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Mera Peak vs Island Peak Climbing

  • 05-Jul-2021
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Blessed with 8 of the 10 tallest peaks of the world, Nepal shelters hundreds of climbing peaks. Along with them, Nepal officially opens 415 mountains (those include trekking peaks and climbing peaks) for mountaineering expeditions. Among them, thirty-three peaks are categorized as trekking peaks by the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Mera Peak and Island Peak are two of the most climbed peaks and are the firm favorites of every climber.

Both Mera and Island Peaks the most popular trekking Peak in the Nepalese Himalayas. However, Mera Peak versus Island Peak is a burning issue among the climbers (especially novice) who is eager to plunge into mountain expeditions. Choosing either Mera or Island peak can be a daunting task for beginners. To cover the possible issues and dilemmas, we have prepared a blog explaining the similarities and contrast between these two peaks.

No doubt, both Mera Peak and Island Peak Climbing and are the best trekking peaks of Nepal, are located in the Solukhumbu district near each other. However, to reach Mera Peak, you need to pass through Hinku Valley and is nestled in Mahalangur Mountain Range, but Island Peak can be reached via Khumbu valley and is nestled in Khumbu Himal. Mera Peak elevates higher than Island Peak.

Being the utmost trekking peak of Nepal, Mera Peak is non-technical and straightforward to climb. Concerning Island Peak, trekkers face more steep ice climbs, icicles, and crevasses during their journeying.

Both of these mountains are appropriate for inexperienced mountaineers. Nonetheless, Mera is scalable without genuine mountaineering abilities. Island Peak requires basic mountaineering skills, just as some technical information.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Things to know/Facts

Fact Topic Mera Peak Island Peak
Location Solukhumbu district of Sagarmatha zone, in Mahalangur section, Barun sub-section, of eastern Nepal Solukhumbu district of Sagarmatha zone, in Khumbu section, of eastern Nepal
Maximum Elevation Mera North: 6476m/ 21247ft
Mera Central: 6461m/21198ft
Mera South: 6065m/ 19898ft
Valley to Pass Hinku Imja
Parent Range Mahalangur Khumbu
First Ascent 1953 (Mera Central)
1975 (Mera North)
1956 (Main Summit)
First Climbers J. Jim Roberts and Sen Tenzing Sherpa (Mera Central) &
Marcel Jolly, G Baus, and L Honills climbed (Mera North)
Tenzing Norgay, Charles Wylie, Charles Evans, Alf Gregory
Style Trekking and Climbing Trekking and Climbing
Climbing Grade F' Facial Easy' from French and Swiss Alpine Climbing Classification System PD + 'Per Difficult' from French and Swiss Alpine Climbing Classification System
Required Permits Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit
Mera Peak Climbing Permit
Khumbu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
Island Peak Climbing Permit
Best Season Spring and Autumn September to May
Trek/climbing Duration 18 plus days 15 plus days

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Climbing Highlights

Mera Peak Climbing

  • Climb: The highest trekking peak in Nepal
  • View: 360-degree panoramic views of the five of the six tallest peaks of the planet all over 8000m, including Mount Everest (8,848m-1st ), Kangchenjunga (8,586m-3rd ), Lhotse (8,516m-4th ), Makalu (8,485m-5th ), and Cho Oyu (8,201m6-6th ) as well as several other pinnacles of Khumbu Region.
  • Follow: a straightforward ascent and requires no special climbing maneuver with the proper guidance of our experienced Sherpa guides.
  • Experience: An exciting flight to and from Lukla.
  • Explore lush green forests of rhododendron, magnolia, birch, and pine, exotic Himalayan creatures, unique Sherpa culture, lifestyles, and traditional practices.
  • Ramble: Around the different religious Buddhist shrines, including monasteries, chortens, gompas, mane walls, prayer wheels, and airy prayer flags.
  • Go thru: The Hinku valley.
  • Wake up: Around 2 am on the summit day and have a light breakfast-get ready for the summit push.

Island Peak Climbing

  • Climb: One of the choicest trekking peaks of the Khumbu region.  
  • View: The 360 panoramic views of Makalu (8,475m) in the east, Baruntse, and Ama Dablam in the south along with the giant peaks of Nuptse (7,879m), Lhotse (8,501m), Lhotse Middle Peak (8,410m), and Lhotse Shar (8,383m), making a semi-circle to the north from Island Peak summit. Although Everest lies just 10 kilometers away, the view will be blocked by an enormous wall of Mt. Lhotse above the summit.
  • Follow: An itinerary that crosses a high mountain pass, Kongma La, and traverses the Lhotse glacier.
  • Experience: A scenic mountain flight to and from the Lukla airstrip.
  • Explore: The ethnic villages of Sherpa people, some of the rarest Himalayan creatures, lush Himalayan green forests including rhododendron, magnolia, birch, and pine
  • Ramble: Around the sacred religious spots of Khumbu valley, including Tengboche Monastery, Khumbu Monastery, numerous chortens, alleys, and prayer wheels.
  • Go thru: The Khumbu Valley
  • Wake up: Wake up at 1 am on summit day, enjoy a light breakfast, and proceed through ice slopes to the summit ridge.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Best Season

The spring and autumn periods are the choicest time for climbing Mera Peak. These times mean wide-ranging stretches of a stable climate. Regardless of the time, you decide on the ascension, and the extreme temperature is still chilly and bearable. The environment in higher elevations may get precarious, and you need to be aware of it. The entire climate may get terrible, and the weather may decline frigid. You need to wait for the calm and favorable weather conditions for the summit push.

Island Peak is doable all over the year, except during the core monsoon months (mid-June-end of August). However, the most suitable times for Island Peak climbing are spring (March to early June) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is stable, and temperatures are bearable. The skies are crystal, and the views are unobstructed. With fewer chances of precipitation and snowfall, climbers feel more comfortable than any other month.

Numerous adventurous have effectively attempted their ascension even in winter, yet the thrilling cold could be disadvantageous for some, principally those new to the mountain. It is not a technically challenging mountain to the summit; all that depends on how comfortable you feel with extreme temperatures in winter.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Trekking/Climbing Route

After a scenic flight to Lukla, the trekking trail stretches to Hinku Valley via lush jungle and remote valleys for Mera Peak climb. The climbing itinerary for this peak entails about a week of trekking to Mera Peak High Camp at 5,780m before climbing the summit. Paiya, Kothe, Panggom, Thankak, and Khare are the chief overnight spots before ascending to Mera High Camp.

Onwards, you gradually will ascend using fixed rope and jumars to the summit. The total journey will be accomplished in around 18 days. From high camp, trekkers must have to wait for appropriate weather conditions and climate for the successful summit push. So it is ideal for keeping two to three spare days in your itinerary. All in all, an ideal route for Mera Peak climbing is; Kathmandu » Lukla » Chutanga » Zatra La » Thuli Kharka » Kothe » Thangnag » Khare » Mera Peak Base Camp » Mera High Camp » Mera Summit » Mera High Camp » Mera Base Camp » Khare » Kothe » Thuli Kharka » Lukla » Kathmandu.

Concerning Island Peak climbing, you can complete this journey in around fifteen days. Its itinerary is a perfect blend of trekking and mountaineering expedition. The itinerary follows the standard Everest Base Camp Trek track and adds a course of climbing to High Camp and ultimately to the summit.

As the climbing route is slightly strenuous ascent and a bit technical, it is considered a bit more challenging than Mera Peak climbing. Although it is a bit shorter days to ascend Island Peak than Mera, climbers can extend their journey to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar, spending 4-5 more days which are worth visiting. However, an ideal route for Island Peak Climbing is Kathmandu » Lukla » Phakding » Namche Bazaar » Tengboche » Dingboche »  Chukhung Ri » Chukhung » Island Peak Base Camp » Island Peak Summit » Chukhung »  Namche Bazaar »  Lukla » Kathmandu

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Trekking/ Climbing Duration

Graded as a PeuDifficil (PD), Mera Peak Climbing is the most north-worthy trekking peak of Nepal that reaches 6461m above the sea surface and takes 18 plus days to be completed. Nevertheless, this trip below 6500m, requires a short acclimatization period for the successful climb. The Mera Peak climb is adequate for acclimatization, and as you arrive at the Base Camp, you will be arranging for the summit climb.

Island Peak is graded Peu Difficile + (PD+), which reaches 6165m above the sea surface and requires about 15 plus days to be completed where there is no compelling reason to spend more days adjusting to the elevation. Island Peak Base Camp is effectively available from Chukung valley, entirely off the Everest Base Camp Trek trail. The climbing section commences from the Chhukung valley and takes nearly two nights/ 3 days to make the trip.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Required Permits

Mera Peak

For Mera Peak Climbing, you need to purchase the following permits:

  • Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit

This permit costs:

NPR 3000 per person for the Foreign Nationals

NPR 1500 for the SAARC Nationals.

This permit is available either in the office of the Nepal Tourism Board, Bhirkhutimandap, or Kothe.

  • Mera Peak Climbing Permit

The price of this permit depends upon the season; the permit is issued for different seasons, and the price varies accordingly.

    USD 250 for spring (March to May)

    USD 125 for autumn (September to November)

    USD 70 for off-seasons (December to February and June to August)

Island Peak

For Island Peak Climbing, you need to buy the following permits:

  • Khumbu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit

This permit costs NPR 2000 per person. You can get this permit in Lukla or Monjo. Remember! You will not obtain this permit anywhere in Kathmandu.

  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

As you are entering to National park from Jorsalle, you need a separate permit (Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit) that costs NRs. 3000 per person. You can collect this permit in Monjo at the entrance of the park.

  • Island Peak Climbing Permit

Like Mera Peak Climbing Permit, Island Peak Climbing Permit is issued for different seasons, and the price varies accordingly.

   USD 250 per person for spring (March to May)

   USD 125 per person for autumn (September to November)

   USD 70 per person for winter (December to February)

    USD 70 per person for summer (June to August)

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Culture, Nature and Heritage Experience

Mera Peak is a massif in the Sagarmatha Zone, Makalu Barun Subsection, Hinku Valley nestled in the Mahalangur Mountain ranges. An astonishing scene perspective on the mountain ranges from the pinnacle’s head includes Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Makalu, and Mt. Kanchenjunga (five of the six tallest peaks of the world).

Numerous exotic and some of the rarest Himalayan creatures and vegetation can be explored inside the Makalu Barun National Park. Along with them all, trekkers will be amazed by the unique and warm hospitability and cultures of the local Sherpas throughout the trek.

Island Peak situates in the Sagarmatha zone, Sagarmatha National Park, in the Khumbu Valley, nestled in the Khumbu Himalayan range. With the dozens of mountain peaks, trekkers will pass see attractive pine and rhododendron woodlands, religious shrines (monasteries, chortens, gompas, alleys, prayer wheels, and fluttering prayer flags) on the way. Standing at the top of the pinnacle, one feels that they are above all; mountains, glaciers, valleys, and even clouds! What a mesmerizing day!!

Alike Mera Peak, trekkers will explore local Sherpa people in their trek/climb. The traditional practices, cultural rituals, and lifestyle is viewed closely.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Weather condition

The weather conditions at Mera Peak and Island Peak are quite challenging to differentiate. The Himalayan climate might get changed within a couple of hours, and it is almost impossible to predict. However, some months favor trekkers and have the highest success rates.

Pre and post-winter periods (September to November and March to May) are considered the best months climbing Mera Peak. During these months, you will have moderate weather conditions, favorable temperatures, less possibility of rainfall or snowfall, and clear as well as unobstructed views.

The atrocious weather and the freezing temperature add haste and experience to the Mera Peak climb. To ascent Mera securely, you need dry and stable weather. The winter is an astonishing occasion to the summit if you are decidedly ready for the chilly climate and freezing temperature.

Talking about Island Peak, the monsoon (June to August) is the worst month for climbing. The rest of the months are doable. If you search the best months for Island Peak climbing, obviously spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Climbing Island in winter is possible with the right preparation against the chill climate and freezing temperature.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Facilities

Both the Mera and Island peaks lie in the same region and offer almost the same amenities during trekking/climbing. Throughout Mera peak trekking, numerous tea houses provide you food and lodging with attaching and sharing bathrooms(upper parts of the trek). With the rising elevation, facilities might get decreased due to the inconveniences; however, you will get ample chances to eat and get rest very well.

There is a facility for communications, mobile and laptop charging ports, electricity for light. In the Mera Base Camp and High Camp, you will have camping accommodation. The ATM services, banking facilities, spa, and Bar amenities are unavailable during this trekking trail.

Being most of the parts of the trek in the Everest Base Camp Trekking, the Island Peak trekking trail has more amenities than the Mera Peak climbing. Choices of accommodation (from budget hotels to star hotels, especially up to Khumjung village) are available during the trek.

In the Sherpa, capital- Namche Bazaar has ATM, spa, pub, bar facilities along with the good phone and internet facilities as well. At Base camp and high camp, you will be staying at camping accommodation.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing:  Accommodation and Food

During Mera Peak climbing, you will have teahouses up to the village of Khare. Rest 2/3 nights will be spent in the camping tent for the summit push. Most of the teahouses on the trekking route have basic amenities however are facilitated with clean rooms, a shared bathroom, hot water, warm blankets/quilts, and food (dinner and breakfast available in the same teahouse where you spend overnight).

Expect Nepalese and a couple of international varieties in the food choices. Daal Bhat (a set of rice lentils, vegetables, and pickles), momo dumplings, soup varieties, Tibetan bread, chapatti, chow mien, spaghetti are mostly available food items during this climb.

Compared to Mera Peak climbing, Island peak has more accommodation facilities (especially up to Dingboche valley). Up to Chukhung village, you will have teahouse accommodations. Above here, you will be staying at tented camps for 1/2 nights.

Concerning food, you will have similar choices as the Mera Peak trekking trail. Most of the teahouses set their own menus for food. As Mera Peak route, the choices of food might get decreased with the elevations. However, Daal Bhat (a set of rice lentils, vegetables, and pickles), momo dumplings, soup varieties, Tibetan bread, chapatti, chow mien, spaghetti, etc., are widely available in most places. 

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Cost

In fact, the cost for climbing both the peaks may vary from company to company. Several factors play roles in determining the cost of the climbing.  The route chosen, taken side trips, duration of the expedition, permits, accommodation chosen, guides and porter charges, equipment and gear lists, domestic flights charge, etc., are some elements determining the total cost of the Mera Peak Climbing and Island Peak Climbing.

Be aware! Some trekking/climbing agencies might entice you with low prices, but there's a high chance that you might have to compromise, and this could be detrimental considering the climbing experience.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Safety, Security, and Successful Ratio

The success rate for both Mera Peak and Island Peak climbing largely depends upon the right preparation, weather conditions, mental determination, physical fitness, gears and equipment chosen, and climbing aptitudes. In terms of elevation, Mera Peak is higher than Island Peak. However, Island Peak is more technical than Mera Peak. Thus, climbing both of them requires almost the same stamina, energy, and effort.

Despite being easier to climb, you need to have basic training and preparations beforehand. The best for successful climbing is to have mountain training sessions before the actual summit push. This preparation will be significantly more fruitful for both peaks. As much as you become able to handle the mountaineering gears and equipment properly, the success rate will be higher and will be safer too.

Mera Peak vs. Island Peak Climbing: Physical Fitness and Previous Experience

You do not require special technical skills for both peak climbing. However, you need basic training to attempt them.

Mera Peak is not as sloppier as Island Peak, and the way to the summit is much straightforward. If you are a well-experienced hiker can succeed in Mera Peak without much difficulty.

To succeed in Island Peak, you need a bit more technical skills than Mera Peak since the course is very slanted, which makes climbing all the more testing significantly. In addition to previous hiking experiences, you need some technical skills too.

Final Say

Both (Mera Peak and Island Peak) are the perfect choices for the climbers who wish to step into mountaineering and hone their expedition skills. These peaks are popular high-altitude trekking peaks for climbers with little to no mountaineering experience. If you are levelheaded, fit, and healthy, you can succeed in both peaks. From a technical standpoint, Island Peak is more technical and challenging than Mera Peak despite being a lower elevated one.

Beginner mountaineers often contemplate which one to climb, either Mera Peak or Island Peak. The answer is short and straight; Mera Peak is easier to climb. If you are doubtful, choosing between Mera Peak and Island Peak, we suggest you pick Mera Peak Climbing. For one captivating reason: easiness.

By now, you have vivid ideas on Mera Peak Climbing and Island Peak Climbing. So it's up to you! If you are unsure, you can contact us; we will be pleased to help you. Our veteran mountain experts will suggest which one is better for you. Our years’ experienced mountain leader will lead to the mountain peaks and support you from beginning to ending the trip.

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