Mera Peak at an elevation of 6,461 meters (21,193 feet) is the highest permitted trekking peak in Nepal. Just because this magnificent peak in the Khumbu region is considered a ‘trekking peak’, the expedition to its summit shouldn’t be taken lightly. The trekking difficulty on this 6,000-er is ‘Alpine Grade PD’ in the Alpine grading system and ‘Moderately Difficult’ in the Himalayan grading system.
Although the adventure in this mountain isn’t as strenuous as other peaks in the Himalayas due to a lack of technical segments, still, the Mera Peak difficulty shouldn’t be underestimated.
Mera Peak Difficulty Breakdown
It would be hard to determine the difficulty level of this fascinating experience without breaking down the parameters that contribute to its difficulty. The Mera Peak consists of three summits, Mera North (6,476 meters), Mera South (6,065 meters), and Mera Central (6,461 meters), and, it is not an easy feat to conquer all these three peaks which fall under the 6,000-er category.
Although Central Peak was first climbed by Col. Jimmy Roberts and Sen Tenzing in 1953 and the Northern by L. Honills and Marcel Baus in 1975. Mera Peak became a popular destination among the mountaineer after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa climbed this mountain before their first-ever successful ascent to the summit of the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest (8,849 meters) and after their historic feat.
Since then, it has become a tradition among Mt. Everest and other 8,000-er expeditioners to ascend this popular peak as a good luck charm before their big adventure.
Like any other thigh altitude adventure, the high elevation points of the experience significantly contribute to the Mera Peak difficulty. Starting your adventure at a 2,820-meter altitude in Lukla, the highest elevation point in this expedition is 6,461 meters, at the summit of Mera Peak.
Certainly with the altitude comes the risks of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), thus the climbers need to pay proper heed to the symptoms of altitude sickness and use enough acclimatization during their expedition.
The oxygen saturation level at the summit of the Mera Peak is at 47% compared to a sea level altitude. So trying to scale to the top of this 6,000-er in the Khumbu region without any preparation, just because it is a straight tek-up mountain without any technical segments would be a grave mistake.
Mera Peak Difficulty– Distance
The trekking distance of this trekking expedition in the Khumbu region is another contributing factor to the overall difficulty level. If you have previously been on a high-altitude adventure to the Himalayas, then you understand that the walking trail isn’t always leveled and that you have to ascend and descend on steep slopes. Now, imagine doing it for an overall of 78 miles.
Although there are no technical segments on the mountain and you don’t need any mountaineering skills for the conquest of the peak. Still, the steep segments that pass through the diverse landscape of the Himalayas including the glacial moraines can be hard for someone who isn’t well prepared.
If you are an avid mountaineer or trekking enthusiast, then, you probably already know how the climbing routes and the duration contribute to the difficulty level of an adventure. Similarly, the Mera peak difficulty is greatly influenced by the route you take and the number of trekking days the package has, naturally the more number of expedition days, the more easier the experience.
There are generally three trekking routes that take you to the summit of this beautiful gem of the Khumbu region.
Route 1: This is the shortest route that leads to the summit of Mera Peak; after landing on Lukla, you will head straight for Zatr La Pass (4,610 meters) heading towards the Tagnag and Base Camp. This is considered to be one of the hardest trekking routes to Mera Peak; this trail which is even challenging for experienced climbers has a success rate of just 30%.
Route 2: On this route, after landing on Lukla, you follow the trail north toward Paiya, passing the beautiful civilization in Solukhumbu, Hinku Valley, Pangum, Kothe, Tangag, and Khare to Base Camp. Considered to be the longer and more scenic experience, this is one of the most popular trekking routes for the Mera Peak. This route offers plenty of time to properly acclimatize to the high-altitude environment, that’s why it is popular among novice enthusiasts.
Route 3: Another popular route for the Mera Peak expedition, this trail follows the main Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) trekking route, taking you through the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar towards, Base Camp, and finally summit. Not only this route is as convenient and relaxed as Route 2, but as the trail follows the trail of the mainstream Everest Base Camp, you will be able to enjoy the two mainstream adventures popular in the country.
The weather conditions in the Himalayas are quite unpdrecitable, so if you want to have a more convenient and immersive experience it is advised that you should aim for the peak seasons. During the peak seasons like autumn and spring, the weather is stable, and the temperature is relatively on the warmer side, which will significantly reduce the weather difficulty factor of your expedition.
In autumn, the temperature hovers around 12°C during the day and around 6°C at night and early mornings. Similarly, during the spring season, the temperature averages about 10°C and hits up to -4°C during the night.
However, if you are looking for an adventure in the Khumbu region during the off seasons like, you might have to face harsh climatic conditions that often drop up to -30°C during the winter. Although the weather is warmer during monsoon averaging around 15°C during the day, the constant rainfall and dangerous landscapes elevate the risk and difficulty of this expedition.
You may also like:
- Is Mera Peak Harder Than Kilimanjaro?
- Can a Beginner Climb Mera Peak?
- How do I prepare for Mera Peak?
- How Long Does It Take To Climb Mera Peak?
Undoubtedly the Mera Peak expedition is a glorious adventure close to the tallest white-clad mountain in the world that explores the heart of the Khumbu region. Although by default, its grading Alpine Grade PD’ in the Alpine grading system and ‘Moderately Difficult’ in the Himalayas grading system may make it seem like a difficult and challenging adventure. But, with the right amount of preparation and determination, the conquest of this straight-walk-up trek mountain is within the reach of hands.