I was on a 12-day Mera Peak climbing with Unique Adventure International, Mar 18 to Mar 29, 2013. We started from Lukla and ended up there. My original itinerary was to go Mera Peak, then take Amphu Lapcha and finally climb Island Peak. I consider myself very lucky about the offered price; Mr. Khum.Subedi (director) had offered me a very competitive price for my trip. Unfortunately, the way to Amphu Lapcha was almost closed with very deep snow and would be very dangerous, so we deleted the Amphu Lapcha & Island Peak due to the snow and time frame. This trip involved 2 days of tenting on high camp at 5800 meters. All other days were at lodges, which really helped me avoiding AMS, and also to enjoy the good food, and hospitable people.
For the climb, UAI provided a Sherpa guide (Lakpa) and 2 porters (Mondok and Pasang). The trip involved taking 4 days of trekking to get to Kothe, 3500m, from Lukla. This allowed me plenty of time to acclimatize to the higher elevation; the highest pass we came over was around 4600m at Zatrala Pass. Along the way we saw beautifully blooming rhododendrons and magnolias and different ethnic group villages. By the 7th day of trekking we were camped on the high camp, 5800m, and ready for the final push to the summit.
There is very little technical climbing but I believe Mera is a hard ask for most people. Additionally Mera can be prone to receiving very bad weather. A big dump of snow can ruin everybody's chances of getting to the top. Crevasses can also be a problem. I and Lakpa were up by 3:00 am; the weather was very windy (blisteringly cold wind), and all the way up we were trying to hide our faces from the tiny ice particles that hit with the wind. Deep snow was one of the toughest obstacles you may face after high camp; snow in this time would be fresh and virgin. Crevasses were everywhere, but we were twisted by a safety rope together…so no problem!
Summit day is huge. We summitted Mera Peak at 11:00 am and got back to the high camp at 13:00. The view from the top is one of the best in Nepal with Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga all to be viewed.
Do not underestimate Mera. I think UAI does an outstanding job in making the trip safe and comfortable. The guide, Lakpa, is friendly, and very knowledgeable. The itinerary allowed one to acclimatize and give a best chance to succeed on the summit day. I would highly recommend using UAI.
For myself, after trekking in different countries (Iran, Turkey, India and Nepal) during the past three years, and summiting Mount Ararat and Mera Peak, I am planning for Ama Dablam Expedition on October 2014 with UAI. We are looking to form a group for this expedition.
If anybody feels like to join me, you may contact me at my email address or Facebook.
Facebook: Samer Adem