Island and Mera Peak Climbing with EBC Trek has all the ingredients of a great Himalayan adventure - 6000-meter summits, challenging traverse of mountain passes, and an epic walk through the diverse Himalayan landscape. This trip is a right fit for novice climbers who want to level up their experience and progress to a bigger peak. For experienced climbers, this adventure guarantees an adrenaline rush in a legendary destination.
You climb two of the most popular trekking peaks in the Nepal Himalaya – Island Peak and Mera Peak. En route, you complete an epic hike to Everest Base Camp at the foot of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain. You walk through two national parks, Sagarmatha National Park and Makalu Barun National Park, and experience a diverse Himalayan landscape.
From the lush green valley of Dudh Koshi, you head up to the picturesque alpine and sub-alpine Imja, Upper Hongku, and Hinku valleys. To get to the base camps of the two mountains you make a challenging traverse of two difficult mountain passes – Kongma La and Amphu Labtsa. Experienced guides will be guiding you throughout the adventure and we have included acclimatization and contingency days to deal with problems related to high altitude and bad weather on the mountain.
Your adventure begins from Lukla, from where you trek all the way to Everest Base Camp via the Sherpa villages of Phakding, Monjo, Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, etc. Crossing the mighty Kongma La, one of the three great passes of Khumbu, you head to Island Peak Base Camp. You make your summit bid and reach the peak’s summit in a single day, without camping on the mountain.
After a successful summit, you make your way to Mera Peak, Nepal's highest trekking peak. Crossing the difficult Amphu Labtsa Pass, you enter the Makalu Barun National Park. A walk through the stunning Upper Hongku Valley brings you to the Mera Peak Base Camp. You make the easy ascent to the peak and return to Lukla via the picturesque and isolated Hingku Valley.
As Island and Mera Peak Climbing with EBC Trek requires technical climbing skills, this adventure is only for those who have some experience climbing on ice, rock, and snow. This is a high-altitude adventure where you get to test your physical as well as mental strength and endurance.
The trip's price depends on the type of services chosen by our clients and the group size. The cost of each trip we organize is different because we see travelers as individuals having their own particular needs and preferences.
Get ready for an incredible journey tailored to your interests and preferences, whether you're looking for a budget-friendly adventure or a luxurious getaway. Leave the planning to us as we take care of all the details, ensuring your dream trip becomes a reality. You can relax and focus on creating unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) - Transfer to Hotel|
|Day 2||Trip Preparation in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft)|
|Day 3||Fly to Lukla (2,840m/9,318ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft) - 30 minutes flight and 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 4||Trek to Namche (3,440m/11,286ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 5||At Namche Bazaar: 1st Acclimatization Day (3,440m/11,286ft)|
|Day 6||Trek to Tengboche (3,860m/12,664ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 7||Trek to Dingboche(4,410m/14,469ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 8||At Dingboche: 2nd Acclimatization Day (4,410m/14,469ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 9||Trek to Lobuche (4,910m/16,109ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 10||Trek to Gorak Shep (5,140m/16,864ft) and hike to Everest Base Camp (5,364m/17,598ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek|
|Day 11||Hike to Kala Patthar (5,550m/18,2019ft) and trek to Lobuche (4,910m/16,109ft) - 5 to 6 hours trek|
|Day 12||Trek to Chukkung (4,730m/15,518ft) via Kongma La (5,535m/18,159ft) - 7 to 8 hours trek|
|Day 13||Trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5,100m/16,728ft) and pre-Climb Training - 3 to 4 hours trek|
|Day 14||Summit Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) and return to Base Camp (5,100m/16,728ft) - 12 to 13 hours trek/ climbing|
|Day 15||Contingency Day for Summit|
|Day 16||Trek to Amphu Labsta North Base Camp (5,300m/17,384ft) – 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 17||Cross Amphu Labsta Pass (5,845m/19,172ft) Descend Amphu Labsta South Base Camp (5,650m/18,532ft) – 6 to 7 hours trek/climbing|
|Day 18||Trek to Seto Pokhari (5,484m/17,988ft) – 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 19||Trek to Kongma Dingma (5,040m/16,532ft) – 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 20||Trek to Mera High Camp (5,780m/18,958ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 21||Summit Mera Peak (6,461m/21,193ft) and descend to Khare (5,045m/16,547ft) - 10 to 11 hours trek/climbing|
|Day 22||Contingency Day for Summit|
|Day 23||Trek to Kothe (3,600m/11,808ft) - 4 to 5 hours trek|
|Day 24||Trek to Thuli Kharka (4,300m/14,107ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 25||Trek to Lukla (2,840m/9,318ft) via Zatrwa La Pass (4,600m/15,092ft) - 6 to 7 hours trek|
|Day 26||Fly to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,593ft) - 30 minutes flight|
|Day 27||Final Departure|
Green rolling hills and a valley filled with clusters of houses greet you as you fly into Kathmandu valley. The bird's eye view of the city is amazing and you can enjoy it if you happen to arrive in Kathmandu during the day.
After landing at Tribhuvan International Airport our guide will greet you and drop you at your hotel. Enjoy a welcome drink and check-in. You can rest and sleep off your jet lag. No activities have been planned for today.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today you make the final preparations for your upcoming climbing adventure. You will attend a trip briefing at Third Rock Adventures’ office or your hotel's lobby where the chief climbing guide will tell you more about the trek route and what to watch out for. You can put forward your queries if you have any questions regarding the ascents.
After the briefing, there will be a final gear and equipment check. There are rental stores in Thamel (Kathmandu's tourist hub) where you can rent climbing gear and equipment. It's recommended to bring your own climbing boots, especially if you have large feet, as you may not find good quality ones at the rental stores.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, you head to the airport to catch your flight to Lukla. If it's peak season you may have to take a drive to Manthali Airport in Ramechhap, as the Lukla flights are diverted due to congestion at the domestic airport in Kathmandu. If your trek is during the off-season you get to board the flight from Kathmandu itself.
One of the highlights of your trip is the flight to Lukla which is considered one of the most extreme flights in the world. During the flight, you can see the Himalayan range and some of the peaks you will walk close to in the coming days. After reaching Lukla you meet the rest of the crew and start your trek.
You walk down the steps leading out of Lukla and take the trail to Phakding. It's a pleasant walk through the scenic Dudh Koshi Valley. After crossing a suspension bridge you reach Phakding, a Sherpa village where you will spend the night.
Overnight in Phakding.
Today's trek takes you past one of the scenic portions of the EBC trail. It's tough but you get rewarded with amazing views. Leaving Phakding you walk past the picturesque Sherpa villages of Jorsale and Monjo. At Monjo, you formally enter the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk past huge mani walls, prayer wheels, and chortens. The lush pine forests and waterfalls with snowy white peaks in the background look picture-perfect.
It is an upward hike all the way to Namche. You cross the Hillary Bridge, the longest and highest bridge in Khumbu Region before finally arriving in Namche. Right before entering the settlement, you get the first view of Mount Everest.
Namche, a large Sherpa village carved on the side of a mountain, is the commercial center of Khumbu. Filled with shops, lodges, bakeries, cafes, etc., people from as far as Tibet come to trade in Namche. It has the only bank and ATM kiosk at this elevation.
Upon reaching Namche you climb up a long flight of steps that leads you toward the center of the town. Make your way to a lodge and take a rest.
Overnight in Namche.
You spend this day acclimatizing in Namche. After breakfast, you take a hike up to the Hotel Everest View for panoramic views of Ama Dablam, Mount Everest, Thamserku, Kantega, Kongse Ri, and other peaks. After enjoying the views from the hotel's deck, you can return to Namche and explore the settlement or hike towards the neighboring villages of Khumjung and Kunde.
Khumjung's pride is the Khumjung Secondary School which was founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1961. Through the years the school has provided education to generations of Sherpa children living in the mountains. Khumjung also has a monastery where the scalp of a Yeti is displayed in a glass box. The village of Kunde has a hospital established by Sir Edmund Hillary.
You can also explore the museum in Namche where you can learn more about the Sherpas' history, customs, and culture.
Overnight in Namche.
You take a quick ascent at the edge of the town and head out of Namche. After walking for a while you reach a flat trail offering a grand view of Ama Dablam. Enjoy the views and carry on to Sanasa. At Sanasa there is a fork in the trail and you choose the one leading to Everest Base Camp. You make a steep descent down to Imja Khola and cross the village of Phunki Tenga.
A steep ascent past a dense forest brings you to the beautiful settlement of Tengboche. Compared to Namche, Tengboche is pretty small and there are only a few houses. The ancient and colossal Tengboche Monastery dominates the landscape. You can visit this monastery and observe the lamas(monks) praying inside the large prayer hall.
Overnight in Tengboche.
Wake up early in the morning to catch a beautiful sunrise over the snow-covered Ama Dablam. After breakfast, you start your day's trek. You head down via the same route you took yesterday and make your way toward Debuche. The thick forest between Tengboche and Debuche shelters many rare animals and birds found in the Khumbu Region – Himalayan Tahr, Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Musk deer, Himalayan Monal, Blood pheasants, Himalayan Black bear, etc.
There are river crossings and a few ascents on stone steps. The mountains appear closer and more astounding. You walk on level ground and cross the village of Pangboche, one of the oldest Sherpa settlements in the Khumbu Region. Before reaching Dingboche you ascend a high hill.
At Dingboche, you are above the treeline. You can experience the difference in the landscape as Dingboche has no trees and is surrounded by tall barren mountains. The ground is covered by stubby grasses and shrubs. The absence of trees gives you unobstructed views of the glaciers and mountains. You will stay overnight at a local lodge.
Overnight in Dingboche.
This is your second acclimatization day. After an early breakfast, you can go for a hike at Nagarjun Hill, which stands above Dingboche. The route, though steep is non-technical. You can walk to the top without using any climbing equipment. If you find the hike too strenuous you can turn back after reaching the halfway point at 4700 meters. There's a shrine and you can enjoy majestic views of the mountains from here too.
From Nagarjun Hill you can enjoy incredible views of Ama Dablam, Lobuche East, Lobuche West, Taboche, Island Peak, Makalu, and the Imja Valley. After taking pictures and enjoying the views you head down to Dingboche. You can explore the village or rest at the teahouse enjoying the warmth of the wooden stove.
Overnight in Dingboche.
You walk past a wide valley surrounded by sweeping views of hills and frozen mountains. After walking through the lush forests of the Dudh Koshi Valley this barren landscape appears stunning and dramatic. The trail snakes past a river and a boulder-filled area. A quick ascent up a rocky hill brings you to the high-altitude village of Thukla. You rest for a while and have your lunch before continuing to Lobuche.
On the way, you cross the Thukla Pass where there are many stone memorials dedicated to the mountaineers and Sherpas who lost their lives on Mount Everest. You can find heartbreaking messages left by the families of the deceased on these stone chortens. Memorials of Scott Fischer and Rob Hall, whose catastrophic journey on the mountain has been made into a Hollywood film, also stand at this desolate pass.
After crossing the Thukla Pass, you follow a gentle up-and-down trail that hugs the side of a hill. You walk on the side of the glacier and cross a small stream before arriving at Lobuche.
Lobuche, surrounded by dark grey hills and mountains is not a permanent Sherpa settlement, it has only a couple of lodges and cafes that cater to trekkers walking this trail.
Overnight in Lobuche.
This is an eventful day as you will be hiking to Everest Base Camp, right at the foot of Mount Everest. The day is going to be long so you make an early start. Leaving Lobuche you follow a dirt path covered with rocks and pebbles. Though there are no steep ascents or descents, the walk can be difficult because of the loose stones and thin air. You need to watch your step as the path gets slippery. You can see the wide expanse of Khumbu Glacier stretching down below the trail as it comes down from Mount Everest.
After walking for 3 or 4 hours you reach Gorak Shep. You have your lunch, leave your stuff and continue trekking toward Everest Base Camp. You walk on a level dirt trail beside the Khumbu Glacier. The massive wall of Nuptse and Pumori rises right in front of the trail. There are a few ups and downs on loose moraine and gravel. Enjoy the moon-like landscape with craters filled with water and stone and boulders strewn everywhere. The massive mountains look even grander up closer.
EBC for the trekkers is a huge boulder with Everest Base Camp painted on it. It's called the EBC rock and is the final destination of most trekkers on the Everest Base Camp trail. The real Everest Base Camp or the camp of Mount Everest expedition groups lies further away, near the Khumbu Icefall. During the climbing season, you can see their colorful tents propped up beside the mountain. After taking pictures and enjoying the views you hike back to Gorak Shep.
Overnight in Gorak Shep.
To witness the sunrise view over Mount Everest you wake up before dawn and head out dressed warmly and with a headlight lighting the way. You ascend the brown hill that rises right above Gorak Shep. It's a steep and exhausting ascent.
After arriving at the Kala Patthar viewpoint you can enjoy the marvelous view of the snow-covered mountains glistening in the early morning sun. You can see the summits of Mount Everest, Pumori, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Changtse, and other peaks. While you can't view the summit of Mount Everest from Everest Base Camp, the summit of the world's tallest mountain is visible from Kala Patthar.
Later you head down to Gorak Shep and leave for Lobuche. You walk via the same route you took the previous day.
Overnight in Lobuche.
Today you cross Kongma La, one of the most difficult passes in the Everest Region. It is one of the three high passes (the other two are Cho La and Renjo La) in Khumbu which only a few adventure trekkers choose to cross.
Leaving Lobuche you make your way through the Khumbu Glacier. The trail is filled with rocks and dirt. You pass a small lake and make an upward ascent. You get good views of Taboche, Cholatse, Pumori, Lingtren, and Khangri from the bottom of the pass. The deep green water of the glacial lake provides a beautiful contrast to the grey and white landscape.
Though climbing equipment is not needed to cross the Kongma La pass, nevertheless it's a steep and hard climb. The ascent is made difficult by the patches of snow and ice en route. At the top of Kongma La, there's a narrow ridge decorated with a chorten and prayer flags. From the top, you get to enjoy close-up views of Lobuche, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Island Peak, and Baruntse. The glacial lakes look heavenly from above. The summit of Pokalde appears right beside the Kongma La.
Afterward, head down to Chukkung. The trail contours down the side of a mountain till you reach a valley. Nestled in the middle of the valley surrounded by mountains is Chukkung.
Overnight in Chukkung.
You hit the trail to Island Peak Base Camp after a hearty meal. At the edge of the village take the trail that goes right and cross a small wooden bridge. Leaving the Chukkung Valley you walk alongside the Lhotse glacier and the stunning Imja Tsho lake. Follow a gentle slope after crossing the lake.
The base camp of Island Peak or Imja Tse(local name) lies on a flat meadow on the side of a steep hill. After lunch, you can check your climbing gear and practice climbing near the slope of the hill next to the base camp. You wear your harness and under the watchful eye of the climbing guides, you practice climbing on a fixed rope. The guides provide some helpful tips on how to keep yourself safe while climbing.
Before calling it a night there will be a final gear and equipment check.
Camping at Island Peak Base Camp.
The summit push begins as early as 1 AM. After having something warm and nourishing, you start your climb. About an hour of walk brings you to Crampon Point. From this point onwards you will be walking on ice,rock and snow with your crampons on. You will use a fixed rope to climb up an incline of about 45 degrees. Depending on the weather condition there may be crevasses en route. If a crevasse is too wide a steel ladder will be used to cross it.
The most technical section of the route is the ice wall that you encounter right before you reach the ridge leading to the summit. The ascent over this vertical ninety-degree incline needs jumaring and rock climbing skills.
Once you reach the summit of Island Peak you can enjoy the 360-degree view of the mountains – Makalu, Lhotse Shar, Baruntse, Peak 38, Nuptse, Lhotse Central, Ama Dablam, and the whole Khumbu Valley. Enjoy the view, take pictures, and descend. The descent can be tricky as well, so you need to be careful.
After reaching Base Camp you are greeted with a warm drink. Have your meal and rest your tired legs.
Camping at Base Camp.
A day that has been reserved for emergencies that might cause delay during summit push – bad weather, minor injury or illness, etc.
The trail to Amphu Labtsa Pass is as lonely as it can get. Because of the difficult terrain, not many trekkers walk this trail. Enjoy the solitude and the raw sounds of nature as you make your way through the Imja Glacier.
There is no greenery on the trail, only snow-covered mountains, glaciers, and bare rocks. Leaving the Imja Valley, you make your way to the upper Honku Valley and reach the Amphu Labtsa North Base Camp. While the local crew set up tents and prepare food, you can explore the surrounding area.
Camping at Amphu Labtsa Base Camp.
Today you cross Amphu Labtsa Pass, one of the most challenging mountain passes in the Himalayas. The route to the pass is more technical than that of Mera Peak. One needs to be a trained climber to climb over this pass.
You scramble up a rocky incline and climb up a near-vertical rock face to reach the top. You use a harness and ropes to reach the top. From the top of the pass, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Upper Hongku Valley. There are frozen lakes and towering mountains all around. On your descent, you walk alongside the beautiful ice shelves and glacier. Once you reach the bottom of the pass, you make your way down into the valley and camp at a good spot.
Overnight at Amphu Labtsa South Base Camp.
Your destination today is Seto Pokhari or Paanch Pokhari. Leaving the base camp, walk the rocky moraine and make a slow descent down the Hongku Valley. The landscape is dramatic and stunning. With Barun Tse rising in the distance you reach the camping ground at Seto Pokhari. This sacred lake is a pilgrimage site and the source of the Barun river. There are a few huts of yak herders and enterprising locals who sell food to trekkers walking on this trail.
Camping at Seto Pokhari.
Today's hike takes you past yak pastures and kharkas (camps of yak herders). Enjoy the epic scenery as you make your way toward Kongma Dingma. With almost zero traffic on the trail, you can feel the remoteness and isolation of this place. Kongma Dingma lies in a wide valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks.
Overnight in Kongma Dingma.
Leaving Kongma Dingma you make an ascent to Mera High Camp. En route, you traverse the Mera La which offers grand views of all of Mera Peak's three summits – Mera Central, Mera South, and Mera North. You will be ascending Mera Central. An ascent up the Mera Glacier brings you to Mera High Camp where you set up camp for the night.
Camping at Mera High Camp.
You wake up and get ready while it's still dark. After having some food, you start your summit push at around 2 AM. The team will be secured by "man rope" for safety. You walk up a gentle incline breathing slowly and getting enough oxygen in your lungs. Even though Mera Peak is the tallest among the trekking peaks it is the least technical. Most of the time you will be walking on snow without using any climbing equipment.
The most technical part of the route is the last fifty meters to the summit. You will have to get past the steep incline using a fixed rope and ice axe. Once you reach the dome of the summit you can celebrate with your teammates. From the summit of Mera Peak, you get great views of Makalu, Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Barun Tse, and other giants.
After spending a few minutes at the summit, you make your descent. You rest for a while at the Mera High Camp before continuing further down to Khare.
Overnight in Khare.
A buffer day kept aside in case you are unable to summit due to delays caused by bad weather and other reasons.
After spending a restful night, you leave Khare and hike towards Kothe. The walk takes you past the village of Thaknak and yak pastures with yaks grazing peacefully. Flanked by snow-cloaked mountains and covered with huge boulders the Hinku Valley seems like a place from a fairy tale. You cross small streams and enter the western part of the Hinku Valley. The tiny settlement of Kothe lies amidst a dense rhododendron and pine forest. After arriving at Kothe, you head to a teahouse and chill out.
Overnight in Kothe.
The route meanders past a forest with moss-covered trees. You hike down to the Hinku river and cross over to the other side. From here you take a steep ascent and reach the village of Thaktok. Walking through a lush rhododendron forest you reach Thuli Kharka. It's a difficult ascent, but well worth the views.
If you make this trip in spring you will find the trail covered with bright rhododendron blooms. At Thuli Kharka you stay overnight at a teahouse run by a local family.
Overnight in Thuli Kharka.
From Thuli Kharka it's a steep climb on a rocky path. You follow an up-and-down trail till you reach Zatrwa la Pass. The ascent up the pass goes through a rocky trail. No technical maneuvers are required to cross this pass. There's a small teahouse near the pass where you can rest and have refreshments before descending on to the other side.
There are more huge boulders covered with lichen. As you head down you pass a forest with moss-covered trees. With few people walking this route, there’s no noise. Only the pure sounds of nature fill the air.
Before reaching Lukla you cross a couple of streams and tiny wooden bridges. You finally reach Lukla after a long descent. Head to a teahouse and enjoy a hot meal and a hot shower. Later in the evening you can get together with the local crew and celebrate the completion of your adventure. Before retiring for the night, you can show your appreciation for their hard work by tipping them. Our local guides, kitchen staff, and porters are the backbone of our community. Without them, climbing expeditions in such a remote mountainous region like Khumbu is not possible. Though they receive their wages, they deserve every bit of praise and appreciation for the grueling work they do to fulfill the dreams of trekkers and mountaineers.
Overnight in Lukla.
Leaving Lukla you fly to Kathmandu. Soak in the views of the mountains for one last time. After landing at the airport, you will be escorted to your hotel. Check-in and spend the remainder of the day as you wish.
You can book a half-day guided sightseeing tour or explore the local market on your own. There are many handicraft and art shops around Thamel from where you can buy souvenir or gift items.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
It's time to head home finally. You can say your final goodbyes before leaving for the international airport. One of Third Rock Adventures' guides will drop you at the airport at least three hours before your flight departs.
For more adventures in the Himalayas please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to plan your next holiday in the Himalayas.