I was wandering if anyone has 'done' Mera Peak? I am thinking about doing it next year, (from Pokahara, not Lukla), and wandered if anyone had experiance of climbing Mera?
I know it's the highist "Trekking" peak, so will be hard. I'm thinking about the trek 'in'. How hard/easy is that, what sort of temps. etc. Any advice welcome. h
Not quite sure what you mean. The 'Mera Peak' that is the highest trekking peak (6500 m) is in the Everest area, so is approached from Lukla. Is there another Mera?
I've done the one from Lukla, so can give you some advice about it.
To Jim Chalmers, it's the same 'Mera Peak' but trek starts from Pokahra, ( more to the east than Lukla), and joins Lukla trek at Tashing Ongma. I know you won't know about trek up to there but advice from there on-wards would be appreachaited. The trek returns by 'normal' route to Lukla.
The trek is run by Doug Scott's company, C.A.T. and I think is the only one who go by this route. All the others I've looked at, as you say, go from Lukla. Any advice would be welcome. h
I had to pull out of a Mera trek, last year due to a bad knee injury. The best advice regarding this mountain is from Roland Hunter who use to post on here. I am also of the belief that heading up Mera Peak out of season in winter is the best time (late october to November.) although cold, you tend to get much more sunny clear days.
And you are right there are two different peaks called 'Mera Peak", one is the so called "highest trekking peak", (it's a bit more than that ie.. plastic boots, axe, rope, crampons etc...) and the other is called the 'The Real Mera Peak' a proper techincial mountain.
Mera Peak is not technically difficult - apart from the altitude. Because of that, you need to use a lot of time to acclimatise. From Lukla, we took 10 days to walk to the Mera's north col at 5500 m, including two days when we stayed in the same camp, but walked up to about 1000 m higher than our camp, then back to it. Even then, many of us had problems with the altitude on the final peak. Of 12 clients and 3 guides, only 8 clients and 2 guides reached the summit. I remember standing at about 6300 m thinking, I can't raise myself another step. But we had a rest and it went - slowly.
It's just a walk to the north col and a technically easy tramp up a snowy crevassed glacier from the north col. You need crampons and axe, and we all used plastic boots. The guiding company (Karakorum Experience) provided ropes, harnesses and belay equipment.
We were there in November, and it was cold, about -20C in the morning when we set off for the final climb, so you'll need a good sleeping bag.
Above about 3500 m on the walk in, we had below freezing in the morning and it got cold very rapidly in the evening after sunset. A good tip is to defer washing - self and clothes - to a break in the middle of the day, when it was much warmer in the sunshine, surrounded by glorious snowy peaks.
After Mera, we continued down eastwards into the upper Arun Valley, then crossed into the Khumbu over the Mingbo La. That was another story - abseiling over 100 m down nearly vertical fluted ice. Some of the clients were sent part way down to help the porters, and we were last down the glacier - a descent of a steep icefall in the dark at the end of a 12 hour day.
But you'll be going out via Lukla, so you'll miss out on that fun!
Have a good trip.
Cheers Jim, the trek I plan to take, takes 15 days from Pokahara to reach Mera BC, crossing a couple of ridges and passes to get there. Should hopfully help acclimatisation, then their is up to 7 days to try for summit. Then return to Lukla by 'normal' route.
All things being well I hope to go Oct./Nov. next year. The highist I've been recently is 4167m (April this year) and found that hard enough, thought I'd trained hard enough but will step up training after new year, to hope to get fitter, so as I won't struggle as much. h
One of the reasons the trek goes this way is to avoid Mingbo La, for the reason you found, i.e. the difficult it can be winter.
I can help out with the confusion over where you fly into for an expedition to Mera Peak. On CAT's Mera Peak itinerary you start by flying into the airstrip at Tumlingtar to the east of Mera Peak in the Arun Valley. You would not go via Pokhara as that is far to the west near the Annapurna region.
I was in Tumlingtar earlier this year for an expedition to climb Makalu. The walk from Tumlingtar to Mera Peak BC is quite interesting, one starts off by crossing a few ridges passing through the large Rai villages of Gudel and Bung. However it is at a low altitude so very warm and humid.
You can of course also fly to the airstrip at Lukla and from there you have a choice of two routes into Mera Peak BC. The first one goes over the Zatra La pass at 4,700m after only a couple of days, this is not a sensible approach in terms of acclimatisation. When I was there last year another UK based trekking companies lost three clients on Day 2 before this pass due to intimidation (it looks quite scary from Lukla) and also acclimatisation issues.
The second route is the one that my team always follow, after arriving to Lukla we walk south away from the Everest BC crowds followed by an enjoyable few days walking through quiet Sherpa villages of the Solu Knumbu. The other advantage is that these are decent days with between 6 and 7 hours walking so helps builds up fitness early on in the trip.
On my third day we meet up with the CAT trail coming from Tumlingtar in the east at the campsite of Nashing Dingma. Shortly after is the the best part of the route as one goes over the Surkhe Danda (ridge) and to the Panch Pokhari (five holy lakes) with amazing views east to Kanchenjunga and Makalu. The CAT trail takes 7 days to get to Chalem Kharka whereas my route only takes 4 days, however by taking the longer route you are not benefiting from extra acclimatisation time as you are still at low altitude.
It is from Chalem Kharka onwards where it is vital to take time in order to acclimatise properly. It is for that reason that I spend two nights at Tagnag at 4,400m with the spare day used for a hike to over 5,000m (climb high, sleep low) on a beautiful ridge above the village. Then instead of walking all the way to Khare at 5,000m (or also known as Mera BC) we stop halfway at a campsite at Dig Kharka. Then we have two days at Khare followed by the climb itself with one night at Mera La and one night at High Camp.
There is more information about the route and time of year on my Mera Peak Trip Report from November '08 reported on my Blog at http://themountaincompany.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html
So far I have a 100% summit success on Mera Peak so this itinerary definitely works, I hope to keep this statistic with my group going in November this year!
Roland, you are right in where trek starts from, my confusion came from looking at map of area also has Tumlingtar also named as Panchi Pokahari, Nepali names/places eh!
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