Climb Mera Peak, 6476m
Mera Peak is the highest of the peaks in Nepal that are defined as 'trekking peaks'. At 6476m it is a very high mountain although it requires little or no technical climbing on its normal route. It is found a little to the East of the main Khumbu on a far less frequented trail. Our guided trip is 21 days long and includes flexibility for several days to attempt the summit.
Our groups are normally small teams of around 4 or 5 people with moderate climbing and hiking experience looking to try a snowy summit in Nepal which is not too technical but which requires basic alpine skills. Typically, groups have done some winter climbing before and learnt some techniques but never tested themselves at high altitude. We have open dates for solo travellers or small groups of friends to sign up to and we also run a lot of private climbs too.
We travel as a group with a team of porters that will inevitably overtake and meet us at the next stop. We stay a mixture of staying in tea houses and lodges before moving to camping further up on the trail and on the mountain. We try to keep our expedition comfortable but also as light and compact as we can.
MERA PEAK ITINERARY
- After flying in to Kathmandu, a rest day to catch up on sleep and get over jet lag.
- Fly to Lukla or drive to Paphlu and trek for 10 days to the foot of Mera Peak. This includes several rest days.
- The ascent of Mera Peak will take 3-4 days depending on the weather.
- Descent is a 4 day hike back to Lukla or to Paphlu and a flight or drive to Kathmandu
|1||1400||Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to accommodation|
|2||1400||Rest and briefing day in Kathmandu|
|3||2800||Kathmandu to Lukla (by air) then to Puiyan|
|4||2360||Puiyan to Bupsa|
|5||2846||Bupsa to Pangkongma|
|6||2850||Pangkongma to Ning so|
|7||3000||Ning so to Chetra Khola|
|8||3550||Chetra Khola to Khote|
|9||4360||Khote - Tangnag|
|10||4360||Acclimatisation day in Tangnag|
|11||5100||Tangnag - Khare|
|12||5300||Khare - Mera La (5413m) then Mera base camp|
|13||5300||Rest & glacier training at Mera Base Camp|
|14||5800||Mera High Camp|
|15||5100||To Mera Peak (6476m) then Khare|
|16||5100||Additional summit day if required|
|17||3550||Khare to Khote|
|18||4200||Khote - Tulli Kharka|
|19||3400||Tulli Kharka - Zetra La (4610m) then Chuthanka|
|20||2840||Chuthanka - Lukla|
|21||1400||Lukla - Kathmandu. Allow for mountain flight delays.|
|22||Depart Kathmandu or stay on longer|
CLIMBING MERA PEAK
The trek in to the peak provides a fantastic chance to enjoy all aspects of the Himalayan experience, from the lush green forests of the lower Khumbu region before crossing high passes and making your way up into the more sparse and rocky upper reaches. As we near the northern approaches of the peak we pass steep glaciers plunging into spectacular lakes behind huge ridges of glacial moraine.
Mera Peak is not technically demanding but it is high at 6476m and has a long summit day, and you are of course open to the elements. You need to take care of your hydration and maintain a slow manageable pace. The snow route itself is not steep, but it is a big day out and it will sap your strength. You will need to be comfortable moving on a man rope, clipping in and maintaining an efficient pace and a safe line. You also need to be familiar with walking on crampons and being able to self arrest with your walking axe. We use a high camp for this peak so experience camping on the snow and keeping warm, dry, hydrated and well fed is important to ensure you're in the best shape for summit day. We have plenty of time on the walk in, which is stunning, to practice the skills needed. If you're unsure of your suitability do feel free to contact us for a chat on firstname.lastname@example.org
High camp on the mountain
MERA PEAK ROUTE MAP
Click on the map for a larger version
TERRAIN ON THE TREK AND CLIMB OF MERA PEAK
The walk starts by heading south from Lukla and our altitude certainly fluctuates as the path ascends and descends the valleys of the region. Underfoot we have well-trodden paths which at times can be rocky, slippy if wet and uneven in parts. Our itinerary uses and longer trek in to allow for really good acclimatisation and a shorter route back to Lukla after the climb.
Once on the mountain itself there will be scrambling at times on quite loose rock to below the snow line. Once on the snow the route can vary depending on local conditions at the time and if required you will be roped up in groups of three or four. The terrain is not difficult but it does require care and alertness. The route is normally well marked, and groups tend to follow a similar 'path'. The terrain requires no technical climbing, but you will need to use winter skills and equipment (axe, crampon) when on the snow, which you will practice on the trek in.
Mera Peak Altitude Profile
ACCOMMODATION ON THE MERA PEAK CLIMB / TREK
Accommodation on the trek, before and after the climb of Mera Peak, is in comfortable lodges run by local families, unless people specify a preference for tents. Each lodge has a central communal area with stove, while the bedrooms are unheated with two beds and mattresses, blanket and pillows. You will need to bring a sleeping bag. The lodges generally have showers which are powered by gas and some use the infamous ‘drop’ toilets, though most now have flush systems now.
Food on the trek is very good quality, and a mixture of local Nepali / Sherpa food and western recipes. The local Dal Bhat or Momos are an excellent choice and burgers & chips are a common meal in Lukla, however less likely on the trek to Mera Peak as this area is not as developed, nor busy as the main trail north of Lukla to Everest. You will find everything from beer to batteries to Mars bars available in the lodges and local shops along the trail a Nepal price guide can be found here.
At Mera Peak base and High camp we will be in mountain tents usually sleeping two persons per tent. You should bring a 4 season sleeping bag and also a good quality sleeping mat. For lower down you may wish to use a sleeping bag liner to sleep in a open zipped 4 season bag, so that you don't get too hot.
EXPERIENCE NEEDED FOR MERA PEAK
The Mera Peak climb is a fairly taxing physical challenge at high altitude, however you build your mountain fitness during the trek to reach the mountain which involves ten days of walking over at times steep terrain between 3000m and 5000m. The paths are well made but some of the ascents are long and sustained. It can be quite hot in the lower valleys and you will certainly break quite a sweat and be breathing hard.
We do recommend that you embark on a good fitness programme at least six weeks prior to your trip though, and one that builds up general stamina and specific leg muscle groups. There is nothing like hiking with a rucksack to train for this type of trip, so the best advice is to get out into the hills as often as you can. You are likely to carry about 5 - 10 kilos in your day sack so this is a good weight to work with.
If you are going to be using the gym then concentrate on step machines which work on the thigh and calf muscles, and try to build your heart rate up to 50% above resting rate. Any cardiovascular activity is good, but remember that swimming will not train the correct muscle groups so it must be added to other exercises to be effective. Exercise groups like body pump, Pilates and aerobics are all excellent preparation for a trip like this, especially those which work on core strength, balance and stability.
Previous winter walking and use of mountaineering equipment is a bonus however the guides will offer training whilst you're trekking to the peak, so you will have time to learn and practice the skills needed such as clipping into a rope and walking safely with the group. This will mean being comfortable and efficient with equipment like crampons, walking axe, harnesses and karabiners and how to tie in safely to a man rope.
A lot of the success and enjoyment comes from good teamwork and communication and a sense of collaboration in this adventure. Share your knowledge and help others if they find it hard, and remember that the pace should be slow and measured with plenty of stops and good sleep to allow for proper acclimatisation.
"I only have good things to say about Adventure Alternative. Gavin, the owner, is very knowledgeable and gets personally involved in the trips they're selling. It's a caring company -- they care about their clients, their staff, and the communities in which they operate. The trek I went on was the best trip I've ever made. I could've been pushed further, but am happy they took it relatively easy on this as one of my earlier treks. Nice to see I've got more to give for future treks/climbs. The guides and porters were excellent, all from the same area, and so knew each other and Gavin. They were knowledgeable, fast, strong and trustworthy."
Summit day route is not highly technical but it is high, the altitude will make it physically demanding.
MERA PEAK SUPPORT TEAM
From your first enquiry and in the build up to your trip you'll have direct access to experienced and professional guides and climbers for advice or to ask questions. Then, on arrival in Nepal, you'll meet Tsering, our operations manager in Kathmandu who organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. He is also the main link between you and the UK office when you are in Nepal.
Tsering will introduce you to your trek and climb guides at the briefing in Kathmandu and will also talk to the guides regularly whilst you are on the trek / climb when signal is available. He can also make arrangements while you are on the trek. You also have continued support from the main office in the UK. In the Khumbu region there is an opportunity to communicate since most lodges now have WiFi. We will always try our best to assist with any situation and of course we will provide you with all the advice and support you need prior to this trip. In addition:
- You will travel with our qualified, time proven, guides who not only lead trekking groups but are experienced in high altitude expeditions.
- Porters' health and welfare is constantly monitored by local and UK trekking group leaders.
- All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal and we are qualified mountain professionals so you can chat to people who understand what it's like to go up for the first time, before you go.
- We provide insurance cover for all of our Sherpa guides and local staff in the event of an accident or need for repatriation.
- Preparation information and support is available to help you plan.
- We advise you to read our advice on altitude health and acclimatising safely.
The porters will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs and cater for all the group needs, you will also have your guide and climbing guide with you throughout to ensure you are safe and happy.
You can speak directly with Gavin Bate about your proposed climb of Mera Peak and have the benefit of somebody who has climbed the mountain many times and who will go through the whole expedition from start to finish. In the office you will find friendly and knowledgeable staff who will give you the time to discuss through all your preferences and questions.
Our company is properly insured and financially protected, so that your money is safe and you know you are dealing with a tour operator that is correctly set up to manage and run trips like this.
MERA PEAK EMERGENCY AND EVACUATION
Incidents and accidents are very rare however they can happen and if a person is badly injured or an injury prevents them from walking then helicopter evacuations are the most common way of dealing with an emergency in Nepal. Mera Peak is not far from Lukla, which has a good hospital and then is a very well established system in place for dealing with the logistics of getting someone help if needed. It is obviously important to have travel insurance in place and to be clear on your destination and what you are doing to the insurance company. In the event of an emergency the initial job of moving a casualty will be the responsibility of the team itself and the guide and porters and anybody else nearby. The task will be to move the casualty to the nearest safe place and then to a point where an evacuation can be made. On a Himalayan peak this could be some distance and take some time. Bad weather is the most common reason for delaying helicopter assistance so it's important to acknowledge that there is a requirement for self-sufficiency and self-management in the mountains.
If the situation doesn't require immediate evacuation then there are many local clinics for treatment and horses are commonly used for assisting transport if required. The horse owners usually charge around USD$150.00 per day which needs to be paid in cash. A helicopter evacuation can be organised through your insurance company but there will need to be some direct communication with the insurance company to open a case and explain the circumstances. This will require you to have your policy number, name and address and the date on which you paid for the insurance policy.
In the case of altitude sickness the best advice is not to take risks and descend. Further ascent can lead rapidly to the much more serious cerebral or pulmonary oedema which is incapacitating, so normally if you are feeling really bad then best to descend while you're still mobile. There is plenty of literature on acclimatising and using the appropriate drugs but even with medication you should still descend.
MERA PEAK KIT LIST
- Large duffle bag or rucksack & liner
- 45 Ltr day pack
- Stuff sacks, waterproof, various sizes
- Expedition Jacket, primaloft or down
- Waterproof jacket and trousers, goretex or equivalent (softshell)
- Trekking trousers and shorts, Tshirts, shirts
- Fleece or woollen tops
- Base layer tops and bottoms
- Thin socks and thick socks
- Warm hat, buff/balaclava, sunhat
- Liner gloves, warm gloves, mitts
- Sunglasses Cat 3 UV polaroid
- Mountaineering boots graded B1 or B2 to accommodate crampons
- Trekking boots and hut shoes
- 4 season sleeping bag (comfort temperature -20C) and compression sack
- Thermarest or thick foam sleeping mat for camping only
- Walking poles
- Head torch & spare batteries
- 2x 1 litre drinks bottles and covers
- Pee bottle
- 12 point crampons
- Mountaineering harness
- Walking axe & leash
- Climbing slings 2 x 120cm
- Screwgate karabiners x 2
- Ascender (jumar)
- Prussic loop
- Wash Kit and first aid, towel
We have a comprehensive list of gear for the trekking peaks of Nepal.
Items available for rent from Adventure Alternative (pick up in Nepal)
Descender, ascender, karabiners and slings
Boots for the climb need to be of a type that will allow fitting of crampons. They also need to be warm and fitted well to your feet. For Island Peak you will need boots graded at least B1 for crampon use. If you are planning on doing more mountaineering in the future on higher or colder routes it may be worth investing in B2 hybrid or B3 rigid Plastic boots both of which will also be suitable for Island Peak. Full 8000m triple boots are not needed for this climb but could be used if you already have them.
Personal first aid kit contents
Water Purification Tablets
Personal Medication as required:
eg. Anti-Malarials, Asthma Inhalers, Insulin, Epi-Pen etc
Prochlorperazine tablets (for sickness/nausea)
Ciprofloxacin tablets (general antibiotic; prescription required)
Acetazolamide tablets also known as Diamox (altitude prophylactic; prescription required)
Note: you must check with your GP for your personal suitability to all medicines and their possible side effects and interactions. Please inform us of the details of all regular medication that you intend to use though the course of your trip and any relevant allergies and medical history related to them. You also need to check the requirements and regulations of the airline and all countries visited in relation to medications. For example; laws governing transport of some pain control medication and the need keep insulin at a suitable temperature, ie not in the cargo hold.
- In-country logistics & support
- English speaking trekking guide and climbing guide
- Accommodation, meals with a hot drink at lodges
- Mera Peak climbing permit
- Tents, camping equipment, climbing ropes and group climbing equipment
- Staff insurances and food/accommodation allowances
Note: the figure above does include the internal flight to Paphlu or Lukla but we ask that this payment is made separately.
- Air fare to Kathmandu
- Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you. Click here for details
- Travel Insurance
- Mineral water, soft drinks or boiled drinking water on trek
- Single room supplements
- Meals in Kathmandu
A deposit of £100 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 6 weeks prior to your departure. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. Our itineraries are planned to include sufficient acclimatisation and rest to maximise your comfort, safety and chances of success.
Travel insurance will need to be purchased by each team member to cover all costs associated with medical, rescue, equipment, cancellations etc. This should be purchased as early as possible to ensure cancellation coverage in case of any issues arising that cause you to cancel your trip.
The policy must be checked for validity in the regions through which we will be travelling and also for trekking/mountaineering to 6476m. Many specialist insurance providers have common peaks named on the policy description so it is worth contacting the company to check which is the appropriate level of cover. You should bring with you a copy of your policy and ensure your tent mate knows where you keep it. It is also worth bringing a photocopy of your passport and to keep it separate to your own documents just in case you lose your passport.
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.
- Duration 22 days
- Numbers 10
- Altitude 6476m
- Accommodation Lodges/tents
- Challenge Difficult