Climbing Mera –
One of the highest trekking peaks in Nepal
Route: Mera Glacier
Route Altitude: 6462m (21201 feet)
Location: Nepal (27 42 00 N 86 52 00 E)
At 6462m, Mera is one of the tallest “trekking” peak in Nepal. Despite this label, reaching the summit remains a challenging objective and shouldn’t be underestimated. Whilst technically straightforward, the high elevation means that mountaineers are subject to extremes of temperature and a significant risk of developing high altitude illnesses such as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
To compound these problems, Mera can be very difficult to escape. In order to return to Lukla it is necessary to descend into the Hinku valley before climbing over the Zatrwa La (4610m). In poor weather this can be a difficult proposition for healthy mountaineers and almost impossible for those who are sick or badly injured. Whilst helicopter rescue is possible, this can be delayed for several days due to bad weather. This article describes an acclimatisation programme that provides mountaineers with an excellent chance of reaching the summit safely and successfully. In addition, it also describes the common problems that may be faced along the way and the solutions that are needed to overcome them.