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View Full Version : Mera & Island Peak unguided


MikeyH
26th May 2008, 10:50 AM
Hi There,

Myself and three friends are looking into a hike/climb of Mera and Island Peak. We all have some mountaineering experience (New Zealand and the European Alps), and a couple of us have been to Nepal trekking before. I was wondering how feasible it is to set up a 'trekking peak trip' without going through an organised tour... I have seen there is a bit of paperwork to do... does anyone have any experience with this and is it easier to set up once on the ground in Kathmandu??

Any comments would be appreciated.
Mike.

yakshaver
27th May 2008, 03:23 AM
Hi There,

Myself and three friends are looking into a hike/climb of Mera and Island Peak. We all have some mountaineering experience (New Zealand and the European Alps), and a couple of us have been to Nepal trekking before. I was wondering how feasible it is to set up a 'trekking peak trip' without going through an organised tour... I have seen there is a bit of paperwork to do... does anyone have any experience with this and is it easier to set up once on the ground in Kathmandu??

Any comments would be appreciated.
Mike.


I don't think you can just go on your own. Mera Peak is an official trekking peak, and you must look up some site like visitnepal.com or some such, for current information.
I think this site, trekinfo.com, has some links leading you to the information if you look at the home page, not sure...

I am pretty sure that, appart from the paperwork and the fees, you also need the services of a registered trekking agency, and more importantly a climbing guide. Not just any trekking guide, but one certified for climbing.

If someone else knows of anything more upto date, please contribute...

MikeyH
27th May 2008, 07:03 AM
Thanks yakshaver, I'm going to have to look more into it... we would want to sort as much out as possible from Australia, to maximise time in the mountains once there.... Anyone else got any info??

kolobar
28th May 2008, 12:51 PM
You have to apply for a permit through a local agency and there are some other technicalities like garbage disposal deposit etc. which has to be arranged through local agent. Local agents need very short time to arrange it. The rest depends on your deal with local agent. As unguided climb I suppose you mean not to have a climbing Sherpa as a guide and not to use fixed ropes. But you will probably still need porters, tents etc. For Mera an experienced climber does not need ropes and also Island Peak even if it is technically more demanding is not a problem for a good climber (though at least you should consider a rope for rappeling). But if you intend to cross Amphu Lapcha to connect both peaks you will need to rappel and it is especially dangerous for ill equipped porters. Such responsibilities like porters safety, equipment, clothes, insurance is better to share with local agent. Which means of course bringing climbing Sherpa as well to take care of it.
It is maybe a useful information that all tehnical equipment (including tents, matresses etc.) for Island Peak climb can be rented in Chukung and it is similar with Mera climb where you can rent quite some stuff in the last teahouse before Mera la ascent.
I would recommend you to make contact with an Kathmandu based agency beforehand to figure out a deal. If you are lucky with holidays (just today we got a new holiday here in Nepal to celebrate the making of a republic) all paperwork will be over in a day or two after your arrival in KTM.

MikeyH
29th May 2008, 08:58 AM
Thanks for your helpful notes Kolobar!:D Are there local agencies that help with this sort of thing? Most of the companies I have found online run trips themselves, but I haven't seen any that will help you to set up for a self-run trip. We would want to employ a climbing sherpa and perhaps have a porter etc...

kolobar
29th May 2008, 11:00 AM
Sure there are agencies who would do anything to make some money. Here is a fierce competition among agents, some might offer you only a package deal but many would provide services you required. Even if there is a "full board" service advertised on their website it does not mean they would not fulfill your special requests. Just mail a few and ask.

Petrus
31st May 2008, 03:08 AM
To climb a trekking peak legally you have to have a permit and a certified climbing guide. In theory it is possible to climb both Imja Tse (a.k.a. Island Peak) and Mera unsupported, if you can talk the guide into carrying 25 kg and you are also prepared to do the same and you are able to move fast. Even then you have to pay the permit and the guide's salary.

If you want to climb Mera and Imja Tse without a guide, it means you would be climbing without a permit. It is very risky, as there are so many groups out there that you would certainly be noticed and the officials notified, after all having illegal climbers on these mountains does not serve the interests of the trekking companies.

I have been there twice. In -85 I climbed Mera after crossing Amphu Labtsa. This was done clandestinely with two sherpas, but at that time there were no official groups around (and absolutelly no services between Dingpoche and Lukla). It took us only 7 days from Dingpoche to Lukla.

In 2000 I made an attempt on Peak 41 with Mera permit (the infamous Real Mera thing). We had a trekking peak permit for Mera, guide & 14 porters for 4 climbers. The total amount we paid for a Lukla-Lukla trek was 2600 USD for the whole group. This was arranged with an agency we had worked with previously several times. So the 2000+ USD prices PAX you read about for Mera/Imja Tse climbs are not the real truth, negotiations with local agencies or guides will result in much lower prices.

I would not try to climb Mera without a permit, the (legal) risks are now too high. The trail form Lukla has now basic infrastructure, it is possible to do a legal "teahouse climb" with maybe only one porter for each climber. That is what I would do, and carry my share, 15-20 kg.

MikeyH
2nd June 2008, 01:38 PM
Yes Petrus, that is the option we will look into. We all have no problems load carrying, but with mountaineering extras, a couple of porters at least would probably be needed, and a guide is something we will definately be employing to satisfy legal requirements. It's good to hear you've done something similar through local agencies - I will be getting in contact with them when it comes time.

Sharon
3rd June 2008, 06:14 AM
I have used pembal15@yahoo.com
Pemba organized a trek for me in Rowaling Trashi lapka and to Island Peak. He also did a trip up Island for another person who used to post here. I don't have Mike's contact details anymore though.