Rewarding and challenging at the same time, Mera Peak at 6461 meters offers unbeatable views of five of the six world’s highest peaks– Mt. Everest (8848m) (1st), Kanchenjunga (8586m) (3rd), Lhotse (8516m) (4th), Makalu (8463m) (5th), Cho-Oyu (8201m) (6th). Imagine that – a window to the world’s highest peaks from atop another peak. Offering one of the most spectacular views, Mera Peak, a trekking peak lies in Baruntse National Park – one of Nepal’s most pristine national parks with diversified landscapes.
Travel through an era as if forgotten by mankind as we traverse through landscapes that change with each passing day. Begin your trek from Lukla and pass through remote and alpine areas of the Hinku and Honku Dragkas –juniper and rhododendron thickets, hemlock and silver fir forests, to faintly arid valleys to wide expanses of snow. Pristine views of the Himalayas as we steadily make way atop Mera Peak.
Day 01: Arrival
Arrive in Kathmandu, be met by a representative, transferred to a hotel, check in. Rest of the day upon your discretion.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Sightseeing and Briefing
The day is required for us to procure necessary permits and other legal documentations to grant guests permission to climb a peak in Nepal.
In the meantime:
AM: Tour Kathmandu valley and travel through time as you visit UNESCO Heritage sites like the Durbar Squares and Swayambhu Temple.
PM: Briefing about the trek and allow time for last minute purchases of necessary equipments.
Overnight at Hotel
Day 03: Flight: Lukla, Hike to Paiya (2800m)
Enjoy a short yet a spectacular flight to Lukla – watch snowcapped mountains, winding rivers, and beautiful valleys en route. Meet with Sherpa companions/porters at Lukla and take a short break before beginning trek.
Begin trek: head south and enter Makalu Barun National Park. Sharp descend towards Dudh Koshi ( gushing river with its source at the Himalayas). Observe Sherpas carry gravity defying goods making their way up to Namche Bazaar – a bustling town along in the region. Reach Surkey, two hours ascent, alluring glimpses of Cho Oyu. Lunch, and walk along rhododendron forests, awash in red and pink during spring. Reach Paiya, be greeted with tea.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 4 ½ hours
Day 04: Pangkongma (2846m)
Cross Poyan Khola and turn off the main trade route and pursue an older route. Steep climb to the ridge-line overlooking Khare Khola; descend the other side of the ridge. Contour along the hillside before climbing steadily up to the farming and trading village of Pangkongma.
Tents allocated and tea served upon arrival.
Dinner and overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours.
Day 05: Nashing Dingma (2963m)
Steep climb through bamboo and rhododendron forests with views of Numbur and Kongde peaks behind us. Reach a pass to catch our first glimpse of Mera’s impressive south face. Long and steep descent towards the valley. Lunch, cross a suspension bridge across the Hinku River and a 2 hour climb up east side of the valley to Nashing Dingma.
Dinner and overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 hours.
Day 06: Chholem (3600m)
Prominent characters of the first part of the trek are the continuous uphill and downhill – which we do so again today. Trail becomes steeper as we approach Surkye La (3,060m) a pass that offers us a taste of the altitude ahead of us. Continue ascent to Chholem Kharka, a summer pasture for cattle. Late lunch and those who wish can walk up to the surrounding ridges to take in the view.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 6 – 6 ½ hours.
Day 07: Khola Kharka (4270m)
Mark contrast in landscape as we leave prominent lines of trees and make way to shrubby and rocky topography. In this land Sherpa’s only herd their cattle during the summer months. Although a bit short, the day’s trek is a little strenuous with steep climbs and several ridges. Begin ascent along stone steps to reach the first col (the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks) and head further up to a second col (4,300m). On a clear day, we will be able to see stunning and dazzling views of Kanchenjunga and its pointed neighbor Jannu which is in eastern India.
Descend from second col and reach the beautiful and holy lakes at Panchpokhari. A short way past the lakes we reach Khola Kharka.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 6 ½ hours.
Day 08: Kote (3550m)
No lodges’ en route today, thus necessary to carry snacks and plenty of water as lunch will be late. Short but steep climb up Khola Kharka to reach a spot with prayer flags. Around the corner, catch some great views of Numbur, Pike Peak and the Lamjura Pass. The route contours around the hillside following a steep descent to Mojang Khola. Cross the river, further descent to Hinku Khola. Follow an undulated trail to reach a bridge to cross the roaring Hinku Khola. Late lunch, after which free to explore the village.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 – 6 hours.
Day 09: Tangnag (4,300m)
Following the rocky riverbed upstream, we are reminded of the damage the glacial dam break at Sabai Tsho Lake caused in 1998. Further up, we join the Mera trail. We walk along meadows dotted with dwarf junipers and approach the village of Tangnag – a deep valley created by the towering walls of Kusum Kanguru and the western peak of Mera.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 hours.
Day 10: Acclimatization
Before proceeding to any higher altitude, to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), it is essentially we let our bodies acclimatize. We walk up to 5,000m to catch astounding and awe inspiring views of Kusum Kanguru, Chamlang and the Mera La.
Return to camp for lunch. After lunch, a gear check and compulsory abseil training.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 – 3 ½ hours.
Day 11: Khare (5045m)
Follow the later moraine of Dig Glacier to Dig Kharka – spectacular views of Charpate Himal. Climb the trail through moraines to the snout of Hinku Nup and Shar Glaciers. A steeper climb follows as we make way to our camping site – Khare. Now, Khare is something out of the world – the memories of camping at Khare will last a lifetime. Watch the beautiful North face of Mera Peak from Khare – up so close you will feel are in the lap of the Himalayas.
Note: Some porters will head back to Tangnag in pursuit of a more hospitable climate and will await our return.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours.
Day 12: Acclimatization & Ice Axe/Crampon Training
We take a day to allow our bodies to acclimatize before pursuing higher altitudes. In the meanwhile, we walk up to the glacier towards Mera La and practice our ice axe and crampon skills, learn rope techniques and the use of jumar.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge
Day 13: High Camp (5780m)
Head towards Mera Glacier and head up to a rocky outcrop to establish High Camp at 5,800m. Members of group not summiting the peak are also welcome to watch the progress and of course watch stunning views of five of the world’s six highest mountains – Kanchenjunga in the east to Makalu, Lhotse, Everest and Cho Oyu in the west.
Evening: Final check of gear, prepare clothes for the next day’s climb. Watch the sunset and retire early for the climb the next day.
Note: Because camping space at High Camp is extremely limited, a tent will be shared by 3 people. A dining tent will not be erected and food will be served in your tents.
Dinner and Overnight: Camp Duration of Trek: 7 ½ hours
Day 14: Summit Mera Peak & back to Khare
The day has arrived and it starts early – 2 or 2:30 a.m. We will set off roped up, carrying our ice axe, strapped on crampons, and in teams. We ascent the wide and open glacier and avoid the few crevasses. Although not a steep terrain, we walk slowly due to the altitude. As dawn sets in, the trail becomes steep giving way to an easier path. The last 50 meters is the steepest – we rest while the Sherpas fix a safety rope. We climb slowly with the help of the jammer.
Lo and behold, you are atop Mera Peak- Incredible, spectacular, stunning, dazzling, all the adjectives fall short to describe the view – after all it is nature’s treat and offered only to those who have worked to reach the top. Watch uninterrupted views of Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Cho Oyu and several other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Take in the heavenly sight, relish in your accomplishment and slowly head down, carefully as we need to avoid the crevasses. Cross high camp, reach base camp, and settle for the night at Khare.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 8 ½ – 9 ½ hours.
Day 15: Contingency Day:
Allow for contingencies such as bad weather, illness of a team member, etc.
Dinner and Overnight: Camp/ Lodge
Day 16: Khote
Retrace our steps down the valley of Khote and enjoy a beer (chilled of course) and allow our muscles to relax to the yesterday’s exertions.’
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours
Day 17: Chatrabuk (4,270m)
An uphill trek through lush rhododendron (Nepal’s national flower and found only in high altitude areas) forests on the west side of the Hinku Valley to Thulu Kharka. Chatrabuk offers exceptional views of Mera North, Mera Central and South Face.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Duration of Trek: 5 – 5 ½ hours
Day 18: Lukla
Today we reach the point where we started our trek a few days ago. Early on we ascend to Zatrwa La Pass and upon crossing it are welcomed by the beautiful Lukla Valley wit tantalizing views of Cho Oyu, Kongde Peak, Numbur Himal, Kusum Kangru and other Himalayan peaks in the backdrop – painting a perfect picture of Nepal.
Enjoy dinner with our lovely companions in the evening.
Dinner and Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 6 ½ – 7 ½ hours.
Day 19: Flight: Lukla to Kathmandu
We are sad to leave the laps of the mountains, yet exhilarated with a sense of accomplishment. We board a flight back to Kathmandu Valley, modern day civilization after weeks in the mountain side. Free to explore Kathmandu the rest of the day.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 20: Kathmandu
The day is for you to tour around Kathmandu or get a good day’s rest.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 21: Departure
Transfer to airport, check into TIA for onward journey.
Catch a last glimpse of the slipping Himalayas, say a small goodbye, and be surprised at the amount of times, the places will reappear in your dreams.
Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec
Time Period: 20 Nights / 21 Days.
Trek Period: 16 Night / 17 Days
In Kathmandu: 04 Nights
Flights: 2 Ways. (Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu)
Trek Type: Strenuous
Highest Altitude: 6461 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start /End Point: Lukla
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu. Camping when climbing & Lodge on trek.
National Park: Makhalu Barun National Park (2330 sq. kms)
Mountains: Mera peak, Naulekh, Peak 41, Hunku
Rivers: Bhote Kosi, Inkhu Khola, Cherem Khola, Changbu Khola, Sanu Khola.
Villages: Lukla, Pangkoma, Nashing Dingma etc
Tribes: Mostly Sherpas & Tibetans
Forests: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.
NEPAL TREK INFORMATION
What is Tea House / Lodge trek?
A simple way to under Tea house / Lodge is probably ‘a small hotel’. However this can sometimes be misleading, as they do not have high-end facilities like modern hotels in urban areas. The concept though is same as hotels in providing accommodations (rooms) and meals for guest staying in it.
So if one does a trek going from point A to B to C etc., and spending nights in these kind of lodges or teahouse is called a ‘Lodge Trek’ or ‘Tea House Trek’
Which areas in Nepal have Tea House treks?
The most popular regions for treks in Nepal are Annapurna, Everest Langtnag and Upper Mustang. All these places have good quality lodges, well managed, variety of food to choose from the menus available and boast of Wi-Fi, bakeries etc.
Around the areas that have lesser trekkers like, Makalu Barun, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga etc. the tea house/ lodge are very basic in comparison.
Basically good lodges have developed where foot traffic is the most and Annapurna, Everest and Langtang receive the most trekkers in Nepal.
Rooms in the Lodges?
The rooms are very basic in most places. In some very popular areas like Annapurna and Everest high-end rooms with attach bath and flush toilet and ruining hot/ cold water have come out in the recent years. However these kinds of lodges are very few and not available in all places on the trek route.
Basic room’s sizes are on an average of 8 feet by 8 to 10 feet. They have twin cots with mattress and pillows. Most lodges provide blankets, however for hygienic regions it’s advisable to carry a good sleeping bag of your own. The walls are pretty thin and noises carry. Earplugs are recommended to be carried.
In more remote areas one may only get dormitories for accommodations and dinning and sleeping arrangements may be in the same common area.
Toilets in the Lodges
Most lodges have several common toilets inside the lodge. The number depends on how big the lodge is. On an average a lodge having 15 /18 rooms may have 3 /4 common toilets. The toilets are very basic and no flush or running water is available in the toilets. Please bring you own Toilet paper. Drums with water and a mug are the ways to flush!
In Annapurna and Everest region we try and provide rooms with attach bath
where available. However, do note that there are only a handful of places where this kind of facility is available.
Food in lodges
Menu in most places especially the more popular trekking routes have extensive looking menus ranging from local, Tibetan to western delicacies. Items like Dal Bhat (rice, vegetables and lentils), pizzas, pastas, momos (dumplings), noodles, soup, fried rice etc., are amongst the common ones in all menus.
Our recommendation is to avoid meat, as in most places porter carry the meat to lodges without any hygienic way to keep the meat fresh on the way. It takes at least few days to reach the lodges. Even the canned meat items are not recommended, as one has no way to check the expiry date etc.
Recommended food items are the local ones like Dal Bhat, Momos (Dumplings), noodles etc, as they are freshly made in comparison to other food items. Please remember the cooks in the lodges are ‘not chefs’, very few are trained professionally as most have learned through looking at other cooks cooking in the same lodges or similar ones in the area. Basically sticking to local food is best as they are hygienic and fresh.
For breakfast pancakes, porridge, toast (not available everywhere), eggs etc. are available in all lodges.
There is a common dining area with fireplaces in all lodges. This is not only a place to eat but also a good place to unwind, interact with fellow trekkers, read a book, play board games or cards and relax.
Everyday our guide will help you and provide information on what choices to make in which places / lodges for food.
Drinking water on treks
One can get boiled water or bottled mineral water or filtered water in the Everest region, Annapurna and Langtang region. On an average a liter of water will cost US $ 1.50 to US $ 4.00 per liter. As one gains altitude on trek or goes further from the urban areas the higher the cost of drinking water.
Showers during treks
Hot or Cold showers are available everywhere in the Lodges. In some lodges, especially as we go higher in altitude instead of showers a bucket of hot water may be the option.
A hot shower cost on an average of US $ 3.00 to US $ 5.50 per shower. The higher we go the more expensive the bath.
We recommend not to take too may baths on treks specially if one is going to high altitude treks. The reason being the temperature drops rapidly as the sunsets and getting the body temperature back to normal after shower at high altitude becomes difficult. This increases the chances of catching cold and walking with cold at high altitude with thin cold air is not a pleasant experience. So please try and avoid taking showers as much as possible.
Electricity on treks
Electricity hasn’t reached all places in Nepal. So electricity is limited to certain areas of the trek. On an average one has electricity till about 3500 meters in altitude. As we gain altitude solar system has been set up in all lodges.
Rooms have lights only till places where electricity has reached. So where electricity has not reached there are no room lights. Dining hall, toilets and all common areas have electricity through the night even if it is being supplied through solar system.
Charging camera batteries, mobile phones can be done at the dining hall upon informing the management. They charge on an average of US $ 2.00 to US $ 6.5 for getting the batteries fully charged. The higher we go the more expensive to charge.
We recommended that you put your batteries in your sleeping bags at night to keep it warm as in cold the batteries drains energy very fast.
Wi-Fi and mobile phone on treks
Annapurna and Everest regions have lodges that provide Wi-Fi. A cost of US $ 5.00 to $ 12.00 depending on what data package they have is charged on per hour or per day basis.
Other trek areas have not developed this facility.
Annapurna and Everest region has good mobile connectivity. Other areas don’t have much coverage but the mobile network connection is growing. Please enquire via mail about the mobile phone coverages on trek routes for details.
One can get a mobile phone sim card on arrival at the airport. Passport photocopies with passport size photo (one) is required.