Mera Peak combines summiting the highest trekking peak in Nepal with a beautiful walk in up the relatively quiet Arun Valley. The views from the summit are genuinely breath-taking: Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam can all be seen clearly and watching the sunrise across the heads of these mountains is never to be forgotten.
You start your Mera Peak adventure with the exhilarating Kathmandu to Lukla flight with great views all the way and the hair-raising landing at Lukla’s short runway. Having assembled your crew your route takes you south around the mountain to Paiya and Pangom avoiding the Zatrwa La crossing which at 4250m nearly always causes problems with altitude sickness.
This part of the route is quiet but heavily farmed. From Sibuje you branch north heading into pristine bamboo and rhododendron jungle before reaching your first tented camp.
The trek then moves on up the Arun valley with plenty of time to acclimatise before reaching Khare where you will spend a couple of days acclimatising.
The first day of the push to the summit of Mera Peak takes you to the camp at Mera La and from there you move higher to the spectacular High camp clinging onto a rocky outcrop on the edge of the glacier. Sunset at high camp is amazing with Himalaya’s 8000m giants glowing orange as the light fades.
Summit day is a long hard slog up the glacier before a short sharp scramble up an ice-wall to the summit of Mera Peak. Take as much time as the cold will allow to enjoy the view, probably the best view of the Everest range in Nepal.
After summiting you descend back to Khare before tracking back down the Arun valley and finally heading over the Zatrwa La pass now fully acclimatised and dropping back into Lukla.
Our driver will meet you at the airport in Kathmandu, and take you to your hotel. Once you're all checked in, you'll meet your guide for a briefing and a gear check.
As with most of our Khumbu treks, the road to Mera Peak starts at Lukla. After arriving at Lukla's tiny airstrip (it looks even smaller when you realise that's where you have to land), we'll meet the rest of our Kandoo team and hit the trail south.
Our first stop is downhill at Surke to cross the river, then a steep rise to Chutok La. The rest of the way to Paiya is flat but undulating terrain, and a good end to our first day of trekking.
Today we'll cross the Piya Khola river, after a steep descent to a sturdy wooden bridge. On the other side it is another steep climb up the valley side to reach Kari La. Once again, the last leg of the trek is over fairly flat terrain until we reach the village of Panggom la.
Day four takes a curving path along the foot of the Zatrwa Massif, with plenty of short, steep climbs and descents in fairly rugged terrain. We'll be camping for the night at Ningbo.
We'll continue around the massif, stopping at Sibuje for lunch. Next we will leave the main path to the north, through rhododendron forest. This is where we really get off the beaten path.
We'll make camp for the night at a small, little-used site called Bamboo Camp.
We'll continue through the jungle today, over more steep up-and-down terrain. We'll pass through a village called Tashing Ongma, then downhill to Mosom Kharka and the Inku Khola river. We'll follow the river to a village called Khote and the lodge where we'll spend the night.
This leg of the trek has many excellent views of Mera at the head of the river valley.
Today we'll leave the forest, reaching a more open valley well before lunch. We'll be in Tagnak by mid afternoon.
As we near it, we can see the route we'll be taking up Mera glacier. We can also see the damage the recent collapse of Sabai Tsho (a glacial lake) caused.
Today we'll tackle the slopes behind Tagnak, getting as high as possible in order to get more used to exerting ourselves in low air pressure. The view of Mera from this height is not to be missed either!
After half an hour or so at the high altitude, we'll descend to Tagnak for lunch.
There is also an optional afternoon trek up the north slopes to see what remains of Sabai Tsho after it broke through its bounds and caused so much flooding downstream.
The hike to Khare is a gentle rise, and we can take our time. We'll cross the river just above Tagnak then ascend the Dig glacier. We'll be able to see the Hinku Nup glacier hanging above us as well.
The trail gets steep again just before Khare, but we can rest for a bit in the village before taking another acclimatisation excursion along the ridge behind it. From here, youwe'll be able to see the glacier we'll climb tomorrow.
We'll work our way back up to the Hinku Nup glacier then turn north avoiding the crevasses. The ascent up the glacier itself requires crampons, even though the glacier is relatively flat and easy to traverse.
Mera La is a rounded snow col which leads up to the Mera Glacier. We'll camp for the night just on the other side of Mera La pass.
Day eleven is a contingency day, which means it is a chance to make up any time lost to bad weather or slow going without ruining the rest of the schedule.
If we are on form so far we can skip ahead, of course.
This is the first part of the real summit push, and we'll need our crampons again. We'll return to Mera La pass then head up the glacier itself to High Camp, set on a rocky outcrop 5800 metres above sea level.
The view from High Camp is stunning, including Kangchenjunga in the east, the ridge of Chamlang, Barents Ice Spire, Makalu and the peaks of Ama Dablam. Just turn slightly, and you can see Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest.
We'll be up by 2am on day thirteen. After a hot drink and a large breakfast, we'll make the attempt on Mera Peak's summit.
The path travels along the main glacier and crosses over to the south side to the snowy hump-back ridge. The 30 degree slope is challenging, but not really a technical climb. After getting behind the ridge, we'll head diagonally to the west. Our guide will attach a fixed rope for the final steep ascent, and we will use our ice axes and jumars to make the last 30 metres (at a 55 degree angle).
The view from the summit is everything you could hope, including mighty Everest in the distance.
After we arrive in Khare, a celebration will be in order!
We'll follow the Arun Valley again, retracing our steps back to Khote.
Today is uphill again, following a new route to Chetera La. This new path is both a faster way to the village and offers superior views of Mera.
Our last day of proper trekking takes us back to Lukla. We'll climb a series of ridges before reaching the Zatrwa La Pass. The terrain there is quite craggy, and we can see both Hinku Valley and the south face of Mera clearly.
We'll scale down Zatr Og, a rocky outcrop, and continue downhill back to the Dudh Koshi valley. We'll enter forested terrain again, then the farmland at the outskirts of Lukla.
We'll take an early flight back into Kathmandu and your hotel today. Take some time to explore Kathmandu, if you haven't done so already.
Today we'll drive you back to the airport for your return flight home.
Congratulations! You conquered Mera Peak!
Q1HOW DIFFICULT IS MERA PEAK?
Although high, Mera Peak is fairly straightforward and only a basic level of mountaineering skill is required. Although basic climbing with crampons and ice axe are required, there is plenty of time at the base of the mountain to learn these skills. However, because of the altitude, the trek is still very difficult and requires a high level of fitness.
Q2WHAT IS THE DISTANCE OF THE MERA PEAK TREK?
The total trekking distance is 78 miles or 125 kilometres.
Q3WHAT IS THE SCENERY LIKE ON THE MERA PEAK TREK?
The Mera Peak tour takes in everything. You begin by trekking through lush valleys before heading higher up into farmland and rhododendron forests. From there you’ll come across beautiful lakes and rivers before finding yourself at the base of the highest trekking peak on earth. The summit is unforgettable as you see the world below you in one magnificent vista that includes Everest and Lhotse!
Q4SHOULD I BOOK IN ADVANCE?
Absolutely. This is a specialist tour and we therefore suggest booking at least three months in advance.
Q5WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MERA PEAK?
There are two main periods that are considered the best time to climb Mera Peak. Spring time from Mid-March to late May is always popular, as is after the monsoon period from October to early December.