Nepal – Twin Peaks Mera+Island via Amphu Laptsa Pass
Mera Peak (6460m) and Island Peak (6189 m) are two famous peaks in the Himalayas. Climbing the two peaks combined with crossing the spectacular and challenging Amphu Laptsa pass in a single season is demanding yet thrilling. This twin peaks challenge gives the diversity of terrains, through lush and dense forests, villages and farmlands in the lower elevation to crossing of a high pass and peak climbing in alpine ice and snow terrain, hanging on rope and crossing challenging crevasses, all with panoramic views of mountains in sight everyday.
About The Climb
The trek begins and end in Lukla on a circuit route. We take the regular route to Mera Peak through the lush forests of rhododendron and pine and Pangum La up to Mera Peak Base Camp (5300m) via Tangnang. Beyond Mera Peak Base Camp is the uninhabited alpine areas of the upper Hinku Valley. The summit attempt is from Mera Peak High Camp (5800m). After the Mera Peak summit, we head eastwards exploring the less used route towards Makalu Base Camp (4800m) and the wilderness of the Hinku Valley. We camp at Seto Pokhari (White Lake), a sacred lake that is part of a series of lakes that occupy the upper Honku Basin at over 5000m. The lakes are nestled beneath the stunning ramparts of Chamlang with Lhotse and Everest dominate the horizon. Next, we cross the challenging Amphu Laptsa Pass (5700m), which require fixed rope to abseil from the rocky crest and from the top of the pass to Island Peak Base Camp (5087m). The summit attempt is from The summit attempt is from the Island Peak Base Camp. After. After the summit attempt to Island Peak, we return to base camp. We take the same route as our Island Peak climb to return to Lukla.
Mera Peak and Island Peak offer a great Himalayan summit thrill with vastly different summit challenges. Mera Peak's summit route is a long gradual extreme altitude climb, never quite steep enough to get too scary but completely exhilarating. Island Peak, though of a lesser height, is slightly more skill demanding and exposed, with a 200m vertical ice wall to scale on fixed rope to reach the summit and may involve crossing crevasses with ladders. Both summit attempts require rope up, ice axe, crampons and mountaineering boots.
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.
Important to have above 5000m peak climbing experiences, as well as, rope up and fixed rope skills. Both peaks and Amphu Laptsa Pass require rope skills. The route to Island Peak summit has a 200m vertical ice wall to scale on fixed rope and may involve crossing crevasses with ladders. Both summit attempts require rope up, ice axe, crampons and mountaineering boots. The initial acclimtisation phase to Mera Peak High Camp is a more than 10 days trek on undulating mountain terrain. You are required to walk with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 8-10 hours a day to reached Mera Peak High Camp. The trek to Island Peak Base Camp, after Mera Peak, is another 5 days of long hours walk with the same backpack load of 5-6kg and crossing Amphu Laptsa Pass. The high pass crossing involves fixed rope to abseil from the rocky crest and from the top of the pass to Island Peak Base Camp. For both summit days, be prepared to trek for 12 – 16 hours starting at around 1-2am and in extreme cold temperature of -10°C to -15°C.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a lightweight base layer or a quick dry t-shirt and long trekking pants for the daily trek, especially in spring. From 4000m onwards and in autumn, a light weight long-sleeve base layer and long trekking pants is better attire for the trek. An outer shell is essential to protect from the weather elements. When at the tea house/campsites and 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
- Group size: 4 - 12 people
- 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 4-13||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 base camp.||B/L/D||Khare - 4940m|
|Day 14-15||Base Camp - High Camp - Summit (Mera Peak, 6476m) - High Camp||B/L/D||High Camp - 5800m|
|Day 16-18||Climb to Amphu Laptsa base camp through Kongmading and Seto PokharI||B/L/D||5000m - 5300m|
|Day 19||Cross the Amphu Labtsa pass (5630m)||B/L/D||5000m - 5300m|
|Day 20-21||Trek to Island Peak Base Camp / Rest day||B/L/D||4970m|
|Day 22||Base Camp - Summit (Island Peak, 6189m) - Base Camp||B/L/D||4970m|
|Day 23-25||Trek to Lukla (via Namche)||B/L/D||Lukla - 2860m|
|Day 26-27||Fly to Kathmandu/ spare day||B/-/-||1330m|
|Day 28||Depart Kathmandu||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 to 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 6500m)
- 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 provide extra support during the trek and 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 climb.
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.