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Mera Peak, Amphu Labtsa Pass and Island Peak Climbing

This is one of Nepal's most challenging treks, set in breathtaking high mountain scenery. Mera Peak is situated in the Makalu Barun National Park on the edge of the Khumbu region. At 6476m it is the highest of the Nepal Trekking Peaks, and commands one of the best viewpoints in Nepal; there are panoramic views taking in, among others, Everest, Lohtse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho Oyo, Kanchenjunga, Ama Dablam, Chamlang and Baruntse. However, Mera is a technically straightforward peak to climb, attainable by non-climbers who are fit and who have an out-going sense of adventure, who are able to meet the challenges of trekking to significant altitude in the presence of a competent guide, supported by a team of porters. Climbers will need to make use of crampons to make the ascent, will use a long ice axe for support, and be roped to a guide across the glacier. First time users of these aids will be given instruction on their use at base camp.

This course lead you to the Nepal’s most popular climbing peaks Mera and Island. Mera is the highest trekking peaks in Nepal considerably easy to ascend. We will be walking through the dense forest of rhododendron with standing Himalayan pine in first few Days. The summit of Mera peak gives you outstanding views of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Baruntse and Mt. Everest. Mt. Lhotse. After ascent on Mera the trip lead us to Amphu Lapcha La pass considerably strenuous due to its remote location. Then, after crossing the strenuous Amphu Lapcha La Pass we will enter the Imja valley for another ascent of Island Peak. Island Peak is known as easy climbing in Nepal’s trekking peaks. The summit of Island peak provides the beautiful marvelous vista of Mt. Everest. Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Amadablam and many more.

Trip Facts
Country: Nepal
Trip Code: BHT-NPC-08
Duration: 29 days
Area: Everest Region
Activities: Nepal Peak Climbing
Max. Altitude: 6,476  M.
Min/max Group Size: 2/15
Seasons: Apr-Jun, Sep-Dec
  • Itinerary
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Day 01.

Arrive Kathmandu.

Airline arrival times in Kathmandu vary; most are in the afternoon. You will be met and transferred to the gorgeous Hotel in its beautiful setting on the edge of Thamel district, where there are all styles of good restaurants and shops with a profusion of Nepal’s eastern handicrafts - many bargains.

Day 02.

Kathmandu Sightseeing.

Kathmandu Hearty breakfasts are included at the hotel, before our mid-morning briefing. All aspects of gear and conditions are discussed to make sure you're fully prepared for the trip, and any last minute questions answered. After lunch we have the rest of the Day to explore this medieval capital. Favourite destinations to get oriented are the Durbar Square, the central cluster of incredible temples to Nepal's myriad deities, and Swayambunath, the hilltop Buddhist monkey temple, both a short rickshaw ride from the hotel.

Day 03.

fly Kathmandu to Lukla / trek to Phuiyan.

We take the morning flight to the dramatic airfield at Lukla (2,860m) where we are immediately in amongst the peaks. With most of the trekking groups heading up the Dudh Khosi from here on the popular trail to Everest base camp, our route to the south is a welcome escape from this tourist bustle.

Day 04.

Phuiyan to Pangkongma.

Not far from Phuiyan our trail breaks away again, leaving the main route up from Kharikhola. We rise to a spur pass, Khari La (2,990m). This used to be the main path up from Jiri before the new one below was made, as witnessed by the ruins of the old bhatti tea house. The view north and west is fantastic all the way to Cho Oyu. Shortly we come to a small lodge where we make lunch, which seems suspended over the wide Kharikhola valley below.

Day 05.

Pangkongma to Narjing Dingma.

In the cool of the morning we head up toward the Pangkongma La pass behind the village, and it is not long before we arrive at its distinct notch (3,180m), marked by some very ancient looking chortens. We have entered the Hinku valley and immediately there is a feel of unspoilt remoteness. Across the valley are thick forests broken only by a few kharka pasture settlements.

Day 06.

Narjing Dingma to Chalem Kharka.

The forests continue as we ascend, now mainly rhododendron. From the Surkie La (3,085m) we head north along the ridge, and the whole of eastern Nepal opens out in front of us, over the wildly remote Hongu valley, with the solitary bulk of the Kangchenjunga massive marking the Sikkim border.

Day 07.

Chalem Kharka to Khula Kharka.

From here up the ridge is cragged with lichen rocks and heathers, and we wind our way up over several rises. The ridge narrows as dramatic gullies drop away steeply on either side. Over a final crest (4,330m) we reach the unexpected suspended ledge of the lakes of Panch Pokhari - five lakes, the sacred number. This is a place of pilgrimage for both Buddhists, who line the edges of the lakes with chortens, and Hindus, who leave a forest of tridents, the symbol of Shiva the mountain-born god of destruction and re-birth. This is a very potent, evocative site.

Day 08.

Khula Kharka to Khote.

Another excellent Day, first contouring the heathery slopes, now firmly on the Hinku side of the ridge. Dwarf juniper shrub turns gradually to trees again, before we descend steeply to the phenomenal cascading junction of two mountain torrents, crashing down through tall pine forests all around our lunch site. These totally unspoilt forests become even more majestic, as we soon rejoin the main river, crossing it to continue up the west bank and reach Khote (3,480m) where we will camp. This site was particularly devastated by the flood of '98 when the Sabai Tcho glacial lake broke its morraine dam.

Day 09.

Khote to Tagnak

The forest gives way to open valley again by mid-morning, revealing the peaks which line either side. A small Buddhist gompa in the rock wall above the path, contains some unexpectedly fine Buddha statues within. The valley swings eastward into a new array of peaks and the route up toward the Mera glacier comes into view. We have reached the surprisingly well-established summer settlement of Tagnak (4,140m) by lunch time, and here we set up camp. Towering over our heads the sheer flank of the Mera ridge dramatically dominates the skyline.

Day 10.

Tagnak glacier acclimatisation Day.

This is a useful Day for boosting our adaption to the altitude by gaining as much height as we can during the Day but returning to Tagnak for the night. Opposite the Mera ridge the Tagnak valley leads up to a long range of peaks connecting Kusum Kanguru north to Kang Teiga. In the morning we climb to the glacier level (about 5,000m), mostly a rocky scramble, with great views of Mera behind. Returning for lunch, in the afternoon we head up the slopes to the north to look at what is left of the glacial lake, Sabai Tsho - not very much. You can still see a distinct line, far above, marking where the water had once reached.

Day 11.

Tagnak to Khare

This mornings walk up alongside the Dig glacier is easy and relaxed. This is an excellent valley opening out views to the north of the Hinku Nup glacier and the line of peaks beyond. Behind us is the dramatic spire of the less than romantically named 'Peak 35', which has yet to be climbed. Only the last section up to our base camp at Khare (4,940m) is steep and reminds us that we are gaining altitude. Its a short climb and we are there in good time for lunch. This will be our base for the next 3 nights, thoroughly developing our acclimatisation, with successively higher Day ascents, descending to sleep low and consolidate our energies for the final ascent to come.

Day 12.

Ridge ascent from Hinku Nup

Today we gain more valuable acclimatisation and pick up some stunning views as well. Following the lateral morraine of the Hinku Nup glacier into an arena of peaks and glacial lakes, we turn to ascend a grassy ridge that rises back to the south. At the top we eat our lunch and are surrounded by an stunning panorama of peaks including Mera itself and the whole of Hinku Himal to the north, right round to the south face of Ama Dablam. We take a packed lunch with us, but top up with hot noodle soup back at base.

Day 13.

Glacier training

Everybody agrees this is a really great Day getting up on top of the glacier for maximum acclimatization, as well as the essential fun of learning the ropes on the ice. There's no substitute for actually touching the white stuff. We head up to the start of the Mera glacier that we will later follow to the pass. Ascending the steep edge of the glacier is ideal as our introduction to crampon use and ice axe technique, and to get the feel of jumaring on a fixed rope.

Day 14.

Khare to Mera high camp

We return to the glacier, and this time follow it round in a wide arc, keeping close under the northern flank where there are no crevasses. The last section is almost level and Mera La (5,410m) itself is a rounded snow col that bridges south to the main sweep of the Mera glacier coming down from the peak itself.

Day 15.

High Camp to Mera summit to Lake Camp

It can seem a bit of a shock to the system to be awakened before dawn (even by smiling Sherpas bearing steaming hot tea), with the prospect of leaving our warm sleeping bags and getting ready for the cold outside - always the toughest moment of any mountaineering trip. But we soon warm up, continuing up the main glacier then crossing back to the south side as we approach the snow hump-back ridge.

Day 16.

(contingency Day) Kongma Dingma.

There is no such thing as a guarantee of good climbing conditions in the Himalayas, so an extra Day to maximize our odds is built into this itinerary. The Day stages described here are for if we don't need it - if we do then we simply lose the extra night in Chukhung. We start the decent into the Hongu with a short Day downhill, all the more exciting for the feeling of anticipation of heading into such remote and seldom visited territory. Straight ahead now the views of Chamlang dominate the valley.

Day 17.

Kongma Dingma to Hongu valley camp.

Today we head up into the upper yak pastures of this incredible remote valley. All morning the great flanks of Chamlang dominate on our left, and the spire of Baruntse comes into view beyond. The terrain is remarkably benign, especially considering we are actually heading directly into the very epicentre of the highest group of mountains in the world. The valley floor remains broad and straight, only gradually rising to the cul-de-sac of peaks ahead. It is almost a shock to realise that the two majestic mountains we are heading straight towards are none other than Everest and Lhotse.

Day 18.

Hongu Valley to Panch Pokhari camp.

Gradually the vegetation thins out as we reach the lake at the foot of the terminal morraine of the Hongu glacier, and we start to ascend into the rocky landscape at the base of the pass ahead. On a shelf above the valley floor we come to the first of the Panch Pokhari, the 'five lakes'. Five is the sacred number for lakes in the Himalaya.

Day 19.

Amphu Labtsa to Chukhung.

We make an early start to avoid the danger of ice-melt rockfall that can occur later in the Day. The ascent to the pass involves plenty of scrambling and several fixed ropes, for climbers and porters alike. The upper pitches are hard work over loose rock and icy sections. But the pass itself is well worth it. The Amphu Labtsa (5,780m) is spectacular, a knife sharp ridge, cut by the pass it at a dramatic diagonal before descending equally steeply on the other side. The view opens out before us of the vast south face of Lhotse and, almost unnoticeable to start with, our own Island Peak in the foreground. The north side of the pass can be very icy, and it takes care, some fixed rope and some abseil (we're now well practiced), for the initial descent.

Day 20.

Chukhung Rest Day

Chukhung is a great place for doing absolutely nothing, which is precisely what we have scheduled for toDay. A bit of washing, plenty of eating and admiring the view of Island peak will do nicely, thank you. If you really can't do that, there's always the very excellent Chukhung Ri viewpoint just outside the back door.

Day 21.

Chukhung to Island High Camp.

Its actually a short, easy enough Day toDay, continuing up the Imja valley in direct approach to the pyramid south-west face of Island Peak itself. At first sight it had been fairly dwarfed by the massive south flank of Lhotse, but put in the perspective that the Lhotse face is the largest in the world, almost unclimable, our Island Peak starts to assume its own stature as a serious challenge. Passing through the narrow gap between the Lhotse and Imja glaciers we approach close to the foot of the south-west ridge, drawing alongside the rocky south flank.

Day 22.

Island summit to Base camp or Chukhung

We get up to steaming cups of tea at about 4.00am, kit-up and eat a good breakfast - plenty of porridge. Setting off by head-torch we cut across the gully to the rocky slopes above. Though we can still pick out a good trail there are some steep scrambled sections which need care in the dark. The rock approach continues through the small hours, but finally the light starts to illuminate the peaks around us. The the stunning form of Ama Dablam appears above the ridge, with its incredible sheer north-west face. We come out on top of a prominent spur at the top of the ridge, and no longer need the torches. Ahead a narrow ice arete steps out onto the glacier, and we put on our crampons.

Day 23.

(contingency Day) Chukhung or Dingboche

This scheduled contingency Day maximises our chances in the event of a bad weather Day. If we don't need it we can carry on or rest up, probably in Dingboche, which is only an hour down from Chukhung.

Day 24.

Dingboche or Chukhung to Deboche

Our return route gets to see another side of Khumbu, including the famous Thyangboche monastery. We stroll down into beautiful mossy forests to have lunch at Pangboche (3,900m). Crossing the river by a dramatic bridged gorge, it's an easy afternoon to our garden lodge stop at Deboche (3,760m). Thyangboche monastery is only 20 minutes further, and those with spare energy may like to nip up for a preview visit.

Day 25.

Deboche to Namche Bazaar.

A few minutes brings us to Thyangboche, the most important gompa in the Sherpa region. It is an incredible site and there is plenty of time for a leisurely visit to the monastery. Then we descend to cross the river again, having lunch just up at Trashinga. We climb to Sanasa, from where it is wide level path all the way back to the lodge at Namche.

Day 26.

Namche Bazaar to Lukla

The steep descent from Namche changes the landscape dramatically, bringing us to the beautiful Dudh Kosi valley, lush and green with many villages and Buddhist shrines. We follow the river to Phakding for lunch and continue in the afternoon to Lukla. We have come full circle, an incredible round trip. This is our last night on trek, inevitably time for a bit of a Sherpa style party.

Day 27.

fly Lukla to Kathmandu

We catch the spectacular flight past the mountains back to Kathmandu. We are met and brought back to a warm welcome and the comforts of the hotel kathmandu.

Day 28.

Free day in kathmandu.

At leisure in Kathmandu Time yet for more sights, shopping and shenanigans in the relaxed bars of Thamel.

Day 29.

Final Departure.

Depart Kathmandu Some airlines depart in the morning, some in the afternoon; your transport will be arranged to suit.

Price Includes

    * Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private car / van / bus.
    * Standard twin sharing accommodation in Katmandu hotel breakfast included. As per itinerary
    * Guided city tour in Katmandu by private car / van / bus.
    * All Meals during the trek (Breakfasts, lunches, Dinners tea coffee
    * Full camping accommodation during the trek,
    * English speaking Guide& Sherpa
    * Porters to carry your luggage during the trek.
    * Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff.
    * Both peak's permit and Everest Nataional park fee.
    * Airfare KTM-Lukla-KTM
    * All our government taxes.
    * Official expense like telephone internet fax etc,


Price Excludes

    * Lunch and dinner whilst in Katmandu.
    * Personal travel insurance (compulsory).
    * International airfare and airport departure tax.
    * Nepal entry visa fee (US$ 30 per person) you obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport Katmandu for 60 days from date of    issue. You will require 2 passport size photos.
    * Alcoholic, hot and cold drinks
    * Personal trekking Equipment.
    * Tips for trekking staff and driver

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For more info. please email us.

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