23 Oct 2020 Peak Climbing Nepal
You might have a question like everyone, “How hard is Mera Peak?”, “Can a novice ascender like me climb this peak?”
Mera Peak, the highest trekking peak in Nepal, is a peak that every starter mountaineer should climb once. The peak lies in the most popular part of Nepal, the Khumbu region, and stands tall with a height of 6,476m in a close range from the tallest Mt Everest. From its summit, one can enjoy the panorama of 5 world’s tallest peaks; Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and many other peaks.
Actually, the peak contains three summits; Mera North(6,476m), Mera Central(6,461m), Mera South(6,065m). But Mera North is taken as the main face of it.
The early pioneers of Mount Everest: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay are the first explorers of this peak. They did Mera Peak Climbing before and after the successful ascent of the world’s tallest peak. Since then the peak has become a popular place for many novice climbers to gain some expertise before the hard climbs. Until now, many Mere peak climbers have successfully ascended the peaks like Mt Everest, Lhotse, and other higher peaks. So, Mera Peak is like a training ground before the higher climbs. The technical section of the peak is perfect for new climbers to gain climbing skills.
In fact, it’s not the toughest peak to climb and nor the easiest peak. Although it is taken as the trekking peak it’s not that you’ll be trekking all along. Climbers have to pass some technical sections of the peak. However, those difficult parts are not that too strenuous, a climber with basic mountaineering training and better preparation can cross those parts. The technical section to climb is the most basic difficulty of the climb. If you look at it thoroughly, there are other factors that drive the difficulty level of the expedition. Like the route, trekking distance, weather conditions, altitude sickness, etc. You can say that How hard is Mera Peak’s answer totally depends on all those factors.
This blog is all about answering the question,” How hard is Mera peak?”. You will read the entire article to find out how and what factors make the Mera peak climb difficult.
Mera Peak Difficulty Parameters
Mera Peak is a high altitude climb that takes you to a sky-touching height of 6, 476m. No people on the Earth can easily accumulate with such high elevation all of a sudden. It takes enough acclimatizing time for getting used to the new yet high altitudes. Ascending upwards without proper acclimatization results in the chances of altitude sickness. And that further leads to serious difficulties in the Mera climb or any other climb. That is why the duration of the climb directs the difficulty level of the Mera peak expedition.
For a successful and safe Mera climb, you need to ascend slowly by acclimatizing entirely with the new altitudes. To do that, you should have an itinerary that has enough acclimatization days before the summit day. That means, the longer the duration is, the safer and easier it will be to climb the peak. Let us say for example if you have not sufficient acclimation and rest days before the summit day, you’ll surely get caught by the mountain sickness. And you know how bad the sickness can turn, if not precautioned or cured.
In this way, the duration of the Mera peak expedition differentiates the difficulty level of the climb. If you have a longer itinerary, you are on a safe and comfortable trip and vice versa.
The route you are taking for the Mera peak climb does also affect the answer to “how hard is Mera peak”. The shorter the routes are, the more difficult the climbs will be. Basically, there are three routes that you can embark on to achieve the Mera climb. Let’s discuss each of the routes individually:
Mera Peak Route 1
Route 1 is famous as the shortest of all three routes. It heads straight to the peak and that is why it is also known as the direct route. If you take this route, there will not be much time for adjusting to the high altitudes. It starts after reaching Zatra La Pass(4,610m) all the way from Lukla. From there it heads upwards to the Tagnag and then to the Mera Base Camp. The route continues through the base camp and finishes at the summit.
Pick this route unless you are an experienced climber. Even the skilled climbers have faced while flowing this trail. Though it will take you to the summit the quickest than other routes. If you are an inexperienced mountaineer, this route is not suggested to you. You’ll not get much time to acclimatize with the elevation and that will surely increase the difficulties of the expedition.
Mera Peak Route 2:
Mera peak’s second route is a commonly used route for the climb. This route is longer than the first route and hence easier also. The route starts once you reach Lukla and it goes along the various villages of the Khumbu region like Pauya, Hinku, Panguam, Nagindingma. You’ll cross all of those villages to reach the Mera Base Camp via Zatra La Pass. This route allows you to spend more time around and makes you more comfortable with the foreign altitudes.
Once are good with the elevations, you’ll start the climb towards upward. During the expedition time, you’ll spend some days acclimatizing in tented camps also. This will get you a longer duration to climb and you know a longer expedition is easier than the shorter ones. By the time you reach the summit through this route, you’ll be so used to the altitudes as you get enough acclimatization days. If you are a beginner in the mountaineering world, this route is more suggested than the earlier one.
Mera Peak Route 3:
This en route to the summit of Mera peak is the easiest of all. You can expect why it’s easy, the duration is longer and you get more acclimatization days. This route is suitable for beginners and has been widely used by the starters. The trail of this route goes along the Everest Base Camp’s trail up to Namche Bazaar. You get to trek and stay around the lower Everest region for 2 to 3 days in this route.
However, the route is the longest also and the skilled climbers will find it a bit boring. But in reality, it is totally exciting. You get to explore the various villages of Sherpas before and after the climb. So going across this route, you’ll reach Mera Peak Base camp slowly and then only head into the snows. You’ll acclimatize your body enough for like 3 days before crossing the 5000m+. And that means the expedition will be easier than the other routes.
At last, you got to know three routes to Mera peak and their difficulties respectively. If you are just a beginner, opt for routes 2 and 3. They have more acclimatization days and are of longer duration in comparison to route 1. This is how the route alters the difficulty level of the climb.
Mera Peak is classified as Alpine Grade PD(slightly easy) by the Alpine grading system. And an alpine grade PD graded mountain has some technical sections and glaciers climbing. Back then it used to be considered as the Alpine Grade F(straightforward) but because of the changes in the glaciers has made it slightly difficult one. The peak involves minor technical sections before the summit. To cross those passes, you have to be a trained climber, not a highly experienced climber.
The distance of the entire expedition also affects the difficulty level of the Mera Peak expedition. All of the distance is covered on the feet and trails are not straightforward. In Mera peak climb, you have to cover more than 78 miles that also in the roughest, steepest and highest altitudes. If you are not used to such walking and trekking, then you’ll surely face difficulties in the trip.
Apart from that, you will be passing several glaciers and technical sections before the summit. While in that part, the trail is mostly steep and challenging. To stand firmly on such parts of the expedition, you’ll need a sound physical level and pain endurance level. And for that, you have to do good physical training before the expedition date. Your body and mind should feel okay while walking all of the distance on rough and steep trails. If not then you’ll have a serious thing to worry about during the expedition.
Obviously, the weather situations can vary the hardship level of the Mera peak climb. If the weather is not stable and there are possibilities of rainfall and snowfall, that will surely increase the problems for you. And the weather in higher places like Mera Peak is quite an unpredictable one. You can never know what’s next.
However, you can face harsh weather conditions mostly if you are on Mera peak climb during off-seasons like monsoon and winter. These two times are full of snowfall in the higher areas and rainfall in the lower areas. The temperature also drops significantly through those times of the year. And you can imagine how hard Mera peak is if done in such times.
In contrast, if you pick Autumn and Spring for the Mera peak expedition then there are low chances of weather turnarounds. This clears that the difficulty level is higher if you are opting for the off-seasons for the climb and vice versa.
Altitude Chart and the sickness
The journey to the top of Nepal’s highest trekking peak starts from Lukla which sits at an altitude of 2,800m. And with every next step towards the top, you’ll be gaining higher and higher altitude. The summit has an altitude of 6,476m and to reach there you have to spend 3 to 5 days above 5000+. See you’ll be gaining and adjusting with such elevation.
But to adjust to the altitude is not an easy job, that involves a high risk of mountain sickness all the time. And, the mountain sickness can be dangerous if not cured on time. To avoid this sickness is a whole another approach and takes time. If by chance, you get sick of the mountain sickness, it will be so difficult for you. You cannot ascend any more in such situations and for descending down you’ll need help or helicopter evacuation also.
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Tips for Mera Peak Climb
After going through all of the above-listed possible answers of how hard is Mera peak. Now you should focus on how to overcome those difficulties. You have surely known how difficult Mera Peak is and what factors play to make it difficult. The peak is not the strenuous one, there are certain things that you should do before the climb. You’ll climb it easily. The useful tips for the Mera Peak climbing are as below; go through all of them and use them:
Gain some high altitude experience
Having some or many high altitude region’s treks and tours experience is important in Mera Peak climb. If you have been to the high areas before(above 4,500m) then you will feel comfortable with the altitudes of the Mera Peak expedition. Your body will quickly acclimatize with the surroundings as it has experienced before also. Therefore, collect some higher regions trek and hike experience if Mera peak climb is your very first climb.
Prepare for the climb at least 6 months prior
You know that you need to prepare yourself physically for the Mera peak’s climb. The journey is long and strenuous which demands a strong pain endurance level. To build such a level, you should indulge in physical training at least 6 months before the climb date. It takes time to transform your normal body into an eligible body for the climb. Anything you do like gym, hike, swimming, running, etc make sure you are consistent and disciplined for 6 months.
Physical preparation is not enough for a trip like Mera Peak climbing. You also need to be mentally prepared also. If you have a fixed mind up then only you can overcome all of the difficulties easily. If not you will think of several times on the trek while facing every next obstacle. You should be ready to accept all of the happenings of the trek, good ones, and bad ones also. This way only you will finally be on the top of Mera Peak.
Get all of the right clothing and gear ready
Not having the right clothing and gears on the Mera peak expedition is not an excuse. Your backpack should have all of the necessary clothes and climbing gear. For that check our backpacking list for Mera peak climbing and start packing all those things.
Pick the right time
As said earlier, the answer to “How hard is Mera Peak” is relevant to which time you are picking. Not every season and month are suitable for the climb. There are harsh times in the Himalayas like Winter and Monsoon. And doing the climb in these bad times can increase the difficulties and problems. Instead, there are excellent timings for the expedition like Autumn and Spring. During these periods, the weather remains stable and mild temperature. Therefore, make sure you pick the Autumn or Spring for Mera Peak’s climb.
Don’t shorten the itinerary
A short climb itinerary means there are not enough acclimatization days and everything will be done rapidly. And that rush to climb will increase the chances of getting caught by the mountain sickness. Hence, have a long itinerary for Mera Peak with sufficient acclimatization days. You’ll get to trek and climb slowly without any rush and fear of sickness.
Go through an experienced expedition agency
An experienced expedition company is a must for safe and easy Mera Peak climbing. Such companies have employed experienced guides, porters, and other staff for mountain expeditions. The importance of skilled and experienced heads around you in the Mera peak climbing is a blessing in itself. Thus make sure to go through a good company.
Attend some climbing training course as well
Even though the Mera peak is a trekking peak and easy climb, the basic climbing training is important. There are parts en route to the Mera peak summit where you have to use various mountaineering skills and gear to go across. Hence, join the climbing training course around 1 to 2 months close to the climb date.
Maintain Personal Hygiene and health
Mera Peak climb goes around 3 weeks long and throughout the time you should maintain your personal hygiene and health. Along the way, you’ll come across many harmful things and you may get caught by hygiene-related sickness like headache, diarrhea, etc. To stay away from these things, drink the clean water, don’t use meat and bakery items which are mostly not fresh in the Himalayas. Don’t do acts to provoke altitude sickness also. Follow the instructions of your experienced guide only, you’ll not face any health problems.
Ascending rapidly without acclimatization time initiates the chances of mountain sickness. Our body takes a certain time to adjust to every new altitude. If we don’t give enough time for adjustments, our body gets too weak against the mountain sickness. So, don’t ascend too fast, give yourself enough time for rest and acclimatization. This way the sickness will not catch you ever in the Mera peak’s climb.
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We are very much positive that you got your answers to your “How Hard is Mera Peak” question. The climb is easy and for all kinds of climbers if you have the right preparation. The difficulties are not the problems if you can plan and prepare for the expedition nicely. If you can do so then, the only distance from you and the Mera peak’s summit is just a matter of the time.
We, Peak Climbing Nepal, can be your right agency for the Mera Peak Expedition. It has been some time since we started to guide people through various mountain expeditions. Among others, Mera Peak Climbing is the best selling package of ours. Let’s do the expedition jointly.