27 days from £2333 pp Exc Int'l flight
Amphu Laptsa Pass is another difficult pass of Khumbu region. It is not only the high Himalaya summit but also famous for historical sites i.e. monasteries and temples of an old, still unspoiled civilization which attracts the tourists of High Mountains. The trek starts in sub tropical and reaches heights of over 5000m above the sea level. This trek has the characteristic features of a classic expedition. On this tour we will also have a privileged view on Mount Everest, the highest mountain of the world, but our tour won’t follow the well-known tracks. It will lead us through barren, uninhabited areas, over glaciers and snow-covered mountain-passes.
During the trek, we may climb 2 impressive summits i.e. Mera Peak, 6461m and Island Peak 6189 m. Mera Peak (6,476m/21,247ft) & Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) are two of the most popular trekking peaks in the Nepal Himalaya and this expedition combines attempts on both mountains with a trek through the remote Honku Valley and a crossing of the spectacular and difficult Amphu Laptsa Pass. The generous itinerary ensures proper acclimatization and we have plenty of days in the event of inclement weather. Being slightly to the south of the main range, Mera offers spectacular views from Kangchenjunga in the east to the Langtang region in the west. Island Peak is situated right in the heart of the Khumbu area and although it is dwarfed by the enormous Lhotse Face to the north, the views from the summit are truly exceptional.
Day 01 : Arrival day in Kathmandu
Day 02 : Expedition Preparation and official formalities
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2800m/9184ft) & commence trekking to Puiyan (2800m/9184ft)
Day 04: Trek to Pangkongma (2,850m/9348ft), 4-5 hours walk
Day 05: Trek to Nashing Dingma (2600m/8528ft), 5-6 hours walk
Day 06: Trek to Chalem Kharka (3600m/11808ft), 5-6 hours walk
Day 07: Trek to Chunbu Kharka (4200m/13776ft), 5-6 hours walk
Day 08: Rest day at Chunbu Kharka
Day 10 & 11: Trek to Tagnag (4400m/14432ft), 5-7 hours walk
Day 12: Trek to Khare (4,940m/16203ft), 3-4 hours walk
Day 13: Trek to Mera Base Camp (5000m/16400ft), 3-4 hours walk
Day 14,15 & 16: Summit attempt on Mera (6,476m/21,247ft), 5-9 hours walk
Day 17 & 18: Commence trek into the Hunku Valley, 5-7 hours walk
Day 19: Rest day at Amphu Laptsa base camp
Day 22: Summit Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft), 8-9 hours walk
Day 23, 24 & 25: Trek to Lukla, 4-7 hours walk
Day 26: Fly to Kathmandu
Day 27: Departure
Welcome to Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan intl. airport our representative welcomes you and assists to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft). You may relax at the hotel, and briefing about next day trip and overnight at Hotel.
(You can use this day for rock climbing course or sightseeing)
After breakfast, You will be taken to 3 Km drive to the place called Balaju, a natural rock climbing spot for your climbing course before departure to Lukla, the one day course will provide excellent opportunities to learn how to use rope, harness, Ice axe, crampons although there is no snow
you can have a free day on your own or you can join for sightseeing in Kathmandu. If sightseeing we take to visit the highlights of Kathmandu valley as Kathmandu Durbar square, Swoyambhunath, Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath. After day sightseeing evening prepare and check the equipments for the expedition and introduce with fellows members, Guide and chances to ask remaining question you may have and briefing about the trip and overnight at hotel. (Breakfast included)
You will be dropped to the airport for flights to Lukla. If the sky is clear during our flight, we will get our first views of Everest and the region in which we will be climbing. The Twin Otter aircraft will take us to the hillside village of Lukla, which is the start of our trek to Mera. Here we will meet our camp staff and porters and set off straight away for our first camp at Puiyan.
After breakfast cross the Poyan Khola, then we turn off the main trade route coming up from the south and join an older route, which climbs steeply to the ridge-line overlooking the Khare Khola. Descending the other side of the ridge, we then contour along the hillside before climbing steadily up to the attractive farming and trading village of Pangkongma. Many expedition members have been made welcome by the villagers here, spending several pleasant hours warming themselves in front of an open fire in the enveloping and welcoming atmosphere of the local’s traditional Sherpa homes.
Today we climb the half hour or so to the Pangum La (3175m/10410ft) and our gateway toward the Hinku Valley, and now start to head eastward and then in a northerly direction. Today is a solid descent to the Hinku River of at least 900 meters depending on which path we take, and then a climb up to our camp high on the other side near the Surke La. We are once again traveling through a mix of terraced slopes containing grain crops interspersed by undisturbed forests of the upper temperate zone; maples, rhododendrons and fir.
After breakfast we climb up to the Source La (3085m/10118ft) we now follow the spine of the Surkie Danda ridge northwards towards Mera and the Hinku and camp part way along at a yak herders clearing or kharka. These next few days are far from teahouse and trekkers trails and should be some of the finest Himalayan wilderness trekking of the trip.
Continuing along the ridge, we climb higher and higher over knolls (lumps in the ridge) of 4000 meters and then 4500 meters. The terrain has now elevated well above the tree line and is grassy slopes and rocky outcrops and cliffs, where birds of prey may be seen flying overhead such as Griffon vulture, lammergeyer or eagles. We then descend to a camp set near a series of five lakes, Panch Pokhari, set beside the river of the Chunbu Kharka.
Today is a rest day and a lovely natural setting to explore further.
Our route now contours around many ridges on the eastern side of the Hinku, descending lower into forests of rhododendron. Near the valley floor we encounter the devastation caused by a natural damn at the head of the valley bursting in 1998. The valley has been destroyed, leaving boulders, dead trees and silt where once there were old growth forests and meadows. Our campsite is on a pleasant grassy patch, on the now much higher bank of the rocky riverbed.
Today we are now in the Hinku Valley proper, and cross over by way of a yak herder’s bridge and join the main trail. The first settlement we stay at the busy village of Kote, primarily servicing the trekking groups that come through for Mera. As a result of the tremendous washout of boulders and debris, the trail follows the riverbed mostly, a good trail among rounded stones and silt. We gain our first views of dramatic peaks of the valley; Kusum Kanguru to our left that stands directly before us. The path then weaves up on to the pastures on the left hand side and pleasant easy trails through to Tagnag. Today we also enjoy our first views of Mera, initially at the confluence of the Sanu Drangka above Kote, if the weather is clear we see the dramatic south face, and then on our final approach into Tagnag. We are now among mountains and starting to prepare for our climb.
Today we can experience an excellent valley opening out views to the north of the Hinku Nup glacier and the line of peaks beyond. Behind us is the dramatic spire of the less than romantically named ‘Peak 35′, which has yet to be climbed. Only the last section up to our base camp at Khare is steep and reminds us that we are gaining altitude. It’s a short climb and we are there in good time for lunch.
Day 13: Trek to Mera Base Camp (5000m/16400ft), 3-4 hours walk
A steady climb out of the valley and up through lateral moraine and grassy culverts to our last camp below the snowline. The route itself is fairly straightforward, there are objective hazards and good basic technique and awareness of changing conditions is vital for every individual.
Day 14,15 & 16: Summit attempt on Mera (6,476m/21,247ft), 5-9 hours walk
These three days going to plan and the weather on our side, we would move up to a rock and glaciated camp just off the Mera La saddle at approx 5400m/17712ft. Plastic mountaineering boots are usually worn from base through to the summit bid and return. Whilst they feel clumsy they are perfect for the job, providing warmth, protection and stability for the variable terrain including loose rocks, snow and ice. Another camp is set half way up the long North Slope of the mountain, at about 5700m/18696ft near a rock knob. Although it is a shorter distance here, it can be difficult in poor conditions and you are at altitude and are harder and further than it first appears. The summit bid will be made early in the morning (anywhere from 2am to 5am) from this high camp, and take around 4 to 6 hours to make the summit. Whilst the distance doesn’t look far, we can assure you it will be hard work, and all the preparations and a positive, tempered attitude will pay off here. It is usually necessary to rope up for much of the summit approach due to crevasse hazards along the route. The route can vary depending on the conditions of the season but usually skirts around a major shoulder in front of us to the back side of the mountain and then traverse in a fairly straightforward approach to the summit knob. As the light comes, we enjoy incredible views across to Baruntse (7129m), Chamlang (7319m) and Nau Lekh (6360m) with Makalu (8481m) looming behind. Further to our left is Everest, peaking over several unnamed peaks of the Hinku. To the south we can see for miles down to the terrain. We aim to make the summit early/mid-morning and return to base camp after summit. The exact schedule will depend on many factors, including the weather, condition of the route and condition of the members. Our contingency of equipment and experienced staff and a time buffer, gives us a fair amount of flexibility to achieve success for all who have worked hard and consistently from the beginning of the expedition. The day will be long, and this is where all the training beforehand, the trek approach, and the right attitude will combine to give you stamina and confidence to be part of a sound team, with optimum chances for the summit.
We will need to make a relatively early start today. Once our porters are organized we will commence our most remote stages of the expedition. We descend into the Honku valley near to five large glacial lakes which sprawl out before us. They are known as Panch Pokhari (five lakes). The Amphu Laptsa pass is situated immediately at the head of the valley to our right and is basically the low point on the ridge between the Hunku and the Imja valleys. For this day or so we are in the Hunku. A new vista of peaks span out before us including Ama Dablam to the distant westward, and many unnamed peaks. Camp is set close to the rocks that lead up to the pass. On these stages we ask that members be flexible and co-operative. Camps will be set where conditions allow, and your leader will keep you advised as to each days plan.
Final preparations and gear checks for our pass crossing Amphu Laptsa.
After early breakfast an alpine start for our pass crossing. Once again, ferrying across all our loads together with all party members, crew, porters and members takes time. The approach to the pass from the Hunku is deceptive. Facing east and southward there is much more sun and little snow, just a collection of rocks that gradually lead up to the gap we travel through. On the north facing side we find steep slopes of snow that we must take care to descend by fixed ropes to the snow basins below and subsequent moraine and alpine valley beyond. The views from this pass crossing to the peaks of Khumbu are unmatched. Any spare moment one may have whilst we are climbing and descending will allow one to appreciate the spectacle of the peaks of the region.
An alpine start sees us climbing steeply up the lower flanks of the south-east face. The track is well used as this is a popular peak. At times there is a bit of rock scrambling and the rocky spur takes us to a snow ramp that leads to the upper snow fields. The peaks of Makalu and Lhotse come into view as we climb higher. Upon crossing the upper nave, it is necessary to fix ropes up a short but steep ice face that leads on to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is a classic alpine ridge and quite exposed, (we fix ropes here also) and traverse our way to the summit. Although Island Peak appears dwarfed by the seven and eight thousanders surrounding it, it provides a magnificent vantage point to all the peaks south of the stupendous Lhotse face. After some exhilarating moments on the summit we descend by the same route to our base.
We begin our exit trek descending through the famous Khumbu Valley to Tangboche Monastery and Namche Bazaar. Namche is known as the Sherpa capital and it is a great place to wonder around, visit the Tibetan stalls or enjoy the Swiss bakeries. We descend the slopes of Namche to the Dudh Kosi joining the main trail to follow at riverside through numerous villages to Phakding. On crossing the bridge, we trek a short distance up and around, to the broad flat spur that Lukla lies upon. The last night is always memorable for an end of trip celebration with all the crew and porters.
After an early morning flight to Kathmandu our guide transfer you to your hotel. You may have time to relax after long journey and take back your breath and rest at your hotel with ending your Himalayan trip with us. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest, relax or explore and shop in the town.
Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you’ll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
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