glacier
  • Spectacular views Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.
  • Magnificent wilderness and wonderful people of the Hinku valley.

Overview

Mera Peak (6,654m) is ideal for those looking to achieve their first Himalayan ascent. Thought technically an easy climb it is, however, a real challenge to reach the summit of Nepal's highest Trekking Peak. Mera Peak stands to the south of Everest and dominates the watershed between the heavily wooded valleys of the Hinku and Hongu Drangkas. J.O.M. Roberts and Sen Tenzing made the first successful ascent of Mera Peak on 20 May 1953. The route they used is still the standard route.

The summit of Mera Peak provides one of the finest viewpoints in Nepal, offering a panoramic view of Chamlang, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, and Baruntse in the east and the peaks of Cho-Oyu, Ama Dablam and Kantega to the west. Everest can be viewed to the north over the massive south face of Lhotse and the Nuptse/Lhotse ridge. Under favourable conditions, it is possible to climb the peak and descend back to Base Camp on the same day.

Climbing Route:
North Face Glacier from the Mera La.
The base camp can be set up at 5,300m near Mera La on the Hongu side in the moraine below the ice. From here a high camp is set at 5,800m near a rocky outcrop on the Mera Glacier. The high camp proves to be one to the most glorious viewpoints in Nepal offering the panoramic views of Kanchanjunga, Chamlang, Makalu and Baruntse sweeping around from the east and Amadablam, Cho Oyu and Kangtega to the west. The giant faces of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse appear in the north.

There are three main summits which are climbable without much difficulty. The south summit (6,065m) is the most accessible with the Northern Summit (6,476m), the highest, which can be reached by skirting the Central Summit (6,461m) to the north and following a snow ridge to its top. Climbing the middle summit requires ascent up on steep snow and is more technical. Mera North is straight-forward to climb.

Itinerary

Day 01 Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 02 Morning Cultural Tour / Preparation for the expedition
Day 03 Fly to Lukla and trek to Chutunga
Day 04 Acclimatisation in Chutunga
Day 05 Trek to Thule Kharka via Zatra La 
Day 06 Thule Karka to Tashing Dingma
Day 07 Tashing Dingma to Tangnag
Day 08 Tangnag to Khare
Day 09 Acclimatization Day at Khare
Day 10 Khare to Mera La
Day 11 Acclimatisation and Climbing Clinic
Day 12 Mera La to High Camp
Day 13 Ascend Mera Peak
Day 14 Spare Day 
Day 15 Trek to Khare
Day 16 Khare to Thangnak
Day 17 Thangnak to Thasing Dingma
Day 18 Thasing Dingma to Thule Kharka
Day 19 Trek to Lukla
Day 20 Fly back to Kathamandu
Day 21 In Kathamandu
Day 22 Departures

Note: All high altitude expeditions now carry Australian built PAC Portable Altitude Chamber.

Routes

Day 1: Transfer to Hotel. Pre-expedition briefing in evening.

Day 2: Guided tour of Kathmandu getting last minute supplies.

Day 3: Fly to Lukla, trek to Chutunga. We will have an early breakfast and head off to the airport for our flight to Lukla. This flight will take about 40 minutes as we travel over ranges and river valleys towards the highest peaks in the Himalaya. Lukla is a small Sherpa town that is the starting point for some of the most famous climbs and treks in Nepal. We will spend the rest of the morning relaxing and acclimatizing at 2,800 m (9184ft). After lunch, will start our trek up to Chutunga, where we will camp for the night. Our walk will take us NE through the fields and forests surrounding Lukla. We will make our way up through yak grazing grounds to the small teahouse settlement of Chutunga (3,100m, 10,170ft).

Day 4: Acclimatization Day at Chutunga. Acclimatization is an important component of high-altitude climbing. This will be the first of 2 scheduled rest days as we let our bodies get accustomed to the thinner, high altitude air. After breakfast we will head up towards Zetra La, exploring the rhododendron forests and meadows above Chutunga. Keep a lookout for the elusive Impeyan, a brightly colored Himalayan pheasant that keeps to the forests for cover. We will make our way back down for lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the views of the surrounding peaks and passes.

Day 5: Cross Zetra La to Thule Karka. Today we cross Zetra La (Pass, 4,600m, 15,088ft). We will slowly make our way up and stop for lunch just above the tree line, about 500 m below the pass. Above here the terrain is steep and rocky. From the pass we will get great views of surrounding peaks, such as Kwangde to the east and even Cho Oyu to the north. We will slowly make our way across the rocky flats and passes, gradually descending to Thule Karka at 4,400 m (14,432ft, 'Thule Karka' means big meadow in Nepali). Camping at high elevation will allow us to acclimatize so our later ascent of Mera Peak will be easier. If you have time to explore the craggy terrain around Thule Karka, you may spot a Himalayan mink hiding out in the weathering rock debris.

Day 6: Thule Karka to Tashing Dingma. This will be on of our longest walking days, mostly downhill. We will traverse several flats and spurs until we gain our first view of Mera Peak. From here we will drop down into the isolated Hinku Valley. Aside from mountaineers, the Hinku Valley is sparsely populated and very pristine. We will ascend a steep section of trail until we enter the forest, where we will stop for lunch. Eventually we will drop down into the humid, bamboo forests, before turning north up along the west side of the Hinku River towards Mera Peak. We will slowly ascend to Tashing Dingma (4,350m), where we will camp.

Day 7: Tashing Dingma to Tangnag. Today we will have amazing mountain views as we continue north up the Hinku Valley. The trail gently climbs along the west bank of the Hinku River. Spectacular mountains, such as Kusum Kangari to the west and Mera Peak to the east, will be in view throughout the morning. We will make our way up onto the meadows on the western side of the Hinku Valley as we climb above the tree line. Here we will stop for lunch. Throughout the afternoon, we will traverse meadows and hill slopes, dotted with grazing yaks, until we reach the settlement of Tangnag (4,350m, 14,268ft). If it’s been a snowy season, the sound of avalanches will soon be familiar. We are approaching the heart of the high Himalaya.

Day 8: Tangnag to Khare. Today we will climb above 5,000 m (16,400ft) for the first time. Our hike up to Khare (5,100m, 16,728ft) is short, but we will take it slowly, with frequent stops to soak up the incredible surroundings. The trails heads eastward out of Tangnag, along the lateral moraine of the Dig Glacier. We will pause to climb up the moraine for a view of the pristine Sabai Tso glacial lake. A drop in lake level, caused by a recent rupture of the natural dam the held the lake, is clearly visible. We will arrive at Khare in the early afternoon and have lunch. From Khare, the beautiful north face of Mera Peak is in plain view and Mera glacier spills steeply down into the valley.

Day 9: Acclimatization Day at Khare. Our staff will maintain our base camp at Khare. In the morning we will head up about 200 m to the foot of Mera glacier, where we practice rope work and use of crampons and ice axe. We will return to Khare for lunch. We’ll spend the afternoon resting for the upcoming climb.

Day 10: Khare to Mera La. Today we will travel a short distance, slowly ascending up onto Mera glacier. The climb is initially steep, but flattens out as we reach the crest of the glacier. We will traverse a long flat on top of the glacier as we make our way to the pass, called Mera La (5,400m, 17,710ft). From here, the views are stunning. Crevasse fields gently stretch out in front of the pass and we are literally enclosed by a ring of jagged peaks and blue-green glaciers. The remaining route up to the summit of Mera Peak is clearly visible. We will have lunch at Mera La and spend the afternoon relaxing and staying warm.

Day 11: Acclimatisation and Climbing Clinic.

Day 12: Mera La to High Camp. We have a short, steep climb up to High camp, but we will take it very slowly so that we allow for the altitude gain. At 5,800 m (19,025ft), high camp is nestled behind a large rock outcrop. We will arrive here by lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing and further acclimatizing. Bill O’Conner in the book ‘Trekking Peaks of Nepal” describes high camp as “one of the most glorious viewpoints in Nepal, with a panorama that takes in Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, Makalu and Baruntse sweeping round from the east, whilst due north Everest peers over…the massive unclimbed South Face of Lhotse and Nuptse. Sitting on that rock outcrop, listening to the wind and looking out across untracked glaciers remains a highlight of my Mera expedition.”

Day 13: Ascend Mera Peak, Return to Base Camp at Khare. We will depart high camp before dawn. The climb up to the higher northern summit is straight forward, but will take 6-7 hours. The reward is one of the world’s most spectacular mountain views, including Everest and Lhotse just to the north, Cho Oyu to the northwest, and Kanchenjunga and Makalu to the east. We will then make our way down to Mera La for lunch and to Khare to camp for the night.

Day 14: Spare Day. We allow a spare day in case of bad weather.

Day 15 – 19: We retrace our footsteps back via Thagnak, Thasing Dingma and all the way back to Lukla.

Day 20: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

Day 21: Free time in Kathmandu

Day 22: Depart for next destination

Inclusions

  • Trekking permits, National Park Entrance and Peak Permit
  • All accommodation lodge or tent.
  • Domestic Airfares
  • 4 nights accommodation Shakti Hotel - Kathmandu
  • Trek arrangements with guide, cook and porter/s.
  • NMA Registered Climbing Guide for climbing
  • Equipment Allowance for climbing guide.
  • Service of Instructor and Sherpa Guide for Peak climbing.
  • Group climbing equipment: (main rope, pitons, snow bars, etc.)
  • Guide and porter insurance.
  • Garbage deposit (US$250.00 per group) with NMA
  • Sleeping bag, crampons, jacket, fleece inner, insulated mat, duffel bag etc
  • Medical Kit Bag on every expedition
  • Rescue arrangement and staff insurance
  • First aid and eco-trained staff
  • Warm clothing and other required trekking gear for porters like Gortex jacket & trousers, trekking shoes / boots, sleeping bag / blanket, woolen hat, woolen gloves, woolen socks, sun glasses etc.
  • Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) / Gamow Bag (A life saving device in case of Acute Mountain Sickness) along with the comprehensive First Aid Kit.
  • Peak climbing certificate to the successful climbers
  • Climbing clinic at base camp to ensure you know what you are doing on the mountain
  • Half day tour of Kathmandu.

Exclusions

  • International Airfares
  • Travel Insurance (Note this peak is rated as 10-11 on the Ewbank climbing system)

Maps