For lovers of beauty and extreme sports, Mera Peak climbing is a great option to enjoy the majesty of the mountains and experience incredible sensations. Climbing Mera Peak, Nepal’s highest trekking peak, is a great opportunity to step over 6,000 meters for the first time. Mera peak climbing is very popular among climbers due to the technical simplicity of the route with a significant height of the peak – 6476 m.
It is part of the Makalu-Barun National Park. Mera Peak got a name that is consonant with the name of the legendary sacred mountain Meru (Hinduism and Buddhism). The word itself has Indo-Aryan roots, and a rough translation sounds like “justice” and “measurement.” It is not known exactly when the mountain got its name. It has been established that with the spread of Sanskrit, it was already called that way. However, this topic is still being debated. There is an opinion that the Europeans misidentified the mountain in this way.
From the top of Mera Peak, a panorama of five of the six highest peaks in the world opens up: Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Jimmy Roberts and Sen Tenzing were the first to ascend Mera peak in 1953. However, the athletes and climbers following them were only able to overcome the southern and northern slopes of Mera Peak. But the difficult central peak was conquered only in 2001, for which Valery Babanov had to work hard.
The trekking trail winds its way through coniferous forests and rhododendron groves through a remote and uninhabited valley that leads to the Mera Peak base camp. The route passes through 3 valleys: Imza Valley, Hongu Valley, and Hinku Valley. These are absolutely wild places that amaze with their extraterrestrial beauty. A particularly interesting section of the route passes through the Imza valley and the technically difficult Amphu Labsa ice pass. In the Imza valley, there is a high mountain lake of the same name. And in the Hongu valley, on the other side of the pass, there are as many as five lakes called Panch Pokhari.
Mera peak has 3 vertices: South measures 6065 m, Central measures 6461 m, and North measures 6476 m.
From the northern side, the most simple and favorite climbing routes through the Mera La pass lead to the summit, which mainly includes crossings on closed glaciers at high altitudes. From the Mera La pass (5415m) you can see the panorama of Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, Makalu, Baruntse, Everest, South Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu and Kangtega. The approach to the southern slope takes place from Jiri via Pangkongma at 3173 m. Approach from the east occurs from Lukla via Zatrawala pass (4600m).
The approach to the summit is carried out along an open snowy slope and further along the left ridge through the South Peak. From it, you can traverse through Central Peak to North Peak. The Central Peak is technically more difficult, with a cornice on the northern slope. It is possible to climb the Central and Northern peaks; however, the routes are more dangerous due to a large number of cracks.
To get to Mera Peak, you need to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, which usually takes about 40 minutes. Further routes vary and depend on which path you choose for yourself. You can go to Chutok, and from there get to Najing. The hike is usually on foot. The last settlement is Khare. The main camp is located at the Mera La pass, but this also depends on what you agree on.
Since Mera Peak is located on the territory of the national park, a permit must be issued to visit. You can pay it in the capital or on the spot.
Throughout the trail, you will spend the night in Sherpa villages, many of which are located far away, which gives a rare opportunity to plunge into the life of traditional monastic communes. Such communication with the local culture is very useful for understanding the world. Neighborhoods are often primitive by Western standards, but this disparity is made up for by the warmth and hospitality of the Sherpas.
Climbing Mera peak is easy, simple, and accessible to people with little mountaineering and tourism experience. However, if you don’t have prior climbing experience but are in good shape, physical and mental health, you can conquer the summit with ease. The secret lies in the effortless route to the Mera peak. The ascent route to the top of Mera Peak cannot be called steep. However, it has a constant slope and few flat areas for recreation. Therefore, you need to find the right pace so that you can withstand the climb and still have no breathing problems. The last 100 meters of the ascent are the most challenging and unpredictable. The conditions here are constantly changing. Sometimes you may need a fixed rope on a snow-ice slope. In some places, a crack and patches of solid ice may appear, but they often get around on snow. Thus, climbing Mera Peak is not hard, but sufficient experience in ice and snow with comfort in using ice axes, crampons, rope, and safety techniques are prerequisites for the success of your conquest.
Set aside 15-20 days for your whole Mera peak expedition. An internal flight from Kathmandu will take you to Lukla in mere 40 minutes. From Lukla, your trek on foot starts. After 5-6 days of a hike through the ethnic Sherpa villages of the region, you will reach Mera peak base camp. A 3-4 hour trek from the base camp will take you to the High camp, where you will resume your ascension of Mera Peak. Depending on your fitness and competency, within 4-6 hours, you will be on the tip of the summit enjoying the spell-bounding views of seven and eight thousander Himalayas. Descending from the summit will take less time; approximately within 2-3 hours, you will reach the High camp. A 2-3 hrs descent from High camp to base camp, and if you are ready, you can return to civilization the same day.
Mera Peak is technically the easiest mountain to climb; despite its huge height, you can ascend the peak on foot without traning . The only technical requirement is for you to know how to use crampons, ice axes, walk-on railings, and fixed rope. Any physically healthy person with experience in mountain hiking of any complexity or Himalayan trekking can easily conquer this summit.
However, it should be remembered that the expedition is about climbing and trekking on rigid glaciers. In addition, to get to the top of Mera peak, you need to use the jumar and railings since part of the final path will pass through the snow dome, which is at an angle of 60 degrees. That is, physical training is required here. To climb the peak of Mera, you can take a one-week course for climbers. In the camp, which is located at the foot of the mountain, there are instructors who will prepare you.
The path to the top passes through a glacier, often covered in snow. The relief of the glacier is flat, with virtually no stress points. Rare cracks, as a rule, are well-read. On a short section leading directly to the peak, the guides set up a rope railing, and a jumar is used for climbing. The top of Mera peak consists of two substantial snow-covered hills connected by a thin ice-snow bridge. The trail from the high-altitude camp is not technically challenging. Still, due to the high altitude, frequent strong winds, and low temperature at night, it requires climbers to have good physical endurance and proper acclimatization.
As Mera Peak is one of the lightest peaks of this height, in principle, there are no accidents in connection with the ascent. Nevertheless, caution is needed. The main danger is associated with altitude and insufficient oxygen.
If you intend to climb Mera peak on your own without the company of any guide or porter, then yes, you can climb Mount Mera. However, there are documentation and formality issues that need the service of local agencies. You need to obtain the expedition permit and national park permit, which can be quite challenging proceedings for a tourist. After accomplishing the required formality, you can trek on your own. A route with thoughtful acclimatization will allow you to trounce the summit. If you are physically and mentally equipped, you can easily overcome the route laid among the picturesque forests and thickets of rhododendrons. There are a few points to remember if you want to hike alone, such as:
It is important to be able or learn to assess one’s own strengths critically, and if you feel unwell, refuse the way up even at the last minute;
Most safe ascents are made in groups, and the latter can be formed right on the spot. If you haven’t flown to Nepal with a large team of friends aiming to conquer the mountain peaks, you should prepare in advance to cooperate with other travelers;
Altitude sickness can overcome even hardy and physically strong people. Of fundamental importance is attentiveness to your body;
The skill of distributing power is important. Despite the technical ease, the peak of the Mera remains a rather high peak, and the lack of oxygen entails constant fatigue, so it becomes problematic to rest.
A company of local or certified guides can help you maintain your pace so as to withstand the climbing complications.