Mera & Island Peak via Amphu Labsta

Mera & Island Peak via Amphu Labsta information and booking

from
$4490
  • Duration
    31 days
    Days
  • Group size
    6-12
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Intermediate Mountaineering Expedition
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 31 day trip
  • 26 day trek/mountaineering
  • 26 nights camping
  • 4 nights hotels/lodge
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • Climb Mera & Island Peak on a fully supported expedition
  • Full services including all meals on trek and above base camp
  • Cross Amphu Laptsa Pass
  • Sherpa Culture
  • Namche Bazaar
  • Thyangboche Monastery
  • Himalayan Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and return
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu - Pahupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Mera (6460m)& Island Peak (6189m) are two of the most popular trekking peaks in the Nepal Himalaya and this expedition combines attempts on both mountains with a trek through the remote Honku Valley and a crossing of the spectacular and difficult Amphu Laptsa Pass. The generous itinerary ensures proper acclimatisation and we have plenty of contingency days in the event of inclement weather. Being slightly to the south of the main range, Mera offers spectacular views from Kangchenjunga in the east to the Langtang region in the west. Island Peak is situated right in the heart of the Khumbu area and although it is dwarfed by the enormous Lhotse Face to the north, the views from the summit are truly exceptional.

What's included

  • 30 breakfasts, 26 lunches and 26 dinners
  • World expeditions accredited mountaineering leader
  • Full services including 3 hearty meals per day on trek and above base camp
  • Airport transfers
  • Flight kathmandu/lukla/kathmandu approx. us$290
  • 15kgs luggage allowance on kathmandu/lukla flights
  • Expedition medical kit
  • Safety equipment including high altitude chamber and satellite phone
  • The use of a world expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over us$500)
  • Climbing pack including ice axe, crampons and harness
  • Souvenir world expeditions kit bag
  • Private transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter's insurance
  • Sightseeing in kathmandu

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Kathmandu
At the airport you will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson Hotel where you will meet your group leader. Your kitbag containing sleeping bag, down jacket and equipment will be issued upon arrival and individual equipment/gear checks will be held during the afternoon. A pre-trek briefing will be held at approx 6.00pm and is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Day 2 Gear Check. Rest of day at leisure.
This morning final gear checks will be held and afterwards we will depart for Thamel where any necessary items will be hired, ie plastic boots, or purchased. A group sightseeing tour has been arranged, taking in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. If time does not permit, the tour can be taken after the expedition when there is a full day at leisure in Kathmandu. Notwithstanding, the hotel is centrally located and a short walk from shops, cafes and other features of interest.
Day 3 Fly to Lukla (2800m) & commence trekking to Puiyan (approx 2800m)
An early start to the airport to catch the 45 minute flight to the STOL airstrip at Lukla. It is a memorable flight, with marvelous views of the Eastern Himalaya. Our crew and porters assemble, loads are sorted and after a cup of tea, we are soon on our way down a trail below the air strip to the river at Surke Khola, which brings us adjacent to the racing glacial waters of the Dudh Kosi. Our route takes a southerly direction along old trade routes, a trail of farm settlements growing subsistence crops such as millet, corn and buckwheat and then as we trek higher, into stands of oaks, maple and rhododendron.
Day 4 Trek to Pangom (2800m)
We follow the main trail briefly before turning up a path that leads into the forest and traverses around many ridges to the valley of the Kari Khola. Although our camp elevations are similar for the last days, we are undulating over two major ridges, the Chutok La (2945m) and the Khari La (3080m). As we approach Pangum, set in the base of a small bowl like valley immediately below the Pangum La, we travel through forests of rhododendron, pines and oaks. This is a little known trail used only by the local families and apart from a couple of small settlements along the way we see little evidence of human activity. Pangum is a very old settlement little changed, with a new gompa and expansive views out over the valley.
Day 5 Nashing Dingma (2600m)
We climb the half hour or so to the Pangum La (3175m) and our gateway toward the Hinku Valley, and now start to head eastward and then in a northerly direction. Today is a solid descent to the Hinku River of at least 900 metres depending on which path we take, and then a climb up to our camp high on the other side near the Surke La. We are once again traveling through a mix of terraced slopes containing grain crops interspersed by undisturbed forests of the upper temperate zone; maples, rhododendrons and fir.
Day 6 Chalem Kharka (3600m)
Climbing up to the Surke La (3085m) we now follow the spine of the Surkie Danda ridge northwards towards Mera and the Hinku and camp part way along at a yak herders clearing or 'kharka'. These next few days are far from teahouse and trekkers trails and should be some of the finest Himalayan wilderness trekking of the trip.
Day 7 Chunbu Kharka (4200m)
Continuing along the ridge, we climb higher and higher over knolls (lumps in the ridge) of 4000 metres and then 4500 metres. The terrain has now elevated well above the tree line and is grassy slopes and rocky outcrops and cliffs, where birds of prey may be seen flying overhead such as Griffon vulture, lammergeier or eagles. We then descend to a camp set near a series of five lakes, Panch Pokhari, set beside the river of the Chunbu Drangka.
Day 8 Rest day at Chunbu Kharka
This is a good time in the program to have a rest day and a lovely natural setting to explore further.
Day 9 To Hinku valley camp (approx 3600m)
Our route now contours around many ridges on the eastern side of the Hinku, descending lower into forests of rhododendron and scree. Near the valley floor we encounter the devastation caused by a natural damn at the head of the valley bursting in 1998. The valley has been destroyed, leaving boulders, dead trees and silt where once there were old growth forests and meadows. Our campsite is on a pleasant grassy patch, on the now much higher bank of the rocky riverbed.
Day 10 To Tagnag (4400m)
We are now in the Hinku Valley proper, and cross over by way of a yak herders bridge and join the main trail. The first settlement we pass is the busy village of Kote, primarily servicing the trekking groups that come through for Mera. As a result of the tremendous washout of boulders and debris, the trail follows the riverbed mostly, a good trail among rounded stones and silt. We gain our first views of dramatic peaks of the valley; Kusum Kanguru to our left and an unnamed peak over 6700m that stands directly before us. The path then weaves up on to the pastures on the left hand side and pleasant easy trails through to Tagnag. Today we also enjoy our first views of Mera, initially at the confluence of the Sanu Drangka above Kote, if the weather is clear we see the dramatic south face, and then on our final approach into Tagnag. We are now among mountains and starting to prepare for our climb.
Day 11 Acclimatisation Day/preparations
Tagnag is a location to have an acclimatisation day and we will prepare and check our climbing gear also. There are many good ridges and slopes to trek up for a few hours and spend valuable time acclimatising ourselves at these greater heights. We aim to gain at least 500 metres following a ridge behind the village as a side excursion on this day. There are views of peaks towards Kusum Kanguru and across towards Mera.
Day 12 to 13 To Base Camp (5000m) and preparation day
A steady approx 4hr climb out of the valley and up through lateral moraine and grassy culverts to our last camp below the snowline. Enroute we will be able to glimpse the remains of the Lake (Sabai Tsho) that has caused so much damage. It is directly fed by some massive, almost vertical glaciers and it is suspected that there was an enormous avalanche of ice into the lake, and subsequently, a wave that broke through the loose rocks forming the wall on it's far side. A day is set aside for further preparations for the climb, rehearsal of using harness, crampons and axe, and travelling roped up etc. All members will not travel up on to the mountain and glacier without being briefed and skilled beforehand. Whilst the route itself is fairly straightforward, there are objective hazards and good basic technique and awareness of changing conditions is vital for every individual. Your guide will supervise the entire proceedings on the mountain, from the route taken and timings, and equipment required (we only take what we need for the climb, and the rest of your gear remains at base) through to people's fitness (mental and physical) to proceed. This means that the guides decision is final; he or she is responsible for everyone's safety and well being throughout the expedition, and no compromise will be made on these aspects.
Day 14 to 16 Summit attempt on Mera (6460m)
All going to plan and the weather on our side, we would move up to a rock and glaciated camp just off the Mera La saddle at approx 5400m. Plastic mountaineering boots are usually worn from base through to the summit bid and return. Whilst they feel clumsy they are perfect for the job, providing warmth, protection and stability for the variable terrain including loose rocks, snow and ice. Another camp is set half way up the long north slope of the mountain, at about 5700m near a rock knob. Although it is a shorter distance here, it can be difficult in poor conditions and you are at altitude and is harder and further than it first appears, (a common phenomenon in the Himalaya!). The summit bid will be made early in the morning (anywhere from 2 to 5am) from this high camp, and take around 4 to 6 hours to make the summit. Whilst the distance doesn't look far, we can assure you it will be hard work, and all the preparations and a positive, tempered attitude will pay off here. It is usually necessary to rope up for much of the summit approach due to crevasse hazards along the route. The route can vary depending on the conditions of the season but usually skirts around a major shoulder in front of us to the back side of the mountain and then traverse in a fairly straightforward approach to the summit knob. As the light comes, we enjoy incredible views across to Baruntse (7129m), Chamlang (7319m) and Nau Lekh (6360m) with Makalu (8481m) looming behind. Further to our left is Everest, peaking over several unnamed peaks of the Hinku. To the south we can see for miles down to the terrai. Due to the unstable nature of the final summit knob, it is most likely unsuitable to climb this final section and our designated summit can be made safely nearby. We aim to make the summit early/mid-morning and return to basecamp at Kare that afternoon. The exact schedule will depend on many factors, including the weather, condition of the route and condition of the members. Our contingency of equipment and experienced staff and a time buffer, gives us a fair amount of flexibility to achieve success for all who have worked hard and consistently from the beginning of the expedition. The day will be long, and this is where all the training beforehand, the trek approach, and the right attitude will combine to give you stamina and confidence to be part of a sound team, with optimum chances for the summit.
Day 17 Rest & Contingency Day
Today is set aside for a well earned rest and contingency day. We will make our last minute preparations to exit via the difficult Amphu Laptsa which takes us to the Khumbu Valley and our next objective - Island Peak. From our camp we have spectacular views into the Hinku and towards the La. These high alpine passes will require the use of crampons, ice axes and ropes and it will be necessary for our staff to reconnoiter our route and fix ropes for some sections to ensure safe passage. For members, it will provide invaluable time to further prepare for our long day ahead…checking gear, familiarising one's self with appropriate climbing gear and resting before an early start the next day. Logistically pass crossings are always at a much larger scale than peak climbs, as all crew, porters, supplies and equipment, as well as members will be passing through the alpine terrain and a safe, methodical procedure is required for every load and party member. This takes time and your commitment and contribution as part of the team is absolutely vital.
Day 18 to 19 Commence trek into the Hunku Valley
We will need to make a relatively early start today. Once our porters are organised we will commence our most remote stages of the expedition. We descend into the Honku valley near to five large glacial lakes which sprawl out before us. They are known as Panch Pokhari (five lakes). The Amphu Laptsa pass is situated immediately at the head of the valley to our right and is basically the low point on the ridge between the Hunku and the Imja valleys. For this day or so we are in the Hunku. A new vista of peaks span out before us including Ama Dablam to the distant westward, and many unnamed peaks. Camp is set close to the rocks that lead up to the pass. On these stages we ask that members be flexible and co-operative. Camps will be set where conditions allow, and your World Expeditions leader will keep you advised as to each days plan.
Day 20 Rest day
Final preparations and gear checks for our pass crossing.
Day 21 to 22 Cross Amphu Laptsa (5845m) to Island Peak Base Camp (5100m)
An alpine start for our pass crossing. Once again, ferrying across all our loads together with all party members, crew, porters and members takes time. The approach to the pass from the Hunku is deceptive. Facing east and southward there is much more sun and little snow, just a collection of rocks that gradually lead up to the gap we travel through. On the north facing side we find steep slopes of snow that we must take care to descend by fixed ropes to the snow basins below and subsequent moraine and alpine valley beyond. The views from this 5780m pass crossing to the peaks of Khumbu are unmatched. Any spare moment one may have whilst we are climbing and descending will allow one to appreciate the spectacle of the peaks of the region.
Day 23 Contingency Day
Final preparations and a check of snow and weather conditions before attempting the summit of Island Peak.
Day 24 Summit Island Peak
An alpine start sees us climbing steeply up the lower flanks of the south-east face. The track is well used as this is a popular peak. At times there is a bit of rock scrambling and the rocky spur takes us to a snow ramp that leads to the upper snow fields. The peaks of Makalu and Lhotse come into view as we climb higher. Upon crossing the upper neve, it is necessary to fix ropes up a short but steep ice face that leads on to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is a classic alpine ridge and quite exposed, (we fix ropes here also) and traverse our way to the summit. Although Island Peak appears dwarfed by the seven and eight thousanders surrounding it, it provides a magnificent vantage point to all the peaks south of the stupendous Lhotse face. After some exhilarating moments on the summit we descend by the same route to our base.
Day 25 to 27 Trek to Namche Bazaar
We begin our exit trek descending through the famous Khumbu Valley to Namche Bazaar. Namche is known as the Sherpa capital and it is a great place to wonder around, visit the Tibetan stalls or enjoy the Swiss bakeries.
Day 28 Trek to Lukla (8-9hrs)
Today is long day of trekking however all members will be extremely fit by this time. We descend the slopes of Namche to the Dudh Kosi joining the main trail to follow at riverside through numerous villages to Phakding. On crossing the bridge, we trek a short distance up and around, to the broad flat spur that Lukla lies upon. The last night is always memorable for an end of trip celebration with all the crew and porters.
Day 29 Fly to Kathmandu (1330m)
This morning, fingers crossed, we fly by Twin Otter aircraft to Kathmandu and transfer to the Radisson Hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest, relax or explore and shop in the town.
Day 30 Day at leisure in Kathmandu
If the group sight-seeing tour has not been taken, it will be scheduled for today with visits to Pashupatinath & Boudhanath. There are many choices of how you may spend your leisure time on this last day, whether it be shopping and sightseeing or just relaxing around the hotel and its terrace pool.
Day 31 Trip concludes in Kathmandu
After breakfast trip concludes with a transfer to the airport.