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A Different Expedition Experience
Our expedition to Mera Peak is a complete Nepalese mountaineering adventure. We avoid the usual route to the mountain and follow a more esoteric and wilderness based path. The trek takes us through the beautiful Nepalese countryside where we will pass through remote farming communities before crossing into steep valleys and high ridges on our path towards the final goal. We choose this route not only for the breathtaking views but to provide you with an enhanced cultural experience.
A 25-day climbing adventure – highest trekking peak in Nepal
The Mera Peak Expedition is a high-altitude trek and climb. Participants must be fit and comfortable using an ice axe and crampons. In good conditions it is possible to reach the summit and return to base camp in one day. It is also normal to establish a high camp at 19,000ft/5,800m on the Mera Glacier, in order to shorten the summit day. This is a rewarding experience as it provides glorious views of Nepal, Kangchenjunga, and Makalu. One of the most astounding being Everest appearing over the massive southern aspect of Nuptse and Lhotse. From the summit you will experience a picturesque panorama of some of the highest peaks in the world.
Day 1 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 2 Briefs and Permits
Our Nepali representative will take you to the Yak & Yeti Hotel. We will take care of all permits associated with the expedition.
Day 3 Fly to Lukla
We will be taken to the airport for one of the great flights in the Himalaya. Arriving in Lukla we will meet our camp staff and porters and set off for our first camp at Poyan (2,800m).
Day 4 Pangkongma (2,846m)
After crossing the Poyan Khola pass, we will turn off the main trade route and come up from the south and join an older route. This steep climb will take us to the ridgeline overlooking the Khare Khola valley. Descending down the other side of the ridge we will then trek along the hillside before climbing steadily up to the attractive farming and trading village of Pangkongma. Many expedition members have been gracioulsy welcomed by the locals and some have been lucky enough to spend hours warming themselves in front of an open fire in the ever-loving atmosphere of a traditional Sherpa home.
Day 5 Nashing Dingma (2,600m)
Looking westward you will see fine views towards Takshindu Monastery and Lamjura. We will begin our climb through thick rhododendron forest and bamboo leading to the Pangkongma La pass. On the way up to the Pangkongma La pass we will take a well worth detour through the Pangkongma Monastery for a guided visit. From the pass, we will have good views of the south face of Mera Peak of its twin peaks its neighbor Naulekh. We will then make a scenic descent overlooking beautiful views south across the endless foothills on each side of the Hinku valley. A steep descent leads down to a wire rope bridge that spans the Hinku Khola river. Once we cross the bridge we will begin a steep and strenuous climb on the opposite side, which leads to Nashing Dingma (2,600m). We will stay here for the night at the excellent campsite established in the Makalu National Park.
Day 6 Chalem Kharka (3,600m)
Gaining height gradually through pastures and lush greenery, the trail gets steep as we climb up to the Surke La. Eventually, we reach an attractive campsite 1km beyond Chalem Kharka (3,600m), set among fir trees and rhododendron bushes.
Day 7 Chunbu Kharka (4,200m)
Climbing the side of a ridge, we emerge from the last traces of rhododendron and the terrain becomes more rugged. Here we will have views of Kangchenjunga and Jannu to the east. We continue climbing to Panch Pokari and then on to camp at Chunbu Kharka (4,200m).
Day 8 Rest day at Chunbu Kharka
Today, we may have a well-earned rest day, though for those feeling fit, there is a rewarding walk up to a hanging corrie lake behind the camp. It will also be a good time for checking all equipment – boots,crampons, harness and knots.
Day 9 Descent into the Hinku Valley
We set off from Chunbu Kharka and climb steeply uphill for 20 minutes or so, before arriving high above the Hinku Valley. We then make a series of steep descents through scree and rhododendron and will eventually arrive on the valley floor. Here we will cross to the west bank of Hinku River by a wooden bridge at Khote (3,550m). We’ll have lunch in the forest. Khote is now a large settlement of lodges that have been built over the past 10 years. We camp on a pleasant grassy patch not far from the river.
Day 10 Tangnag (4,360m)
Today, we follow the west bank of the riverbed up the valley to Tangnag (4,360m). A magnificent, towering mountain, known by its survey name of Peak 39 or on some maps, “Kayashar “, dominates the head of the valley. The trail leads steadily up the side of the valley through open pasture, used for the summer grazing of yaks brought up from the lower reaches of the valley. Finally, we reach Tangnag, which has grown into a small hamlet of tea-shops and a lodges since expeditions first started to frequent this region of Nepal.
Day 11 Dig Kharka (4,650m)
We now walk towards the mountain as the trail swings to the east. We gain height gradually until we find ourselves at Dig Kharka (4,650m), close to the foot of the Hinku Nup Glacier.
Day 12 Khare (5,100m)
Depending on how the team is acclimatizing, we can spend another night at Dig Kharka, though normally we would head up to Khare (5,100m). From Khare, it is possible to do a glacier session to ensure that everyone is happy with the use of ropes and crampons. The views of Mera from our breakfast table in Khare are stunning.
Day 13 Mera Peak base camp (5,300m)
Today we climb up to Mera La (5,400m). This is an exciting day as we climb onto the Mera Glacier and follow it to the pass. This is a superb high mountain setting and is a worthwhile objective in itself. We establish our base camp on the far side of the pass, so as to avoid sleeping on ice. The descent from the pass to the campsite is very short and can be done easily using the margin between the moraine and the glacier on its northern side as it descends from the col.
Day 14 Acclimatisation at Mera Peak BC
This is another acclimatization day (at 5,300m), in final preparation for the climb tomorrow. We will have another snow and ice training session on the snout of the glacier. This “ecole de glace” provides essential skills training in the use of fixed ropes and abseiling.
Day 15 Move to high camp (5,800m)
Today, we make the climb to the high camp. This is located at about 5,800 meters on the Northern slopes of the upper mountain. It provides an excellent launch pad for the final climb to the summit. Having gained the Mera La, the route turns left (south) and follows easy angled snow slopes. After a short distance an area of crevasses is reached. Under normal conditions these can be walked around very easily, although looking into their deep, dark depths is always impressive. The crevasses soon give way to slightly steeper but open snow slopes that lead without difficulty to the high camp. This camp is in an excellent setting with wonderful views of Everest, Makalu and the Nuptse, Lhotse wall directly ahead. The setting sun casts an unbelievably magic light on these awesome mountains.
Day 16 Mera Peak Ascent (6,476m/21,246ft)
The climb to the summit of Mera starts gradually and much will depend on snow and general weather conditions. The central summit will soon appear above the head of a wide glacier flanked by two ridges. Mera has three summits; the highest is our objective. We reach this by following a classic snow-ridge just below the final wall that guards the top. This short steep snow slope is easily climbed but much effort is required to climb this last 50 meters. Your reward, however, is a feeling of ecstatic jubilation as you survey the magnificent panorama from the top. After taking pictures and enjoying the view, we descend by the same route back to our campsite below Mera La.
Day 17 Mera Peak Base Camp
Packing our camp
Day 18 Trek Ambulapcha La Pass
Early in the morning will start our trek home.
Day 19 Cross the Ambulapcha La Pass Zatrwala La (4,600m)
Trek to Chunkug Village.
Day 20 Trek to Pangboche Village
Day 21 Trek to Namche Bazaar.
Day 22 Trek to Lukla
Day 23 Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
We will be met at the airport and taken to the Yak & Yeti Hotel.
Day 24 Leisure day in Kathmandu
Time for last minute shopping and sightseeing, or just relaxing by the swimming pool.
Day 25 Depart Kathmandu
During your flight to Kathmandu (KTM) you will cross the International Date Line. Travel time is approximately three days. If you want to see the mountains as you fly into Kathmandu, make sure you sit on the right-hand side of the plane.
A valid passport is required for entering Nepal. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected date of return. U.S. passport holders can stay up to 90 days without special visas.
We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a back up. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.
Nepal: All foreigners (except Indian Nationals) require visas, which can be obtained in advance or upon arrival with one passport photo and payment in cash (U.S. Dollars).
Upon arrival at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport (KTM), follow signs to the Arrivals Building. Proceed to the visa counter for Visitors without a Visa. The debarkation and visa application forms you need are available both on your incoming flight as well as in the arrivals building. You will need one passport photo for your visa application.
Once you receive your bags from Baggage Claim, you will proceed to Customs. Be sure to keep all your bags together.
Outside the arrivals hall there will be a large group of taxi drivers and agents from many hotels and travel companies. Look for a sign with the name Benegas Brothers Expeditions. A private vehicle will take us to our hotel.
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). In Nepal you are almost always required to pay for goods or services with the Nepalese Rupee. It is recommended that you change only as much money as you think you may spend as local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted easily. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.
We suggest bringing $700 – $800 total for personal spending money and the Mountain Staff Tip Pool. If participating in the Island Peak Extension, we suggest bringing $850 – $950 total for personal spending money and the Mountain Staff Tip Pool. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans.
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in tourist shops, hotels, restaurants and agencies in Kathmandu. You will find a large number of ATMs in Kathmandu and using ATMs is the common method of obtaining cash. Plan on bringing cash for any purchases you will make while on the trek. While a few teahouses and bakeries in the Khumbu do accept credit cards, they charge a very high commission.
Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.
Khumbu, Himalaya, Nepal
Nov 6 – 30 2016
Backpacking experience; very good physical condition; basic Level of snow and glacier travel skills.
Explore the Khumbu Region, learn about the Sherpa Culture and summit the highest Trekking Peak in Nepal.
Aconcagua Expeditions, Mexico Volcanoes, Ecuador Volcanoes, Bolivia Alpinist, Elbrus.
Included in cost:
Not included in cost:
We can organize this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Depending on your mountaineering experience, you may want a BBE leader or go ‘self-led’ with the assistance of local guides. The cost of going private can be surprisingly reasonable, particularly if you take the self-led option. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.