Nepal – Mera Peak
Mera Peak, along with Island Peak, is one of the classic Himalayan 6000m peaks in Nepal that is highly sought after. It comprises of three summits - Mera South (6065m), Mera Central (6461m) and Mera North (6476m). The standard Mera Peak's itinerary climb up to Mera Central. The true summit is Mera North, which is seldom explored, most likely due to high risk of avalanche.
Mera Peak is a good introduction to ice and snow peak climbing that require basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills. Majority of the ascent involves a straightforward walk up on glacier terrain. It is suitable for those who have climbed beyond 5000m, such as Mt Kilimanjaro or Mt Damavand, to attempt as a first foray into 6000m peak climbing. While straight forward, the climb, in particular, the long drag on the glacier with crevasse fields on rope up, into the lower realm of the death zone at 5500m and beyond, can be extremely strenuous and physically exhausting.
About The Climb
The trek begins from Lukla. From Lukla, there are several routes to get to Mera and the fastest route is the trail that heads east via Zatra La (4610m) into the Hinku Valley. This route, being a fast approach to the foot of Mera Peak, is tough and can compromise on acclimatization, especially for those new to 6000m peak climbing. A more leisurely approach, with better acclimatization, is to trek south from Lukla, via the remote region of Panch Pokharaon, on a longer and more scenic route up to the beautiful Hinku Valley.
Our Mera Peak climb uses the longer approach trek via Panch Pokharaon to the Hinku Valley.
Both approach routes conclude at Khote (3550m) - the first of three settlements [Khote (3550m), Tangnag (4360m) and Khare (5100m)] - before reaching Mera Glacier. The three settlements are connected by a series of well-defined paths and requires a considerable amount of ascending.
Above the last settlement at Khare (5100m), is the high camp (5800m) located, on a rocky terrain, behind a large vertical rock. From Khare , it takes around 1 - 2 hours of uphill walking to reach the edge of Mera Glacier. Once on glacier, crampons and walking ice axes will be required. The first section of the glacier is flat and rapid progress (1-2 hours) can be made to Mera La (5400m), if well acclimatized. The walk across the glacier is outstanding, with breathtaking views of the Himalaya mountain ranges and towering peaks. From Mera La, continue on easy graded snow slopes, between the moraine and the glacier to the high camp. There is an area of crevasses between Mera La and the high camp.
With weather permitting, most teams depart for the summit between 2am to 4am. We attempt to reach the peak via the northern route above the wide glacier, flanked by 2 ridges. Although the route to summit is not steep, the persistent incline on the snow terrain has only a few flat sections to rest. The route swings to the east of the left hand ridge before turning back towards the main summit ridge. The final stretch leading to the summit involves a 30m ascent of a 60 degree snow dome using fixed rope and ascender. The view from the summit of Mera Peak is fantastic; it is one of the finest in the Himalayan region with five 8,000m peaks visible in range; Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kangchenjunga.
After the summit, we trek out on the shorter route back to Lukla via Zatra La.
There are four main seasons in Nepal. The best seasons to visit Nepal are spring, autumn and winter. Trekkers can trek from March to early June in spring. The next trekking season starts in mid-September and goes up till March. During this period, the visibility is good and it does not rain usually. You can get excellent views of landscapes and mountain ranges in this season. After November the temperature in higher altitudes becomes very low and snowfall starts
Autumn (September to November): Autumn season is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. It offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.
Winter (December - February): Winter is when snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas is a common occurrence. Though it gets colder in night, it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail. However, not all treks are suitable to be done in winter especially those involving climbing and crossing high passes.
Spring (March - May): Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside a wild flowers paradise during the spring season. The temperature is warmer as compared to autumn and winter.
Best time for Mera Peak : mid March to mid May / mid September to mid December.
Important to have above 5000m peak climbing experiences. Good to have rope up and fixed rope skills but not essential. Mera Peak is an ideal first foray into 6000ers peak climbing which require rope skills. The acclimtization phase will be more than 12 days trek to the last settlement, Khare, after which you will reach the snow line. You would have trekked for 14 days from 2800m to 5000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 8-10 hours a day by the time you reached Mera Peak High Camp at 5800m. For summit day, be prepared to trek for 12 – 16 hours starting at around 1-2am and in extreme cold temperature of -10°C to -15°C. The trek to the summit is long hours of snow plodding on glacier terrain with some crevasse crossings, the final summit push may require to go on fixed-rope. You will need to wear crampons, double or mountaineering boots and rope up to cross the crevasses.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a lightweight base layer or a quick dry t-shirt and long trekking pants for the trek up to 4000m, especially in spring. When above 4000m, and in autumn, a light weight base layer and long trekking pants is better attire for the trek to Base Camp at Khare (5100m). An outer shell is essential to protect from the weather elements. After sundown, a basic layer of thermal, fleece jacket and down jacket are needed to keep warm. For the summit attempt, you will need the basic 3 layers, a down jacket, water and wind proof pants and gloves. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
The following climbing equipment are required and provided for the summit attempt:
- Mountaineering or double boots
- Climbing harness
- Walking ice axe (optional)
- Sewn slings
- Ascender & abseil devices
- Locking karabiners
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Kathmandu||-/-/D||1330m|
|Day 2||Day tour & final preparation in Kathmandu||B/-/-||1330m|
|Day 3||Domestic flight to Lukla. Trek to Phuiyan||B/L/D||2796m|
|Day 4-12||Approach trek to Khare - Mera Peak Base Camp. The trek starts from Dudhkoshi Valley, crossing Pangom La pass (3140m) to Hinku Valley and the phenomenal lake junction of Kholakharka before reaching the BC.||B/L/D||Khare - 4940m|
|Day 13-16||Khare - HC - Summit (Mera Peak, 6476m) – Khare (including spare day)||B/L/D||High Camp - 5800m
Khare - 4940m
|Day 17-20||Trek to Lukla||B/L/D||Lukla - 2860m|
|Day 22||Depart Kathmandu (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Kathmandu
- Round trip airfare, airport departure taxes for domestic (KTM-Lukla-KTM) flight (max 15kg check in baggage)
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Half day city tour in Kathmandu
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Kathmandu & during trek (teahouse/tent )
- Trek gear: Sleeping mats, sleeping bags, down jacket and duffel bags
- Camping equipment and crew: sleeping tent (twin sharing), dinning tent and kitchen crew
- Climbing gear: ropes, mountaineering boots, harness, ascender, slings, abseil device, karabiners, ice axe and helmet.
- Trek support: Trekking guide, climbing guide, assistant guide and porters (1 porter to 1 trekker)
- Portable oxygen cylinder and comprehensive first aid kit.
- Boiled drinking water, tea and coffee during meals on trek
- Permits & fees: Trekking permit (TIMS) fee; National Park entry fee
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping (Budget around 10-15% of the package fee per trekker for the tip for the trekking crew)
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 7000m with fixed rope)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal services during trek like hot shower, WIFI usage and charging of electronic appliances etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner is the top 10 companies out of around 2000 trekking companies in Nepal, awarded by the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in all regions in Nepal, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue. They carry a portable oxygen cylinder, pulse oximeter and comprehensive first aid kit for emergency purpose.
Fair Treatment to Porters
Our porter to trekker ratio is 1:1. This is to ensure fair treatment to the porters that each porter does not carry an excessive heavy load for the duration of the trek. The 1:1 ration also helps to create more jobs for the locals who work as porters for a living.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.