Climbing Mera Peak - The Highest Trekking Peak in Nepal

Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal, and an ascent of the 6,476 m./21,246 ft. mountain is just one of the highlights of this amazing expedition: trek and camp through some truly wild and remote valleys and enjoy the colors of native Rhododendron forests and other spectacular mountain scenery.

Highlights

  • Climb the highest ‘trekking peak’ in Nepal
  • View Cho Oyu (8,201 m./ 26,906 ft.), Everest (8,848 m./ 29,028ft.), Makalu (8,463 m./ 27,765 ft.) and if the weather is very clear, Kangchenjunga (8,586 m./ 28,169 ft.) from the summit
  • Trek through the wild and remote Hinku and Hongu Valleys
  • Enjoy the pink, purple, red, and white Rhododendrons in bloom (in spring)
Climbers heading up Mera Peak
Back country skiers heading up Mera Peak

Overview

Fast facts
Duration 20 days
Max. elevation 6,476 m. / 21,246 ft.
Start/finish Lukla
Difficulty Challenging
Accommodation Camping 

Mera Peak is Nepal’s highest ‘trekking peak’, classified as a mountain less than 7,000 m./ 22,970 ft. that still requires some technical knowledge, but that can be attempted in Nepal with a climbing permit, rather than a costly expedition permit. While Mera Peak requires some knowledge of mountain climbing technique (such as crampon use) it is not an overly technical trek. Thus, Mera Peak would be a good first attempt at climbing a Himalayan mountain.

The trek to get to (and from) Mera Peak is a major highlight of this trip. After arriving in Lukla, instead of heading towards Namche Bazaar on the Everest Base Camp trek, veer east towards the Hinku Valley. The first few days pass through stunning Rhododendron forests (especially attractive and colorful in spring). From the village of Tangnag, views of Mera Peak ahead can be seen. Tangnag is a good place to stop for a couple of days, to rest as well as to make some acclimatization hikes, such as up to the Base Camp of Kusum Kanguru (6,367 m./ 20,889 ft.) From Tangnag, the trek towards Mera Base Camp passes through lateral moraine and meadows. At Base Camp, further acclimatize and refresh technical climbing skills to prepare for the ascent, and then proceed on to Mera La and the Mera Peak summit.
The normal return route is via a different path to Lukla, crossing the high Zatrwa La Pass (which shouldn’t be too difficult because of your acclimatization at this point) and descending gently back to the starting point over a few days.

View of Mt Everest from the summit of Mera Peak
View of Mt Everest from the summit of Mera Peak

Brief itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Lukla (2, 860 m./9,383 ft.); overnight in hotel in Lukla
Day 2: Trek to Pangkom (2,800 m./9,186 ft.)
Day 3: Cross Pangkom La (Pass) (3,174 m./10,413 ft.) to Dzomshawa Bush Camp (3,000 m./9,842 ft.)
Day 4: Continue through Rhododendron forests to Bamboo Camp (3,145 m./10,318 ft.)
Day 5: Trek to Mosom Kharka (3,700 m./12,139 ft.)
Day 6: Trek to Tangnag (4,250 m./13,943 ft.)
Day 7: Rest day
Day 8: Rest day and acclimatization hike towards Kusum Kanguru
Day 9: Trek to Mera Base Camp (4,800 m./ 15,748 ft.)
Day 10: Acclimatization and training day
Day 11: Hike up to Mera La (5,200 m./ 17,060 ft.)
Day 12: Climb to High Camp (5,800 m./19,028 ft.)
Day 13: Attempt Mera Peak summit (6,476 m./21,246 ft.). Overnight at Base Camp (4,800 m./ 15,748 ft.)
Day 14: Trek to Mosom Kharka (3,700 m./12,139 ft.)
Day 15: Trek to Tashing Dingma (4,350 m./14,271 ft.)
Day 16: Trek to Thuli Kharka (4,200 m./13,779 ft.)
Day 17: Cross Zatrwa La (Pass) (4,600 m./15,091 ft.); onwards to Chutanga (3,480 m./11,417 ft.)
Day 18: Trek to Lukla
Day 19: Contingency day (could be used at any point in the trip)
Day 20: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

Variations

This trip could be combined with an Island Peak summit attempt. While Mera Peak and Island Peak are quite close, they are separated by a high mountain range. Attempting Mera Peak first, this variation would then take you over the Amphu Labtsa Pass (5,780 m./ 18,963 ft.) to join the Island Peak itinerary that leads back via Namche Bazar toward Lukla. This would add around ten days to the expedition. There is also the option of returning along the Island Peak trekking route without summiting Island Peak.

Other ideas for combining Mera Peak with various treks and climbs in the Everest Region can be found in the article about unique Everest Base Camp itineraries.

Best season

The peak Nepali trekking and mountaineering seasons are the best times to attempt Mera Peak: the spring season (March-May) and autumn season (September-November). The conditions are best at these times.

Getting there & away

This trip starts and ends in Lukla, the gateway to the Khumbu region. Numerous flights are made daily from Kathmandu, in small fixed-wing airplanes, taking around 30 minutes. However, bad weather frequently closes the airport, so it’s wise to prepare for delays if flying to Lukla. The suggested itinerary includes a contingency day.

It’s also possible to trek to Lukla (rather than fly) from outside Kathmandu, the “pioneers’ route” that connects to the trailhead at Jiri and passes beneath Lukla. However, this isn’t necessarily recommended as an addition to a long trip such as climbing Mera Peak, unless you want a serious adventure, as it lengthens the expedition by about a week.

Accommodation & food

This is a camping trek (with the exception of Lukla). You will be sleeping in everything from forests to meadows to high snowy camps. Nutritious and energising food will be prepared in a camp kitchen.

Permits

As a trekking peak, climbing Mera Peak requires a cheaper climbing permit (US$70-250, depending on the season), rather than the pricey expedition permit required for peaks about 7,000 m. As part of this trek also passes through the Sagarmatha National Park, a permit for here is also required. Your climbing company will organize these permits for you.