Situated in the heart of the eastern Himalayas and towering over the Hinku Valley, Mera Peak is one of the most popular mountaineering destinations in the country.
The peak is officially labeled as a trekking peak by the Nepalese government and only requires basic mountaineering skills to climb the standard route. At 6,476 metres (21,247 feet) in elevation, Mera Peak is the second tallest trekking peak in the world, after nearby Peak 41.
Mera Peak is the name generally given to the highest of the three summits on the mountain, Mera North, and is the one that is most easily ascended. However, there are two other summits: Mera Central, (6,461 metres/21,198 feet) and Mera South (6,065 metres/19,898 ft).
Mera South can also be reached by trekking and is usually less crowded than the main summit.
Quick Facts about Mera Peak
- Some guide books and websites incorrectly identify Mera Peak as the world’s highest trekking peak. This is because the Nepal Mountaineering Association originally misidentified Peak 41 as Mera on their official list of trekking peaks.
- Along with being a relatively easy peak to climb, Mera Peak is also popular because it offers stunning views of some of the Himalayas most iconic mountains from its summit, including Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu.
- While the first confirmed ascent of Mera North did not happen until 1975, there are unconfirmed reports that L Limarques and Ang Lhakpa reportedly arrived two years earlier, on October 29. 1973.
History of Mera Peak
The first sighting of Mera Peak by Europeans did not come until the early 1950s, when a British expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay explored the region both prior to and after their ascent of Everest.
The first successful ascent of Mera Peak occurred on May 20, 1953 when Colonel Jimmy Roberts and Sen Tenzing arrived at the central summit of the peak.
Mera North – the main destination for trekkers heading to the peak – was not climbed officially until 1975, when a team of French mountaineers led by Marcel Jolly, G Baus and L Honills arrived at the highest of the three summits.
Experience Required for Climbing Mera Peak
Mera Peak is classified as a trekking peak and requires very little technical ability to climb, which makes it the perfect destination for first-time climbers in the Himalayas.
Most guides recommend that participants have previous glacier climbing experience and previous experience at 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) or more prior to booking a trip.
Altitude is the main challenge faced by climbers heading to the peak and as a result it is important to spend adequate time acclimatising before the ascent and be in excellent physical condition.
While both climbing seasons coincide with the driest times of year in the Himalayas, storms do occur on the peak, adding to the challenges of climbing at high altitude.
Main Routes up Mera Peak
Overall, there are three main routes that lead up to the summit of Mera Peak: one trekking route and two more technical ones.
The trekking route, also known as the standard route, is the most commonly taken and only requires moderate snow, ice and glacier climbing techniques.
Beginning from the east or northeast of the mountain, climbers ascend the glaciated mountain peak from the base camp to the high camp, before continuing on to the summit the following day.
Both the west and south faces of the mountain offer routes with more technical ice and rock climbing, perfectly suited for climbers looking for a bit more of a challenge. In particular, the southwest pillar (rated Class V/VI to VI) presents a coveted challenge and involves a 1,800-metre (5,900-foot) vertical ascent at one point.