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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Climb Mera and Island Peak and trek across the Amphu Labtsa
  • High and wild trekking in the remote Hongu Valley below Chamlang
  • Trekking through the Everest region to Namche Bazaar
  • Holiday price includes all meals and airport transfers

This exceptional high altitude Himalayan climbing holiday follows the route of our classic Mera Peak expedition as far as the mountain's summit. Then, after descending to the Mera La, we trek eastwards into the mountain wilderness of the Upper Hongu Valley. Trekking beneath the towering ramparts of Chamlang, with Lhotse and Everest clearly visible ahead, we reach the sacred lakes at Panch Pokhri. From here, we make the tough crossing of the technical Amphu Labsta (5700m) and trek into the Imja Valley, where we set up our basecamp below Island Peak (6189m). We have 2 days to climb this excellent peak which lies close to the imposing south face of Lhotse. Trekking out on the Everest Trail by way of the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, we complete our circuit trek at Lukla. More than a climbing holiday, this is also one of Nepal's finest and most challenging mountain journeys, set amongst breathtaking scenery.

For some fantastic ideas to extend your holiday in Nepal, from riding elephants in Chitwan to tours in Bhutan or Tibet - check out extensions

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Is this holiday for you?

This trekking and climbing holiday involves a great variety of trekking conditions. On the first few days of the walk-in, we will trek through forests of rhododendron and pine followed by more open landscapes, including yak pastures and grassy ridges. Crossing the Zatwra La, we will encounter some steeper ground of turf and scree which may be snow covered. The valleys of the upper Hinku and Hongu rivers are uninhabited except for a few hardy Sherpas who run simple tea houses in the season and all trekking groups have to be self-sufficient. The crossing of the Amphu Labsa is a mountaineering challenge in itself (see below) but for the majority of the trekking route, underfoot conditions are not particularly difficult. However, overall this is a very demanding trek on account of the fact that we have seven continuous nights at over 5000 metres in a very remote location. Previous experience of trekking at altitude and walking in crampons is essential for this trip.

Climbing difficulty

Mera Peak: When climbed via the normal route on the north face, Mera is not a technically difficult peak, rarely steeper than 30 degrees, except for the final climb to the summit where fixed lines are used to safeguard this last 30 or 40 metres. Ski sticks provide the best possible assistance in soft snow conditions and a single walking axe is all that is required if conditions are firmer. Although any climbing at these altitudes is strenuous and exhausting, our proven acclimatisation programme and our use of a high camp at 5800 metres will give you the best possible chance of reaching the summit. The approximate Alpine grade of Mera Peak would be 'F'.

Amphu Labtsa pass: This is more technical than Mera or Island Peak. It will be necessary to surmount a series of ice steps (safeguarded by a fixed line) to reach the rocky crest, and from the top you will make a descent on a safety rope, around 35 metres to reach fixed lines which are used to safeguard the final descent of approximately 300 metres over 30 - 40 degree snow and rock to easier slopes. The approximate Alpine grade of the Amphu Labtsa pass would be 'PD/PD+'

Island Peak: This mountain though lower in altitude than Mera Peak is more technically demanding and involves climbing up to 45 degree snow slopes and an exposed summit ridge. Fixed lines are used on all exposed sections but experience of roped climbing in exposed situations and competence on such terrain, is required. The approximate Alpine grade of Island Peak would be 'F+/PD'

If you are in any doubt as to your capability for these climbs, please contact the KE office.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
  • Morning fly to Lukla (2840m). Afternoon free.
  • Trek above Lukla to the high pasture of Chutanga (3050m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Trek to 4000m and return to Chutanga (3050m).
  • Trek across the Zatrwa La (4600m) and descend to Tuli Kharka (4320m).
  • Trek down into the Hinku Valley to Gotay (3600m).
  • Trek beside the Hinku River to Tagnag (4350m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Trekking option and skills practice.
  • Trek beside the Dig Glacier to Kare Base Camp (5000m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Trekking option and final preparation.
  • Climb up onto the Mera La (5415m).
  • Climb the north flank of Mera Peak to High Camp (5800m).
  • Climb to the summit of Mera Peak (6476m) and return to the Mera La (5415m).
  • Trek to a camp in the remote Hongu Valley (4900m).
  • Trek beside the Hongu River to a frozen lake (5000m).
  • Trek beside the Hongu River the Hongu Glacier to Panch Pokhari (5400).
  • Rest day while our guides put in the fixed lines for our crossing of the Amphu Labtsa.
  • Trek across the Amphu Labtsa (5845m) and descend fixed ropes to the Imja Glacier (4950m).
  • Trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5070m).
  • Contingency day for possible delays.
  • Climb Island Peak (6187m). Return to Base Camp (5070m) or continue to Chukung (4730m).
  • Trek via Dingboche (4410m) and Pangboche (3930m) to Deboche (3710m).
  • Trek via Thyangboche Monastery (3860m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m).
  • Trek beside the Dudh Kosi with a final uphill to Lukla (2840m).
  • Fly to Kathmandu. Rest of the day free for sightseeing or relaxing.
  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kathmandu on the dates shown above. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip notes for further details. Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and this trip is showing the 'Guaranteed to Run or Limited' symbol. If your trip is still showing 'Spaces', we will contact you as soon as it has reached the guaranteed status.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.

    Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. After check in and depending on your flight schedule, there may be an opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city, or you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. KE group package services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Morning fly to Lukla (2840m). Afternoon free.

    After breakfast in the hotel we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 35 minute flight to Lukla (2700 metres). Landing on the narrow, sloping runway in the heart of the mountains is a very spectacular way to arrive. We spend the rest of the day acclimatising to the altitude at this busy airstrip village, and we overnight in one of the many lodges.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Trek above Lukla to the high pasture of Chutanga (3050m).

    An easy day through the woodland above Lukla. A good wide trail leads through pasture to the edge of a diminishing forest of rhododendron and pine which clothes the steep hillsides above Lukla. We make steady progress on a good trail, crossing ridges and streams up to a clearing or ‘kharka’ used for grazing yaks. This is Chutanga where we camp for 2 nights at an altitude of 3450m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 880m

    • Distance 6km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 240m

    • Time 4

  • Acclimatisation day. Trek to 4000m and return to Chutanga (3050m).

    We spend the day walking up to a small grassy peak at around 4000 metres below the Zatr Teng Pass. There are excellent views out over the valley of the Dudh (milk) Kosi, and also views of our route towards the Zatrwa La. We descend to our camp at Chutanga and relax.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 720m

    • Distance 5km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 720m

    • Time 4

  • Trek across the Zatrwa La (4600m) and descend to Tuli Kharka (4320m).

    The first objective of the trek is to cross the Kalo Himal Ridge that separates the Khumbu from the Hinku Valley. The easier of the two passes that lead across this ridge is the Zatrwa La (4600m). An early start is essential here. We follow the trail ever upward, at first through thick rhododendron forest until we emerge at a clearing on a high ridge. From here the Zatwra Og, the first of the day’s objectives, can be seen some 500 metres above. If there is no snow, the route is very straightforward following a good trail which zig zags up the steep hillside to a classic col. Early or late in the season the route can hold considerable snow and we may put on crampons at this point. In some conditions, a rope may be used to safeguard our porters on this next section. Its 3 to 4 hours from Chutanga to the col (which is known as the Zatwra Og and is not the pass itself) and perhaps longer than this in poor snow conditions. From the Zatwra Og the path descends over rock and scree to pass a buttress and then climbs again for 100 metres to the pass proper, marked by many cairns. We should reach the top of the Zatwra La in 40 minutes from the Zatwra Og. In good weather, the views across the Dudh Kosi towards Karyolung and the Lumding Himal are very impressive, as is the view across the rolling foothills east of the Hinku Valley. From here our route drops down a prominent ridge for 100 metres before traversing to the right and finally descending steeply to Thule Kharka (big pasture) where there are several lodges. We make camp here at 4250 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1210m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 460m

    • Time 7

  • Trek down into the Hinku Valley to Gotay (3600m).

    Having gained valuable acclimatisation from our night at altitude it will, nevertheless, be a relief to go down again. But, before we can descend, we must first make a traverse of three ridges to reach easier slopes. Leaving Thule Kharka, we cross the normally dry gulley to the north and climb up to the first ridge on a good, clear trail, passing the remains of several huts. The trail continues, dropping and then climbing as it turns two more ridges high above the Hinku River. As we gain the last ridge the very impressive south face of Mera comes into view. From here we begin a long descent on a trail which drops steeply through the rhododendrons to a gulley containing a stream and a huge bivouac boulder, where our kitchen crew will have prepared lunch. After lunch, we continue on a good trail through forests of moss-covered pines to the edge of the huge scar left by the devastating burst of a natural dam above Tagnag in 1998. The trail climbs gradually following the river and crossing a broad, ridge of mixed forest we reach a sandy boulder-choked area known as Gotay at an altitude of 3600 metres. This is a good place for camp and there are several lodges here.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 540m

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1180m

    • Time 6

  • Trek beside the Hinku River to Tagnag (4350m).

    Following the west bank of the Hinku Drangka northwards, the forest eventually disappears and the valley widens and becomes much more open. There are no villages in the Upper Hinku, only small kharkas used for grazing goats, sheep and yaks. The twin summits of Kusum Kanguru appear on the left while the valley is bounded on the right by the steep rock face of Mera's satellite peak. Ahead framed in the sharp "V" of the valley is the imaginatively named Peak 43. We will take lunch at Gondishung, a summer herders’ settlement consisting of a few roofless huts and stone-walled enclosures, as well as a long ancient ‘mani’ wall of intricately carved prayer stones. Beyond Gondishung we pass nearby a fascinating 200 year-old gompa built beneath a massive boulder, and a number of crude mani walls. It is well worth visiting this gompa to burn some juniper at the shrine, an offering that just might ensure a successful ascent of Mera Peak. From the gompa it is an hour’s walk over moraines to the Yak herders settlement of Tagnag. Once similar in appearance to Gondishung, nowadays there are several teahouses here. The group will spend at least two nights at Tagnag (4350m) before moving up to Mera Basecamp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 800m

    • Distance 10km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 5

  • Acclimatisation day. Trekking option and skills practice.

    A day for acclimatisation. One option for an acclimatisation walk is to trek up the nearby ridge coming down from Kusum Kanguru, where we can reach an altitude of nearly 5000 metres and gain a spectacular view of our route onto the Mera La. At the leader’s discretion, part of today may also be used to run through various techniques and safety procedures to be used during the climbs.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek beside the Dig Glacier to Kare Base Camp (5000m).

    Heading up from Tagnag towards the Mera Basecamp at Khare, a good trail leads up and across the moraine which dams Charpatti Tal, and reaches a high point lined with cairns overlooking this glacial lake in about 30 minutes. From here the trail descends slightly to cross a sandy bowl and then climbs alongside a khola or stream to the large pasture of Dig Kharka. Here we cross the khola on stepping stones and then climb for a further hour and a half to Khare, the basecamp for Mera Peak at an altitude of approximately 5000 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 740m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 90m

    • Time 3

  • Acclimatisation day. Trekking option and final preparation.

    Another day for acclimatisation. At the leader’s discretion, part of today may also be used to practice techniques and safety procedures to be used on our climbs. Above camp it is possible to climb to a high moraine ridge, from where there are good views of the Mera La and the route up the mountain. This will also be a time for final preparation of our gear and packing of our mountain bags.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb up onto the Mera La (5415m).

    Leaving basecamp we first climb to the crest of the moraine above Khare and then up a steep slope of scree or snow to reach a boulder strewn bowl below the lower tongue of the Mera Glacier. We should reach this point in one and a half hours from Khare. The route crosses the bowl and climbs the ground to the right of the tongue to a large rock platform beside the glacier. Here we will put on our crampons and climb 30 – 35 degree snow or ice for 15 or 20 minutes to reach the plateau leading to the Mera La. Unless there has been recent snowfall, there will be a good trail which weaves its way around and between the crevasses toward the Mera La. It is about an hour’s walk across the plateau to reach the pass itself. It is possible to camp in many places on the wide expanse of the Mera La or we may opt to drop down a short way on the Hongu side to a good, sheltered site that enjoys the early morning sun. Altitude at the Mera La is 5415 metres. The climbing group will spend the afternoon drinking as much tea and soup as possible to help with acclimatisation.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 560m

    • Distance 5km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 120m

    • Time 4

  • Climb the north flank of Mera Peak to High Camp (5800m).

    There are several options for a high camp on the mountain but the best by far is behind the pinnacles at approximately 5800 metres. Here there is shelter from the wind, usually no snow, and well constructed platforms for several tents. It takes 3 to 4 hours to reach this site from the Mera La. After the first half an hour’s climb, the view north into the main Himalaya opens out. First of the 8000 metre giants in view is the red pyramid of Makalu, then Everest with its cloud plume peeking over the impressive black wall of Lhotse. Later you can see to the north-west the large white girth of Cho Oyu. Arriving at high camp, if the weather has been kind, the beautiful massif of Kangchenjunga comes into view, far to the East. Five of the World's six highest mountains.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 580m

    • Distance 4km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 120m

    • Time 3

  • Climb to the summit of Mera Peak (6476m) and return to the Mera La (5415m).

    A 2.00 am wake up and after bed tea and a breakfast, the group will put on crampons and rope up before setting out for the summit. One of the great advantages of using our high camp, as well as making for a shorter summit day, is that we will have only around an hour of walking with head torches before dawn breaks. Climbing mostly easy angled snow slopes to the foot of the dome of the central summit, we will place a fixed rope for the last 30 – 40m. which steepens to an angle of 45 - 50 degrees. Note that in certain snow conditions an ascent of the Central summit may be beyond the technical grade for this trek and in this case the group will make an ascent of the slightly lower South summit. The trip leader will make this decision. From either top, the panorama of the Himalaya including five of the world’s highest peaks is unforgettable. From our high camp a well acclimatised party will take 3 - 4 hours to the summit. From the summit we will descend first to our high camp for some tea or soup and from here down to our camp on the Mera La. A long but inspirational day!

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 680m

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1060m

    • Time 8

  • Trek to a camp in the remote Hongu Valley (4900m).

    After the past couple of days of climbing this will be something of a welcome respite. After a relaxed morning start we head down scree slopes and follow a vague trail which takes us to the grassy floor of the uninhabited Upper Hongu Valley, where we make our camp. This is also a contingency day against any delays to our climbing schedule. If at this point we have been delayed, the group will have a longer day first dropping down to the valley and then trekking up to the next camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 160m

    • Distance 6km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 680m

    • Time 4

  • Trek beside the Hongu River to a frozen lake (5000m).

    We start the day with a steep climb pasing a small tear-shaped lake before a more staedy ascent passing beneath the amazing west face of Chamlang across the valley. The afternoon’s walk is dominated by views of Lhotse ahead. At the head of the Hongu Valley are three passes, the Mingbo La (5817m) which exits the Hongu Valley to the south of Ama Dablam, the Amphu Labtsa (5780m) which crosses further north into the Imja Valley and the West Col/Sherpani Col (6100m) which leads into the Arun Valley beneath the imposing flanks of Makalu. At the end of today's trek we skirt a large lake to reach a camp-site at 5000 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 6km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4

  • Trek beside the Hongu River the Hongu Glacier to Panch Pokhari (5400).

    The approach to the basecamp for the crossing of the Amphu Labtsa is a spectacular walk in a wild place, completely surrounded by high mountains and their glaciers. The path climbs gradually at first, then more steeply across moraine until we reach the area known as Panch Pokhari (Five Lakes) which in the wet and warm months of the summer is an important pilgrimage site for the followers of Shiva, and we can marvel at the tenacity and hardiness of those pilgrims who travel these trails in sandals and wrap-around clothes to make their devotions. We set up camp on a grassy site above the largest of these holy lakes (5400m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 460m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 60m

    • Time 5

  • Rest day while our guides put in the fixed lines for our crossing of the Amphu Labtsa.

    A rest day. Either relaxing, or for the energetic there is the chance to climb a small hill behind the camp, for excellent views of the Hinku Nup Glacier and the Mingbo La. The guides and Sherpas will go up to the Amphu Labtsa and fix the sections of rope which will be needed for the safe crossing of the pass on the following day.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek across the Amphu Labtsa (5845m) and descend fixed ropes to the Imja Glacier (4950m).

    A big day. An early start for the 2 to 3 hour climb to the pass. After contouring across boulder strewn hillside we follow a steep trail to gravely ledges and the foot of a small ice fall. This is climbed in a series of long ‘steps’ with the assistance of fixed lines. Emerging on the ridge crest, the view is absolutely stunning - the impressive south face of Lhotse is directly opposite and the summit of Island Peak appears to be lower than our vantage point! The summit of Everest with its tell tale plume of cloud can clearly be seen above the stupendous Lhotse-Nuptse Wall. As soon as the kitchen staff and porters arrive at the pass, they will be lowered approximately 35 metres to the fixed ropes on the relatively less steep ground below the pass. Similarly, loads have to be carefully lowered. We will certainly make the most of our time in this exceptional spot before taking our turn to be lowered (or to abseil for those of us with previous experience of this technique) to the fixed lines and then making our way down to terra firma below the wall of the Amphu Labtsa. By mid afternoon everybody should be off the pass and we will have a packed lunch, with some hot soup or tea, before completing the day’s journey. We head downhill for a while beside the lateral moraine of the Imja glacier on an ever improving trail. After approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, we reach our camp close to the terminal moraine of the Imja Glacier.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 450m

    • Distance 10km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 900m

    • Time 8

  • Trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5070m).

    A well earned easier day today after our crossing of the previous day. We head down valley passed the snout of the Imja glacier to reach a trail coming up from the settlement of Chukung. Here we turn up-valley againnow on the opposite bank of the glacier to reach our base camp in the ablation valley below the slopes of Island Peak.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 120m

    • Distance 3km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2

  • Contingency day for possible delays.

    This is a contingency day in case of any delays so far to our schedule. If we have not used it at this point there are a couple of options for the group. Depending on the availability of water there is the possibility of climbing Island Peak from a high camp situated on some levelled ledges at 5760 metres. This camp is half way up the rock buttress which leads onto the Island Peak Glacier. It is quite a small campsite, and often short of water, but it suffices for one night and offers spectacular views across to Baruntse and the Amphu Labtsa pass. If the option is taken to climb Island Peak from the base camp, the summit day can take place today or tomorrow after a good rest. Your trip leaders will make this decision.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Island Peak (6187m). Return to Base Camp (5070m) or continue to Chukung (4730m).

    From the base camp a midnight start is required. Leaving the area of high camp around 3 a.m., we climb to a narrow, rocky ridge leading on to the glacier. This is the place to rope up and put on crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. The setting couldn’t be more impressive with the mountains of Ama Dablam, Chamlang, and Baruntse painted by the dawn’s light. We cross the glacier to the bottom of a snow gully leading to the summit ridge. Here the guides fix a rope, and jumars are used to safeguard this section. The climbing is more interesting than technical, but steepens up to 50 degrees in places. After approximately 200 metres, the summit ridge is gained and Lhotse’s vast South Face looms before us. Again the guides will place fixed lines on some sections of this undulating and corniced ridge. A final steep pitch brings us to the actual summit (6189m) which has space enough for everyone to sit down and take in the vastness of the surroundings. Island Peak is truly an island of rock in a sea of ice, flanked as it is by the Lhotse and Imja glaciers and a plethora of giant peaks. Descent is by the same route and we aim to arrive back at the basecamp by early afternoon. Depending on the fitness of the group and time available we may wish to continue our descent to Chukung a further hour and a half down valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1120m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1460m

    • Time 9

  • Trek via Dingboche (4410m) and Pangboche (3930m) to Deboche (3710m).

    We now follow the well worn trail by the side of the Imja Drangka, passing through the villages of Bibre and Dingboche. After lunch we join the main Everest Trail and descend to Pangboche, where we take lunch. We will visit the monastery here (the oldest in the region) before making the short walk to our camp in Deboche.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 80m

    • Distance 14km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 7

  • Trek via Thyangboche Monastery (3860m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m).

    A short climb of 40 minutes takes us to the famous monastery at Tyangboche. After taking a last look at Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, we drop down on a steep path to Phunki. Here we cross a long suspension bridge and make the steep climb until the path levels out and starts to contour around to Namche Bazaar (3400m) the capital of the Khumbu.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 450m

    • Distance 11km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 720m

    • Time 6

  • Trek beside the Dudh Kosi with a final uphill to Lukla (2840m).

    From Namche the trail drops steeply to a suspension bridge across the Imja Drangka and then follows this river which now becomes the Dudh Kosi. The trail crosses the river several times, the last crossing being at Phakding where lunch is taken. Contouring above the river, the trail eventually starts to climb to the airstrip at Lukla where we stay in one of the lodges there. Tonight we will want to celebrate and also to thank our porters and trek crew.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 850m

    • Distance 19km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 14200m

    • Time 7

  • Fly to Kathmandu. Rest of the day free for sightseeing or relaxing.

    We take the early morning flight to Kathmandu, check in to our hotel, and have the afternoon free for sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing by the hotel pool. Tonight we will have our dinner in one of Kathmandu’s excellent tourist restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.

    This is an important contingency day in case of delays to the Lukla flight. This morning, a complimentary guided sightseeing tour of the city’s main attractions is provided. The tour will visit a number of sights including the Buddhist temple at Bodhnath and the principally Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath. Alternatively, you may prefer to do your own thing, especially if you have visited Kathmandu before. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines of both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. The afternoon is free and in the evening the group will have their end of trek dinner in one of Thamel’s superb restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in Nepal. Why not pre-book a simple day-tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to one of the important wildlife reserves at Chitwan or Bardia. Extension packages are also available to include a visit to neighbouring Tibet or Bhutan. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional KE climbing leader and Sherpa mountain guides
  • Guide to client ratio of 1:3 on summit days
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodtion as described
  • All meals throughout the holiday
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • A full service on trek including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - souvenirs and drinks etc.

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and international, prepared from ingredients mostly locally sourced and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Kathmandu we take our meals at the hotel or in one of the city’s excellent restaurants. All meals while on trek and in Kathmandu are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 until breakfast on day 27.
All clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. 'Land Only' clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if Kathmandu Airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this trip the group will spend 3 nights in Kathmandu at a centrally-located tourist-class hotel. Whilst on trek there are 21 nights spent camping and 2 nights in a basic but comfortable lodge in Lukla. All accommodation is on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include nights spent above base camps and does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 3 hotel nights in Kathmandu single rooms are available for a supplementry cost. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the porters given their loads. We will generally reach our lunch stop after 3 or 4 hours walking. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or two and this is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the sun. Porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp as we set off again. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. We aim to establish our overnight camp well before dusk. On arrival, the Sherpas will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Group members can explore the environs, relax with a book or even do some laundry. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dinner the trek leader will give a briefing on tomorrow’s walk. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags. On the two summit days and for the crossing of the Amphu Labtsa a pre-dawn start is required to ensure the best snow conditions. On these days a simple breakfast will be brought to your tent and group members will gather at the appointed time to set off by the light of their head-torches. The first part of the route will be a steady walk on generally uncomplicated terrain. When the sun comes up the group will stop to remove head-torches and layers and shortly after the main interest of the climb begins and it becomes neccessary to put on crampons and rope up. The guides will have fixed sections of line on any steep ground and these are tackled using jumars for security. It will still be early morning and hopefully cloud free when we reach the summit. Depending on time and conditions the group can enjoy a short time (up to half an hour) photographing and generally absorbing some of the most impressive scenery on the planet before beginning the long descent.

Internal Flights

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the European Commission’s list of airlines that are banned from flying into EU member states. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security. KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we were stakeholders in a recent independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators during 2013. KE uses only three airlines in Nepal which were approved by this audit as safe carriers. These airlines are: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air and Buddha Air. We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk. Please note that poor weather can cause delays on the flights to and from Lukla. If flights are cancelled for the day, you will spend an extra night in Kathmandu and this may be at a hotel other than the group hotel. There is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to make up 1 or even 2 lost days, but alternative arrangements must be made if your Lukla flights are cancelled for a third day. We have included 2 nights in Kathmandu at the end of the trip as a contingency against delay on the flight back from Lukla. Helicopters can sometimes fly when the scheduled fixed wing aircraft cannot. If your group is offered the opportunity to use a chartered helicopter, either flying up to Lukla or back to Kathmandu, the cost will be shared between those choosing to take this option. In the extremely unlikely event that flight cancellations cause you to miss your homeward international flight, KE will render all assistance, but cannot be held liable for any extra costs incurred. We advise you to take out suitable insurance and to keep your receipts, as you may subsequently be able to make a claim.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced professional Western leader throughout the trip, and on trek will have the services of a full Nepalese trek crew, including a local guide or sirdar and several Sherpas. During the climb the KE leader will be assisted by experienced climbing Sherpas and on the summit days for Mera and for Island Peak, we have a guide to client ratio of 1:3.

Approximately £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) chnged into local currecy, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approximately £75 (or equivalent) changed into Nepal rupees, for porter and trek crew tips. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu using your debit or credit card. During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on several days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up from the nearest road, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your trek leader will give you help and advice on this. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around £75 (in local currency) to these tips. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters. Technical clothing and equipment are highly prized by the local guides and camp crews. If you think you would like to donate equipment at the end of your trip, your trek leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution among the trek crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg. Your personal mountaineering equipment (boots, axe, crampons etc) will be carried separately. On arrival at Lukla you will hand these items of equipment to your trek leader who will pack them in communal bags until you reach base camp. For all STOL flights in Nepal, the normal allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined is 15kg. We do recognise that it is difficult on a climbing holiday to keep your total baggage below 15kg and we have arranged a special allowance for these trips of 15kg hold baggage and 5kg cabin baggage. You may also wish to consider wearing your heavy mountaineering boots and any heavier clothing on these flights. Please be aware that you will have to pay any charges for excess personal baggage above this allowance at check-in, and that excess baggage may have to be flown separately. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please make sure you have read the section on baggage allowance in the trip notes. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

You must bring the following:

  • Hiking boots
  • Mountaineering boots - see ‘Mountaineering Equipment’
  • Snow gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Windproof and waterproof overtrousers / rain-pants
  • Underwear
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Thermal baselayer shirts (at least 1 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts or similar
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket with hood
  • Warm jacket (down)*
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat and thermal balaclava
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Thermal gloves or mittens
  • Warm and waterproof over-gloves or mittens
  • Daypack minimum 40 litres
  • Headtorch/Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (1 quart) x2
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • 5 season sleeping bag*
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Towel
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment

Mountaineering double boots - see below

Ice axe *

Crampons (preferably with ‘step-in’ bindings)*

Mountaineering or climbing harness*

Karabiners (4 x screwgate)*

Descender (rappelling device) *

Climbing helmet*

Sling (120cm. / 3ft.)*

Prussik loops X 2 (5m. / 16ft. of 6mm cord makes 2)*

The following items are optional:

  • Travel clothes
  • Shorts
  • Fleece trousers
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Trainers / sneakers or similar for camp use

Spare laces

  • Pee bottle
  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)
  • Camera, film, batteries
  • Penknife (remember to pack all sharp objects in hold baggage)

Notes

  • The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore to avoid embarrassment on both sides we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.

Equipment hire: Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. All equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items (note that from Lukla, your mountaineering equipment and plastic boots will be carried separately in communal equipment bags).

  • Mountaineering boots required for this trip: Climbing at altitudes of up to 6500 metres, the temperatures can be very cold (as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade). Standard leather mountaineering boots are really not suitable for these cold, high altitude conditions. Plastic boots with insulated inners (eg. Scarpa Vega HA, Scarpa Omega IT) and also the new generation of synthetic double boots (eg. La Sportiva Spantik, Boreal G1 light), are the best to keep your feet warm at altitude in these extremely low temperatures.  Also, you can sleep in the removable inner boots to ensure warm toes in the morning! These boots are also designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. This combination of plastic or double synthetic boots and step-in crampons is by far the most sensible option when considering a trekking peak climb. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these extremely low temperatures.
  • PHD Gear Advisor

    For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. This is a strenuous trek and you need to be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking up to 8 or 9 hours each day. The best preparation for this trip is regular hiking in mountain or hill country. If this is not possible, we suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime and gradually increase your work rate as you get nearer to departure. Jogging, squash and swimming are all good for developing better stamina. Whatever your preparation, before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. For this trip it is also essential that you have previous experience of walking on moderately angled snow slopes wearing crampons, and are comfortable with a degree of exposure while secured on fixed lines. No previous technical mountaineering experience is required and clients will be instructed in the basic techniques of glacier walking and use of fixed ropes prior to the ascent of Mera Peak.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    October to November and March to May are the best times for trekking in Nepal. These months either side of the summer monsoon season are neither too hot in the foothills nor too cold in the higher elevations and they offer the best conditions for trekking. Pre-monsoon is the time to see the colourful blooms of the rhododendron at lower elevations. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. At either of these periods you will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your trip from approximately 25ºC in Kathmandu to approximately 14ºC at 3000 metres and approximately 3ºC at 5000m. The ‘real feel’ temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer than this. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4200 metres and at the highest camps on Mera Peak and in the Upper Hongu basin, the night time temperatures may drop as low as –25ºC (or below -30ºC for trips in December/January). Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short lived storms can and do occur. It is very important that you are equipped and prepared for these extremely low temperatures.

    • Lonely Planet Guide to Nepal.

    • Rough Guide to Nepal

    • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti.

    • Sherpas & Himalayan Mountaineering. Sherry B. Ortner

    • A History of Nepal. John Whelpton

    • Field Guide to Birds of the Himalayas. Bikram Grewal

    • Portraits of People:Nepal Himalayas. Eric Valli

    • Nepal: Lonely Planet Pictorial. Richard I'Anson

    • The High Himalaya. Art Wolfe

    Mera Peak. 1:50,000 Himalayan Maphouse

    A detailed trekking map at a good scale. The contour interval is a useful 40 metres, with numerous spot heights. The map is indexed and shows settlements, tracks, airfields etc. Margin ticks show latitude and longitude in steps of 5'. A separate detachable map shows Mera Peak at 1:33,898, indicating the main climbing routes.

    Extend Your Holiday

    Extensions

    When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

    Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

    Chitwan Jungle Extension

    The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep by boat and on foot. 



    Chitwan Jungle Extension

    From $1100 per person

    More info

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