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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
9.2 17 beoordelingen
  • 10

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    A great experience and challenge which ultimately peaked at the summit of 6,500mtrs with its breath taking views

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being with a friendly group of like minded trekkers. Succeeding in reaching my goal and being challenged to my upmost.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Sherpas Jambo and Karje were friendly professional and excellent group leaders

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You wont regret the experience and if you have the opportunity to do the trek then go for it

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    it was very cold at night. I would hire the exodus sleeping bag. get some proper high mountain gloves

  • 10

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    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.

  • 4

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    Potential for a trip of a lifetime but failed to deliver.trip made harder due to suffering a knee injury for the entire trip - temporarily alleviated by taking 400mg of Ibuprofen. Food was also disappointing - i don't expect ringed out fine dining, but vegetables don't need to have their nutritional properties boiled out of them. I have done trips like this before but this was most disappointing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. flight to Lukla 2. walking up the Mera La & seeing Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu & most notably Everest 3. coming down the Zataware La was awesome

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I got the impression that group leader Ngima was more concerned about his tip at the end rather than the welfare of the whole group, this was evident when one of the group was struggling with a trapped nerve & had no sleep & Ngima had to be reminded by one of the group that this person was being neglected by the group leader, I found this attitude quite unprofessional as disappointing. I also hired a pair of crampons from a shop recommended by the head guide Ngima - these crampons came off 15 times (yes i counted) this seriously compromised my safety as the Mera La is littered with crevasses & there are also steep ridges to negotiate Ngima made a serious mistake on the route back The group had to traverse a very narrow ridge 6-12 inches wide & about 2 hours+ long - the drop to our left was 500-1000 metres down & we had to traverse this ridge in hiking boots when Mountain or plastic boots would have been more suitable. This ridge is extremely dangerous & should not be negotiated without appropriate footwear & even crampons. i believe this was a serious error of judgement by Ngima & believe he should be trained further. this affected the tip i gave him on the last day & gave him what i think he deserved - nothing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own crampons - do not hire them out there as once you get to Lukla & eventually above the snowline there's no turning back. The ridge i mentioned above is not mentioned in the trip notes but be warned there's no other way of getting back - this ridge comes the day before the Zataware La pay the extra £5.00 on your hotel room when you get back to Lukla - this gets you an En suite shower with hot water, very welcome after 3 weeks on a very cold mountain

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    if you are thinking of booking this trip then call exodus & bolt on Island Peak for a relatively small payment extra - if you can handle the altitude of Mera then Island Peak is a bigger challenge (technically) Mera Peak is a tough trek & gives you an insight into basic technical mountaineering - it does have rewards of stunning views - for me Kilimanjaro & the Volcanoes of Ecuador were far more rewarding

  • 8

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    Wonderful country, people and fellow travellers. Nima, our leader, was always attentive and ready to help each member of the group. The rest of the climbing Sherpas were excellent as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Sherpa porters carrying huge loads with a laugh and a smile. Reaching the summit of Mera Peak with enough breath to enjoy it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your own climbing gear and plastic boots if possible. The quality of the gear we hired in Kathmandu was dreadful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was first class and no one got ill!

  • 8

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    This was hard work, but not unexpectedly so. We were hindered slightly by the weather and the guides on another (not Exodus) group, the combination of which meant we failed to summit by c.90m. Our guides and porters were excellent. I set out to get over 6,000m, which I did, but it was disappointing not to summit. Overall, a great experience, with a good bunch of people and solid support from Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Everest. I've read all the books about climbing on Everest, so to see it 'in the flesh' meant a lot to me. Being scared of heights, I felt pretty good with myself when I succeeded in 'conquering' c.500m of path which (no joking) was 25cm wide with a drop to the left so big we couldn't see the bottom. One slip and certain death would follow. I didn't enjoy that one bit, but with a bit of teeth-gritting and blasphemy I lived to tell the tale. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngema was only 29 but inspired confidence virtually the whole time. He was always friendly and helpful. On summit day, he over-ruled the much older lead guide of another group to the benefit of both groups - unfortunately, the many delays brought on by indecision of the other guide meant Ngema had to (correctly)call time on the summit bid with just 90m to go.   

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pick your trek company carefully! The incompetence of the (Australian) lead guide of another group illustrated the importance of local knowledge and experience. The day-to-day walking is tough, particularly when getting over 4,000m, and there were some hairy moments with maximum concentration required to stave off near certain death when on narrow paths with steep drop offs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 8

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    A great trip, despite the unseasonable weather - rain or snow almost every day- and no-one summitting (due to the weather).  The trip is about the journey and some of the views and sights were just awesome.  Hard (and they mean hard) but worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A few: sunrises (when we had good weather), walking on the Mera glacier and the views back over the Himalaya, the clear views of Mera from Kote.  The way the group worked together to get over the Zatra La in pretty unpleasant weather.  The bravery through pain exhibited by one member of our group, who sadly had to leave the trip halfway through.  The incredible scenery and even more incredible porters.  Bhim's cakes.  And of course (and not least) the great impromptu New Year's Eve party at the lodge in Lukla, with some truly inspirational dancing from some members of our party and our guides!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was a good leader, and clearly very experienced: we enjoyed his company and the story of how he came to be an Exodus leader is really impressive.  The real star of the trip though was Big Mingma who paced his leading very well and really engendered confidence in the group: I always felt that he was aware of what was happening in the group/who was struggling and needed some help.  Ngima, Big Mingma and Lakpa Cheten's card playing skills were pretty good too! One criticism, however, would be that not enough care was taken to factor in the changes in weather conditions and the effect it was likely to have on the trail.  This led to a few hair-raising moments, which could have been avoided with a bit of extra thought.  However, overall, the trip was well organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus' trip notes are pretty good.  However: It is seriously worth considering taking microspikes (such as the ones Kahtoola make) for some of the walk-in days, as well as crampons (which you will not have with you at all times), especially if, like me, you are prone to a tumble: a few of the descents would have been much easier with them.  I hadn't taken mine and have the bruises to prove it!  Poles are an essential for this trip. Also, seriously consider bringing crampons from home.  I did but those that hired them really struggled as the hired crampons did not have anti-balling plates, which meant that they were near-useless/positively unhelpful in soft snow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are going to sign up for this trip, you really do need to have walked at altitude before, for a reasonable period.  It is hard-going, cold and exhausting.  However, you are rewarded by some amazing views and experiences and that is what you remember once the memories of the pain dim.  Also, don't be put off signing up if you are female - you are likely to be in the minority (9 to 2 on our trip) but it isn't all crazy macho men - or you haven't got much (or any) experience with the equipment.  I did a winter skills course at Plas y Brenin before I went and this really helped with the basics like how to get crampons that fit your boots, how to put them on, how to hold an ice axe/self-arrest (in theory anyway) and to feel a bit more confident. 

  • 10

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    Food was challenging on the trek, on the plus side, it's a great natural way of losing weight.  The trek itself is second to none - challenging in all aspects (mental & physical).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Mera Peak & meeting Kaji Sherpa (who has summitted Mt. Everest 4 times).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Unquestionably 1st class.  Nice to see such great rapport & team spirit with the rest of the crew.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't get sick before the trek begins (as in e.g. drink hotel jug water in Kathmandu) and during the trek - this trek takes no prisoners, absolutely no chance!  Only the non-sick will potentialy last to the end.  Would definitely recommend this trip but go early in the season if you want it quieter with less other trekkers around, else it get choc-o-block.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Offer more challenging higher altitude treks in your portfolio.  You already have two, potentially three Mt. Everest summitteers for climbing guides, why not offer a Mt. Everest climb to the very top & only the very top ?  Anything else (e.g. lower camps) but the very top defeats the object. Maximum number of 14 on the trek was a bit too crowded - one of the main reasons for going on treks like is the peace & serenity of the Himalayas & the feel of isolation, but with 14 people it was impossible to enjoy any peaceful moment.  For me, the maximum number of 9 is ideal to begin with & expect the number to drop by 2 or 3 at the end.

  • 10

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    An absolute thrill to make the summit of Mera Peak in the company of a great group of Sherpas.  My third trekking trip to Nepal, the best yet and looking forward to my fourth.  

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fourteen of us set out on the trip and nine of us made the summit, and at 62 I was overjoyed to be one of them.  We were on the summit at 8 am under a clear blue sky and the wind whipping the ice crystals off the top in a mini blizzard into our faces and a single view of 6 of the 8 highest mountains in the world - truly spectacular.  I had never used any climbing equipment before and the abseil/jumar training en route paid dividends on summit day - I loved my three days on the glaciers and snow fields but making the summit was my highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima Lama is everything that great tour leader needs to be - extrovert, personable, informative, sharing, industrious, well respected and genuinely liked by the large team of 60 he lead on this expedition.  His knowledge of First Aid and its application was impressive - both for his team and clients.  Not afraid to make tough decisions.  A real professional and an incredibly likeable young man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read Exodus notes - at Grade E, there are no easy days on this trek, apart from the final day back to Lukla.  Your chances of success will be much greater if you have a BMI of not much more than 25.  Everyone loses weight on the trip - 5 to 10% of body weight.  It is less about being super fit and more about having real depths of stamina. The air is dry and bad coughs and chest infections are common - take an antibiotic (like amoxycillan which you can get in Kathmandu without prescription) and loads of Strepsils; and a load of sweets to suck. I have been at altitude several times and this was the first time I suffered a totally sleepless night - I had three of them, two on consecutive nights.  We met a very fit Canadian who was forced back when he suffered four consecutive nights without any sleep, absolutely shattered.  Sleeping tablets are not an option - they make you ill at altitude - avoid caffeine 6 hours before sleep and most importantly before you go, read up on "non medicine taking" measures to help you sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to Ngima and team and the other 13 people who made up the group - a great holiday, one of the best.  A real challenge - Aconcagua beckons! 

  • 10

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    An absolutely brilliant trip. Where else can you see five of the worlds highest peaks at one go! A tough one that earns its grade but well worth the effort. If you want to go high and non-technical Mera Peak is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be summit day. We were woken at 1a.m. with tea and porridge. After the effort of putting on boots and crampons we set off for the summit. It was a tad cold but we were all well muffled up. Naturally it was slow going with many a stop to catch our breaths. Dawn came slowly but was quite spectacular with the sun gradually striking the tops of more and more peaks starting with Kangchenjunga far to the east. Gradually as we got higher and the light improved we saw Cho Oyu, the Nuptse Lhotse ridge, Everest and Makalu!! Even saw base camp way, way below us. Reaching a small col we realised that we only had about 30m more up to go. We had been roped to this point anyway but it became essential for this last bit as it was very steep. Up to the top of Mera and handshakes and hugs all round. Views were astounding all round!! Then it was a long slog all the way to base camp passing High and Mera La camps.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was an excellent leader in all respects. Knowledgable, capable and above all friendly. He is about to complete his International Climbing course early next year. He is a member of the Nepal guide Association. While on the subject of crew we cannot praise them highly enough from the porters through to guides. Two of the Climbing Guides had summited Everest twice so we felt in good hands. Food was excellent and plentiful as we knew it would be having been with Bhim in Tibet.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough trip and should not be undertaken by anyone who is not a regular hill walker. The circular approach walk as opposed to the direct trail was great for acclimatisation - I felt as well or better than any other high altitude trips that I have been on. As is normal on these trips Kris and I were the slowest and always at the back though we always arrived at lunch stops and camp on time. Being slow should not put anyone off this trip - you will see more and have a better chance to acclimatise. apart from which, on climb day, you are all as slow as each other!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think that I have said it all. Expect some hard days especially the climb and on the walk out over the Zatrwa La. The walk in was tough with plenty of steep ups and downs - in fact it would be of interest if anyone could tell us the total ascent and descent. We had rain and cloud on the walk in due to a late monsoon but it was still brilliant and quite spooky. Be prepared for spectacular camps at the Mera La and High camps and to be cosy, but warm, with three in a tent. Be amazed on climb day - it is stupendous, unbelievable, mind blowing and any other superlatives that you can think of.

  • 8

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    A tough but very rewarding climb through various landscapes, very well organised with excellent food, guides, kitchen staff and porters.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Clambering the last few metes to the top of Mera Central and getting great views of Everest and surrounding mountains.  Also, lying in bed at night listening to avalanches, and getting to see a large avalanche fall off Mera whilst eating breakfast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was great, always cheerful and very friendly.  The other guides were good too, Wanchu was our guide on summit day and he had summited Everest twice, so we were in good hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do NOT climb to 6476m as advertised, that it Mera North, the route to which is heavily crevassed. On this trip you climb Mera Central 6461m, Exodus really need to amend their trip notes, so although I reached the objective of this trip I did not climb to the top of Mera Peak! Watch out for the leeches in the lower camps. FYI the crew set up 2 toilet tents at most camps, they are great, there is a chair inside with a loo seat, so no squatting!!! You can pay a couple of dollars to use showers at nearby lodges at some campsites, plus the bowls of hot water supplied by the staff mean you can keep quite clean. Don't waste your money on iodine stuff, the guides boil water and fill your bottles at breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can get as much safe water as you can drink. Your plastic boots, ice axe and crampons are separated out in Kathmandu and sent ahead, so you don't have to carry them around, this also gives you more room in your kit bag.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As mentioned by someone else, this is a long-old-trek, with lots and lots of ups and downs, you will ascend and descend over 10,000 metres of the course of the trip, so be prepared.  The summit day is a 12 hour walking day, 6 hours up starting at 2am, and six hours down to a lower camp, so make sure your plastic boots are comfy. Oh, and don't take any electronics with hard-drives in them.  My hard-drive mp3 player and hard-drive camcorder stopped working at about 5000m because they don't operate in low pressure environments (they worked again lower down), so watch out.

  • 10

    A view of 4 of the highest mountains in the world, what more can I say...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hmmm where do I start... * Climbing up to the summit as the sun started to rise and seeing this blue/orange hue on the horizon * Climbing in the night and looking behind to see a chain of head torches wiggling up the mountain * Sunset at High Camp - Magic * Being able to see millions of stars at night without any light pollution! * The people of Nepal

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was fantastic. He made sure that we were all drinking, eating enough and ensuring our safety at all times. His knowledge of the area and climbing skills were of particular note. The practice secessions on the glacier, learning techniques, knots, ascending and descending ropes were invaluable for the days we would spend above base camp at Khare. Also of mention was our climbing and local guides - Kaji, Chongba, Mingmar x 2 and Kedar who were excellent. They always made sure we got the best camp site, were safe at night and maintained a good pace throughout the trek. The hard team work of all ensured our success of reaching the summit.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    One of the essential bits of advice I can give is KEEP DRINKING WATER and TAKE IT EASY to help with altitude acclimatisation. Its not a race, just enjoy the scenery and take lots of pictures. Take a range of clothing layers including trousers with the rip off legs so you have a pair of shorts as well. In October, temperatures can get very hot at the lower altitudes and also expect a few thunderstorms in the afternoons. On summit day, I would recommend taking a thermos flask as the new hydration systems freeze up within 5 minutes and are rendered useless for many hours, even when the sun does come up. Ensure that you plaster yourself in high factor sun cream at ALL TIMES. On summit day this is essential – make sure that your face is well creamed with at least Factor 40 before even stepping out of your tent as you will not feel like putting it on when the sun comes up at 6am or possibly even remembering to do it. Make sure you pay attention to ears, lips and nostrils, including up them. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way! Also make sure you have all layers on before venturing out of your tent on summit day, even if you feel warm in your tent. It’s easier to cool down than it is to warm up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is not for those who think that summit day will be the hardest day and the rest easy undulating trekking. On the contrary, most of the days are strenuous and require good levels of fitness, along with being able to cope with very high temperatures and humidity during the walk in and the freezing temperatures on the Mera La and above. Exodus guides and staff were fantastic and supported our team all the way. The tour was well organised, the staff always friendly and smilling, which is essential on a trip like this. I don't think I have ever felt so safe on holiday! Thank you Exodus for an excellent trip and getting me to the top.

  • 10

    What a trip..........

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Veiws from the summit The fantastic trekking crew The great people of Nepal

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very good, he knew a lot about the area, people and all the technical stuff we needed to know

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can get very hot in the day times and watch your toes on summit day

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well worth it and I am now seriously thinking about 7000 + m

  • 10

    Toughest yet!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The awesome scenary and how it changed as we travelled thro' the Himalayas. The Nepalese, their constant smiling faces, their courteous manner, the children who loved having their photo's taken. The mountains, the wildlife, the rivers. It's just a wonderful place to visit and be part of!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The perfect ambassador for both his country and his employer. Extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of leadership in this very tough trek. Always there and accomodating, the kind of person you would love to employ.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would suggest that they speak to someone who has been on this trek prior to signing up, although the trip notes are quite factual I believe that they should discuss all aspects of what lies ahead. This should cover personal equipment and previous experience in both summer and winter walking / climbing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Prior to going on this trip I spoke to an Exodus representative re suitability of my climbing boots, he advised that my Scarpa Manta boots were adequate. I found out later that they were not suitable for the Mera ascent, due to the fact that they were not double skinned and I could be susceptible to Frostbite (due to lack of oxygen effecting blood circulation). This information was mooted intially by our leader and also a leader of another group. Fortunately I didn't sustain Frostbite but I have certainly nipped 4 of my toes on my right foot.. Again that's why I believe that prior to individuals signing up for this tremendous trip they should be interviewed by someone with the relevant experience, to discuss the trek in more detail.

  • 10

    Mera Peak

    A fantastic well thought out route with great dramatic scenery. We met other groups who took different routes and the Exodus route won hands down. We learnt the new skills of abseiling and climbing with a jumar. The trip notes were pretty much spot on regarding our daily treks. A tough but doable trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit has to be a highlight but from experience its only a small part of the whole trip. Just getting up to high camp and seeing the Everest mountain range was amazing. Meeting our sherpa guides, porters and just people on the way was inspirational. It makes you realise just how easy we get at home. A lot of these people just get by in life with the basics were we have so much. But are we happier!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jangbu Sherpa was our head guide. I met Jangbu 6 years ago in Annapurna so I new we were in good hands. Jangbu is a pure professional guide with an easy going approach. He never had to give out orders to his team but everyone new what they were doing and when to do it. He never lost his cool even when we were flaffing about like lost sheep. He let us carry on with things without constantly instructing us like some guides but I new he was observing every minute detail ready to give advice. All the guides and porters treated us like Kings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The only problem was the trip notes said we could hire gear in Khare for $100. This was inaccurate. All the gear would have been closer to $200. If I'd known this I would have brought more of my own gear. Not wanting to bring a lot of cash on the actual trek I was left short of money. I had the option of borrowing money from Jangbu or another person on the trek until we got back to Katmandu so wasn't stuck but it was a bit embarrasing for a couple of us. Apart from that I couldn't fault anything else.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't think about it just go for it!

  • 10

    Mera Peak Climb (TNB)

    A great trekking holiday with a gruelling climb to hit 6461m to get spectacular views of the high Himalayas. If your ready for the challenge the climb really caps off the trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top, seeing the views, and sharing them with the group

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jangbu inspired confidence and trust and lead the group with easy going good humour, a necessary ingredient when the weather didn’t always play ball!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be wary of changes in currency values as the suggested $90 for kit hire at Khare was in excess of $150 due to the weakness of the £

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    Amazing experience.

    What an amazing experience reaching the summit of mere peak.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nima G. Sherpa was a very good leader. He was constantly supporting us and managing our expectations appropriately. Well done Nigma!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 10

    You've got to work for it!

    There is no gentle start to the Mera Peak climb/trek. Long and/or demanding days are the theme pretty much throughout. For the first few days of the trek in it felt like we were "going around the houses" and the route used by Exodus certainly appears longer than some. We could also tell the early route was somewhat off the beaten track being very quiet at times. All routes converge in Kote and it is then a straight shot up the Hinku valley. The clear advantage of this longer approach is that it offers excellent acclimatisation. I personally experienced the least and mildest AMS symptoms of any previous trip despite ultimately reaching a higher altitude than ever before. The lodges in the early days are basic but adequate, many of us had been trekking in Nepal before so knew what to expect, there were no nasty surprises. After a few days of trekking through forest and reaching Kote the terrain becomes more glacial and rocky. To this point I wouldn't describe the trek as being very scenic although that was in large part due to near constant cloud cover. I wonder if the trek could be run in November where at least statistically there could be less cloud. Khare was a surprsingly busy little place, lots going on with trekkers/climbers from all over the world getting ready for their time on the high mountain or returning from Mera. This is where we did our climbing equipment training, it was something new for me but Ngima and Mingmar instructed well and it wasn't that difficult afterall. Having left Khare and reached the snow line, those of us that brought our own mountain boots and crampons were reunited with them by virtue of some porters that had gone ahead of us. For me what followed were my first steps on snow/ice with mountain boots and crampons. It was a bit of a learning curve and I found I tired far quicker than I cared to admit at the time. After a short but steep climb things level out and then it was a relatively short walk to Mera La camp for the night. The sunset and night time stars were very nice. We were now in tents for the first time. I wish I hadn't binned off my Thermarest mattress while trying to make the Lukla flight limit. Foam mattresses were provided but I could still feel the cold coming up from the ground. The next day was a short one from Mera La to High Camp. It however is one of those sections where the destination never seems to get any closer despite feeling you're working like a steam train at full speed. The amusement of high camp's precarious position soon passes as you try to concentrate on getting some sleep for the upcoming 0030 wake up call. I got no real sleep. We then started our torch lit climb through the night in deeply sub zero temperatures. This was hard going, really hard going, there was little talking. It was just heads down and endure it. The group were imposing more rest stops on the guides than they wanted but I don't think there were any negative consequences when all said and done. My fingers were numb with cold... bigger gloves required when the "what next" is decided upon. The sun slowly rose and Mera central summit could now be seen ahead. We left our rucksacks at the foot of the summit and using our Jumars went up the surprisingly short roped section fixed by our guides, it was easy and I was on the sumit in a minute. It had taken around 7 hours from leaving High Camp with no sleep (for me) since Mera La the previous day. It was bitterly cold on the summit and very windy, there wasn't any open celebration. There now followed an extremely long walk all the way back down to Khare village with only a short pitstop at High Camp along the way. It was exhausting. Availability of water was a problem too since bottles and especially hydration blladders were still frozen despite the fact the sun was now strong enough to make sunburn a concern. I was gasping for a drink. Ngima our leader had some warm water in a flask and I will definitely take a small flask when I find myself back on a high mountain again. What now remained was the trek "home" to Lukla. It was very plain sailing. The Zatrwa Pass wasn't as bad as anticipated. During our trek trail crampons or shoe grips weren't necessary. There were only a couple sections of ice a few paces long. The decent from the pass is long and steep, thankfully the national park authority have been building a stone staircase which makes things a little easier but you still have to watch your step. There is the potential for an overnight stay a few hours short of Lukla but depending on progress it can be skipped and we pressed on for Lukla and some comfort... relatively speaking

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mutual support we gave each other along the way. Finally holding back the discomfort and exhaustion and reaching the summit of Mera Peak,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima Sherpa is an excellent leader. He is very experienced and knowledgable in his field but also very personable, always happy to chat with us and tell stories to the group.... even a bit of local politics Every now and then he would push us along that little bit harder on the trail, although we might have grumbled quietly to ourselves at the time, it was always with good reason. There was a bit of a snoring issue in the group which despite ear plugs meant I was getting very little sleep at night, which was starting to affect me. I approached Ngima who dealt with the problem sensitively and thereafter where ever possible he arranged for single tea house rooms for all the men in the group, the small cost of which was spread amongst us. This was a popular arrangement with us all. Ngima's assistants Mingmar and Ngima are also excellent guides and good men, very pleasant and friendly. I don't have a bad word to say about anyone, constructive or otherwise

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The 10kg main kit bag weight limit for the flight to/from Lukla was a concern for myself and my team mates. I was taking my own mountain boots and crampons which blew the limit entirely and I could not remove enough other items to compensate. Upon arrival at the hotel and receiving our briefing from Ngima, he told us we could pack our mountain boots and crampons seperately with him and they would be portered to the point on the trek where we would first need them. They would not count towards our individual luggage limit. That instantly alleviated a problem for myself. If only I'd known beforehand I would not have left one or two things at home. Whether it was bad luck or not, I don't know but about half of our group got a stomach upset requiring medication. It was the first time I'd had such a problem since I casually drank the tap water in Corfu 25 years ago! It sapped my energy for a couple of days. Ngima had a very well stocked medical kit and was able to give me some Ciprofloxacin and Imodium. It rapidly solved the problem and had me back on form. You might like to make sure you have your own just in case there's a spike in demand on your trek. Kit hire in Khare was a straight forward affair but although each individual item was relatively cheap per day, you may need a number of items and then what escaped my mind, it is a 4 day hire period. I hired a harness, jumar, 3x carabiners, figure 8, ice axe (unnecessary) and helmet (even more unnecessary) whch came to around 6000NPR

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Something will no doubt come to me while doing the ironing next week.

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