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How Difficult is Mera Peak Climb?

Mera Peak is the highest permitted trekking peak in Nepal at 6,461 meters/21,193 feet above sea level. “Hiking peaks” can be misleading and give the false impression that climbing is relatively easy, but climbing should not be underestimated, climbing mine peaks is difficult and poses a real challenge. Find out how difficult it is to climb Mera Peak, alpine grade, climbing route and other factors involved in climbing Mera Peak.

Mountain View:
Mountains: Mera Peak
Elevation: 6,461m/21,193ft at the summit
Route: Mera Glacier

Ascent Profile / Itinerary

The Mera Peak climb itself is not very technical and does not involve steep technical climbs but the high altitude reaching 6461 meters at the summit makes it a challenging climb. Unlike other trekking peaks in Nepal, the climb to Mera Peak is simple. Most of the climbing involves walking on the glacier at a relatively reasonable degree with the use of crampons and ice axes. The final section of the climb involves climbing a snow dome at an angle of 5 degrees using a fixed rope climber/jumper.

My peak climbing difficulty is alpine grade

Mera Peak is classified as Alpine Grade PD in the Alpine Grading System, meaning some technical climbing and complex glaciation are involved making it a challenging climb. Mera Peak used to be classified as Alpine Grade F (easy/straightforward) but is now classified as Alpine Grade PD (slightly difficult) due to glacier changes and steep technical climbing in the final section.

High Altitude
High altitude is a major factor in climbing mine peaks and most climbers turn back from Mt Everest due to altitude sickness. At 6461 meters, oxygen is around 47% and climbers try without supplemental oxygen which makes climbing my peak a real challenge. Climbing any 6000m peak has difficulties and dangers and requires preparation and training. The risk involved in climbing can be minimized if a well-planned itinerary, proper acclimatization, contingency days and training are allowed.

Approach
There are various routes to reach Mera Peak from Lukla. The shortest and most widely used route follows through Zwatra La pass 4600m. But another approach follows a long route through less traveled villages like Pangoma, Chungbu Khark, Chalem Khark. With this long trek, the total duration increases by 2-3 days but it will also be very beneficial. The choice is yours.

Mera Climbing Route
Follows Mera summit climbing route through Mera Glacier. The route has snow and ice slopes of up to 40 degrees and can be long runs at high altitudes. Over the years, due to climate change, Himalayan glaciers have become more complex and dangerous, and mine glaciers have also been affected. In some sections, scrambling is difficult and requires climbers to belay and may involve rappelling down a waterfall.

From Khare (5045m), do not head up straight to Mera high camp (5800m). Spend a night in between at Mera La (5415m). At 5000m level, restricting huge altitude gain is crucial. From Khare to Mera high camp, the total elevation gain is 800m which is hard for most climbers. Spending a night at Mera La helps prevent altitude sickness, and tiredness and increases the summit chances greatly.

From our own experience, many climbers who reach my high camp directly from Khare have turned back due to exhaustion and altitude sickness. Whereas, climbers who stay overnight at Mera have a higher success ratio.

Mera Peak Central and North Summit

Nepal Mountaineering Association has maintained two peaks namely Mera Central and Mera North. Both the middle and the north are known as peaks of Mera Peak.

Mera Peak Central Peak at 6,461 meters is attempted by most groups and is accessed by taking the high line to the East Summit, its last 20 meters or so in elevation. Mera Peak Climbs offered by each outfitter are the climbs of Mera Peak Central.

Mine North Peak 6,476 meters can be reached by a drop and traverse, with most people falling by this stage, or by taking the more westerly lower line outside the high camp for a steep walk to the summit initially.

Summit day on Mera peak

The most important and highlight of the entire trip is the summit day. The day when you finally get to stand on top of the highest trekking peak in Nepal, enjoying the panoramic view of five 8000m mountains and several other peaks spread throughout.

Your summit push. From Mera high camp to the Mera summit, it’s a total of 661m climb. The time to reach the summit will depend on your performance but on average it should take around 4-5 hrs with rest stops. As the sun rises and dawn breaks, the summit becomes visible.

The early start for the summit push is to reach the summit in the early morning and be back at Khare by the afternoon. The weather remains clear and warm in the morning relatively. The afternoon brings poor weather and high wind making it harder to navigate in the glacier while descending.

The summit push is a relatively straightforward walk with the use of crampons, an ice-axe and a man rope. The route to the summit of Mera rarely exceeds the angle of 30-40 degrees but the final pitch involves a 30-metre ascent of a 50° snow dome, demanding climbers the use of jumar/ascender in a fixed rope depending on the snow condition. Summit day can be as long as 10-12 hrs.

Experience required to climb Mera peak

Prior anyone trekking experience is beneficial and recommended before signing up for the Mera Peak climb. Anyone who has done any hiking can find it suitable for climbing. Mera climb does not involve much technical climbing, so it would be good to do some trekking hiking first.

A few days introductory course on mountaineering skills would be very beneficial. However, many guides offer a climbing course in Khare before the actual climb so that you can learn the basic mountaineering skills needed for climbing during the trip. Read; our top 10 tips for Mera Peak which will give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare.

Day by Day Details (Itinerary)

Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu (1,350m) and transfer to Hotel
Day 2: Fly to Lukla from Kathmandu and trek to Chutanga (3,430m), 3-4 hours.
Day 3: Trek to Thuli Kharka (4320m), via Zwatra La (4600 m), 6-7 hours.
Day 4: Trek to Kothe (3,691m), from Thuli Kharka 6-7 hours.
Day 5: Trek to Thangnak (4,358m), from Kothe 3-4 hours.
Day 6: Trek to Khare (5,045m), from Thangnak 4-5 hours.
Day 7: Rest day in Khare/Acclimatization.
Day 8: Mera High Camp (5,780m), from Khare 5-6 hours.
Day 9: Summit Mera Peak (6,461m), and trek to Khare 10-12 hours.
Day 10: Contingency day for Mera peak (6,461m).
Day 11: Trek to Kothe (3600m) from Khare 6-7 hours
Day 12: Trek to Thuli Kharka (4,300m), from Kothe 5-6 hours hours.
Day 13: Trek to Lukla (2,840m) from Thuli Kharka 6-7 hours.
Day 14: Fly to Kathmandu (1,350m) from Lukla and transfer to Hotel.
Day 15: Drop at the airport for the final departure.

Best Season of Mera Peak

The best season for Mera climbing is spring (April-May) and autumn (October-November).

If you see fit for climbing. We offer guided climbing at Mera Peak in every season using the best itineraries, guides and safety measures. If you have any questions or need any additional information about the climb, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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(1) Comment

  1. Ram Tamang

    AlpineTrav Treks & Expeditions is an adventure travel company in Kathmandu, Nepal founded by local alpine experts with extensive experience in trekking and mountaineering in the Himalayas.

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