The Mera – Amphu Labtsa – Island Peak Climbing is an excellent introduction to high altitude mountaineering in the Everest region. Mera and Island Peak are among the popular and most-opted climbing peaks in Nepal.
Although geographically close, a formidable mountain chain separates these climbing peaks. This mountain range also divides the remote Hongu valley from the Khumbu valley.
Despite the varying route and geography these summits are possible in a single trek. For this, you cross Amphu Labtsa Pass that is a remote and formidable climb in itself which conjoins these peaks in a single trek.
The Mera and Island Peak Climbing via Amphu Labtsa Pass provides the unique opportunity to do both these in a single trip.
- Highlights of the Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Difficulty of Mera Peak, Amphu Labtsa and Island Peak Climbing
- Individual Climbing Difficulty
- Duration of Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Permits for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Route of Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Experience Required for Mera, Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Distance for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Accommodations for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Meals for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Field Staffs for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Equipment and Supplies for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Best Season for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Expedition
- Safety Measures for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Insurance for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Additional Things to Keep in Mind for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing.
- Final Say,
Highlights of the Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
- Climb 2 of the highest trekking Peaks (Mera and Island Peak) in Nepal in one amazing trip
- Explore Panch Pokhari- the five sacred lakes at the foot of Baruntse (7168 m)
- Grab the fantastic panorama of snow-capped mountain Peaks of Mt.Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Ama Dablam, and Cho Oyu.
- Catch amazing view of Island Peak (6189m) and Mera Peak (6476m).
- Witness the incredible view of Amphu Laptsa Pass from both Mera and Island Peak.
- Cross the Amphu Laptsa Pass at 5845m
- Enjoy the exciting flight to and from Lukla.
- Encounter the lush green forests of rhododendron, magnolia, birch, and pine.
- Visit Seto Pokhari- a sacred lake at over 5000m
- Divulge into the culture and lifestyle of the world famous ‘Sherpa’ people.
- Explore the beautiful and remote region of Hindko and Hongo valley.
Difficulty of Mera Peak, Amphu Labtsa and Island Peak Climbing
The difficulty of any treks and climbs to the Himalayas depends on various factors. This is a sterenous trek in the rugged terrains of the Everest region.
You will be spending almost a week (roughly 5 days) over 5100m. You will be climbing Mera Peak (6476m) and Island Peak (6189m). Along with this, you will face the Amphu Labtsa pass (5700m), a tough technical crossing.
You will be accommodating in tea houses and you will be camping as well in the snowy surrounding.
Mera Peak, Amphu Labtsa and Island Peak, all involve different kind of adventure.
You need to have prior mountaineering experience for this expedition. Along with this, you must have reasonable fitness level along with good mental health.
Individual Climbing Difficulty
Mera Peak Difficulty
Basic technical climbing skills are necessary to overcome the Mera Peak difficulty .
Except for the final 30-40m climb, the Mera Peak climb is not technically difficult. This small section has a slope of around 40 degrees of ice/snow. You will need to use basic mountaineering tools such as ice axe, fixed ropes, crampons for this section.
Amphu Labtsa Pass Difficulty
This part of climbing is more technical than Mera Peak.
You will surmount a series of ice steps. You will use a fixed rope (for safety) for this to reach the rocky crest.
Once on the summit, you will use a figure 8 to make an abseil on the snowy terrain. You must be very careful during this point of the climb. You must have the knowledge on how to fix ropes and ice axe.
Once on easier slopes, you will not need to use this.
Island Peak Difficulty
Although Mera Peak is higher, Island Peak is technically more demanding. You need to climb 45 degree snow covered slopes on this climb. The summit ridge is also completely exposed.
You need to use fixed lines on all the exposed sections. Rope climbing skills are a must for this climb. You need to have proper mountaineering training for this.
There are many places in Kathmandu that provides this training. You can let us help you with this.
Duration of Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
The average duration of the entire Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing is 28 days. This is a professionally recommended duration for the trek. This includes the acclimatization days as well. Your duration includes the day of your arrival and farewell from Lukla.
This expedition is possible in shorter number of days. Yet, the less number of days risks the high possibility of high altitude sickness, physical and mental exhaustion.
It is better to choose duration of more than 26 days for this trip. The longer days you spend on the high altitude for acclimatization, the better your health will be.
Permits for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
You will need the following permits for this expedition.
Local (Everest Region) Area Permit: Nrs. 2000 ( US $20)
Island Peak climbing permit cost according to the four seasons:
March, April, and May:US $250
June, July, and August: US $70
September, October, and November: US $125
December, January, and February: US $70
Mera Peak climbing permit cost according to the four seasons:
March, April, and May: US $250
June, July, and August: US $70
Sept., October, and November: US $125
December, January, and February: US $70
All these permits are obtainable from Kathmandu. Allow us to help you take care of it.
Route of Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
You will land in Lukla after a 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu. This is where your actual trek begins. You will trek through the remote and beautiful region of Hongu valley. From there you will trek to the base camp of Mera Peak. Once there, you climb to High Camp and then proceed to the summit of Mera Peak.
After Mera, you drop down into the Hongu Valley and trek for three days to the base of the Amphu Labtsa. The base of the Hongu Valley is at 5,000m – flanked by massive ice-fluted faces on either side.
At the head of the valley the glaciated Amphu Labtsa provides a way out. The crossing of the Amphu Labtsa is a technical mountaineering day. You will weave your way along the serac cliffs. The top of the pass is considerably exposed.
The Amphu Labtsa is a highlight in itself. Along with the challenge of the climb, it provides some of the best views. You can clearly see Mera and Island Peak from the Pass.
After descending to Amphu Labtsa, you will be on your way to Island Peak Base Camp. The route to the top of Island Peak is steeper than Mera. The Island Peak is more technical.
After your summit, you climb down. This time you will trek through the Everest trail. You will trek to Everest Base Camp.
You can take a detour to the famous Kala Pathar as well on this climb. From there, you trek back to Lukla.
Note: There are alternative routes and many detours you can do on this climb. One rule of thumb when deciding your route for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing is to have enough acclimatization days and periods.
Make sure you have enough days to help your body adapt to the higher altitudes. High altitude sickness is a major concern on these high altitude climbs. You do not want to risk the success and comfort of your trip to save a day or two. Do you?
Experience Required for Mera, Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
This is a climb for mountaineers. Doing any one of these climbs on their own is difficult.
Yet, doing both the summits along with the Amphu Labtsa Pass is a major challenge. You should do this if you are an active climber. Having previous mountaineering experience is great for a successful climb.
If not, start training a year before the actual trek and indulge in a mountaineering course.
Most trekking agencies provide the basic training, exercises needed to do this climb at base camps or in Kathmandu.
Distance for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
Depending on the route you choose, the total distance for the Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak may vary.
The average distance of this climb is 72 kms. You will be trekking in altitudes of above 5000m for most days of the trek.
The high altitudes along with the daily treks can take a toll on your body.
Make sure you have enough acclimitzation days to help your body adapt to the altitudes. Always maintain your own pace, do not rush.
At these altitudes, walking can be more tiresome than on the lower altitudes.
Accommodations for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
In Kathmandu, your options for accommodations are limitless. You can choose from a range of 3-4-5 star hotels to basic lodges or even hostels.
From Lukla, you will stay at Tea houses or basic lodges. These provide very basic facilities.
You can choose to have a single bed room or share rooms. The rooms are basic with a bed, mattress, blanket, and pillow. Chances of shared, communal bathrooms are high on the trails.
From Mera Peak High Camp to Island Peak Base Camp, you will be sleeping in tents.
Meals for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
Like accommodation, your choice for meals and drinks are wide in Kathmandu.
From Lukla, your choices narrow down. You have options like the dal-bhat-tarkari (lentils, steamed rice, seasonal vegetables).
You will also have choices of noodles, dumplings, flat breads, potatoes and meats (fried, boiled, seasoned).
For drinks, you get choices of hot and cold flavored drinks, tea, coffee. Do try the local dishes like fried bread, mushroom soup, butter tea.
From Mera Peak High Camp to Island Base Camp, you will eat the food carried by our team.
Field Staffs for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
During the Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak expedition, you will be traveling with some field staff. These can include guide, assistant guide, porter, camping assistants and others.
A guide shows you the best routes, tea houses, rest stops to take. S/he can also give you in depth information about the landscape, flora and fauna of the region. They are a great way to learn the local culture, tradition and lifestyle and they do speak the local language.
Assistant guide and guide are also responsible for arranging the ladders and fixing the ropes on the final push to the summit. Having a professional and experienced mountain guide is essential for your trip here.
Porters will carry the equipment and supplies needed for the Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak expedition. A porter will carry anywhere between 20-30 kg.
Equipment and Supplies for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
Packing for your Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak can be tricky. You don’t want to over pack yet don’t want to under pack either.
To make this easier for you, here is a compiled list of equipment and supplies for your trip. This list is for reference purpose only. You are free to change, add to the list according to your needs and choices.
- Climbing harness
- 5 metres / 15 feet of 6mm climber’s accessory cord
- Figure 8/Abseil belay device
- 1 large mitten sized ascender (most members use the large petzl) and arm length leash
- 2 locking carabiners, 1 large and 1 small
- 4 regular carabiners
- Ice axe w/leash
- Crampons – must fit boots perfectly. Steel crampons with anti-balling (anti-bot) plates are the best
- Optional- Adjustable trekking poles
- Cotton t-shirts (for the warm days)
- Trekking full shirts
- Polar fleece pullovers, medium weight (great layer)
- Polar fleece jacket
- Jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- Warm down jacket with hood
Lightweight insulating jacket for those chilly days in camp
- Umbrella (optional)
- lightweight poly-liner gloves. For tying knots, but not inside your mitts
- Mittens (suitable for high altitude)
- Warm hat wool or synthetic that covers your ears
- Face mask
- Ballcap or wide brimmed sun hat
- Glacier sunglasses with side shields
- Ski goggles (Optional) with light and dark lens;
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs;
- Bandana or head scarf (protection against the wind, dust)
- Cotton underwear briefs
- Walking shorts (for warm days)
- Walking trousers (for trekking and around camp)
- Lightweight thermal bottoms
- Medium or expedition weight thermal bottoms;
- Polar fleece trousers
- Warm down trousers
- Gore-Tex trousers, salopettes, or bibs. Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
- Double Plastic boots
- Modern single waterproof-leather climbing boots with special insulation for cold weather/winter climbing. Suitable for altitudes of 4000 metre/13,000 foot high Peaks.
- Sturdy leather walking boots with good ankle support. This means leather trekking, not climbing boots for the trek
- Trainers, running shoes and/or sandals (for Kathmandu and in camp)
- Down booties (optional)
- Med-heavy poly or wool socks
- Liner socks. Polypropylene or wool
- Vapour barrier liner socks or plastic bread-bags
- Lightweight trekking socks, poly or wool
- Cotton socks (for Kathmandu and lower region trek)
- Sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 10 degrees F)
- Closed cell foam kari-mats. (Inflatable mats not recommended. Will puncture in higher altitudes, while carrying)
- Sleeping bag liner (easier to warm up)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 litres). This will be day backpack. You will carry this. It should include everything you need for the day.
- Waterproof rucksack cover (to keep your bag dry in case of rain, snow)
large (120 L / 7500 cubic inch) and durable duffle kit bags for clothing and These will face rough handling on your bus journey and animal backs. Make sure they are durable.
- Small padlocks for duffle kit bags (for safety)
- Female or male hygiene supplies
- Sun cream (body, face, lips)
- Anti-mosquito cream, gels or sprays
- Hand sanitizer
- Small towel (easy to dry fabric)
- hand wipes (comes handy when there is no bathrooms)
- Personal first-aid kit. (Simple and Light) Aspirin, first-aid tape, plasters (band-aids), personal medications
- Skin blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox, Acetazolamide
- No sleeping pills. They are a respiratory depressant
- Water purification tablets or water filter (safety from water contamination)
- Extra prescription glasses, contact lens supplies
Note: Usually, the team leaders will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave anything extra behind. Please let your leader know about any medical issues before the climb. Getting yourself checked by a doctor is great before the trek.
WARNING: your contact lenses might not work well on the mountain, please carry glasses at all times in case of emergency.
- Favorite snacks (great morale boosters on the trails)
- Energy bars or snacks
- Chocolate cookies, bars, biscuits
- Dried fruit snacks
- Repair tape, Sewing repair kit
- Lighter or matches
- Compass or GPS
- Battery powered alarm clock/watch
- 1 camera and film, or digital camera with extra cards and extra batteries
- nylon stuff sacks or Ziplocs (For food and gear storage)
- Water bottles (1 for water, 1 as a pee bottle)
- Plastic cup and spoon
- Swis knife
- Binoculars (optional)
- Large, waterproof, disposable rubbish sacks
- dollars, pounds or euros cash for purchasing Nepalese visa at Kathmandu airport
- Local currency (for paying for restaurants and hotels, for gratuities, snacks, and to buy your own drinks and gifts)
- Credit cards, Bank/ATM/Cash machine cards. This comes in handy when you need to withdraw funds from cash machines (bring a photocopy of your cards).
- bathing suit/swimming costume (you never know)
- Basecamp or acclimatization day entertainment. For example: paperback books, playing cards, ipod, mp3 player, game boys, musical instruments;
- travel clothes for basecamp and in town
- Your patience and an open, relaxed, positive and friendly attitude while travelling. The trek, climb and a lot of the terrain in this part of the world may be very different
- passport, 2 extra passport photos
- flight ticket, flight itinerary
- separate photocopies of passport and relevant visa pages
- proof of insurance
Best Season for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Expedition
Autumn (September – November) and Spring (March – May)
These are the best seasons for this expedition. The clear weather and moderate temperature offer spectacular views.
During the spring, you can see the flora and fauna come to live in the lower regions. You can see beautiful and colorful blossoms of rhododendrons and other wildflowers of the region.
Summer (June – August) and Winter (December – February)
These are the less favorable time for this Expedition. Nepal witnesses a wet summer. You can enjoy the glory of the rivers, lakes, waterfalls, streams of the region during this season.
In winter, the temperature goes very low. You can also experience heavy to light snowfall in the region.
These seasons are great if you are looking for a thrill and extra challenge. The trails also see less number of crowds. The overall cost is also lower during these seasons.
Safety Measures for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
These are some safety measures that you will need to keep in mind for this climb.
You need to train for basic mountain treks as well as for using the trekking equipment. This should include how to fix ropes, ascending and descending on these ropes, use crampons, ice axe, and so on.
You can choose to do the basic mountaineering training in Kathmandu or with us as well. There are many short courses available in Kathmandu and Lukla. It is more affordable in Kathmandu.
At altitudes of Mera (6476m) & Island Peak (6189m), altitude sickness is a huge health concern.
You must be very careful to identify symptoms and take necessary precautions.
Do not ever downplay altitude sickness. It can be a major health risk if left untreated.
Proper equipment list:
Do compare your package list with the equipment and supplies list mentioned above. This way you can confirm that you have everything necessary for a comfortable trek.
Make sure to check and try on your equipment before your actual trek. This way, you can update, replace any equipment if necessary.
Make sure to try on your climbing boots with the thick pair of socks and barrier liner.
Ensure that your crampon fits your boots perfectly.
Insurance for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing
Having a travel insurance is a must for this climb. Make sure you have an insurance that covers treks and climbs to high altitude regions in foreign countries like Nepal. Make sure your insurance is up-to-date.
Also, make sure that your insurance includes emergency evacuation and recovery services. Most trekking agencies do not accept you as a client if you don’t have proper insurance coverage.
You need to get your insurance from your home country.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind for Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak Climbing.
- You can buy or rent equipment and supplies needed for your expedition in Kathmandu. Depending on the quality, there is a range of prices for equipment and supplies in Nepal. On an average, it is cheaper to buy and rent in Kathmandu.
- Your sleeping bags should be dry, use waterproof stuff sacks, bin-liners, or large plastic bags.
- Always have a day or two extra. Just in case of flight delays, bad weather, or for exploring villages, city.
- This is a long duration climb/trek. You must maintain your own pace. Do not rush.
- Do consult your doctor before going on your actual trek. Take every medicine or precautions suggested by your doctor.
- Inform your trek doctor and guide about any medical complication you have.
The Mera Amphu Labtsa Island Peak expedition is one of the most adventurous and exciting climb on the neighbourhood of the Everest Base Camp trek.
This expedition provides you with an opportunity for mountaineers to attempt both Peaks. With astonishing views, this climb is a fantastic journey into the remote Himalayan region.
These climbs are specially designed for adventure seekers wishing to explore the Everest region. Along with the thrills and adventure of the climb, you get amazing and up close views of some of the highest mountains in the world.
If you have any other queries regarding the Mera Amphu labtsa Island Peak climb or any other climbs or treks in Nepal, feel free to contact us.