Here is our itinerary for the trip…three weeks and counting. Training is going well and it’s time to start putting out gear in piles and turning the living room into an expedition staging centre. My excitement is mounting each day and I’m eager to be back in the Himalayas surrounded by beauty. I long to see prayer flags flying in the wind and eagerly await a treasured visit to Boddhanath once we arrive in Kathmandu.
Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labtsa
April 15: Meet the rest of the expedition crew in Kathmandu.
April 16: An early start for the dramatic flight through the mountains to Lukla (2840m). We spend the remainder of the day resting and acclimatizing. Tea House.
April 17: A short and easy day of trekking off the beaten track, up through thinning forest to the grazing area of Chutanga (3050m). Camp.
April 18: Acclimatization day. We make a trek up to around 4000 metres giving views over the Dudh Khosi Valley and across to the Atwra La pass. We return to Chutanga. Camp.
April 19: A long day mostly uphill to cross the Zatrwa La (4600m) and descend to Tuli Kharka a high pasture above the Hinku valley. Camp (4320m).
April 20: We follow a delightful descending trail across three ridges, before dropping steeply down to the Hinku River and a final uphill to Gotay (3600m). Camp.
April 21: Following the west side of the Hinku River, we trek via the Yak herders’ summer settlement of Gondishung and its Buddhist shrine to Tagnag (4350m). Camp.
April 22: A day for acclimatization. We trek up above camp to around 5,000 metres for views across to the Mera La and return to Tagnag. Camp.
April 23: A second acclimatization day at Tagnag. Today is set aside for skills training particularly the techniques required for fixed lines and crevasse rescue. Camp.
April 24: We ascend an ablation valley beside the Dig Glacier to Kare, the basecamp area for Mera Peak. Camp (5000m).
April 25: A day for further acclimatization. We follow the ridge above camp to around 5500 metres and return to Khare. Camp.
April 26: Leaving our base camp we trek up onto the glacier and traverse to the Mera La. We make camp 100 metres below the pass on the Hongu side. Camp (c.5300m).
April 27: A rest and acclimatization day prior to the ascent of Mera Peak. Camp
April 28: We continue our ascent of the North flank of Mera Peak to a spectacular eyrie nestled below a rocky outcropping on the ridge. Camp (5800m).
April 29: We make the technically easy ascent of Mera Peak (6476m). The summit view includes 5 of the World’s 6 highest mountains. Descend to the Hongu Valley. Camp (5200m).
April 30: After descending to the Hongu River we trek up valley to a camp beside a large frozen lake. (5000m).
May 1: Passing beneath the giant west face of Chamlang we follow the Hongu Khola and finally the Hongu Glacier to the holy site of Panch Pokhri (five lakes). Camp (5400).
May 2: A rest day. The guides and Sherpas ascend the Amphu Labtsa to establish fixed lines and prepare the pass for tomorrow’s crossing. Camp.
May 3: Scree slopes and an icefall are tackled to gain the Amphu Labtsa (5700m). We now descend fixed ropes to the Imja Glacier and trek to our base camp for Island Peak.
May 4: A contingency day in case of delays to our schedule do far. May be used as a rest day or to split the ascent of Island Peak over two days with a high camp.
May 5: An early start for the ascent of Island Peak at 6187m. / 20,299ft. After taking in the spectacular 360 panorama from the summit we descend to our base camp.
May 6: Descending the Imja Khola Valley via Dingboche we reach the main Khumbu Valley and pass through the village of Pangboche to our halt at Deboche. Camp (3710m).
May 7: Trekking via Thyangboche where we stop for a visit to the Monastery, and via the settlements of Phunki Tenga and Kangjuma, we reach Namche Bazaar. Camp (3440m).
May 8: Our final days trekking following the Dudh Khosi mostly downhill but with a last climb up to Lukla. We say goodbye to our support crew in traditional style. Tea House.
May 9: Taking a morning flight to Kathmandu
May 10: A free day in Kathmandu.
May 11: Begin flying home to Newfoundland
May 12: Arrive back home