After spending a month in Kashmir for my BASIC MOUNTIANEERING COURSE (BMC) at JAWAHAR INSTITUTE OF MOUNTAINEERING & WINTER SPORTS. Learnt the basics of being on the mountain, DO’s & Don’ts, Mountaineering Terminology, Rock Craft, Ice Craft and also learnt how to use most of the mountaineering equipments. Now I was ready to put my skills to test and decided to do a climb on Mera Peak(6470m). To reach my highest altitude for the year of 2016.
Activities: Trekking + Peak Climbing
Accommodation: Hotels in Kathmandu/ Teahouse//Tent @ base camp and in high camp
Trip Grade: Moderate to Challenging
Mode of Travel: Flight to KTM-Lukla-KTM
Maximum Altitude: 6470m
Per day walking: 5 to 6 hrs(depands on the individual fitness level
Situated at the edge of the Khumbu region, south-east of Everest, the approach route for Mera peak climbing is through the extremely beautiful Hinku valley. The unspoiled and uninhabited Hinku valley below the Mera peak is one of the wildest and most beautiful in Nepal with its massive moraines, glacial lakes and stunning mountain views.
Like all the climbing trips to Everest region, our approach trip to Mera starts with an exhilarating mountain flight to Lukla airstrip. From Lukla we ascend slowly to eastward, cross the Zatra La pass and finally reach the Mera La pass on the ninth day where we make our base camp for Mera Peak climbing. Climbing Mera Peak is possible in a single day from the base camp but we avoid rush. We allow proper rest and acclimatization and make use of high camp to ensure success. Finally we ascend the three summits of Mera from where we would enjoy absolutely stunning summit panorama that includes 5 of the worlds 8000m peaks- Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Everest
- Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu & transfer to hotel o/n hotel
- Day 02: Kathmandu permit preparation o/n hotel
- Day03: Fly to lukla (2840m)Trek to Chutenga (3020m), 3-4 hrs o/n lodge
- Day 04:Acclimatize at chutenga hike up towards zatra la upto 4000m & back to chutanga
- Day05:Trek Cross zatra La pass (4610m) and trek to thuli kharka(4300m) 6-7 hrs o/n lodge
- Day06: Trek to khote (3691m) 5-6 hrs o/n lodge
- Day07Trek to Thangnag (4356m) 4-5 hrs o/n lodge
- Day08 Thangnag – Acclimatization Day
- Day09: Trek to Khare (5045m) 3 hrs o/n lodge
- Day10:Khare to mera peak base camp (5350m) o/n tent camp
- Day 11: Mera base camp to High Camp (5780m) 5-6 hrs o/n tent camp
- Day12: Summit Attack
- Day13: Spare Day( this day we might use in khare depanding on condition of clients and the condition of the weather
- Day 14: Trek Back to khote(3691m)5-6 hrs o/n lodge
- Day15: Trek back to thuli kharka(4300m)6 hrs o/n lodge
- Day16: Trek via chhetra la 4610m to lukla 6-7 hors o/n lodge
- Day17: Fly to Kathmandu transfer to hotel o/n hotel
- Day18: Kathmndu explore & rest day o/n hotel
- Day19 : End of Trip – Departure to Home Country
Finding Soul in Nepal
3rd trip to Nepal and always feels like home,arrived 5days prior to the expedition at KTM. Next 2 days spent resting at the hotel since last 1month I had experienced of living in a tent and sleeping bag for BMC training in Kashmir. It was time for rest and relaxation.
The following day went out for some sightseeing around Thamel, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Buddha Stupa, Kaathe Swyambhu ShreeGha Chaitya and tried some local delights. It was a festive season as Vijayadashami was being celebrated all around Nepal.
Also, met up with my local travel partner and other climbers who were joining for the expedition. Our guide did a briefing on the expedition and all the permits were been arranged. We did a gear check and listed all the items needed to rent out. Finally we were out for shopping our list. We rented out our gears which were required for the trip. Finally we all prepared our duffel bags and all were pretty much excited for the next day flight to Lukla.
Flying to the worlds dangerous airport - Tenzing–Hillary Airport
Around dawn at 4.45am I and my partner woke up and got ready to depart to KTM domestic airport. Our guide Lakpa and their team picked us up and we departed from the hotel by 6.30am. Early morning there was not much traffic on the road and we reached quite early to airport.
Domestic terminal was well renovated compared to my last visit in April2016. It was quite crowded and also the weather seemed to be bad wondered if the flights might take off or not. We checked in and passed the clearance and waited for the flights. Until 1.30pm the flight was delayed and we were announced that all the flights for the day have been rescheduled for tomorrow.
After waiting for almost half of the day we decided to head back to the hotel and take rest for the day. We picked our baggage and made it to the hotel and chilled out for lunch and dinner and rested for the day.
Fly to lukla (2840m) Trek to Chutenga (3020m), 3-4 hrs o/n lodge
Round 2, getting ready for airport again today. It looked clear and beautiful sky and our flights departure was confirmed. We departed at around 9am and finally landed on the worlds dangerous airport . Unfortunately our baggage was delayed now and all our baggage was scheduled for the next flight around 12noon. So we waited at lukla Mera Lodge and had our lunch.
Around 12noon all our bags were arrived and 1pm we on the trail. The trail was very adventurous and beautiful. It was much different from the EBC trail very narrow and flora plants were surrounded by the trail. It looked more scenic. We had to cross 3 streams along the way and we stopped by some of the guesthouse along the trail for a quick tea. Around 4pm we arrived at Chutenga a village with only 4 guest house. Most of the guesthouse was powered by solar power. The beds and rooms were quite small and cosy. At 7pm we had our dinner and hit the bed for a rest. It was very freezing even at the altitude of 3000m
Acclimatize at Chutenga hike up towards Zatra la upto 4000m & back to Chutenga o/n lodge
Around 6.30am the sky was so clear and there was an awesome sunrise. Having an bread and omelette for the breakfast the day started with a gentle walk up the trail with a river stream crossing. After and 2 hour walk we reached to Kharkateng village we stopped for a coffee break and chatted with the local villagers.
We continued our ascent up another 200mts and we decided to give a break for the day and descend back to the village for the lunch at Kharkateng. And then we descent down to Chutenga to our guest house and called it a day of rest. Out Acclimatization was over and we just chilled our reading books.
Trek Cross Zatra La pass (4610m) and trek to Thuli Kharka(4300m) 6-7 hrs o/n lodge
Today continue adventure begins with a steep climb to cross the Kalo Himal Ridge in the Nau Lekh range which separates the Khumbu from the Hinku Valley.it is depends on wheather. Normally on this pass there will snows on the way to Thuli Kharaka.
We started the same ascent through the trail and after passing Kharkateng we pushed up all the way to the Zatra La pass which was at an altitude of 4610m. It was a steep climb. We too a break on the top of the pass enjoying the beauty, luckily there was not much snow on the trail. Finally we descend down and pass through the ridge the other pass and made all our way down to Thuli Kharka around 4pm. We checked in guesthouse it was pretty new and well maintained. After a while it started to snow and the weather seemed very cold.
Trek to Khote (3691m) 5-6 hrs o/n lodge
Today was a beautiful descending trail across three ridges, before dropping steeply down to the Hinku River which was a most awesome waterfall along the trail. Rhododendron bloomed along the way which is the national flower of Nepal. We stopped for lunch at Taktor village and quickly descended down. Next the trail leads next to the river stream and forested area. Finally we entered the Makalu National park its where Khote is located. This place seemed like much developed and with good facilities with hot showers, internet (EVEREST LINK). The locals at the guesthouse was very friendly it was a family business all were so generous.
Trek to Thangnag (4356m) 4-5 hrs o/n lodge
It was an easy hike of 10km from Khote to Thangnag. We started around 9am today, we had to show our permits at the National park office which is located at Khote Village. The trail started with lots of rocks and boulders. Once could see morains along the trails. We had to be very careful. This zone is prone to landslides we had to quickly move off the trail. At noon we stopped by a Teahouse for eating noodles.
We continued on the trail and realised the clouds were moving much faster and it was getting cloudy. Finally around 2.30pm we reached Thangnag village and checked in the guesthouse. It was very windy down the valley. Thangnag was surrounded by many peaks of which some were holy mountains.
Thangnag (4356m) – Acclimatization Day
Today woke up very late missed a beautiful sunrise. The sky was so blue and mountains looked so beautiful. We started our acclimatization hike around 10am it was a gradual walk up. After a 2 hours hike we came across a nice boulder and practise some rock climbing skills. It was fun and we spent time taking pictures and videos.
We all did some push up and jump shots made the day fun filled. Finally we reached up to 4700m and then we decided to head back to the gues house for lunch. Rested of the day we spent reading books and chilling out in the nature.
Trek to Khare (5045m) 3 hrs
Early morning there was a loud sound and when we looked through the windows there was an avalanche which was running down the mountain in front of us. We left Thaknak and continued our way through the lateral moraine of Dig Glacier to Dig Kharka, which offers spectacular views of Charpate Himal. The trail climbs through moraines to the snowout of the Hinku Nup and Shar Glaciers, and then the climbs are more steepy towards to Khare. From here, we can view the Northern face of Mera Peak which will be an amazing experience.
Finally we arrived at the guesthouse. The owner of the guesthouse is a regular climber of Mera peak and he leads the teams to summit also. We had some tea and surfed net still at high altitude. The connection was very good. With an Everest Link 100mb card you can easily check mails and surf net or chat with your loved ones.
We had our dinner and headed back to sleep after a tiring day.
Khare to Mera Peak Base Camp (5350m) o/n tent camp
After having our breakfast and packing all our gears we decided to stay up to lunch time here at the guesthouse as today was a short day of hike. After lunch during noon we continued our way up through the steep climb and scree was all along the trail.
We had changed our plans as it was too windy we camped right before the snowout region and decided to climb upto Mera High Camp drirectly via Mera La tomorrow. It was a great evening with almost the moon looked full and was bright in the sky.
Our sherpas and guide setup the tents and help to cook the food for us. Some of them brought the snow to melt and prepare water for our next day climb. The whole sky at night was filled with starry night.
Mera Base Camp to High Camp (5780m) 5-6 hrs o/n tent camp
We woke up quite early and packed all our gears, tents and started to head towards Mera La. Today was our first day to be out in snow and experience it. After descending down from the camp site we reached the snowout area where we fixed our crampons and ropeup with one another.
Then we slowly started our steep climb to Mera La. The weather was fantastic with clear blue sky. Once we reached the Mera La we could see Mera central the Summit peak which we need to climb. Finally after a short break we continued our way up to Mera High Camp which as located at 5780m.
High camp was next to a big boulder and one few tents can be fixed at this place. We had a very clear view of some of the mountain ranges. After having our lunch we just chilled enjoying the view. Our guides prepared our dinner. Then we went to bed to have a early night as we prepared for the summit day.
Summit Attack – Mera Peak (6470m)
Early in the morning at 12.30am our guide served our hot tea and breakfast before our ascent. We geared up and rope up for our summit ascent. Around 1.30am we slowly started to hike up. It was going pretty good crossing some crevases and glacier.
It started to get more cooling as the wind speed picked up on our ascent. It was nearly around 40km/Hour and the snow was flying all over the face. We continued up the glacier and onto a peculiar ridge. The first rays of the sun hit the big peaks which was an amazing view of red glow of the mountain. This route was still non-technical as we slowly climb higher into the ever-thinning air. The slope steepens for a section behind the ridge and the summit comes back into view.
Finally around 6.30am we reached the final footstep of the final steep summit cone. The guides started to fix ropes up the last steep part where we needed to jumar up . This place looked more scarier to be as if any fall will lead all the way down. We used a safety rope and jumar up the last part to the summit. The view was just stunning and everyone was on the top finally the happy moments teared down the eyes.
The view on the top was amazing with mighty Himalayas including Mt. Everest (8,848m), Cho-Oyu (8,210m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,463m), Kangchenjunga (8,586m), Nuptse (7,855m), Chamlang (7,319m), Baruntse (7 ,129m) and others. After taking lots of pictures we descend down safely to the base of the foothill. From there we rope down to Mera High camp. Once reaching the camp we went and rested the legs were giving up and had to take a break.
After lunch at the High Camp we started to descend down it was a long way back to Khare. With all the snow hike, crevases and scree we made it down by 5pm to the guesthouse all we needed was rest. We took some tea and dinner, rested for the night.
Trek Back to Khote(3691m)5-6 hrs o/n lodge
We trek from Khare to Kothe along the same trail used previously. After reaching Kothe, we celebrate our success by trying out local delights I had some Yak Steak which was very delicious. After being veg for long time on the train and after the successful summit hike its time for some meat. Enjoyed the night with a beer.
Trek back to Thuli Kharka(4300m)6 hrs o/n lodge
It was an uphill trek through lush rhododendron forests on the west side of the Hinku Valley to Thuli Kharka. We took a slow walk up the trail passing by all the waterfall and ridges with our soring feet. The moment we reached the guesthouse it snowed heavy.
Trek via Zatra La pass 4610m to lukla 6-7 hors o/n lodge
The moment we stepped out it was snow everywhere. We started our trek by ascending to Zatrwa La Pas s which was covered by snow most of the trail. We had to carefully watch out our steps which we descend. As soon as we cross the pass, we could see the beautiful Lukla Valley which is surrounded by Cho Oyu, Kongde Peak, Numbur Himal, Kusum Khangru and other Himalayan peaks. From Zatrwa La Pass we walked down all the way to Chutanga.
There we had our lunch and then we hiked straight forward to the Lukla village. We checked in Mera Lodge and all started to celebrate the successful ascent and safely back down. In the evening we enjoyed dinner with all our crew and started to party all night long drinking and dancing.
Fly to Kathmandu transfer to hotel o/n hotel
On the first flight we departed to KTM and our guides arranged transfer to the hotel in KTM. It was all the rest we needed for now. It was a adventrous hike with my 2nd 6000m+ mountain and first peak climbing in Nepal.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. “BE BRAVE TAKE RISKS”