If you are thinking of some great Himalayan adventure, Mera Peak climbing can be a wonderful start. Situated in the Makalu Barun Valley next to Khumbu Valley, Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. You can see the awe-inspiring views of majestic mountains like Cho Oyu (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), and Mount Everest (8848m) from the top of Mera Peak. The adventure can be done in relatively shorter period of time and is less strenuous compared to serious mountain climbing as Mera Peak is not a technical mountain. Nevertheless, its 6000m+ Himalayan peak and it comes with some challenges. So, here is some information that will help you if you want to embark on this amazing adventure.
Why climb Mera Peak ?
Climbing Mera Peak doesn’t just come with a sense of achievement but also with the amazing experience of stunning mountain views, picturesque villages, wonderful forests, diverse culture, beautiful landscapes and many more. It’s a full package that offers all aspects of a Himalayan encounter. Although this trip is physically demanding, it requires relatively little climbing technique and can be climbed by beginner who is physically fit.
Is it difficult to climb Mera Peak?
Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. But it doesn’t consist of steep technical climb like other expedition peaks. So, even if you are a beginner then climbing this peak isn’t that strenuous for you. But, due to altitude, snowy condition and geographical extremities, it’s not a piece of cake. You still need some basic alpine skills and be able to use gears such as climbing boots, crampons, climbing helmet, ice axe etc. You don’t need to worry about this as you will have enough time at the Base Camp to learn these skills. Just make sure that you hike gradually, hydrate well, and eat healthy food to reach the summit in best physical condition.
What are the trainings required for Mera Peak?
It all depends on how often do you hike and trek in the Himalaya or high altitude conditions. If you are a regular trekker, then climbing Mera Peak isn’t that strenuous for you. However, it doesn’t mean that it is all easy to reach the summit. In order to ascend Mera Peak, you need to build good core and length strength along with endurance power. You have to put in the right training schedule and follow it every day before the trip. Lunges, squats, step aerobics, cardio vascular trainings are some of the physical activity that you can include in your daily practice. It is also equally important to have prior experience of altitudes. And yes! Always remember mental preparation is a must which keeps you focused and confident to achieve whatever your goal is.
On the way to Mera Peak
What to eat and where to stay during the trip?
You need comfortable accommodation and healthy food to stay fit and energized during the trip. For that, you can find lodges or teahouses strewn along the trail. Camping can also be a good option for overnight stay if you want to unplug and enjoy the simplicity of nature. But, it is not preferred much nowadays due to the availability of teahouses. You can find many options of foods like potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes that are perfect for the hungry trekkers who need calorie replenishment.
Clothing and Gears
It is mandatory that you have the required gear and equipment for the trip. You have to seek advice for climbing equipment, boots, harness etc. from the company that’s helping you for the trip. You can either buy or rent them. Not just climbing gears, you also need to have proper clothes for trekking and climbing. You need to have clothes and sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. A comfortable footwear is a must both for climbing and trekking. Make sure that you have worn them both prior to your trip.
Which is the best season to climb Mera Peak?
Well, each trekking season has its own excitement and atmosphere, but if you want to have some assurance about the weather conditions during the trek, be sure to stick to high seasons. Among the four seasons, Spring ( March – May ) and Autumn (Sep – Nov) can be considered as the best seasons to ascend Mera Peak as the skies are clear and temperature is favorable during these months. It is very difficult to climb in summer as the temperature is high and there is a high risk of falling of stones and melting glacier. And you can’t also be able to see the expansive views due to fog and rainfall in this season. In winter, temperature goes below -15 degree celsius which leads to the heavy snowfall and risk of avalanche in the trip.
What permits do you need to climb Mera Peak ?
If you want to trek in Nepal, permit is compulsory for you. Following permits are needed in order to climb Mera peak.
TIMS ( Trekking Information Management System ): Every trekker trekking in Nepal requires TIMS card. Tims card is for the safety and security of the trekkers.
Makalu Barun National Park entry fee: Since Mera peak lies in Makalu Barun National Park, you need to pay park entry fee before trekking in the area.
Mera Peak climbing permit: You need to pay certain amount in order to climb Mera Peak. Mera Peak permit is different in each season. Since Spring and Autumn are considered as high trekking seasons, the charge for climbing the peak during is about USD 250 and USD 125 respectively. Whereas in low Season i.e. Summer and Winter, the permit for climbing the peak is around USD 70. Nepal Mountaineering Association issues the permit to ascend Mera Peak.
How to avoid altitude sickness?
It doesn’t matter where you go in the Himalayas of Nepal, you are likely to encounter serious altitude. During Mera Peak climbing also, altitude sickness is a concerning matter due to thin air and less oxygen. So, in this condition if you don’t take the right precautions. it can ruin your trekking experience. Better be prepared than feel sorry! Here are some of the tips to avoid altitude sickness while you climb Mera Peak.
Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Mera Peak. Climbing slowly can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you gain altitude sickness.
Acclimatize properly: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.
Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But don’t drink too much water as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
Be psychologically prepared: If you are too worried that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may lead you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great views during the trip.
Trekking in Nepal is all about exploring the wilderness, clambering the hills, negotiating with the glaciers, and time and again being patient with the caravans of yaks, sighing at the soaring mountains, and sweating in the chills – sounds like a lot of actions, right? It is exactly true. But trekking in Nepal is not just about actions only, it’s also about rest, relaxation and resetting your button as elsewhere. While the whole day you be a super excited adventurer, the nights are all for hard-earned rest. So, accommodation while trekking in Nepal is a very concerning matter. Here, we have got some information on accommodation while trekking in Nepal. We hope you will find it helpful while planning your travel.
Tented Camps are outdoor tents. They are either double layered “A” shaped-Triangular Three or Five Poles Tent made with water proof fabrics. Inner layer will be cotton fabric to provide warmth whereas, the outer layer is water proof polyster fabric strong enough to sustain wind and water. You can also find expedition styled light weight dome tents which are easy to install and lighter in weight for the porters to carry. Normally each tent comes twin mattresses made of foam for sleeping where the day pack can be adjusted to work as the pillow to comfort your head. Sleeping Bags are also provided but on rental basis if requested. Most of the trekkers bring their own. It’s better to bring separate inner liner with the sleeping bag for extra warmth.
You can also get single tent accommodation but it may apply extra charge. There will be a separate dining tent with seats and table for you to have suppers and spend time chatting with fellow trekkers. Kitchen and toilet tents are also set near your sleeping tents. Tented camps are not as comfortable as the accommodation at teahouses, however it offers better exposure to nature. This type of accommodation is common in remote and off the beaten trails like Dhaulagiri and Dolpo region. In major trekking regions like Everest, Annapurna,Langtang etc, teahouses are used more than camps due to their widespread availability.
Teahouses are small mountain houses run by local families. They are modest and cheerful outlets providing basic accommodation facilities. The standard of Teahouses have improved a lot over time. Nowadays, Teahouses in regular trekking trails are well equipped with different facilities including hot shower, telephone, western toilets, small bar, and dining halls. Rooms are basic, and comes with two beds with cushions and blankets. If requested the owners can provide extra blanket but it can’t be ensured during peak time. So, it is better to bring your own sleeping bag.
Single rooms are also available in some teahouses but they are not easily available in peak time. Toilets are normally common. Rooms with attached bath are also available but in very limited number. Facilities like hot showers, electricity to charge mobiles and batteries, WIFI cost additional charges. Dorm rooms are also available and they cheaper than other rooms. This type of accommodation is the most popular one while trekking in Nepal and they are quite ideal for backpackers.
There are some local and chain hotels in popular trekking areas like Everest and Annapurna. They are expensive and provide deluxe facilities. They offer luxury rooms with services like en suite washrooms, comfortable beds with electric covers, hot water showers, exquisite furniture and free WiFi services. Hotel Everest View and Yeti Mountain Home in Everest region and Ker and Downey lodges in Annapurna region are the examples of such accommodation. If you seek for extra comfort in the middle of wilderness, they are the perfect choice.
How hard is the trek? What is the level of fitness required? Can I do it? These are the most common questions one asks when he or she thinks or plans to do trekking in the Himalaya. We think there is no right answer as difficulty level of a trek is not an absolute idea, especially in the Himalaya. Of course factors like altitude, distance and time are measurable factors that can determine the grade of a trek to some extent. However, how a person’s body and his mental fortitude respond to these things makes the whole difference. So, there is no generally accepted trekking grade system in Nepal. However, based on our experience, we have categorized the trekking grade in Nepal taking some common factors like walking hours, altitude, terrain difficulty into consideration. Our grading system is to be taken as a general guideline. Deciding the right one is subject to your personal level of physical and mental fitness.
Soft Adventure treks
These treks are only about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don’t go above 4000 meters and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 – 5 hours. They are a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. Most of the time, it is walking from one village to other village above 2500m, discovering the lifestyles and culture of rural communities of Nepal. You can see the panoramic views of mountains, exciting village life and do wonderful wilderness walk. The activity level is fairly easy as there is no difficult climbing or snowy walks. But don’t expect it to be all easy going, as it is still a trek and there will still be some big hills to climb as well as the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down. Such soft adventure treks are ideal for Family Adventure and Corporate Retreats. No previous experience is required. Example: A Week Below Everest
Moderate to fairly challenging treks
This trekking grade involves longer treks going right into high mountain country above 4000m, to some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps like Everest Base Camp (5357m) with occasional crossing over high passes. Most of the trekking in Nepal falls under this category. Climbing and descending are very usual experiences for this type of trekking and you may have to cross glaciers as well. Physically quite tiring and more challenging than soft adventure treks, it includes approx. 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. This kind of trekking gives you an experience of a lifetime, with memorable walking surrounded by spectacular mountains. Previous experience is not required but preferable for this trekking. You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions. It is ideal for you if you want to challenge yourself with longer and demanding trekking days. Example: Everest Base Camp & Annapurna Circuit
On the way to Larke Pass (5106m)
Strenuous treks are normally longer treks that go far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and where the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. Most of the time, you will be trekking in very rocky terrain, crossing glaciers through wilderness, and sometime may have to use crampons. It normally goes above 5500m and is appropriate for those seeking real adventure. Physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. Should not be super fit but definitely not for beginners! However, it is not impossible to take as the first adventure if you are committed to take some extra challenges. Example: Dolpo Trek & Dhaulagiri Trek
If you have heard about Nepal, chances are high that you have heard about its mighty mountains, rolling hills and wonderful wilderness, always welcoming travelers since the country opened its door to visitors. No doubt this beautiful country is an amazing destination for world class trekking adventures. You have hundred of choices here. From busy trails of Everest to quiet trails of Dolpo, from easy mid hill walks to challenging mountain passes, from few days’ hike to month long clambering on the glaciers – the list is endless. You will literally be spoilt by the choices. This broad range of trekking options, however, is normally categorized into three trekking types on the basis of the service and logistic arrangement involved in it. At Explore Himalaya, we offer all three trekking types to our visitors.
1. CAMPING TREK
Camping Trek is fully organized trekking in which you will be supplied with all camping equipment along with food, Sherpas, helpers and tents for accommodation. This trekking type is ideal for those who want less frequented trails with no teahouses or less accommodation options. This type of treks offer a really special experience as you will be visiting the far flung areas that have very less contact with the modern world. Nowadays, with the availability of teahouses and lodges in most of the trekking trails in Nepal, compared to other trekking types, this style of trekking is less in use, and used only where there is special requirement or no other option of accommodation left. Treks in Dolpo and Dhaulagiri regions are operated in this style.
Support Crew in Camping Trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Sirdar and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don’t take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp.
Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Some of the best moments of the trek are the times spent getting to know your trekking crew who are born and brought up in remote mountain villages. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is consumed and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tents, your camping staff dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.
A Typical Day in Camping Trek A typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. Then after we continue for the afternoon’s walk which is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. Dinner is usually served between 6 – 7pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
Meals and Drinking Water in Camping Trek
We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh products as possible and special dietary requirement is always catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain remarkably high standards of health over many years of trek organization – and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb.
All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. You will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing.
2. TEAHOUSE/LODGE TREK
Teahouse trekking type involves accommodating in teahouses dispersed up and down the travelling trails of Nepal. In this type of trekking, your service includes food, guide, porter and accommodation. Teahouses basically refers to mountain lodges operating the bedding and eating facilities for trekkers. Generally, all the teahouses have sharing rooms (with few single rooms), indoor latrines, restrooms, eatery, kitchen and lounge area. Most of the teahouses are owed by local people where family members, relatives and some additional staffs work every day to satisfy the necessities of guides, porters and travelers. This type of trekking is popular in all major trails in Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions.
Support Crew in Teahouse Trek On teahouse trek you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The crew consists of a local leader (Sirdar) and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two group members. Sirdar speaks reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most teahouses, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the bathroom facilities are often shared and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the teahouses do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Teahouse treks are less expensive than Camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory.
Meals & Drinking Water in Lodge Trek
On our teahouse/lodge based treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is normally not extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with filtered water.
A Typical Day in Teahouse Trek The day activity is pretty much same as in camping trek. The only difference is we will have our meals in teahouses instead of camps. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day’s walk. All we need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of our gear for us.
After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
3. GAP TREK
This is a shortened form of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This type of trek is ideal for those that want basic and essential support from us. We offer an English speaking local Sherpa guide, accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers buy meals on their own. So, the whole arrangement is same as Tea House aside from you paying for your own meals.
Pisang Peak (6091m), a popular trekking peak in Annapurna region, Nepal
Nepal is a land of mountains with majestic Himalayas ranges. It is known all around the globe for eight to fourteen mountaineering 8000m+ peaks. However, there are other peaks under 7000m that equally inspire the visitors for adventure activities in Nepal. Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has classified this type of peaks (from 5800m to 6476m) as trekking peaks. Currently there are 28 trekking peaks in Nepal (previously 33 peaks) open for climbing.
Trekking peaks are less technical and climbed by the mountaineers with little experience as hobby or as a part of preparation for climbing expedition peaks. If we see from this side, climbing trekking peak doesn’t sound like a very serious adventure but they are also challenging and attempting them requires sincere effort. One needs to consider that Himalayan mountains have advantage of altitude and the lowest trekking peak is as high as some highest peaks in other parts of the world. So, like any mountain climbing proper acclimatization, right equipment and sound physical fitness is required while climbing trekking peaks in Nepal. If you consider to attempt this wonderful adventure, here is the list of some popular trekking peaks in Nepal.
Island Peak (6160m)
Island Peak, locally called as Imja Tse, is located in Sagarmatha National Park, Everest region. It is named for its appearance which resembles the image of a floating island in sea of ice. This is usually combined with other Everest treks for adaptation to the environment in higher altitudes. This peak climb would be a lifetime experience for adventure lovers. Panaromic view of mountains like Nuptse, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Baruntse and Ama Dablam can be captured from the peak.
Mera Peak (6654m)
Mera Peak is the tallest and second famous trekking peak in Nepal. Due to less technical difficulties while climbing this peak, it has high success rate. However, it is still a challenging peak because of its altitude. Trekking while climbing this peak leads you to the remotest and alluring areas in Hinku valley in Makalu region. This peak covers the wide ranging views of 5 8000m peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchanjugha and Cho-Oyu.
Cholaste Peak is one of the most arduous trekking peaks due to narrow and inclined ridges. This peak is situated between Gokyo and Khumbu valleys in Everest region. Due the technical difficulties while climbing the peak, only climbers experienced in ice and rock climbing are recommended to climb Cholatse Peak. Starting from Gokyo, the climbers have to pass through Thagnak to Zungla via Cho La Pass to reach its Base Camp.
Yala Peak (5520m)
Yala Peak, located in Langtang region, is the easiest trekking peak. It is excellent for first timer climbers and adventurers due to the easy routes while ascending the peak. Climbing the peak gives you one of the most rewarding mountain views of central Himalayas. The trekking covers the portion of Langtang region including the sacred lake of Gosaikunda and a mixture of Tamang, Sherpa, and Bhote cultures in Helambu region.
Pisang Peak (6091m)
Situated in the laps of Annapurna Region and Manaslu Region, Pisang Peak is one of the most popular non expedition peaks in Annapurna region. This peak is integrated with Annapurna Base Camp Trek via Thorang La Pass that includes the holy Muktinath Temple. Pisang Peak delivers climbers with diverse ecosystem, different landscapes and provides opportunity to interact with local community of different cultures and traditions.
Lobuche East Peak (6119m)
Situated in Everest Region near the Khumbu Glacier and the settlement, Lobuche East is the straight inclined peak with slightly more technical hurdles than Island Peak and Mera Peak. This peak provides eye catching wide range views of Mt. Everest, Khumbu valley and monasteries. Climbing this peak encourages mountaineers for attempting higher altitude Himalayan ranges. Normally, the peak is climbed as an acclimatization climb by those who are attempting Everest.
Pharchamo Peak (6187m)
This peak lies in remotest areas in Rolwaling region and Everest Region connected by Tashi Lapcha Pass. This peak is relatively quieter than other trekking peaks in Nepal. After entering the Rolwaling valley, the first access to the peak, your ascent to Pharchamo Peak starts from the ice fall of Tashi Lapcha. From the peak, you will experience the breathtaking view of Gaurishankar, Melungtse and several other peaks. While climbing this peak, you will have the opportunity to explore various cultures and the diverse flora and fauna of the valley.