Baruntse Expedition with Mera Peak Climbing
Lying between greater cousin peaks of Lhotse and Makalu at the epicenter of three glacial valleys - the Barun, the Imja, and the Hunku - Baruntse was one the early Himalayan peaks recognized by Edmund Hillary's team for climbing east of Everest. The mountain was first ascended by Colin Todd and Geoff Harrow in 1954 by the South-East Ridge. The peak is crowned by four summits on four ridges with a high rate of successful ascent on normal route via South Ridge. Despite being a 7000er, Baruntse Expedition involves various 8000m climb components, thus offering itself as an ideal training peak for higher climbing.
The steep sections of ice at 50 degrees and a prominent ice cliff at about 7,000 meters make the South-East Ridge of Baruntse somewhat difficult climb. The route via Lukla, the Mera La, and Hinku Valley offers a more accessible alternative. Therefore, we will attempt a more popular and accessible route via the South Ridge with the opportunity of acclimatizing at the Mera Peak (6476m/21,246ft). Two high camps above the Base Camp - Camp I just below East Col at an altitude of 5,700m and the Camp II on the South-East Ridge at a height of 6,420m.
Day 01: Arrival day in Kathmandu
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). After time to get refreshed remainder you may relax at the hotel, evening you will meet and transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu and briefing about next day trip and overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to some of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites such as the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath and the Buddhists shrine (Bouddha Nath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, you get introduced with fellow members and guide and there will be a pre-trip discussion along with preparation and checking of the equipments for the expedition. Malla Treks leader briefs us regarding our expedition as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Fly to Lukla and trek to Paiya (Chutok) - 2730m/8954ft : 3-4 hours
Early morning's scenic flight takes us to a small airstrip to Tenjin-Hillary airport to Lukla (2,840m/9,315ft) and you will experience your first breakfast in the mountains whilst the Malla Treks team organizes porters, while the guide sort and divide the load baggage to be carried by porters. We trek down from Lukla, as it makes sense to fly up to Lukla for acclimatization and walk down. Walk through the jungle down to Shurke then a bit ahead have lunch nearby Pakhapani or so. Continuing ahead through many traditional villages, jungles, hills you will gradually reach the vicinity of Paiya for the first night's camp. A number of peaks are visible from here such as Knogde Ri, Khatang, Tang Ragi Tu and other peaks above 7 thousand meters from Paiya. Overnight at Paiya.
Day 04: Paiya to Pangkoma - 2850m/93,48ft : 5-6 hours
After breakfast, march a little down we reach wooden bridge and then carefully go ahead through the slippery trail to cross Kari La Hill (pass). Have lunch in the village ahead and start up walking through the rhododendron and bamboo forests through the narrow mountain trail. Make your camera ready with full charge to catch the outstanding views of Dudhkoshi River valley and Dudh Kund Himal, before reaching the farming and trading village of Pangkongama for the night's rest.
Day 05: Pangkoma to Nigmsa(Shibuche) - 2745m/90,03ft : 4-5 hours
The trail descends the rock-strewn path leading to the rhododendron forest. We come across a lot of Mani walls through the trail. Passing again through hills, ridges, and teahouses, start downwards and have lunch around there in village nearby. Mesmerizing views of the south face of Mera Peak(6064m/19890) and Naulekh Peak. The trail zigzags through forested areas and then descends steeply. Walk past forests of pine and rhododendron to reach Nigmsa (Shibuche) where we camp for the night's rest.
Day 06: Nigmsa (Shibuche) to Chetrakhola - 3150m/10332ft : 7-8 hours
After breakfast, start up though a steep and slope way through a hill and through narrow and typical mountain trail, a bit complicated ahead through rhododendron and bamboo forests reaching to the stream. Straight ahead and up through the rhododendron. A little down through the bamboo jungle and past a nice stone cave by the side of a river, We camp for the night's rest. Overnight at Chhetra Khola.
Day 07: Chetrakhola to Kothe - 3600m/11808ft : 6-7 hours
Starting after breakfast , reach a fine vantage point of the Hinku valley with unfolding splendor of nature surrounding us from the Hinku Valley. Straight through the bamboo and pine forest in the narrow trails enjoying the view of Mera and the Hinku Valley, there is possibility of encountering with mountain wild animals like sloth bear, jungle cat, etc. among the tall pine trees. Past Tashing Dingma, we find shops and teahouses where you will have your lunch. Continue ahead by the ridge of the river in the Hinku valley all the way up and reach Kothe. Overnight in Kothe.
Day 08: Kothe to Tangnang - (4,350m/14,270ft) : 3-4 hours
Today is another short day in which we trek along the ridge of the Hinku Khola and in the shadow of Mera Peak. Lunch at Gondishung, the summer herders' settlement in the west bank of the Hinku Drangka. Beyond Gondishung, pass a 200 year-old Lungsumgba Gompa where we find Mera peak scripted in rock along with its route to reach Mera. There will be a prayer for success ascent of Mera Peak in the boulder of the Gompa offering incense. A short walk will takes to Thagnag, a summer grazing area with the primitive lodges and shops. Overnight in Thagnag at the camp.
Day 09: Rest & some Hiking to Charpate Himal glacier
Today is your rest day. Stay active to be ready for next day's adventure. After breakfast, hike for about 3 hours up to Charpate Himal Glacier. Seen very close from the Thangnag, Charpate Himal is regarded holy by the Sherpa community and is worshipped by traditional Sherpas of the mountains. Observe Mera North that appears very close and pleasant from here too. After an hour's pleasant hike downwards, get back at the camp at Thangnang. Overnight at Thangnang.
Day 10: Tangnang to Khare - 5,045m/16,486ft : 2-3 hours
Today, we head towards Mera Base Camp at Khare. Follow the lateral moraine of Dig Glacier to Dig Kharka, which offers spectacular views of Charpate Himal. The trail climbs through moraines and to the snout of the Hinku Nup and Shar Glaciers and then climbs more steeply to our camping spot at Khare. It is pleasure to view beautiful North face of Mera Peak from Khare. Overnight at Khare.
Day 11: Rest Day in Khare
Today will be the rest and preparation day. This morning after a breakfast, we prepare our gear for ice climbing just above the Khare and need to walk couple of hrs from where there are good views of the Mera La and the route up the mountain. This will also be a time for practicing few hrs Ice climbing. After few hrs practicing at glacier, stroll back to camp and final preparation of equipment and packing of our mountain bags.
Day 12: Khare to High camp - 5,780m/18,958ft : 4-5 hours
Walk through rock-strewn area for about two hours. Making way to Mera High Camp can be hazardous if it has recently snowed, as there are a number of crevasses here. Make way to the top of the rock band, which is marked by a large cairn. Set up a high camp and from here the sunrise and sunset can be view along with the Mt. Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and south face of Lotshe, Nuptse, Chamlang and Baruntse are outstanding and seems like they are piercing the skyline. Overnight in Mera High Camp.
Day 13: High camp to Mera Peak Summit to Kongma Dingma - 4850m/15912 ft : 9-10 hrs
A big day. Wake up around 2.30 am and have very early breakfast today. After breakfast, your put on crampons and rope and set up for special journey to the summit. If well-acclimatized, it takes around 4-6 hours to reach the summit of Mera central. From the summit can be seen the magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Cho-Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Nuptse and many peaks over six thousand. After achieving the summit, get back to high camp. Continue down to Kongma Dingma for the night's rest. Overnight at Khare.
Day 14: Spare day: Just because of bad weather
This day is used as a spare day for weather or some other reasons. If weather became exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the program of summiting the peak on day 12. Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent.
Day 15: Kongma Dingma to Seto Pokhari - 5035m/16519 ft : 6 hrs
Climb steadily up to and just beyond Seto Pokhari or White Lake, the first of a series of lakes that occupy the upper Hongu Basin. Experience the wilderness of the Hongu Valley. The Hongu Valley is true mountain wilderness. On the right is Chamlang (7321m) with hanging glaciers on its South-West and North-West faces.
Day 16: Seto Pokhari to Baruntse Base Camp - 5300m/17388 ft : 6 hrs
Cross the wide and grassy valley scattered with small boulders. The valley gets increasingly barren as you climb higher. Pass the Peak 41 and Hunku Peak on your left and proceed to our base camp and main objective of the trip - Mt Baruntse. Overnight in camp.
Day 17-27: Baruntse Climbing Period
An Advanced Base Camp would be set up at an altitude of 6,000m near the glacier at the foot of the South East Ridge. We need to allow enough time for additional acclimatization and for load carrying to stock ABC and Camp 1. Camp 1 is at a height of 6,450m on the South-East Ridge proper. Above Camp 1, we climb 45° snow slopes and the route becomes more demanding. Fixed line would be placed on the ascent to Camp 1, below the West / East Col. The route above C2 requires some fixing which would be done by our Sherpa guides. From Camp 2, we climb to the summit. Descent is by the same route, sleep at Camp 1 and ABC. Overnight in camp.
Provided everything goes as planned, our plan of action would be as follows:
- Rest & Acclimatization at Base Camp
- Cary Loads to ABC, return to Base Camp
- Rest Day
- Climb to temporary ABC (5800m)
- Climb to West Col, Sleep at Camp 1 (6135m)
- Climb to Camp 2 (6400m)
- Summit Attempt (7220m) return to Camp 1
- Spare Summit Day
- Return to Base Camp
Day 28: Rest and Pack up day at the Baruntse Base Camp
Rest day as well as cleaning and drying of equipments. Also the day for some hot bath and shaving. Moreover, it's important to leave least footprints possible for the conservation of the Himalayan environment, We collect all garbage we produced and hand over to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee at Namche.
Day 29: Baruntse Base Camp to Amphu Labsta Base Camp - 5650m/18536 ft : 4-5 hrs
Hike along the rugged moraine towards Imja Valley. Enjoy the panoramic views of high Himalayan peaks including the Lhotse and Everest toward north-west. Camp at Amphulaptsa Base Camp and prepare for the next day's crossing of the Amphu Labsta pass. Amphu Laptse Pass at around 5845 m is one of the highest pass in Nepal, connecting the Hongu Valley with Imja Valley. 4-5 hours. Included meals:BLD
Day 30: Amphu Labsta Base Camp(South) to Amphu Labsta Base Camp(North) ,5300m/17385 ft : 5 - 6 hrs
An early morning climb. The climb involves steep sections on rock and ice. Cross the Amphu Lapcha pass. It's better to tackle the pass early in the morning when the snow is stable. Use climbing ropes wherever necessary. The last sections of the climb to Amphu Labsta winds up in snow shelves. On the other side, a steep descent awaits to be endeavored on fixed lines leading down to the moraine.
Day 31: Amphu Labtsa Base Camp to Pangboche , 3930m/12893 ft : 6-7 hours
Walk downhill along the moraine to arrive at Chukung, the starting point for the Island Peak. The wilderness of the remote Hinku Valley gives in to the civilization of Khumbu Region. The Imja Khola joins the Dudh Koshi river a little above the Pangoche village. There is a famous gompa at Pangboche believed to have been the oldest in the Khumbu region.
Day 32: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar, 3440m/11286 ft : 5 - 6 hrs
Descend out of the alpine dessert and back into landscapes of pine forests. The path leads to a steep uphill climb into Tengboche. Visit the Tenboche Monastery. Making a steep descent leads back to the Dudh Kosi river. The final steep climb traverses the hill side into Namche Bazaar.
Day 33: Namche Bazaar to Lukla, 2800m/9186 ft : 6-7 hrs
A long steady downhill path from Namche leads to an impressive bridge called the Hillary Suspension Bridge high above the river. The trail afterwards is mostly an easy walk except for a few short uphill climbs. Cross the Bhote- Koshi River three times. The lower valley looks significantly greener after a month long journey. Celebrate concluding of the expedition at Lukla. Prepare for the next day morning flight to Kathmandu. Included meals:BLD
Day 34: Lukla Fly back to kathmandu
The flight time to Kathmandu are scheduled in the morning normally because Lukla suffers a lot of wind afternoon. Sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reasons. Fly back to Kathmandu and our guide will transfer you to hotel. You may have time to relax after long journey and take back your breath and rest at your hotel with ending your Himalayan expedition. In the evening, we will organize farewell dinner in the finest restaurant in Thamel. Celebrate with your friends and with Malla Treks.
Day 35: Free day in Kathmandu
Rest and relax after such long strenuous trip, so you might rest and relax at the hotel. The day is also reserved as a contingency day due to flight delays or other unforeseen conditions. You might be thinking to take some souvenirs for your family and friends. You may shop around for this also.
Day 36: Farewell Friend
Today the journey comes to an end. There's nothing to do but trade emails with your new friends, organize all your photos and finally depart from Nepal. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
- Baruntse Expedition permit fees
- Accommodations in Kathmandu
- Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and back including airport transfers
- All overnight accommodations while on the trek and climb
- meals in Kathmandu and while trekking and climbing
- Group equipment for the climb
- Qualified and Experienced guides
- Experienced Climbing Sherpas
Cost does not Include
- International airfare and Nepal Visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs )
- Personal equipments and extra services
- Tips and Bonus for Staff and guide
- Insurance and Trip cancellation
- Airport departure tax