What's better than conquering one Himalayan peak accompanied by the world's tallest Himalayas? Conquering two of them. Such is the case with our Mera and Island Peak climbing via the Amphu Labtsa pass where the Himalayas lead to the Himalayas and where everything comes in doubles. Double the thrill, double the adventure and double the excitement. Separated by the majestic Himalayan range between the Hongu and Khumbu valleys both Mera Peak (6,461m) and Island Peak (6,189m) boast some of the most exquisite views and Amphu Labtsa Pass at 5,780m is more than capable of holding its own against the Himalayas.
The journey begins in Kathmandu from where we gather all the necessary equipment before making our way to Lukla through the thrilling airstrip it is well known for. Kicking off the trail heads to Chutang for our first night on the go beyond which we reach the Zatrwa La Pass (4610m). Enjoying the stunning views of the world tallest Himalayas including Mt. Everest (8,848m) the journey continues towards Kothe and then onto Thangnak. Breaking the altitude of 5,000m, we head for Khare the next day and then onto Mera High Camp at an altitude of 5,780m. Next up is the summit where we come face to face with the snowy summits of Mt. Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,414m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Makalu (8,463m) and Cho Oyu (8,188m) rising above the ever stretching chain of Himalayas separating the valleys. Back to base camp we continue our journey towards the Hinku Valley and then onto Panch Pokhari where we take a day off for acclimatization. Crossing the Amphu Labtsa pass the next day the journey continued through the lofty Himalayas to reach the Island Peak Base Camp crossing Chhukung en route. Summiting the Island Peak in the company of Himalayas, we head back to Chhukung and then onto Dingboche where we meet the trail heading into the Everest Circuit. The trail winds down heading towards Lukla as we make our way back to Dingboche and then Namche Bazaar where alpine vegetation give way to lush green forests.
A long journey heading deep into the Himalayas needs careful planning and consideration. We, here Nepal Ascent Treks, have been traversing alongside trekkers into the Himalayas boasting highest rate of success.
The given cost are per person and exclude international flights. Given below are the departure dates available for online booking. If the given date is not favorable then please write us and we will happily customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.
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Many people have questions as to what level of physical fitness is required for visiting Nepal, and that is extremely reliant on what activity the visitor is engaging in. With that said, for a standard trek of moderate grading (Everest Base Camp Trek is an example of moderate) the daily activity will be 7-8 hours, and elevation will generally not exceed 5,500 meters. The day’s trekking is sustained and will involve both long steep climbs, and descents with a variety of terrain underfoot from well-trodden paths, to rocks covered with ice or snow. A typical day would include a number of climbs or descents of 500 meters or more, starting after breakfast, resting at lunch, then continuous trekking until arriving at the teahouse.
In preparation for the trekking and climbing, it is important to begin a training requirement at least 4 months before departing for Nepal. Three to four hours of aerobic exercise like running, walking, swimming, cycling & some gym work per week is the minimum and most will find it beneficial to add some basic strength training to their physical fitness routine. One of the best ways to prepare is to take practice hikes with a daypack roughly the same weight as what you will be taking on the trek. Do this only after a baseline of fitness has been reached. Moving fast is not the end goal, rather endurance is the focus, and will provide a more enjoyable and safe adventure.
Trekking and climbing Seasons in Nepal
There are two main seasons in which Nepal sees the most amount of visitors. Fall (September through November) being the most popular, and spring (March to May) coming in close behind. The summer months of June, July and August are the monsoon season and as such the trails are mostly washed out, and roads can sometimes be impassible due to landslide activates. Not to mention the view is non-existent. Still, there are a few places that lie in rain shadow areas and see significantly less rain if any at all, and summer can be a good time to visit these places. Winter is dry, but extremely cold and high passes become inaccessible due to ice and snow conditions. The temperature doesn’t usually fluctuate to a greater degree and the daytime temperature is around 20-25 degrees. However, the temperature starts to decrease as you gain altitude. The temperature can drop to around 0 to -10 degrees at night when staying at tented camps in Himalayan regions. However, it does not change as much in lower hilly regions and the nights are slightly colder than days.
Fall is the most popular because it’s after the monsoons, and the air is dry, the days are sunny, and everything is green in the lower valleys from the excessive rains. Spring is a popular choice because some rain returns, but the weather is generally warm and dry, and flowers are in bloom in the lower elevations.
A typical trekking day begins with a cup of tea at around 6 in the morning. It is advised to pack your trekking gears in a duffle bag and essential supplies in your day pack in these early hours. After having breakfast, we begin the trek and head along the trail at around 8 am. The morning walk is designed to be longer as we begin with refreshed bodies and enthusiasm. Following a good morning’s walk, we make stop for lunch at around 11.30 am. The lunch involves group meals enjoying the vicinity around the stop. You can explore the surrounding or use the time according to your own consent. After resting for about an hour or two, we resume our trek to reach teahouse or camp by 3-4 pm. The afternoon walk is relatively shorter and can involve games and side trips as organized by the trekking guides. You also can enjoy breaks during the trek to relax, read or stroll around the area. You can converse with the local people and observe their lifestyle. Dinner is served around 7 in the evening to round off the day.
Meals and Accommodations
During the length of the trek, the accommodation style is commonly referred to as teahouse. These are family-run basic lodges that fill the role of the restaurant, meeting place, and boarding house for tourists. Electricity can be found in the rooms, which means one light bulb, and one or two outlets for charging electronics. The common areas are also lit by electricity. Teahouses may use solar, hydroelectric, or have electrical lines running into the village, so the commonality and availability of electricity may vary.
Most teahouses have private rooms, though if the trek is in a more remote or high altitude place dormitories are the norm. Each room has 1 or 2 single beds with basic bedding, and the bathroom is shared. Expect a mix of western and squat style toilets in the bathrooms.
Breakfast and dinner are taken at the teahouse and these lodges have large family style dining rooms centered on a stove to provide heat. The menu will have Nepali style western foods such as pasta, pizza, pancakes, burgers, and fries. Also on the menu is the traditional Dal Bhat meal. This is a lentil soup with rice and vegetable or meat curry. Most menus will also offer a smattering of local cuisine.
Internal Flight Delays
Nepal is an incredible country of mountains and valleys, rivers and green rolling hills. With this incredible diversity of landscapes, road travel can be extremely time consuming and flights within Nepal to reach popular trekking destinations is a must. Along with this mountainous terrain also comes the possibility of in climate weather. Not to mention the incredibly high number of visitors during peak seasons makes internal flight delays a very real possibility. To manage this possibility, it may be helpful to have a few extras days on either end of your tour. If any cancellations or flight delays do occur (high chances of flight delays from around Kathmandu to Lukla, Everest region), we also provide services to arrange helicopter to help you to be on your schedule on the premises of Civil Aviation Rules in Nepal which state that helicopters can fly if the visibility is 1500m. The cost ranges from USD350 to USD650 according to the number of passengers. The payment can be made either to the helicopter company or to us directly and can be made either by cash or using a credit card. It will also be helpful to purchase and review your insurance as some of the alternative measures for travel may be covered. Flight insurance too may cover changing your international flight if necessary.
Many expeditions and tours require that travel insurance is purchased prior to arriving in Nepal, but other treks and tours may not. However, travel insurance is definitely an important consideration. There are a number of reasons to consider insurance. Firstly, it may be required, so check to see what is being asked for by the company. Second, Nepal is a landlocked country, and there are few direct flights. Travel in and out can encounter some disruptions and if purchasing insurance, make sure flight delays and cancellations are included. The next reason to choose insurance is that, though every safeguard is in place during your tour, there are always extenuating circumstances that may result in an accident. Read the fine print of insurance policies to ensure trekking or any other activity you are engaging in is covered, as some policies have stopped covering trekking in certain places. It is impossible to have a relaxing trip without the comfort of good insurance, so do the research and choose carefully.
Nepal Visa Entry Procedure
For entry into Nepal, there are visa requirements everyone (except Indian nationals) must complete before being allowed to pass through immigration. This is for air travel as well as overland transportation. Most visitors may obtain a visa to enter Nepal, however, there are exceptions. There are a number of entry points where you can obtain the visa upon arriving by land, but Tribhuvan International Airport is the only one for air transport.
Visa on Arrival Tourist Visa
Three options are available for entry
15-day single entry: US $25
30-day single entry: US $40
90-day multiple entries: US $100
Please have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the time of entry, and have cash ready, preferably in US dollars, though there are other currencies Nepal Immigration accepts. If you are entering via overland, you must have US cash and 3 passport photos. For arrival by air, the kiosks at the airport take your picture for you.
For the most up to date list of exceptions for visa on arrival or to obtain the most current visa information, visit the Nepal Department of Immigration website.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Acute Mountain Sickness is usually seen in un-acclimatized people shortly after ascent to high altitudes. The condition occurs due to the thinning of air as the altitude increases. The condition, if not taken seriously and treated immediately, can be life-threatening and its symptoms can be seen generally above 3000 meters. Some of the symptoms of AMS are nausea, vomiting, tiredness, shortness of breath and cerebral pain. The treks are designed to properly acclimatize you to the change in high altitude climate and sufficient precautionary measures too are taken to take utmost caution. We also equip our staffs with cell phones and satellite phones in occurrence of any emergency cases. We are greatly driven to keep the safety and security of our clients as our foremost concern.
Water is essential for life, and clean water is imperative while on holiday. When choosing to visit less developed countries it is a concern that all travelers should consider. A few options are available when trekking or traveling in Nepal that will mitigate any chances of drinking contaminated water which could cause disruption of an otherwise fun adventure. The first consideration to take into account is that tap water should not be ingested. That even means when brushing your teeth. Most will choose to buy bottled water and if doing so make sure the cap has not been opened previously. Plastic bottle refuse is a problem, and with that being said there are other options on the market to assist in making water drinkable. Your local outdoor store can help with choosing what option might be best to use in conjunction with a reusable bottle. Your guide can also steer you to water that has been filtered and purified so ask him or her what is available.
Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, our company representatives are stationed to welcome you to the country. We request you to carefully look for your name being held by our representatives following the events upon landing. The representatives are responsible to escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. You will see men offering you to carry luggage and take you to your destination as you exit the airport. We request you to pay no attention to these people and follow the designated representatives and follow their instructions. You will also need to keep an eye on your luggage and belongings to avoid any complicacies.
How to Book Your Tour
Before booking any tour, please read all the terms and conditions thoroughly and call the company representative with any questions prior to making any payments. Begin by filling out a booking form and pay the non-refundable deposit. Fill out the form completely so as not to disrupt the expediency of the process. The form may be submitted online or by downloading the form and mailing or faxing the form to your nearest company representative.
It’s important to understand all aspects of the chosen trip, from what’s included and excluded, to the level of service, or even what trip may be right for your level of experience and fitness. Take the time to get all questions answered so that when booking the trip, it is without trepidation.