A memorable trek, well organised and with excellent company. Not for the faint hearted but the view from the summit made it worthwhile.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Kaji Sherpa, a 4 time Everest summiteer, provided plenty of inspiration for all.
Reaching the summit of Mera Peak on a bitterly cold but cloudless morning with a stunning view of 5No. 8,000m+ summits and dozens of equally impressive lesser peaks main the exertions of the previous hours and days worthwhile
- What did you think of your group leader?
Ngima was a highly competent leader. Very knowledgable on Nepal in general and the Mera / Everest area in particular he communicated well with the group as a whole and on an individual basis. Team briefings were clear and informative and any issue which arose, including a day lost due to rain and a case of frostbite, were addressed in a calm and professional fashion.
Worth noting that Ngima was not a one man band. Other guides Kaji, Lakpa, Ngima, Mingma and Kami and cook Ran and his kitchen team provided invaluable back-up and assistance to the group.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Not a trek for first timer's. Most of our group had previous experience of several elements => Nepal, at high altitude, in extreme cold and on snow and ice. This was reflected in the success rate - 12 of 14 made the highest camp at 5,800m and 9 made the summit at 6,476m.
Hire Equipment: I took my own plastic boots and ice axe, hiring a harness and technical gear which were good quality in Kathmandu. Others hired plastic boots and ice axe locally, the quality was variable at best. Hiring boots is achievable but needs care => recommend take your own.
Essential Equipment: Plastic boots, good gloves and a good sleeping bag are essential on this trek above 5,000m. Scarpa Omega Thermo boots, Mountain Equipment Fitzroy mitts and a Rab Ladakh 1000 sleeping bag all performed very well in extreme cold and wind.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Food: No issues. Hot, filling and plentiful. Kitchen crew did well do provide good food in the middle of nowhere. Expect a bit of repetition though. Snacks can be bought up to Khare at 5,000m and are essential on summit day at least on the way up.
Luggage Limits: Trips notes indicate 20Kg but current carrier allows 32Kg in economy - Check before you go. Not all required but an extra 2 or 3 Kg's allows you to pack plastic boots and ice axe without leaving something else.
When to go: September departure is at the end of the monsoon - make sure of waterproofs. Early days were wet but too warm for goretex jacket to be effective, an umbrella is invaluable as is a dry sack with dry shirt / shorts.
What to Take: Plastic Boots v clothes? Trekking clothes, jackets, dry sacks etc. are widely available and a good price in Kathmandu => If its a choice, take your own plastic boots.