Day 01 POYAN (CHUTOK) (9186'/2800M):
Fly into Lukla and meet the Sherpas. Check all climbing gear then follow the path down the south side of the airstrip and descend steeply for half an hour before meeting the main trade route coming up from the south to the Khumbu. Continue the descent to Surke before climbing up to the Chitok La. There are more ascents and descents before arriving at a good campsite at Poyan.
Day 02 PANGKONGMA (9700'/2957M):
After crossing the Poyan Khola, we turn off the main route onto the old trade route climbing up to the ridgeline overlooking Khari Khola. Descend to Kharte and then leaving the main trail we start contouring to the east. Lunch will be by a subsidiary stream of Khari Khola. After lunch there is a steady climb up to the attractive farming and trading village of Pangkongma.
Day 03 GAY KHARKA (6560'/2000M):
Fine views west back to Trangsindo monastery. Lamjura and North West to Kwangde. A climb through thick rhododendron and bamboo forests leads to Pangkongma La (10400'/3175m) before an attractive descent to the small settlement of Shibuche. There are beautiful views from here looking south across the endless foothills rising each side of the Hinku valley and shortly after the descent begins MERA with its twin peaks and vertical south face come into sight at the top end of this most impressive valley. After lunch the trail needs care as it drops steeply for 1 ½ - 2 hours down to a small bridge over the Hinku Khola. It is then a tough climb up to Gay Kharka itself.
Day 04 CHALEM KHARKA (10496'/3200M):
Following up the south flank of the valley we pass other potentially good campsite on pasture land below Nashing Dingma (8300'/2500m). A deceptively long and steep climb leads to the Surke La (10200'/3085m). Shortly after this we pass the trail that leads east to Tumlingtar and East Nepal. We then follow another path leading to a small village called Cheskam. A third way up takes us across the slope. After 1 ½ hour climb we reach an attractive campsite set amidst rhododendron.
Day 05 Rest day/acclimatization.
Day 06 CHANBU KHARKA (13780'/4200M):
We follow the west side of the ridge before climbing through the last rhododendron scrub. The trail turns north climbing between two bluffs. Passing through more grazing country the route leads to a steep climb and a pass at about 12900'/3900m offering marvelous mountain views east right across to Kanchenjunga and Jannu and Hongo and Hinku villages. More hard work climbing up to around 14500'/4450m leads to an ill defined trail down to the banks of the main lake and camp.
Day 07 MOSOM KHARKA (12100'/3691M):
A steep climb leads out of the valley before the trail contours along and around towards the main Hinku Valley. This is followed by a series of steep descents, first westwards down scree then north west through scrub rhododendron and on into fir. A scrambling descent of around 2200'/290m brings us down near the valley floor where we cross the Mojang Khola and on through a bolder strewn forest to a lunch spot at Rondruk Dingma. After this the route follows along a fairly rough trail following the bank of the river to Mosom Kharka.
Day 08 GONDISHUNG (13300'/4060M):
Today we move camp only to Gondishung about 1 ½ hours further up to the valley. People can either have an easy day and relax or there is a very attractive side trip up to the Dhudhkund – a lake lying below the south face of Mera itself. The trail up the south bank of the Sanu Khola is well marked and it is about 3 ½ hours up from Mosom Kharka to the lake area itself. The views of the south face of Mera (21241'/6475m) and Naulekh (20870'/3636m) at the eastern end of the cirque of mountains makes all the hard work well worthwhile. About 2 ½ hours back down to Mosom Kharka and then 1 ½ hours up to the new campsite - a long, hard but rewarding day for those who wish for a good (acclimatization) side trip.
Day 09 DIG KHARKA (15200'/4660M):
The trail leads on up to Tangnag and then after lunch steepens up scree before turning east and gradually leveling off into the valley with the Mera La straight ahead and Mera Peak up and to the right.
Day 10 KHARE (16400'/5000M):
Acclimatization day which offers a worthwhile diversion/exploration trip towards the Hinku Nup Khare glacier. There are some alternative campsites in this area depending on conditions and whether there are other parties around the Dig Kharka area but it is best to move camp from the Dig Kharka up to Khare. Water can be difficult here. Much will depend on conditions at the time but in any event the afternoon should be kept free for sorting gear, checking crampons, etc. in preparation for the climb.
Day 11 HIGH CAMP:
From Khare a 1 hour a steep climb along a little winding path leads to a small high pass. It is then 15 minutes across scree to the tongue of the Mera glacier and a further 15 minutes scrambling up the side of the glacier itself before crampons etc. are fitted and the route moves out on to the glacier itself. It is about 1 ½ hours up to the Mera La (Pass) which offers fine views east and west. We will camp, high anything between ½ hour and an hour above the pass itself. In some ways, the higher the camp the better it is as it eases the climb the following morning.
Day 12 SPARE DAY:
This is built in as a spare day on the itinerary. However it the weather is good the decision will probably be made to make the climb this day.
Day 13 MERA PEAK (21192'/6461M):
The climb itself starts gradually and much will depend on snow and general weather conditions. The normal route steepness into a left hand valley before turning back and up a long sloping culvert that leads on up before finally emerging on a short ridge leading to a steep little climb up the exposed south east ridge to the summit. This section needs a rope fixed for protection. The climb takes approximately 6 hours from high camp. Descend back to Mera La.
Day 14 Chamlang Base Camp toward Baruntse BC 4 hrs .
Day 15 Panch Pokhari / Baruntse Base Camp
Day 16 Extra day at Baruntse BC
Day 17 Before Amphu Lapcha
Day 18 Cross Ampu Lapcha - camp before Chukung
DAY 19 Pangboche
DAY 20 Namche
Day 21 Lukla
Day 22 Lukla - Kathmandu fly out