For a climbing enthusiast, Mera Peak is the best balcony on earth offering unrivalled views of five 8000+ meter peaks from its summit. On a clear day Mounts Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchenjunga vie for your attention against a backdrop of the majestic Himalayas. At 6576 meters (21247 feet), Mera Peak is the highest peak accessible to non-tehnical climbers. Situated in Makalu-Barun Region of Nepal, within the Sagarmatha National Park, Mera peak however is a challenging trekking destination that requires glacier traversal, adequate physical fitness, proper planning and acclimatization. Miyar offers a 23-days trekking to Mera Peak that would also cover basic mountaineering and alpine climbing training.
An initiative to help the local community
This will be the first course of its kind in Nepal. The course addresses a need to provide training to low-income Nepalese mountain guides and porters who work and live in the mountains but cannot afford mountain guide training through the Nepal Mountaineering Association or attend training that is far from home due to commitments to family and farms. The Nepalese students who attend this course pay nothing to attend, and most of their travel and food expenses are covered for the duration of the course. Some of the inspiration for the course has come from what Conrad Anker and the Khumbu Climbing Center have been doing in Phortse, Nepal. The majority of the inspiration has come from the advice of dozens of Nepalese staff I have worked with over the years- especially my good friend Karma Sherpa who struggled to attend training for the dangerous work he did on 8,000 meter peaks due to the poverty faced by he and his family. My decision to make this course a reality in 2017 was the result of a tragedy. While guiding on Makalu in 2016 Da Tenji Sherpa, a good friend of mine and Karma Sherpa’s brother-in-law, died in his tent from carbon monoxide poisoning. This was an accident that would have been prevented with training that Da Tenji could not afford.
This will be a pilot trip to see if the course is something that will be feasible to implement well into the future. The course brings international mountaineers, climbers, and climbing students to the Eastern Everest Region of Nepal to share knowledge and skills with aspiring Nepali mountain guides. In addition to sharing your own knowledge and skills, you will participate in classes and workshops led by other international climbers and Nepali students. These lessons will be delivered in the homes of students, on rock faces, during ice climbs, and in crevasses on the way to MeraPeak. Course content will be applied during a summit of Mera Peak at over 21,000 ft.
It is not essential that you be a deeply experienced climber or mountaineer in order participate in this course. You simply have to be able to master and help teach one or two skills or concepts to a group of six to nine Nepali students. You have months to prepare your lessons ahead of time. Lessons should be visual, hands-on, and simple. Your lesson may be how to tie a figure-8 knot, how to recognize avalanche terrain, or how to properly fit a backpack for a new hiker. You will pick the lesson(s) you would like to teach from a list provided before the course, so there is no need to pick something that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with.
The course will take place while we are trekking to and from Mera Peak, with layovers at the homes of students along the way. This will help us get to know the families and cultures that the students come from. It will also help us acclimatize so we can continue to focus and learn as we ascend higher. We will eat local food, sleep alongside each other, and sing the ever-popular Nepali folk songs. Oh, and we will hear epic stories since some of the folks who will be attending this course have already been guiding on 8,000 meter peaks like Everest.
Below is an overview of some of the details:
Cost: $3,885 (covers your food, lodging, air and ground transport in Nepal, peakpermits and park entry fees, and funds the scholarships that allow Nepalese students to attend the course)
Max Elevation: 21,247 ft.
Location: Makalu-Barun Region, Nepal
Number of Days: 27 (2 days Kathmandu, 23 days learning/climbing, 2 days Kathmandu)
PassportRequired with Nepal Visa
Minimum Age13 years old
ActivityTrekking, Climbing, Glacier Navigation (Training included)
AccommodationHotel (in towns), Lodges (en route), Tents (on the Mountain)
- National Park entrance Fees and camping fees
- Air and ground transport in Nepal
- Hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Food and lodging during the hike and training
- Guiding fees
- Group gear: tents, cookware
- Alpine climbing training
- Airport pickup and drop off in Kathmandu
- Pre-Trip Planning/Information session on packing
- Satellite Phone. Daily local weather forecasts
- International airfare
- Lunch / snacks during stay in Kathmandu
- Personal gear: can be rented if needed
- Visa and travel document expenses
- Travel insurance
Trek start: Lukla (2862 m / 9383 ft)
Trek end: Paiya / Chutok (2799 m / 9182 ft)
We take an early morning flight to Lukla which is the starting point of our trek. The flight itself takes only 45 minutes. However Lukla is a very small airport at high altitude and weather is fickle. Delays of hours (and even days) are commonplace. So please be prepared to spend some time in the airport if need be. From Lukla we will proceed to Paiya in a South-Easterly direction. We would be moving away from the more popular trekking routes that start from Lukla such as towards Everest Base Camp. The trek is mostly downhill, so you should not find it hard. This would also help you with your acclimatization which is a crucial aspect of your climb in the days ahead.
Trek start: Paiya / Chutok (2799 m / 9182 ft)
Trek end: Pangom (2846 m / 9337 ft)
We continue southwards on the mountain trail amidst magnificent rhododendron forests. Barring occasional inclines, the trail is still easy and flat. After trekking for 5-6 hours we will arrive at Pangom monastery where we will spend the night.
Trek start: Pangom (2846 m / 9337 ft)
Trek end: Sibuje (2850 m / 9350 ft)
From Pangom, we will move to the Sherpa village of Sibuje. Sibuje houses a handful of Sherpa and offers a great opportunity for you to experience Sherpa tradition unadulterated. It also offers magnificent views of the valley below.
We will spend the next four days soaking the raw yet majestic natural beauty around Sibuje. We would also spend the time in on essential mountaineering training sessions. At Sibuje, the emphasis would be on training participants as Wilderness First Responders and also different aspects of rope handling in climbing. We will look at knots, belaying and proper climbing techniques. All of these would happen on the mountains and we would trek / hike in the surrounding hills as much to facilitate our training as to enjoy the mountains.
Trek start: Sibuje (2850 m / 9350 ft)
Trek end: Ningsow (2744 m / 9003 ft)
From Sibuje, we move to Ningsow in a North North East direction. We will make one last descent to 2744 m. Thick Rhododendron and oak forests and the glorious Number Himal Mountain in the distant horizon would make your journey this day memorable.
Trek start: Ningsow (2744 m / 9003 ft)
Trek end: Chetra Khola campsite (3149 m / 10332 ft)
From Ningsow we will start gaining altitude steady as we proceed to Mera peak. Our journey will be through thickly foliated jungle on this day. We will be passing through landslide prone areas and would use ladders or fixed lines at points where the trail has been washed out.
Trek start: Chetra Khola campsite (3149 m / 10332 ft) Trek end: Khote (3691 m / 12109 ft)
From Chetra Khola, we continue to move through the Hinku (Hongu) river valley, mostly walking alongside the river. The river valley was one of the locations to bear the brunt of the 1998 Nepal Earthquake and the aftereffects are still visible enroute. We will settle for the night in the quaint Khote village.
Trek start: Khote (3691 m / 12109 ft) Trek end: Tangnang (4350 m / 14270 ft)
We now move away from the river on a steady ascent. Our destination is Tangnang which again bears testimony to the catastrophe in 1998. Tangnang also offers spectacular views on a clear day, of Kyashar to north west, Mera Peak to east and Kusum Kanguru to the west.
We will spend three days in Tangnang for acclimatizing and to learning / practising ice climbing skills. We will learn to identify and deal with altitude and cold related illness. We will also deal with glacier travel, ice climbing and necessary technical aspects to perform these safely.
Trek start: Tangnang (4350 m / 14270 ft) Trek end: Khare (5025 m / 16486 ft)
We are now quite close to Mera Peak which looms above the Khare village, to the extend that it can be considered the base camp for Mera Peak. This would also be the edge of habitation, our last stop where we will sleep in lodges. Once in the lodge, we will have a training session on crevasse rescue.
Trek start: Khare (5025 m / 16486 ft) Trek highest point: Mera La / Mera Pass (5415 m / 17767 ft)
We will take an acclimatization trek to Mera La, and use the opportunity to practice our ice climbing and crevasse rescue lessons.
Trek start: Khare (5025 m / 16486 ft) Trek end: Mera High Camp (5778 m / 18958 ft)
We will retrace our path from Khare to Mera La and then continue further to Mera High Camp on this day. The acclimatization breaks have worked hopefully, because we are now at serious altitude.Weather permitting, the High Camp would offer glorious views all around.
Trek start: Mera High Camp (5778 m / 18958 ft) Trek highest point: Mera Peak (6459 m / 21190 ft) Trek end: Khare (5025 m / 16486 ft)
As is standard practice, we will start our summit bid early in the day around 2.00 am. We will rope up and proceed slowly, steadily. The going can be difficult more on account of the altitude than difficulty of the trail. Steady effort for about five hours should get us to the summit. The views from the top are glorious, with five of the tallest peaks on earth (Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchenjunga) in sight. After spending a while at the summit, we will descend all the way to Khare for overnight. The descent of nearly 5000 feet would be greatly welcomed by your body and would help you tide over the detrimental effects of altitude.
Trek end: Khare (5025 m / 16486 ft) Trek start: Khote (3691 m / 12109 ft)
We drop by another 4000+ feet in moving to Khote. The jubilation (or relief) of the summit, ease on your body as you move closer to sea level, and nearing prospects of creature comforts (luxuries, they would seem by now) in your everyday life - all these factors should combine and put you in a joyous mood. Khare to Khote would take us just a day, we however would have a reserve day at hand for our summit attempt.
Trek end: Khote (3691 m / 12109 ft) Trek start: Zatrwa La (4487 m / 14720 ft)
From Khote, we will take a short cut to Lukla through the Zatrwa La (pass). This means gaining altitude from Khote. This route is not used on the way up to the summit for want of acclimatization. However on the way back, having spent the last few days at high altitude, Zatrwa La offers little challenge to our lungs and should be a walk in the park. A Himalayan park though, which can offer some challenge to negotiate especially when it snows.
Trek start: Zatrwa La (4487 m / 14720 ft) Trek endt: Lukla (2862 m / 9383 ft)
Another walk in the park, this time from Zatrwa to Lukla. On the way we will reach the highest point of Zatrwa La (15090 ft) which offers magnificent views reminiscent of Mera Peak. Beyong this it is steady downhill till we reach Lukla, which now would appear dramatically different and urban than when you flew in.
Sandeep is possibly the best person (Miyar and guides) in the business to take you on the mountains. Anyone who has trained with him to summit Rainier over the years can tell you how much he cares about his peeps. Talk to him and he can always find a way to make it happen. I have been trying to climb Rainier for few years with personal constraints (need to be always available, can return anytime, 24*7 sat phone access etc) and many times I had to return mid climb from big ones like Baker and Rainier. It was really easy to talk to the guides about this situation. I never once felt unsafe on the mountains. This is a big deal given how much we learnt when it comes to snow skills and glacier training. Be safe and go with Miyar!
What an awesome experience to go on climbing Mt. Rainier with Miyar Adventures. Sandeep and his team of guides ( Kirk, Alexis, Joe, Ben, Chris, Jasmin ) did an awesome job to lead the multiple rope teams trough snow skill preparations and guiding through safely on glacier journey. The amount of efforts put into multi-month preparation, pre-trip meetings, accessibility to gears for rent and attention to details with food/weight/personal gears were all instrumental in almost all of us (in a group of 24) able to summit Mt. Rainier and have wonderful memories. We knew we were in best company and safe hands with prior experience with Miyar Adventures led climb to Mt. Baker and few other preparation trips. And guides calibrated their approach from novice climbers to experienced climbers to push enough to have an enjoyable experience. I highly recommend to go with Miyar Adventures on amazing trips they have lined up around the Puget Sound Area and internationally.
If you are interested in doing any climbing or hiking but need a guide , I highly recommend Miyar Adventures...Sandeep is a wonderful person and you will actually learn (and practice ) climbing and crevasse rescue techniques in addition to the trip/climb ...it is definitely beyond a just a "get you to the summit" experience. He genuinely cares and brings in other excellent guides for bigger groups. My husband and I recently successfully made it to the summit of Mount Baker with Sandeep, two other guides and a group of friends and we had a fantastic experience. He and the guides he works with are very knowledgeable so I had confidence in their abilities to lead us but they are also very friendly and fun so that overall trip was enjoyable. I will definitely climb with Miyar Adventures again!