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Nepal – Twin Peaks Mera+Island via Amphu Laptsa Pass

20 Oct 18

Nepal – Twin Peaks Mera+Island via Amphu Laptsa Pass

twin-peaks-nepal-meraisland-banner

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.

Trekking Seasons

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.

Experience Required

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:

  1. Mountaineering or double boots
  2. Crampons
  3. Climbing harness
  4. Walking ice axe (optional)
  5. Sewn slings
  6. Ascender & abseil devices
  7. 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.

Available Dates Price Qty*
20 Oct-16 Nov 2018 $5,530.00 (SGD)  / person   Expired
14 Apr-11 May 2019 $5,670.00 (SGD)  / person   Expired
6 Oct-2 Nov 2019 $5,950.00 (SGD)  / person  
27 Oct-23 Nov 2019 $5,950.00 (SGD)  / person  

* You can register up to 12 participants in one go.


Register Now
  • Dates listed are for open international group
  • You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg

DayDescriptionMealsAltitude at Rest Point
Day 1Arrive Kathmandu-/-/D1330m
Day 2Day tour & final preparation in KathmanduB/-/-1330m
Day 3Domestic flight to Lukla. Trek to PhuiyanB/L/D2796m
Day 4-13Approach 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/DKhare - 4940m
Day 14-15Base Camp - High Camp - Summit (Mera Peak, 6476m) - High Camp
B/L/DHigh Camp - 5800m
Day 16-18Climb to Amphu Laptsa base camp through Kongmading and Seto PokharIB/L/D5000m - 5300m
Day 19Cross the Amphu Labtsa pass (5630m)B/L/D5000m - 5300m
Day 20-21Trek to Island Peak Base Camp / Rest day B/L/D4970m
Day 22Base Camp - Summit (Island Peak, 6189m) - Base Camp B/L/D4970m
Day 23-25Trek to Lukla (via Namche)B/L/DLukla - 2860m
Day 26-27Fly to Kathmandu/ spare day B/-/-1330m
Day 28Depart KathmanduB/-/-

Inclusions

  • 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

Exclusions

  • 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.

Grading: 3D+

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:

  1. Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
  2. Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
  3. Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
  4. 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.

Available Dates Price Qty*
20 Oct-16 Nov 2018 $5,530.00 (SGD)  / person   Expired
14 Apr-11 May 2019 $5,670.00 (SGD)  / person   Expired
6 Oct-2 Nov 2019 $5,950.00 (SGD)  / person  
27 Oct-23 Nov 2019 $5,950.00 (SGD)  / person  

* You can register up to 12 participants in one go.


Register Now
  • 14 Apr-11 May 2019
    April 14, 2019 - May 11, 2019
  • 6 Oct-2 Nov 2019
    October 6, 2019 - November 2, 2019
  • 27 Oct-23 Nov 2019
    October 27, 2019 - November 23, 2019

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 (more…)

Mountain Climbing Challenges for 2016

What is your plan for 2016? If you have yet to decide, we have some plans here for you to consider!

Peak Climbing Challenge
Mt Damavand – 28May – 6Jun – S$1980 / pax
Elbrus North – 28Jul – 8Aug – S$2800 / pax
Stok Kangri – 7-20 Aug – S$1290 / pax
Mt Malchin – 12-21 Aug – S$2850 / pax
Island Peak – 30Nov – 20Nov – S$3950 / pax
Mera Peak – 13Nov – 4Dec – S$4200 / pax

2016 Multi Peaks

 

Our annual Twin Peaks Challenge 
Siguniang Twin Peaks – 20-30 October – S$1950/ pax
Taiwan Twin Peaks – 27Nov – 4 Dec – S$1290/pax

2016 - Twin Peaks Challenge (Taiwan + China)

Email to contact@aceadventure.com.sg

Climb On!

Russia – Mt Elbrus (North Route)

20 Jul 17

Russia – Mt Elbrus (North Route)

Mount Elbrus, a two-peaked ice giant, crowns the panorama of Central Caucasus. Its two peaks have two volcano craters, which make the eastern peak (5612m) a little lower than the westrn peak (5642m). The eastern peak has an enormous crater 250m in diameter. The massif is covered by a gigantic ice-cap, which gives the mountain its name, translated from the Persian language to English as "Snow Mountain". Mount Elbrus is considered an inactive volcano. Lava flows cover the mountains as well as 100 square miles of volcanic ash and debris. Pyroclastic flows of ash and mud, indicative of a powerful eruption that melted ice, also drain off the mountain. An 800-foot-wide snow-filled volcanic crater is on the mountain's western summit. Elbrus last erupted around 50 A.D.
There are two ascent route to climbing Mt. Elbrus - the south route and the north route. In this journey, we will ascent Mt. Elbrus via the north route.

About The Climb

The ascent of Mt. Elbrus from the north route is more demanding than from the south route. We called it the “Elbrus North” climb. Elbrus North is a route of the virgin nature. There is no cable cars, no snow-cat, making the climb purely on human-powered mode starting from the base camp. The ascent begins from Dgily-su and continues along the north slope of the mountain. The climb is not technically difficult, but requires the use of crampons, ice axe, and roping up system to negotiate the crevasses. Elbrus North is wild, more adventurous than the south route. The climb is like an authentic mountaineering expedition. The main obstacles are high altitude, wind, cold, and long hours of plodding on snow field tied to your climbing mates. The climb from high camp may take between 10 and 12 hours, and another 4 to 6 hours of descent. This climb is not suitable for beginners; participants are expected to have some experience with walking in crampons, using ice-axe and roping up. We will conduct specific skills training to prepare you (or as a refresher session) for the climb. Good endurance fitness & stamina are necessary to have to get to the highest point of Mt. Elbrus.

Experience Required

Participants must have high level of fitness, physically and mentally fit, with the ability to trek with a 15kg backpack load or heavier (3 load ferrying days); Experience in multi-day treks, walking on snow with crampons (not difficult to learn) & sleeping in tents.

Equipment and Gear

You will need high altitude trekking attire during the acclimatization trek; when at the mountain lodge, fleece and down jacket will be required. A down sleeping bag is needed in base camp and the mountain lodge. You will also need the following equipment for the summit attempt:

  1. Crampon compatible high altitude boots / double layer boots (or plastic boots);
  2. Crampons
  3. Climbing harness
  4. Locking karabiners
  5. Prussik Cords
  6. Walking ice axe (optional)

* Equipment can be rented in Kislovodsk. A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb.

  • Group size: 6 - 12 people
  • *Price quoted may subject to change for 2017 scheduled dates
  • The Elbrus North trip is part of our annual Mountain Climbing Challenges event.  To promote mountain climbing and to encourage people to challenge themselves physically and mentally, we have initiated and introduced a few  mountain climbing challenges into our calendar each year. These Mountain Climbing Challenges trips are accompanied by a team leader. To read more, click on this link: Mountain Climbing Challenges
  • You can also form a private or join an international open group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg

DayItineraryMealsAltitude At Rest Point
Day 1Arrive Moscow, domestic flight to Mineralnye Vody. Drive to Kislovodsk. O/N in hotel-/-/D500m
Day 2Transfer to the Dgily-Su (Elbrus North base camp – BC)B/L/D2500m
Day 3-9Ascent to High Camp. Acclimatization hike to Lenz Rocks (4700m) / Summit climb (Mt Elbrus, 5642m).B/L/DHigh Camp - 3700m
Day 10Descent to Dgily-Su. Transfer to Kislovodsk. O/N in hotelB/-/-500m
Day 11Transfer to Mineralnye Vody airport – Domestic flight to Moscow. O/N in hotelB/-/-255m
Day 12Depart Moscow. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )B/-/-

Inclusions

  1. Return airport transfer in Mineralyn Vody and Moscow
  2. Return land transfer between Kislovodsk and Dgily-Su
  3. Meals as indicated in itinerary; (*packed lunch on acclimatization & summit day)
  4. Twin/Triple sharing accommodation in Kislovodsk and Moscow
  5. Camping equipment: Sleeping tents (twin sharing) or dormitory tents; dining tents
  6. Trek/climb support: Mountain climbing guide (1guide : 3climbers ratio); climbing ropes
  7. Permits & fees: National Park fee
  8. Drinking water at campsites and for the trek/climb
  9. One English speaking guide during transfer
  10. Entry Visa application support - invitation letter & submission
  11. 1 x Ace Adventure Expeditions trip leader

Exclusions

  1. International & Domestic air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  2. Visa Fee to Russia (S$70 for Singaporeans (3-4days) /S$140 urgent)
  3. Single Supplement
  4. Meals not indicated in itinerary
  5. Extra summit attempt ( €290 per climbing guide)
  6. Extra beverages & snacks; alcholic drinks
  7. All tipping
  8. Personal porters
  9. Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 6000m)
  10. Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
  11. Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
  12. Extension of stay after the trek
  13. Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  14. 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
2. Equipment preparation & gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Physical training preparation
4. Trip information kit
5. Visa application, invitation letter and submission

We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Elbrus, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in emergency rescue.

Grading: 3D

Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a climb or trek. A training recommendation specific to the climb or trek will be given upon signing up. A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for the trek. Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trip.

  • 20-31 July 2017 (with a trek leader)
    July 20, 2017 - July 31, 2017

[…]

2nd Highest in Malaysia – Trus Madi

Yippy! I have finally trek up to Trus Madi in Sabah.

Trus Madi is 2,642m above sea level – the 2nd highest peak in Sabah and also the 2nd highest peak in Malaysia (West & East). It lies on the same range as Mt Kinabalu, the Crocker Range. The Trus Madi Forest Reserve is bordered by three districts – Ranau, Tambunan and Keningau.  Trus Madi can be accessed from this three districts, we will begin our journey from Tambunan. Tambunan is a small town south of Mt Kinabalu.

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu (KK) airport on Silk Air flight, Silk Air arrives in KK at noon, giving us sufficient time to travel to Tambunan town, 80km in distance, about 1.5hrs drive on private van. East of Tambunan is Trus Madi. We stayed at TRCC – Tandarason Resort Country Club – though not quite the expected resort, it is relaxing and secluded.

Vincinity around TRCC

TRCC vicinity

Sunset at TRCC

Sunset view from TRCC

The next day, we hopped onto a 4WD and off we went for a 1.5hrs not-so-bumpy ride to the Trus Madi Forest Reserve check point gate.

Trus Madi Gate

The “butterfly” gate – Trus Madi Forest Reserve check point

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4900m = 4.9km = distance from trail head to summit

After making verification on our permit, we moved on with our 4WD for another 20mins to the trail head. The route after the check point is steeper and hence we had a really bumpy ride. The trail head is anchored with a hut, and a few sign boards that give information about the trek to Trus Madi summit. There is a sign board indicating “4900m” , it is a distance marker, and there are also distance marker along the trail to the mountain hut. The total distance is 4.9km, from trail head to the summit. Here, the altitude is about 1,800m*. We have traveled 27km from Tambunan town, where TRCC is located.

*My alti-meter was later re-calibrated at the summit with a GPS. The trail head should be about 1,600m +/-

Trail head of Trus Madi (1,800m a.s.l)

Trail head of Trus Madi (1,800m a.s.l)

From the trail head to the mountain hut, it is a series of board walk leading to the mountain hut. It took us about 45mins to reach the mountain hut, some trekkers may take a shorter time, on an average, a leisure walk would be between 40mins and 1hr.  The newly constructed board walk made the trek so much easier. When we look below the board walk, the old trail could be seen; steep rocky roots and narrow path. No wonder it was said to be tougher trekking here (before the renovation) than trekking in Mt Kinabalu.

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The mountain hut at 2,100m above sea level. About 2km from trail head.

The mountain hut offers good (because it is still new for now) basic facilities – dormitory beds with sleeping bags (tropical), slippers, toilets. You can also choose to shower if there is sufficient water. Water is mainly reserved for cooking and drinking. With this newly renovated facilities, trekkers no longer need to carry camping accessories that weigh them down on the approach trek. Like climbing Mt Kinabalu, trekkers’ carrying pack would likely not heavier than 8kg. If you are a minimalist trekker, you will be smiling from cheek to cheek on this trek.

The summit trek starts from the mountain hut. We set off at 2:20am. We arrived at the 2000m distance marker at about 3am. Unlike Mt Kinabalu’s clear and easy path, the terrain requires plenty of high steps and scrambling, some segments are fixed with ladders and ropes to help with the climb. The enchanting pitcher plants made the trek more interesting.

IMG_1949 IMG_1952 IMG_1953The trek from the 2000m distance marker is walking on ridge line, still rich in flora and fauna, with a series of up and down hill. Like in other mountains, the last push to the summit is always enduring. We arrived at the summit at about 530am. The sunrise view was breathtaking. We also enjoyed a panoramic view of Mt Kinabalu.

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View of Mt Kinabalu from the summit of Trus Madi (approximately 40km north)

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On the summit of Trus Madi. Photo credit: Prasanna Srinivasan

On the summit of Trus Madi. Photo credit: Prasanna Srinivasan

We made our way back to the mountain hut, and eventually descent to the trail head. Took 4WD out to TRCC and transfer to Kota Kinabalu town the same day. The day light unveiled the beautiful dense forest of Trus Madi, along the way, we witnessed the Crocker mountain range through the pockets of forest window.

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Summit certificates

Summit certificates

With the newly renovated mountain cabin and established board walk that covers up to 2km, Trus Madi’s trek is less demanding as it was before. Many who have scaled Trus Madi before the major renovation in 2011 reported that Trus Madi is tougher to climb than Mt Kinabalu. Now that I have experienced the trail on Trus Madi, my conclusion is that it is difficult to make accurate comparison between Trus Madi and Mt Kinabalu. While I agree that Trus Madi is “tougher” to climb than Mt Kinabalu, the “toughness” of both mountains are somewhat different.  Both mountains offer differing challenges. To help you understand better about the differences, I have identified two key points for comparison – Altitude, Terrain:

1. Altitude

Mt Kinabalu’s main challenge is in the altitude and it can be really cold from Laban Rata (est. 3,200m) onwards. Trus Madi is about half the height of Mt Kinabalu, there is almost no risk of mountain sickness, the cold is more manageable though wind at the summit can still post a threat. The trail head at Mt Kinabalu starts at 1,800m and Trus Madi starts at about 1,600m above sea level. The mountain huts on Mt Kinabalu is located at 3,200m, while Trus Madi’s mountain hut is located at 2,100m. This makes climbing Mt Kinabalu more breathless than Trus Madi, and chances of getting mountain sickness is higher on Mt Kinabalu. With the disparity in height, Mt Kinabalu’s trek distance from trail head is 8.5km while Trus Madi is 4.9km, Trus Madi is definitely less physically demanding to trek compared to Mt Kinabalu.

2. Terrain

Before renovation work on Trus Madi between 2011 and 2013, the trail up to the mountain hut was very adventurous and strenuous. It was also said to be not suited for the faint hearted, only for hard core trekkers. The dense forest trek involved walking on narrow trails and big trees with roots that required plenty of scrambling with hands. The hut on Trus Madi was less than basic, trekkers had to carry tents & other camping accessories to camp overnight for the summit climb. Trekkers also had to walk 2km on logging road before arriving at the trail head at 1,600m. Upon completion of the renovation work and reopen for climbing in 2013, Trus Madi’s mountain hut access point has greatly improved and made easy. The trail head can be reached by 4WD, and the trek up to the mountain hut is now on board walk, making the terrain similar or easier than Mt Kinabalu, but still there is a fair bit of vertical walking to be done. While Mt Kinabalu’s trail is well established and has clear path all the way up to the highest point, Trus Madi’s summit trail is more interesting and still as demanding. One needs to be a sure footer to do well in this trek; and the comfort level during the trek is also way lower as compared to trekking in Mt Kinabalu (such as higher humidity in Trus Madi).

In summary, the route to Trus Madi summit is far more challenging than Mt Kinabalu, though the air is richer with oxygen. It is a mountain worth an attempt. If you enjoy trekking in the west Malaysia mountains, you will enjoy and appreciate Trus Madi even more. There are many reasons you should trek up to Trus Madi:

  1. The peak is below 3,000m, hard to come by in our region;
  2. You get to enjoy the serenity in Tambunan and at the mountain hut;
  3. It can be done in four days like Mt Kinabalu, including flying in and out of Kota Kinabalu;
  4. Permit is easy to secure as it is less crowded; (at least for now, so climb it soon before it gets overly crowded)
  5. There is no need to carry heavy load to trek;
  6. The view from the summit is awesomely beautiful! (Ok, difficult to guarantee on this point, you sure need some luck 😛 )
  7. Probably the most important of all, you get to shower before and after your summit trek! 😀

Contact us to arrange for a trek to Trus Madi. Email to Contact@aceadventure.com.sg

Hooray to more short treks!

~ Joanne Soo

Russia – Mt Elbrus (South Route)

29 Jun 19

Russia – Mt Elbrus (South Route)

Mt-Elbrus-from-Barrel-Huts

Mt Elbrus (5642m) is famed as one of the Seven Summits and the highest mountain in Europe and Russia. It is an inactive volcano (last eruption around 50A.D) that is located in the Caucasus Range in southern Russia near the border with Georgia.

Though Mt Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe and located in the rugged Caucasus Mountains, it is one of the easiest ice and snow peaks on the continent. The standard south route, supported by ski lifts, cable cars and snow cats, is said to have a high success rate of close to 90% each summer. However, there are still causalities each summer and the mountain is not to be taken lightly despite the high success rate.

The biggest danger of climbing Mt Elbrus can be said to be the weather, which can be particularly nasty on the mountain. Besides the standard south route and the more challenging northern route, there are a few more difficult routes that are hardly attempt with little information and not supported by any mountain huts.

About The Climb

Mt Elbrus has two summits.  The west summit at 5642m slightly higher than the east summit at 5621m. We will only be climbing the west summit, which is the summit that is included as part of the Seven Summits.

The climb does not start on Mt Elbrus but with a one day acclimatizing climb on Terskol Peak (3100m). The following day, take a cable car cum ski lift ride up to the mountain huts area (National Park Huts, 3900m) on Mt Elbrus. Participants are expected to help transport the team's food and drinking water onto the cable car and ski lift aside from your own personal gear. There will be two days of acclimatization on Mt Elbrus before the summit climb. Day 1 of acclimatization will be to Priutt 11 Refuge (4100m) and day 2 to Pastukhov Rocks (4700m). The 2 days of acclimatization are good footwork practice for walking in mountaineering boots and crampons, in particular, for those who are wearing them for the first time.  There will also be ice axe self arrest training session on either of the two acclimatization days or the rest day.

The summit climb begins from the mountain huts area. Some teams will choose to take a snow cat up to a higher altitude (4600m to 4700m) to increase their summit success. The team can make a group decision on the use of the snow cat (to be paid separately) after the two days of acclimatization. The snowline general starts at or after the mountain huts area in summer. The summit route up to Pastukhov Rocks is the same route used for the acclimatization climb. This section is a wide vertical open snow terrain, hence, possible for snow cats. After Pastukhov Rocks, there is a long narrow  traverse that gradually goes up to the saddle in between the east and west peaks peaks. Beyond the saddle is a 40 – 60 degree steep section (around 200m) where a fixed rope has been put in place to ensure safety, followed by a wide open plato before a snow slope up to the peak.

The descend from the summit to the mountain huts area is the same route as the ascend.

Mt Elbrus standard south route is a fairly straight forward climb and is usually marked with wands. There are no crevasses provided that you do not wander off the established route. The climb, or any mountain climbing for the matter, can still be a trial in bad weather, and the extreme cold before sunrise is not to be trivialized.

Climbing Seasons

The best time to climb Mt Elbrus is in summer, from June to September. July and August are warmest and the weather is rather stable. Hence, they are the best and most popular two months.

Having said that, good weather for the summit day can never be guaranteed. Weather will always be an unpredictable element in the mountains. Due to its altitude and surrounding mountain range, Mt Elbrus can produce some extreme weather conditions with very low temperature and should not be underestimated by climbers. Its position between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea - two large bodies of water - have an impact on wind and precipitation too.

In summer, the weather is still brutally cold on Mt Elbrus with night temperature at an average minus 8 °C. Temperature above the snowline can fall to as low as minus 20° C. Winter ascent is also possible, but it can be very cold, up to -40 on the top.

Experience Required

Important to have 5000m peak climbing experiences. Good to have crampons skills but not essential. Mt Elbrus standard south route is an ideal first foray into peak climbing below 6000m that require ice and snow skills (mountaineering/double boots, crampons, ice axe and fixed rope skills etc).

For summit day, be prepared to trek for 12 – 16 hours in mountaineering/double boots with crampons starting at pre-dawn and in extreme cold temperature of -10°C to -20°C.

The support of cable cars cum ski lifts to the mountain huts area, the direct and vertical route up to the summit and the option to take a snow cat to reach 4600m or 4700m make it possible to scale a 5000er ice and snow peak in a short duration without having to spend many days in the mountains.

The climb can still be challenging, especially for those new to ice and snow peak. A pair of mountaineering/ double boots with crampons can easily weigh 2kg on each foot. Aside from the weight, mountaineering/double boots often feel rigid and difficult to walk in because of the structure. Add in a backpack load of 5-6kg, the ice and snow terrain and the altitude, the climb can be a tough challenge, demanding a high level of fitness, endurance and strength.

Equipment and Gear

You can wear a lightweight base layer or a quick dry t-shirt and long trekking pants for Terskol Peak. For Mt Elbrus, a light weight base layer and water and wind proof pants are needed. An outer shell is essential to protect from the weather elements. When at the mountain huts 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 down mittens. A  down sleeping bag is also needed and can be rented at Terskol.

The following climbing equipment are required for the summit attempt and can be rented at Terskol:

  1. Mountaineering or double boots
  2. Crampons
  3. Climbing harness
  4. Walking ice axe
  5. Sewn slings
  6. Locking karabiners

A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb.

Available Dates Price Qty*
28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
5-13 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
12-20 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
19-27 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
26 Jul - 3 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
2-10 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
9-17 Aug 2019 (Full) $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
16-24 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
23-31 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
30 Aug - 7 Sep 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  

* You can register up to 12 participants in one go.


Register Now
  • Dates listed are for open international group
  • Group size: 3 - 12 people
  • You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at contact@aceadventure.com.sg

 

DayDescriptionMealsAltitude At Rest Point
Day 1Arrive in Mineralyn Vody. Transfer to Terskol Village.-/-/D2100m
Day 2Acclimatization trek to Tersok Peak (3100m)B/L/D2100m
Day 3-4Transfer to Mt Elbrus. 2 days of acclimatization to 4100m and 4700m respectively. B/L/D3900m
Day 5Rest day. Training on the glacier.B/L/D3900m
Day 6Summit dayB/L/D3900m
Day 7Descend or buffer dayB/L/D3900m or 2100m
Day 8Day hike in the Baksan valley. B/L/D2100m
Day 9Depart Mineralyn Vody. B/-/--

 

Inclusions

  • Return airport transfer in Mineralyn Vody
  • All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Twin/triple sharing accommodation in Terskol
  • Mixed dormitory (non heated) in mountain huts on Mt Elbrus
  • Trek/climb support: Mountain climbing guide (1 guide : 3 climbers)
  • Return cable car cum ski lift transfer to mountain huts (1 transfer per way)
  • Entry visa invitation letter & voucher
  • Climbing certificates

Exclusions

  • International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Visa Fee
  • Mt Elbrus National Park permit fee
  • Single Supplement
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Personal guide
  • Snow cat or mobile service on Mt Elbrus
  • Back up day expenses on Mt Elbrus
  • Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
  • Personal expenses like shopping, laundry 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

Notes on the Inclusions and Exclusions

Airport transfer: You should arrive in Mineralyn Vody no later than 3pm on Day 1 to take the group bus. If your flight arrived later than 3pm, you will need to arrange for a private transfer from the airport to Terskol. The group bus leaves Terskol for Mineralyn Vody at 730am on Day 9. If your flight is earlier than 1130am,  you will also need to arrange for a private transfer from Terskol to the airport. All private transfer will incur extra cost.

Mt Elbrus national park permit fee:  Estimated €25 (subject to changes). Fee to be paid directly to the national park office in Terskol.

Back up day: If you use the back up day and have to stay at mountain hut, there's an extra charge of €40 per night/person (full board for a group of 5 people or more)

Snow cat service: From the mountain huts to the Pastukhov Rocks €500 to 4600m and €600 to 4700m per drive/ group of 2-10 people

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 a high standard of service and safe participation by everyone.

Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Mt Elbrus, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture. They are mostly trained in mountain rescue and/or basic and advance mountaineering skills.

Grading: 3C

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:

  1. Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
  2. Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
  3. Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
  4. Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises

A good four to five 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.

Available Dates Price Qty*
28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
5-13 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
12-20 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
19-27 Jul 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
26 Jul - 3 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
2-10 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
9-17 Aug 2019 (Full) $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
16-24 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
23-31 Aug 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  
30 Aug - 7 Sep 2019 $1,400.00 (SGD)  / person  

* You can register up to 12 participants in one go.


Register Now
  • 28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019
    June 29, 2019 - July 7, 2019
  • 5-13 Jul 2019
    July 6, 2019 - July 14, 2019
  • 12-20 Jul 2019
    July 13, 2019 - July 21, 2019
  • 19-27 Jul 2019
    July 20, 2019 - July 28, 2019
  • 26 Jul-3 Aug 2019
    July 27, 2019 - August 4, 2019
  • 2-10 Aug 201
    August 3, 2019 - August 11, 2019
  • 9-17 Aug 2019
    August 10, 2019 - August 18, 2019
  • 16-24 Aug 2019
    August 17, 2019 - August 25, 2019
  • 23-31 Aug 2019
    August 24, 2019 - September 1, 2019
  • 30 Aug - 7 Sep 2019
    August 31, 2019 - September 8, 2019

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