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Baruntse Expedition with Mera Peak Climbing

Baruntse Expedition_All Trekkers Team

Starts from: Kathmandu

Ending at: Kathmandu

Best season: Spring and autumn

Duration of Trip: 36 days

 Mountain Background

Lying between greater 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 summit was first reached by Colin Todd and Geoff Harrow in 1954 via the southeast 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 7000’er, Baruntse Expedition involves various 8000meter 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 southeast ridge of Baruntse a 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 the East Cool at an altitude of 5,700m and the camp II on the southeast ridge at a height of 6,420m.

Food Arrangements:

We provide all camping equipment and gear, including tents, dining, toilet, and kitchen tents. At Base Camp we have a large mess tent equipped with all necessary kitchen gadgets including stoves, tables and chairs. Meals are prepared by our trained and experienced expedition cooks. We make sure that the food we provide is hygienic and at the same time suits your palate. We offer all varieties of food including continental and local Nepali/Tibetan items. Breakfast includes porridge, egg, bread, etc. Some of the items in the lunch include rice, lentils, beans, green vegetables, chapattis, bread, and tinned meat and fish items. Fresh or tinned fruit and tea or coffees make the desserts. For the main meal, you can choose your own menu – either local or western varieties. Local varieties include from the local Daal Bhat, yak stew, MOMO to the western burghers, pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas.

During the actual mountain climbing, we mostly use dry or dehydrated foods.  We will also have things like chocolate, cheese, nuts, and muesli items.

Detailed Expedition Itinerary:

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 helps you transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft). After you have a chance to relax at your hotel we will transfer to a welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurants in the heart of Kathmandu.  At the dinner there will be a briefing about the trek.

DAY 02:  Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek/climbing Preparation

DAY 03:  Fly to Lukla and trek to Paiya (Chutok) – 2730m/8954ft: 3-4 hours

Early morning scenic flight takes us to the small airstrip, Tenjin-Hillary airport in Lukla (2,840m/9,315ft). After arriving in Lukla you will be served your first wonderful breakfast in the mountains whilst the All Trekkers Team organizes porters and your guide sorts and divides the loads to be carried by porters.  Because it makes sense to fly up to Lukla for acclimatization and then walk down we head down to Shurke. Walking down through the forest to Shurke, we stop for lunch nearby Pakhapani. Continuing through many traditional villages and forests you will gradually reach the vicinity of Paiya where we still have our first night’s camp. A number of peaks are visible from here such as KnogdeRi, Khatang, Tang Ragi Tu and other peaks above 7,000 meters. Overnight at Paiya.

DAY 04:  Paiya to Pangkoma – 2850m/93,48ft: 5-6 hours

After breakfast, we march a little down until we reach a 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 walking up through the rhododendron and bamboo forests on a narrow mountain trail. Make sure your camera is ready and fully charged to catch the outstanding views of the Dudh koshi River valley and Dudh Kund Himal.  Before too long we will reach 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 along the trail. Passing again through hills, ridges, and teahouses, we head and have lunch in a local village. Mesmerizing views of the south face of Mera Peak (6064m/19890) and Naulekh Peak are our reward. After lunch our trek continues and 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.

DAY 06: Nigmsa (Shibuche) to Chetra Khola – 3150m/10332ft: 7-8 hours

After breakfast we start up through a steep slope on a typical narrow mountain trail.  The trailheads through rhododendron and bamboo forests before reaching a stream. After the stream crossing we continue up through more rhododendron and then head slightly down through bamboo forest, past a nice stone cave by the side of a river.  We Camp here for the night.

DAY 07: Chetrakhola to Kothe – 3600m/11808ft: 6-7 hours

After an hours hike we reach a fine vantage point of the Hinku Valley.  From here the views into the Hinku Valley unfold spectacularly with the nature surrounding us. The narrow trail continues through the bamboo and pine forest. All the while we are on the lookout for wild mountain animals like the sloth bear, jungle cat, etc. After passing through Tashing Dingma we find shops and teahouses where we will stop for lunch. After lunch we continue ahead along the edge of the river in the Hinku valley all the way up and reach Kothe. Overnight in Kothe.

DAY 08:  Kotheto Tangnang – (4,350m/14,270ft): 3-4 hours

Today is another short day in which we trek along the edge of the Hinku Khola and in the shadow of Mera Peak. Lunch will be at Gondishung, the summer herders’ settlement on the western bank of the Hinku Drangka. Beyond Gondishung we pass the 200 year-old Lungsumgba Gompa where we find Mera peak carved in the rocks along with the route to reach Mera. There will be a prayer and incense offering for a successful ascent of Mera Peak. A short walk further brings us to Thagnag, a summer grazing area with primitive lodges and shops. Overnight in Thagnag in the camp.

DAY 09: Rest and some Hiking to Charpate Himal Glacier

Today is your rest day. Stay active to be ready for next day’s adventure. After breakfast we hike for about 3 hours up to Charpate Himal Glacier. Seen very close from the Thangnag, Charpate Himal is regarded as holy by the Sherpa community and is worshipped by traditional Sherpa’s of the mountains.  From here it is possible to observe Mera North. After pleasant hours hike down we get back to 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 a pleasure to view the beautiful north face of Mera Peak from Khare. Overnight at Khare.

DAY 11: Acclimatization 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.  We will need to walk a couple of hours to a place where there are good views of the Mera La and the route up the mountain. Here we will spend some hours practicing ice climbing, roping in, crampon use and using a jamber. Afterwards we will stroll back to camp and make our final preparations and packing of equipment tomorrows climb to high camp.

DAY 12: Khare to High camp – 5,780m/18,958ft: 4-5 hours

We begin by walking through a rock-strewn area for about two hours. The way to Mera high camp can be hazardous if it has recently snowed, as there are a number of crevasses along the way. This is where our experienced climbing leader is essential.  Once past the crevasses we make out way to the top of the rock band, which is marked by a large cairn.  We set up high camp and from here the sunrise and sunset can be viewed behind Mt. Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu and south face of Lotshe, Nuptse, Chamlang and Baruntse.  These well known mountains are seems like they are piercing the skyline! Overnight in Mera High Camp.

DAY 13: High camp to Mera Peak Summit (6,476m) to KongmaDingma – 4850m/15912 ft: 9-10 hrs

This is a big day. We wake up around 2:30 am and have a quick breakfast. After breakfast, you put on your equipment, rope-up and set out for our journey to the summit.  If well acclimated, it takes 4-6 hours to reach the summit of Mera central. From the summit we can see the magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Cho-Oyu, Lhotse, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Nuptse and many other peaks over six thousand meters. After achieving the summit we head back to high camp where we pack up and continue down to Kongma Dingma for the night. 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 becomes exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the summiting of the peak. This day is also used in case any people in the group have problems acclimating well enough to make the first ascent.

DAY 15: Kongma Dingma to Seto Pokhari – 5035m/16519 ft: 6 hrs

Climb steadily up to and just beyond SetoPokhari or White Lake, the first of a series of lakes that occupy the upper Hongu Basin. Experience the wilderness of the Hongu Valley. The Valley is a true mountain wilderness almost devoid of settlements. On the right is Chamlang (7321m) with hanging glaciers on its southwest and northwest faces.

DAY 16: SetoPokhari to Baruntse Basecamp – 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 Basecamp (ABC) will be set up at an altitude of 6,000m near the glacier at the foot of the southeast 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 lines will be placed on the ascent to camp 1, below the west and east col. The route above camp 2 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 and Acclimatization at Base Camp

Cary Loads to ABC, return to Base Camp

Rest ay

Climb to temporary ABC (5800m)

Climb to West Col, Sleep at camp 1 (6135m)

Climb to camp 2 (6400m)

Summit attempt (7220m) back to camp 1

Spare summit day

Return to Base Camp

DAY 28: Rest and Pack up day at the Baruntse Base Camp

Today we rest and spend our time cleaning and drying our equipment. Also, we will prepare hot water for bath and shaving.  Remember, it’s important to leave the least footprints possible for the conservation of this pristine Himalayan environment. We collect all of the garbage we’ve produced and hand it over to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee at Namche/Lukla.

DAY 29: Baruntse Basecamp to AmphuLabsta Basecamp – 5650m/18536 ft: 4-5 hrs

Hike along the rugged moraine towards Imja Valley. Enjoy the panoramic views of high Himalayan peaks including Lhotse and Everest towards the northwest. Camp at Amphulaptsa Base Camp and prepare for the next day’s crossing of the AmphuLabsta pass. AmphuLaptse Pass at around 5845 m is one of the highest passes in Nepal, connecting the Hongu Valley with Imja Valley. 4-5 hours.

DAY 30: AmphuLabsta Basecamp (South) to AmphuLabsta Basecamp (North), 5300m/17385 ft: 5 – 6 hrs

An early morning climb. The climb involves steep sections on rock and ice. Cross the AmphuLapcha pass. It’s better to tackle the pass early in the morning when the snow is stable. Use climbing ropes wherever necessary. The last section of the climb to AmphuLabstaends up on snow shelves. On the other side, a steep descent awaits us to be taken 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 trek. 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. Then it’s another steep descent leading back to the DudhKosi River. The final steep climb traverses the hillside 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.

DAY 34: Lukla Fly back to Kathmandu

The flight time to Kathmandu are scheduled in the morning normally because Lukla suffers from windy afternoons. 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 your hotel. You may have time to relax and regain your breath after your long journey through the Himalayas. In the evening, we will organize farewell dinner in the finest restaurant in Thamel. Celebrate with your friends and with All Trekkers Team family.

DAY 35: Free day in Kathmandu

Rest and relax after such long strenuous trip.  The day is also reserved as a contingency day due to flight delays or other unforeseen conditions. You might spending the time shopping for some souvenirs for your family and friends.

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.

Recommended Previous Experience

Our Baruntse expeditions are led by professional, experienced mountaineers and guides supported by other crewmembers. All of the necessary logistics/equipment for the expedition are organized way in advance. Baruntse offers a perfect training opportunity for those aiming for even higher peaks. However, although Baruntse is not as technical as Aama Dablam, the difficult terrain and a very high altitude makes the climb a very challenging one. The climbers need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along the steep technical terrain. Preferable the climbers will have prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 6,000 m. The oxygen level over 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level. A high standard of physical and mental fitness is necessary for this climb.

Climbing Day:

The climbing itinerary may vary according to the climber’s personal experience. A climbing day involves steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch and resting, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in the climbing itinerary is necessary as people climb at own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. We ensure the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.

Weather Conditions:

The post-monsoon season from October to December is considered the best time form Baruntse Expedition. The lower valleys observe pleasant days, and it varies from cool to very cold high up on the Baruntse. The nights may be quite cold due to chill wind. Temperatures may get as low as minus 25C above camp 1. The possibility of bad weather such as snow, wind, and cloud should also be taken into account.

Leadership:

Our Baruntse expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers and guides who have scaled the mountain several times before.  They are supported by other crewmembers. Not only in terms of qualification, but also a proven track record in generally climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising safety. Our expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including acute mountain sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crewmembers are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.

Team Composition:

Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. We observe high safety standards, therefore, for every 2 international climbers, we assign: All Trekkers Team accredited climbing leader, high altitude assistance Sherpa, cook, Base Camp assistance, porters and all necessary trek crew. Also included are yaks and the yak keeper.  Because of our high safety standards, team members will be added as per the number of international climbers.

Why Expedition with All Trekkers Team?

Going on any adventure trip will require a substantial sum of money be paid in advance. Yet trusting a company you have no prior experience with involves a risk. We, however, are a fully bonded trek operator authorized by Nepal Government, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Nepal Tourism Board, Industry Department, Company Registration Office, Nepal National Bank and the Taxation Office. We are also affiliated with such prestigious regulating bodies as NATTA, NMA, TAAN, and KEEP.

A detailed list of our registrations and licenses for operation:

Nepal Ministry of Industry, Office of Company Register

Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Department of Tourism

Nepal Department of Small Cottage and Industries

Nepal Ministry of Finance, Department of VAT/ PAN

Tax Clearance Certificate

Central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra Bank), Department of Foreign Currency Exchange:

Fair Price with Quality: 

Service, quality and fair prices – is the motto of our business. The packages we have offer unbeatable value for money. But you don’t have to take our word on it – we ask our clients shop around to other adventure companies to try to find a similar package at a better price. However, we do not compromise on quality to cut down the costs. Our edge over other international operators is that we are a Nepal based business that allows us to keep our overhead to a minimum. So we can offer the same facilities as those provided by a Western company at literally a fraction of the price. That about 40% of our bookings come from repeat business proves our performance when it comes to client satisfaction.

Sustainable Operation Policies:

All Trekkers Team (P) LTD observes responsible and sustainable tourism practices. The company works closely with all stakeholders including the local communities to protect and conserve natural environment. We ensure that all our adventure programs leave the least possible carbon footprint. We are also aware of the corporate social responsibility; hence we maintain highest ethical and professional standards as well as transparency in our business practices.

Local and Experienced Mountain Leaders:

All Trekkers Team (P) LTD employs and trains local staff so that the local communities benefit from our adventure operations. However, we never compromise on our high safety and quality standards. All of our leaders and guides are carefully selected based on their aptitude, experience, and leadership skills. Most of our guides have been continuously working with us for more than 10 years. Our guides are trained for remote emergencies and are well versed in local politics, culture and customs. Please check out the personal records of our guides who have scaled Mt. Everest several times (and hundreds of other lesser peaks). Thus, we guarantee that all our guides, cooks, and other crews members are qualified and experienced professionals who make it sure that you’re always safe, sound, and happy.

Additional Information:

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it, please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly, feel free to call us at: +977-98510-78240, 98122-85346

Services Included:

All climbing permit, land, air transportation and accommodation in lodges/tent during the trek/climb, Food: three times meals in a day, necessary guides and required number of porter(s), other essential equipment.

Services Excluded:

Personal expenses, insurance, tips, emergency evacuation by helicopter, alternative transportation in case of heavy rain, landslide, strike and road blockade etc.