Mera Peak and the Amphu Lapcha Pass

This is one of Nepal’s most varied and challenging treks, set in breathtaking high mountain scenery.  The extension to cross the Amphu Lapcha pass (5845m) adds significant interest to a climb of Mera Peak, enabling one to explore a remote mountain wilderness area, cross a dramatic pass, and make a circular loop back through the Sagarmatha National Park.  Not wishing to take away from the excitement of climbing Mera, which is a challenging ascent to altitude offering breathtaking views, the crossing of the Amphu Lapcha is technically more demanding, and presents an exciting objective for adventurous trekkers.

Mera Peak

Mera Peak is situated in the Makalu-Barun National Park on the edge of the Khumbu region.  At 6476m it is the highest of Nepal's Trekking Peaks, and commands one of the best viewpoints in Nepal; there are panoramic views taking in, among others, Everest, Lohtse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho Oyo, Kanchenjunga, Ama Dablam, Chamlang and Baruntse. However, Mera is technically easy to climb, attainable by non-climbers who are fit and who have an out-going sense of adventure, who are able to meet the challenges of trekking to significant altitude in the presence of a competent guide, supported by a team of porters.  For more detail on climbing Mera Peak, click here

Acclimatisation

Our approach route to Mera avoids crossing the Zatrwa La (4610m) which most commercial expeditions head for, and follows a very attractive route through farming settlements and beautiful forest.  This is much better for acclimatisation and is all-together more sensible and enjoyable.

Honggu Valley and the Amphu Lapcha Pass

Whereas most climbers who’ve climbed Mera retrace their steps back down the Inkhu valley, those proceeding to Amphu Lapcha (also referred to as the Amphu Labtsa) drop down into the uninhabited Honggu valley lying to the east. The upper Honggu is a true mountain wilderness where you are unlikely to meet many other trekkers, and the character of the terrain is markedly different to the Mera approach route.  The valley is high and open, fringed with broad moraines and sharp white peaks, making this a place of bright light and changing colour, and a wonderful place to camp.  You’ll pass gleaming glacial lakes, and gain excellent views of Chamlang (7321m) and Baruntse (7220m).

The precipitous crest of the Amphu Lapcha has to be one of the most dramatic crossings in the Himalaya – having ascended with the protection of fixed ropes over straightforward icefall, you emerge onto an airy promontory, with the ground simply sweeping away from your feet into the deep Imja Khola Valley – the vast wall of Lhotse, with Everest peaking over its left shoulder rears up on the opposite side, dwarfing the apparently diminutive Island Peak in the foreground. The descent requires a short abseil to a broad snow terrace.  Although the pass is at a lower altitude than Mera Peak, it is more tricky owing to steepness.  However, as for Mera, non-climbers who are fit with an out-going sense of adventure can make this crossing easily. 

Once over the Amphu Lapcha, you enter the Sagarmatha National Park and the whole character of the terrain changes again.  Your return to Lukla is via the Imja Khola and Dudh Koshi river valleys, along which the standard approach to Everest is made. You’ll enjoy classic views of the west side of Ama Dablam (6856m), and pass through interesting settlements such as Tengboche, which has a prominent monastery, and Namche Bazaar, which has an addictive buzz of excitement, whether heading up or heading down.
 

To view information about climbing Mera Peak only, click here