Climb Mera Peak in the Himalayas, at an altitude of 6,461m Mera is the highest trekking peak in the Himalayas. The peak is a perfect introduction into the world of mountaineering. Challenge yourself in a high altitude environment.
Alrighty then. What is Mount Mera all about and why in the world would you want to climb it? Mera hangs in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.
Mt. Mera is situated on the edge of the famous Khumbu Region of the Himalayas. This part of the range is dominated by none other than the ‘Big E’ herself-Mount Everest. In fact, this is one of the best peaks to climb as the summit offers some of the best, mind-blowing and panoramic views. In fact, you get to see five of the most famous peaks that are higher than 8,000m. These snow capped giants include Everest (8,848m), Cho-Oyu ( 8,201m), Lhotse ( 8,516m), Makalu ( 8,463m) and Kanchenjunga (8,856m). The climbing route to the summit of Mera is pretty straight forward.
The ascent is via the North and is basically a high-altitude glacial trek. Obviously there are conditions to consider like snow, ice and freezing cold. So your equipment is going to be a tad different to normal trekking routes. You are going to have to kit yourself out with high altitude boots, crampons, down jackets and other mountaineering apparel that will make for a super epic Tinder profile picture. The mountain is situated in one of the remotest valleys in the Himalayas. It is situated next to Island Peak and has way less traffic than the Everest Base camp trek.
WHAT MAKES THE CLIMB TO THE SUMMIT OF MERA SO APPEALING?
- The peak is pretty much an attainable challenge for anyone with a sense of adventure. You do not have to be super fit. It is also classified as a ‘non-technical’ mountain. So don’t worry if you think you lack the mountaineering skills to climb it. Obviously there are a few skills that you will need to know but we will spend time with you training. These skills would include: walking with crampons, trekking while ‘roped’ up to your climbing buddies, use of an ice axe and how to navigate through crevasse fields safely.
- The expedition is an incredible introduction into the Himalayan mountaineering environment. A lot of the trek is conducted on a high altitude glacier. This gives a certain character to Mera that is reminiscent of any other big ass mountain in the Himalayas.
- Mera is a perfect way to experience a high altitude mountain at a fraction of the cost. Maybe you have aspirations to climb Everest but the cost and difficulty level is a tad further than you would like to venture. Climbing Mera is a totally affordable mountain to climb. It is also a totally achievable summit to reach with limited mountaineering and physical attributes. The slopes to the summit rarely extend beyond 30 degrees. The only real challenge would be how your body adapts to the thinning air at altitude.
- The summit of Mera offers some of the best views ever!!! These include a panoramic view of Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu.
- The trek has an excellent acclimatisation itinerary.
- The trek into base camp through the forests of the Hinku Valley, traditional Sherpa villages and the rhododendron forest trails are spectacular.
WHY CLIMB MERA WITH SOUL ADVENTURES?
- We have been involved in climbing and trekking expeditions into the Himalayas for over 15 years. Now calm down….we have no idea when you will be reading this. So if you read this 1 year, 3 months and 17 minutes form now….we would have been involved in expeditions for 16 years, 3 months and 17 minutes. So call off the lawyers and chill Winston.
- We get involved in all aspects of your trip. That means we provide free training sessions, come shopping for equipment with you, lecture you on the effects of altitude on your body, take you hiking in the Drakensberg, have a few pre-climb beers talking about life, mountains and everything.
- Our guides have some incredible mountaineering experience. Our resume includes multiple big ass mountain summits from Aconcagua, Island Peak, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, 89.34% of Everest and 12% of a 6 foot ladder. We have also led over 1000 hikes into the Drakensberg. We have been through the learning curve and baptism of fire that takes up the sport of mountaineering. Read this: https://www.souladventures.co.za/mountaineering-expeditions/
- Our trek is fully supported. This means we include the porters, climbing Sherpas, fixed ropes, trekking guide, help with flights.
- We have had a 80% summit success rate on Mera. The other 20% did not make it due to altitude related illnesses. Good odds if you ask me.
DO YOU NEED A MOUNTAINEERING QUALIFICATION TO CLIMB MERA?
DO YOU WANT A DETAILED EXPLANATION INTO WHY WE SAY NO?
Did you say No?…. I’m glad. That will save me getting a cramp in my finger from typing out an explanation.
BUT MY MOMMY WANTS TO KNOW?
Okay sunshine. Calm down. Here is our explanation into why you do not need a mountaineering qualification to climb Mount Mera in the Himalayas. Tell your mom to back off. And no..that was not a threat. It was an exaggerated response to an uncompromised stance. We were taught to never make a threat unless we were prepared to carry it out.
And we are not fans of carrying anything. In fact, the thought of clients asking us to carry their backpacks makes us uneasy.The trek is basically a high altitude trek. There is no ice climbing, abseiling, hanging from your pinky or other technical skills involved. The only ‘technical’ thing you will need to know is how to walk in crampons. There are a few crevasses that we need to dodge. But this does not include walking across a gaping abyss on a flimsy aluminium ladder. Those sort of activities are necessary on our other expeditions to Island Peak, Makalu, Everest and the Kumbu Ice Fall.
On all of our trekking expeditions to Mera we adhere to a strict Guide to client ratio of 3:1. Our climbing sherpas have an intimate knowledge of Mera that includes the crevasses and other variable conditions from weather, crevasse navigation and rescue techniques. So tell your mom that you will be in good hands and will be safe.
IS MERA EXPENSIVE TO CLIMB?
No. Compared to other mountains of the world, it is very affordable and offers good value for money. A good idea to raise funds would be to adopt the leaf as legal tender resulting in everyone getting rich. Failing that…save and work hard. Or not.
EFFECTS OF ALTITUDE ON YOUR BODY?
Mera is regarded as high altitude. The summit is situated at 6,461m above sea level. And 3,456m above beer and wine drinking level. This means that the biggest challenge when climbing Mera is how your body adapts to the altitude. Something we cannot predict until we actually get to altitude. If you have climbed other mountains like Kilimanjaro or Elbrus, you will have an idea. Basically we are concerned about 2 major things: Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema.
We conduct medicals 2 times a day on all our clients to determine if they are getting the symptoms that could morph into one of these conditions. The other factor on Mera could be Acute Mountain Sickness. This is not life threatening but can be frikken uncomfortable and leave you in a miserable state of affairs. It is usually short lived though. Just something you have to work through. Join us on a trek into the Himalayas and we will spend time with you where we will take you through a few ‘high altitude’ lectures.
IS IT TRUE?
We have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe dial 5 now and ask to speak to the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal.
- All Airport Transfers in Kathmandu
- 2 nights accommodation in Kathmandu at a 3 star hotel (sharing)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trek (notice the words ‘on the trek’)
- Travel lodge accommodation during the trek
- Tented accommodation at Mera Base Camp
- Dry one liners to motivate you up the mountain. We only allow 3 jokes per hour. Extra jokes cost a beer for pack of 10.
- Government licensed Trek/climbing guides, plus experienced porters (including their food, salary, accommodation, equipment, medicine and insurance)
- Return flights from Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu
- All necessary permits and entry fees including climbing permit for Mera
- All government taxes
- Day tour of Khathmandu
- Our loving and kind motivational speeches to get your ass up the mountain
- Free stone that we pick up on day 4. It is situated 152m from the start of the hike.
- Meals in Kathmandu. (Breakfast in the hotel is included)
- International airfare
- Nepal entry visa fee ($40)
- Your travel insurance (should include your medical and helicopter rescue).
- My wife
- Climbing equipment (harness, ice axe, crampons, boots etc)
- Any personal expenses like shower and battery charges in the mountain
- Bar bills
- Advice on the stock exchange fluctuations and how they will affect the global economy.
- Any extra night’s accommodation in Kathmandu if we get down early. (We have included extra days in case of bad weather. If all goes according to plan, then we will be back down early. So maybe keep a few dollars spare in case)
- Any abuse about how horrible we are for not telling you about the difficulty of the climb which usually starts in at about 5,967m at 3:45 am. And of course, we would have told you how difficult it CAN be, but you would have forgotten by then. Poor us.
- Staff tipping
Itsy Bitsy spider, its time for you to become a flier. We fly from Johannesburg to Dubai or Doha depending on what the best options are in terms of price and flight schedules.
We arrive in Kathmandu. Upon arrival, we will have a transfer waiting at the arrivals hall. We then take the 45 minute drive though to the hotel in the Thamel district. We check into the hotel, have a shower and 784ml of Everest beer. We will then do a gear check and make sure you have all the right gear for your climb of Mera. You can also pick up some last minute items in Kathmandu before heading into the mountains. We usually have a traditional dinner in a secret restaurant only known by a man called Kishwor-our main Sherpa lead guide. A brother from another mother who I have been climbing in the Himalayas with for 10 years
Day 3 – Fly to Lukla (2800m.) and Trek to Poyan(2,800m.)
A pack of rabid penguins will be sent into your room at 5am to entice you form the slumber process-Ready to leave for Kathmandu airport by 5:45am. An early start I’m afraid. We want ti get into Lukla as soon as we can. The weather conditions can be very volatile and flights are sometimes cancelled. If we are luck…we can fly into Lukla without any problems. The flight in a twin prop plane takes 45 minutes. The views of the Himalayas are mind-blowing. You are going to love the landing. Best you wear a nappy.
What if there is bad weather?
Right. Lets get this topic out of the way shall we. Sometimes the flights are cancelled due to bad weather. This means there is no way to get into Lukla unless you are up for a 200km walk taking over 2 weeks. And no….we are not responsible for the bad weather. We did not bring it on because we didn’t feel like trekking. Weather is something beyond our control and stresses us out as much as it does our clients. If flights are cancelled or delayed we have to adjust the trip itinerary to compensate for the lost day or days. Please bare with us on this. And that does not mean take your clothes off either. We would have said bear with us but that could be a bit grizzly.
Once we arrive in Lukla, we will meet our team of porters for the trek. We then have some breakfast and a spot of tea before we start the first day of trekking. The first part of the trek heads up pretty steeply for about a hour util it levels off for the rest of the hike. We will spend the night in Poyan at 2,800m.
Day 4 – Trek to Pangkongma (2,846m)
Today we drop down into Khare Khola and then head up a relatively path into Pangkongma at 2,846m-our humble abode for he night. There is a super cool monastery here that we visit. The village is a perfect example of how the local Himalayan people live.
Day 5 – Trek to Nashing Dingma (2,600m)
The trek today takes us through epic the Rhododendron forest and leads up some pretty steep and winding stairs up to the Pangkongma at 3,174m. We then follow the ridge line before you trek down into Hinku Khola where we have lunch. After we have stuffed our pie hole and rekindled some energy, we ascend up 600m into Nashing Dingma for the night.
Day 6 – Trek to Chalem Kharka ( 3,600m)
An early start today sunshine. Up at 7am. The start of the hike is pretty easy before we head up some steep stairs yet again. We should reach Suka Le in about 2 hours. After some lunch we continue the Mera peak trek into Chalem Kharka for the night.
Day 7 – Trek to Chunbu Kharka ( 4,200m)
A long day again. Our aim to reach a high point of 4,500m before descending back into a lower elevation for the night. The trek today is beautiful and we sometime stretch the snow-line depending on the season. The highlight is definitely the mountain lakes that we pass. We overnight in Chunbu Kharka 4,200m/ 13,779ft
Day 8 – Trek to Khote (3,600m)
A long downhill trek today. We contour along the Hinku Valley along some pretty cool paths. We descend thought the forest to Khote for the night.
Day 9 – Trek to Tangnag (4,360m)
A pretty easy hike into Tangnag. No nagging allowed.
Day 10 – Trek to Khare(5,100m)
A spectacular hike today as we hike pas some epic glacier and lakes. We overnight in Khare.
Day 11 – Rest day and acclimatisation climb
We will send the day in Khare. We will do an early morning aclimitisation climb up to 5,300m. The views are super cool from here. You will get a glimpse of Mera and the glaciers.
Day 12 – Rest day and mountaineering skills training
We spend the day resting and taking you through some mountaineering skills needed for the summit night on Mera. We will take you through the use of crampons and ice axe self arrests. We will also teach you how to use a Jumar. These are of course things that we will spend time with you teaching back in SA.
Day 13 – Trek to Mera Base Camp
We make our way up to base camp today at 5,300m. We also take a few hours c=treking across the glacier. What an amazing day!!! The views and expericen of trekking on a glacier will stay with you forever. Safety is the name of the game today as there is the chance of rocks falling from high above. So yes..you will be wearing climbing helmets and crampons. We overnight in tents at the base camp.
Day 14 – Trek to high camp at 5,800m.
We climb up towards high camp today. Situated at 5,800m. The route is over the glacier and some easy snow covered slopes. We will get some of the best views of Everest, Nuptse, Makalu and Lhotse on this part of the climb. We overnight in a small area of rocks set aside for tents. We should be in camp by 12pm. Then its time to chill and recover for the summit push.
Day 15 – Climb to Mera Summit
We wake up at 12am. Ready to start the final summit push at 2am. We should reach the summit in about 6 hours. There are a few crevasses that we ned to navigate around. The last 30m of the summit is pretty steep but is well worth the effort. You will need to Jumar yourself on fixed ropes up the last ice cliff to the top at 6,461m. After reaching the summit and enjoying amazing views over the Himalayas, wyou will have abseil down the 30m summit cliff before the long descent back to High camp. We will rest for one hour before descending back down to Khare at 5,100m.
Day 16 – Trek to Khote
After a good nights sleep we will get up early and make our way back to Khote 3,600m/ 11,811ft. It will take two hours to retract our steps to Tangnag 4,360m and then another 3 hours back to Khote.
Day 17 -Trek to Chhatrabuk (4,300m)
The route back to Lukla takes us over the shorter route. We make our descent back to Chhatrabuk 4,300m
Day 18 – Trek to Chhutanga
Today be move head on down from Chhatrabuk to Chhutanga. This is another long day hiking as we move closer to Lukla.
Day 19 – Trek to Lukla
This is the easiest and shortest day of the trek. We descend from Chhutanga to Lukla through the dense forest which takes about 3 hours. We will arrive back into Lukla and relax for the rest of the day. We overnight here.
Day 20 – Fly to Kathmandu
We take the early flight into Kathmandu. The rest of the day is set aside for showers, beers and chilling
Day 21 -Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Sight seeing day. We also use this day as a ‘spare’ day in case of bad weather.