Our unique trek-climb is Mera Peak in a loop, on a newly constructed trail down the Hongu Valley and, while we are there, a little exploration in the Upper Hongu Valley. Unlike most Mera expeditions that stay in lodges, we need to camp on the way out. So, if this is a small team, we will camp relatively lightweight, if a bigger team then we camp in our normal style.
Mera Peak is a true "trekking peak" in that it is a walk up (except for a short five meter steep section to the very summit) and so the best non-technical trekking peak for people who want to test themselves at altitude. The climb from high camp is crevassed though and so we do rope up, and practice prior. Fit novices welcome!
The panorama from Mera's summit is incredible, including five 8000m peaks: Everest #1, Kanchenjunga #3, Lhotse #4, Makalu #5 and Cho Oyu #6, and a sea of others, plus endless layers of hills to the south.
Planned with altitude acclimatization in mind, our up-to-date itinerary now starts with a private bus/jeep ride to Salleri-Phaplu, so no risk of the sometimes delayed Lukla flight upsetting the climbing plans. This is an balanced by a few extra hills, a strenuous workout prior, with recovery over two rest days before the climb. Similarly at the end of the trek, we drive back so no change of delayed flights either.
All in all, this is the best expedition for somebody wanting a personal best altitude, and who loves Nepal peak experience.
+ awesome summit panorama including 5x 8000m peaks
2/3 star hotel in Kathmandu, single with breakfast
domestic flights as per the itinerary
group transportation by private vehicle
entrance fees and permits as needed
Kathmandu group dinner
Teahouse trek includes
all meals (one starter, one main course)
accommodation in shared twin rooms
Expedition-style climb includes
all meals, afternoon tea and hot drinks
thin mat to protect your air mattress
Our service excludes
*snacks and drinks in the teahouses*
insurance, Nepal visa, other meals in Kathmandu
additional hotel nights due to delays
satellite phone however available for rent
international flights, equipment rental, alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, laundry,
tipping and other items of a personal nature
Tips & extra cash
allow approx $50 per day for Kathmandu meals
allow approx $15 per day for snacks and hot drinks
allow more if you are a shopaholic
we suggest 5% of the trip cost per trekker for the crew tips pool
Day 0 - early arrival
Arrive early to recover from long flights, and to go sightseeing. We still arrange the airport transfer and book the hotel for you.
Day 1 - Wednesday 30 October 2019 - arrive Kathmandu 1350m
2 - drive Phaplu 2475m, drive/trek Chiwang 2490m
We take a private bus or jeep with our crew to Phaplu, a 8-9 hour drive, then drive or trek a short distance to get beyond the road head to a set of peaceful lodges.
3 - drive/trek Taksindu, trek Nunthala 2250m
Depending on the state of the road, we either drive to Taksindu or Nunthala, or trek there. How far we get today will determine all our overnight points until Kothe.
4 - trek Kharikhola 2050m via Dudh Kosi 1600m
This is one itinerary version but lets see how we go.
5 - trek Shibuche 2820m via Pangum La 3173m
6 - trek Ramailo Danda 3275m
7 - trek Chetra Khola 3220m
We may reach Kote a day early; then a rest day, this is about acclimatization.
8 - trek Kothe 3590m
9 - trek Thangnak 4350m
10 - rest Thangnak 4350m
Acclimatization with several day trip possibilities.
11 - trek Khare 4900m
12 - rest-prepare Khare 4900m
13 - trek-climb Mera La 5400m
14 - climb Mera High Camp 5800m
15 - climb summit, descend to Mera La lodge ~5150m
16 - trek Hongu Khola camp ~4900m
17 - Hongu Khola camp exploration
Let's check out several large lakes (for GLOF risks).
18 - Hongu Khola camp exploration
(Essentially this is an extra day, if needed.)
19 - trek Junction camp 3700m
20 - Junction camp exploration
There is a possible trail up to a remote valley in the Makalu region that we might see if it exists.
21 - trek Khola camp
22 - trek Cheskam
23 - trek Bung/Gudel
For our trek out, we have easier days to explore villages and explore the culture.
24 - trek Nurkum
25 - trek Kurima
Most of the climbing sherpas who work for us are from Kurima, so this will be very interesting.
26 - trek Deurali roadhead
27 - drive Kathmandu
28 - Tuesday 28 November - depart
(US Thanksgiving is 28 Nov.)
Summit day on Mera Peak, climbing up the ramp; the summit is unseen however the short difficult section is similar to the top right hand corner - Jamie
To see the detailed itinerary and more photos use a laptop/desktop browser or tablet in landscape (and hit refresh).
We love exploring, truly exploring and have many firsts to our credit and major achievements that we haven't previously
publicized, but as importantly, they have been amazingly successful, fun treks too. From 1998-2006 we explored the greater Kanchenjunga region with 7x 42 days treks (!!) then since 2008 have been opening routes of the the Nepal Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and assisting with the GHT maps and guidebooks.
Most trek pages below have links to photo galleries, or see our Nepal Photos Inspiration. We are also exploring in Ladakh, India...
2017 'Kanchen Gola' - As well as returning to the the remote Ghari/Kang La, we discovered two passes near there unmarked on maps, and Jamie and Esther also solved cairn riddles to the top of the other Khang La, an alternative GHT start on the border with Sikkim.
2016 Upper Dolpo & Mu La - getting to Bhijer wasn't as hard as we expected, and we finished our Mu La exploration from 2014, crossing this last somewhat enigmatic pass in front the Dhaulagiris.
2012 GHT Wild West exploration - we broke trail to be the first trekkers ever to trek Darchula
to Simikot between Api and Saipal, staying completely in Nepal ... !
2011 GHT Dolpo Wild exploration - we were the first commercial trek team across the Lakyap/Kekyap passes (thanks, Paulo Grobel), rerouted the GHT near Bhijer saving a 5368m pass crossing and crossed the tough high route between Dolpo and Mugu without
2010 GHT Mustang & Saribung Wild - we traversed from Upper Mustang to Nar-Phu and climbed Saribung 6328m with 100% team success, then traversed around Manaslu
2009 GHT Makalu Wild - we were the first trekkers to cross Chyangtang to
Makalu Base Camp the direct way.
2008 Limi-Saipal - Jamie discovered the crucial pass near Saipal for the
2012 trek after guiding James Vlahos writing for Nat Geo; thanks Nepal Trust.
2007 Manaslu Wild - we explored the Tsum Valley to the Tibet border, and also explored the peaks and passes above Samdo.
2005 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to cross the Lumba Samba,
ie Kanchenjunga to the Makalu region, crucial for the GHT.
2004 Nangpa La exploratory - trekking to the Tibet border in the Everest region for the guide book Trekking in the Everest Region.
2003 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top of Olangchung Gola's Tipta La after Joseph Hooker in 1848, and in 2017, we found out no other trekkers ever went there; now there is a road across it.
2002 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to Yangma's 5746m Ghari La
2001 Kanchenjunga Wild - first trekkers to the Chabuk La, virgin peak ascent, a climb of Tengkoma peak and saw snow leopards, see Wanda's diary.
2000 Manaslu High - we explored Manaslu's Tsum valley prior to Tsum being opened (!) and climbed Chulu Far East.
1999 Kanchenjunga-Makalu - 42/75 day trek (!) and when we couldn't cross Sherpani-West Col, we returned to Tumlingtar in plastic boots.
1998 Wild Kanchenjunga - the trek that started the Kanchenjunga exploration series; we didn't meet any other trekkers.
1998 Churen Surprise - a trek to Churen Himal base camp above Gurjagoan, a trek that still few people have ever heard of.
The tightly clustered lodges of Kote - Jamie
Welcome! - Jamie
Mera Peak high camp at 5800m on a snowy morning, the rocky part is behind me - Jamie