Mera Peak rises 12 km to the south of Mt Everest, dominating the remote and beautiful Hinku Valley. It has 3 distinct summits. We ascend Mera Central via a long broad ridge from Mera La pass on the northern face. A high camp is established at 5800m. All accommodation on this trip is tent camping.
After making preparations in Kathmandu we fly to Lukla, and then head into the Hinku valley. We trek for several days, through rhododendron, fir and silver birch forests, to reach our camp at Tagnac and a well-deserved rest day.
Along the way, we will see the devastation caused in 1998 when the wall of the Sabai Tsho, a glacial lake, broke and flooded the valley. We will also catch our first glimpses of Mera from the south, with all 3 peaks visible.
From Tagnac, we ascend to camp at Khare, the last seasonal settlement in the Hinku at 5000m. At Khare, we are at the base of an immense glacier leading to the Mera La pass. We spend a day learning the theoretical and practical techniques for the climb ahead, ascending onto the glacier to practice and to further acclimatize.
Next day we push on, roped together as we move over crevassed terrain, up moderately angled snow slopes to high camp at 5800m.
For our summit attempt, we start by torchlight in the early morning (sometime between 3-5am). It is a prolonged and steady ascent, with a steep last section to be overcome before we hit the top. Even though the climb is technically straightforward, there are some crevasses to manoeuvre and the route can be long and demanding after a fresh snowfall.
The 360 degree summit view is just stunning. Visible are 5 mountains over 8000m: Everest(8848m), Kanchenjunga(8586m), Lhotse(8501m), Makalu(8463m), and Cho Oyu(8201m). You will also see Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Chamlang and many others.
On return, we take a shorter route via Zatra La back to Lukla to celebrate our achievement with our Sherpa crew, before flying back to Kathmandu.