Food and Water
What is the food like on the mountain?
All meals on the mountain are fresh, nutritious and varied. We try to ensure that dietary preferences are met and that local ingredients are used. You’ll be amazed what can be produced on a kerosene stove!
The underlying aim is to provide balanced, nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to refuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity. On top of well balanced meals clients are provided with coffee, tea and snacks on arrival into camp. The morning wake-up call is usually accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee in your tent.
You are invited to bring along any of your favourite snacks and goodie bags from home if you want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs to give you that little boost on an arduous day.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform us of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
Where does the drinking water come from?
For the first day bottled drinking water will be used. At the higher camps we will use locally sourced drinking water from streams or springs. These are usually fresh being topped up from melt-water above or by rainfall but we also increase their purity by treating the water with purification chemicals and by boiling it. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.
How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?
Before leaving the tea houses/camp in the morning you will fill your water bottles or camel bladder. If this runs low you will have ample more water to replace it with. For most walking days water can be replenished at the lunchtime site. In Nepal water and soft drinks can be bought at some of the lodges encountered on the route.
How does tent sharing work? And how big are the tents?
Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend tent sharing from the onset of all our Mera expeditions. Tent share is always organised according to similar sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents and if you’re a group we’ll ask you to make your own arrangements.
If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made. We use high quality 3 man tents to be shared between 2 people to provide extra space for your comfort.
Will the camp be freshly set up or will we be staying at existing camps at a set site on the way up?
Our local camp crew will set up the tents for you each night. We send them ahead of the group to secure the best site and to get the site prepared before you arrive. Bear in mind that these guys are also porters and when our walking days are shorter we might get to camp before them. If this occurs then have a cup of tea in the dining tent and wait for your tents to be ready
Health and Safety
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
All our guides are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to slow acclimatisation or altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local crew is very experienced in dealing with any problem that may arise. Our guides are either doctors or possess the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle emergencies to the highest level of competency without assistance if necessary.
Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?
There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altituderelated problems can happen. The most common of this is high altitude sickness, (AMS – acute mountain sickness).
Symptoms for this generally include:
It all sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others.
For our guides this is all part and parcel of trekking at relatively high altitude and ascending a 6,000m peak and although we asses each client’s personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding affects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and lack of appetite.
AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping relieve your symptoms and providing advice on how to best proceed.
Please note that we don’t recommend using Diamox as a prophylactic and if you have been prescribed it by your GP, please raise this with your expedition guide.
AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed.
What can I do to help prevent AMS?
In most cases AMS can be avoided by following these guidelines:
Drink lots of water
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause. During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it.
The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your guides how you feel. Our guides have seen every condition that the mountain produces, and they will always know how to deal with problems.
Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?
HACE and HAPE can occur on Mera and our guides are fully trained in the recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.
What vaccinations do I need?
The following vaccinations are recommended:
This list is not exhaustive and it is important you should see your GP Surgery or travel clinic for latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations.
What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?
If a you need to leave early arrangements can be made with the assistance of your guide. Additional costs (transport, hotels, flights etc.) will be incurred by you but our guides will be able to assist in every detail of your departure.
Is there a minimum age for this trip?
Yes, all our trips are for people of 18 years of age and older.
Sent on booking
What is the skill level of this climb?
While technical skills are not necessary, it is strongly recommended that climbers have a basic grounding in the use of crampons and ice axes. Although billed as Nepal’s highest trekking peak the nature of this expedition is more akin to a mountaineering expedition than a trekking holiday. The mountain is covered in snow and quite a lot of time is spent climbing a glacier.
How fit do I need to be for this expedition?
Climbers are expected to be in good physical condition. The better your physical shape the more you will be able to handle the demands of trekking to the base camp and then climbing the peak. Having a good level of fitness will allow you to enjoy the expedition all the better and increase your chances of reaching the summit. Summit day can be up to 12 hours long.
Any tips on how a climber can maximise their chances of success?
Our training programs have been devised to be expedition specific. Use these as a guide but also feel free to contact us for individual advice on how to best incorporate the best suitable fitness program with your own lifestyle.
The idea is to increase the intensity of the exercise over 4 to 6 months before you leave for the expedition. Concentrate on cardiovascular work-outs during the initial weeks by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long duration walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 10kg. As you get stronger increase this rate of exercise and the duration by walking every weekend and running 5km every second day.
A focused regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition the weekend walks will help break in your boots and get you used to your equipment. In combination this will pay dividends when you reach Mera Peak because even though you can’t train for altitude your body will be ready for arduous days and you will be familiar with how to best use your equipment.
What is the guiding team composed of? How many guides? Climber to guide ratio?
Our guides are some of the most experienced in the business. They spend many months a year climbing and trekking in Nepal and have established a close rapport with our ground crew.
Most trips have a 3:1 ratio. Our 6 person teams depart with one expedition guide. This ratio includes local crew (climbing Sherpas). Generally, your leader will be in charge of the expedition and he/she will be assisted by the local guides. For the actual mountain phase (as opposed to the trekking phase) we adhere to the 3:1 ratio to allow us to look after you properly.
How out of my comfort zone will I be?
On a day to day level remember that you will be camping at altitude. You are likely to be cold, washing and toilet facilities will be limited, your appetite may be affected by the altitude and as you get higher on the trek you are likely to suffer shortness of breath and many people experience difficulty sleeping. Remember that everyone on the trek is likely to be experiencing exactly the same symptoms, physical and mental.
Where do I meet my Leader?
Your guide will generally meet you at the airport. At the check-in desk look for someone who looks like the climb mountains for a living
How many climbers are on this expedition?
You can always call us and one of our guides will contact you to discuss any aspects of the expedition. Generally about 1 month before your trip departure we mail a list of other team members to you.
What is the best time of year to climb in Nepal?
The best time to climb the Nepali 6,000m Peak is March to May and September to November. The later time frame is generally clear but colder with snow conditions more stable. The usual weather patterns which came with great predictability are changing however and it is not unusual to experience short spells of warm weather which is unprecedented.
How cold can it get?
The temperature at the top of the mountain can vary widely. Sometimes it is only a degree or two below freezing, but climbers should be prepared for possible temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius, especially in conjunction with wind chill.
On the trek expect cold mornings (sometimes frosty). An afternoon rainstorm is not unusual at the lower altitudes.
Do I need to book my own flights to Nepal?
We will be booking flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately eight weeks before your departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked flight details before setting out for your flight.
What if I arrive early or depart late? Can you arrange extra night lodging? Is there a single room option for this expedition?
We are happy to make any arrangements scheduled outside of the trek dates: these may include personalised tours, extra hotels rooms, private airport pick-ups or arranging private rooms. Please indicate that your requirements on your booking form and we will contact you with the relevant arrangements.
Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. We will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Entry into Country
My passport runs out 3 months after the trek, is this OK?
Your passport should be valid for 6 months after the date the trek starts. If it runs out before you may be refused entry. It is also advisable to have a couple of photocopies of your passport in case of loss
Do I need a visa for Nepal?
All foreign nationals need visas. They are easily obtained at the airport and cost $40. We recommend that you contact your nearest Nepali embassy to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance problems:
Embassy of Nepal
12A Kensington Gardens
London W8 4QU
Tel: 0207 229 1594/0207 229 6231
When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you accept?
Generally speaking deposits are due upon booking to secure your place as we need to book the international flights well in advance. The full amount should be paid 4 months prior to departure. However having said this our aim is to get you to the top of this mountain and we understand that everyone’s personal financial situations can vary.
Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan should you find raising the funds to be difficult. We have been in your shoes and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Please read our terms and conditions careful before you depart. We highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits we must adhere to a stringent refund policy.
How much do we tip our local crew?
Our local crew work extremely hard to ensure that your expedition runs well. Although tipping is not compulsory once someone sees how hard the crew works and realises the minimal amount of money they get paid relative to us, tipping will seem the least they can do to say thank you. As a general rule we suggest around $160 per client for the entire local crew to be shared amongst them. For the leader this is your call.
Money: am I correct in thinking we only need to take US Dollars with us?
US dollars are readily recognised and are easily converted to the local currency. Upon arrival there will always be a bureau de change at the airport. These provide a better rate of exchange than your hotel. Buying gifts or small goods such as drinks or snacks with small denomination US dollars is not a problem. Getting change for a $20 bill when buying a $1 coke will be a problem. Larger bills are good for tipping your porters at the end of the expedition and a sufficient amount should be carried with you. Your leader will remind you in the pre-expedition brief of the correct amount to take on the trip with you.
What additional spending money will we need?
The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy or how much you have to drink when you come off the hill. As a basic rule of thumb $250 should be more than adequate for any post expedition spending.
Nepal is a relatively cheap place and when indulging in the local custom of haggling goods can be bought for very good value for money. Your leader will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices and where to get the best value for money. The only cash you’ll need to consider taking with you on the mountain is the local crew tips which are presented to them before we leave Lukla (see above) and for any additional snacks and soft drinks you wish to purchase from the Lodges encountered en route. Additional supplies can be quite expensive though as all this is brought in by porters.
Will I be able to charge a camera or phone on the trek?
Opportunities to charge your batteries may be limited. If you can get hold of a solar battery charger this is probably the best option. Also make sure that you keep your spare batteries warm i.e. by keeping them near your body day and night.
Is there mobile phone reception on the trek?
In Nepal, telephones and internet access are readily available in town. Our guides carry satellite phones in the mountains. The quality of the reception varies from location to location but is generally poor on the trek.