Island Vs Mera Peak

Nepal is an abode of Himalayas. It’s gifted with some of the most majestic mountains in the world. Out of the 14 Eight-Thousander peaks, 7 remains in Nepal. Along with these mighty mountains, there are 100s of smaller peaks which caters the enthusiastic climbers. These can be cheaper than climbing the Everest and can be completed with ease.

Island Peak and Mera Peak are the two most popular smaller peaks in Nepal. These two mountains attract the most amount of climbers in the country. The climb may account for a day or two, hence, it easier to undertake small peak climbing. An expert as well as an amateur climber  can complete the climb without the need of any expedition.

Here are some holistic differences between the two to help you decide better.


Island Peak

Island Peak or Imja Tse is a small peak located at the Khumbu region. It measures 6,189 meters (20,305 ft). It was named Island Peak by Eric Shipton’s party in 1951, since it appears as an island in a sea of ice when viewed from Dingboche.

An Alpine PD peak, you need to have proper technical skills to ascent the peak. Cramponing, harnessing and ice-axing is essential. A Sherpa guide will always be there to assist you during the climb. Most of  the trail encounters trekking, however, the last 400-500 m section requires climbing through snow and rocks.

The ascent is generally started during early morning. Around 2 am, you get up and ready to tackle the climb with your ice-axe, ropes and head-lamp. You may reach the summit around 11 am-12 pm in the morning. The rest of the time will be spent descending all the way to the Chhukung village, which offers better tea-house for lodging.

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Mera Peak

Mera Peak at 6,476 meters (21,247 ft) is known as the highest trekking peak in the world. An Alpine PD peak, it is technically superior than most smaller peaks in the region. it is located in the Hinku valley of northeastern Nepal. It contains 3 main summits. Most climbers take on Mera North, the highest of them all.

You would need proper technical skills to ascent the peak. Cramponing, harnessing and ice-axing will be equally essential. A proper  logistical support and qualified Sherpa guides will always be there to assist you. From the summit, 5 of the major peaks will easily be visible, including Mount Everest.

Most of the trail accounts for trekking. The final 600-700 meters ascent requires climbing through snow, rocks and ice. The ascent starts early morning. You may reach the summit by noon and back to Lower Base Camp by the evening.

More on Mera Peak Climb


Ascent Profile & Logistics

Mera and Island Peak
Mera and Island Peak

Both the trip starts and ends at Lukla. The commute to Lukla is facilitated by the domestic flights. You’d generally trek 10-12 days and keep 2 days for climbing. A spare summit day is kept in case you aren’t able to summit the previous day due to bad weather.

Island Peak’s summit is just 287 meters lesser in height than the Mera Peak’s summit. Both requires a good amount of ice-axing, alpine style of climbing through ropes and cramponing. As the summit generally lasts only a day, the lengthy climb may prove to be a fatiguing experience for the most climbers.


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10 Died Climbing the Everest in 2017

The Mount Everest has already usurped 10 innocent lives in 2017. The Spring season is popular for climbing the Everest, as the small window opens only for short time during May. Almost 509 climbing permits were issued for the Spring season.

373 permits were issued for summits from the Southern side (Nepal), while 136 were issued for summits from the Chinese side.

Brief History

Mount Everest stands at 8,848 meters, making it the highest peak in the world. It’s in the Mahalangur himalaya range and falls in Nepal and China on Southern and Northern side, respectively. The first successful ascent of Mount Everest was made on 1953 by the 9th British Expedition team, including; Edmund Hillary, John Hunt and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

Ever  since the commercialization of climbing in Nepal, more than 5,000 climbers have scaled the Everest. Most of the climbs took place only after 2000. The availability of logistics and assistants lately has made the expedition easier.

Reinhold Messner became the first person to climb Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. Since then, many climbers have made a point to climb the Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen.

Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse
Mount Everest is the highest peak on Earth

Dead Indian Climber’s body to be retrieved

Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) is on a task to retrieve the body of an Indian climber Ravi Kumar who died while descending from the summit on May 28. He purportedly fell 200 meters from the route and into the crevasse.

The move to retrieve the body has come under scrutiny and criticism by the chairperson of NMA Ang Tshering Sherpa, as they are supposedly forced by the Indian embassy and the family of the deceased to retrieve the body.

It would have been a different thing if was alive. We should be mindful and not be taking the decision to get the body from such a danger zone. The family should understand that. It’s too dangerous to recover a body from such a difficult place ~Ang Tshering

Spanish climber makes a record

Kilian Jornet
Kilian Jornet

The 29 years old Spanish climber Kilian Jornet has summited the Everest without supplemental Oxygen twice in the same week.

He summited the mountain from the south and north sides. The first climb was completed in 26 hours, and the following climb was completed within 17 hours.

Today I felt good, although it was really windy so it was hard to move fast. I think summiting Everest twice in one week without oxygen opens up a new realm of possibilities in alpinism and I’m really happy to have done it. ~Kilian

5 Best Climb Movies

There can’t be other pleasures than watching the movies – masterpieces – ever made on the subject, Climbing. Since the advent of commercial climbing and digital tech, many unexpected climbs have been captured or filmed for the fun of watching.

Well, here are 5 of such movies which have made a mark with their amazing story and cinematography. You must add these movies in your bucket-list.


#1 Touching the Void (2003)

touching the voidTouching the Void recalls the story of 2 climbers who faced an ill fate during the climb of the Six-thousander Siula Grande in Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Joe Simpson and Simon Yates venture out to ascent the Siula Grande. Their ascent goes well, however, while descending they a face sudden storm which encapsulates the entire summit. The succeeding plots cover more on Joe’s ordeal. He survives the fall, manages to come out alive through a crevasse and crawls all his way to the base camp for day.

★★★★★
Directed by Kevin MacDonald


#2 North Face (2008)

the north faceNorth Face is a movie based on the events of 1936, when two competing teams climbed the Eiger via North Face. The German climbers included Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser from Berchtesgaden.

The drama unfolds once the two German soldiers leave the Army to attempt the Eiger (falsely claiming one of them is getting married and the other is to be Best Man). The competing team of Austrians that eventually teams up with the German team are portrayed as hoping for a Nazi-led incorporation of Austria into Germany.

★★★★★
Directed by Philipp Stölzl


#3 Valley Uprising

valley uprising coverValley Uprising depicts the counterculture lifestyle of rock climbers living inside Yosemite valley. Their lifestyle was popular for dumpster-diving and wild parties that clashed with the conservative values of the National Park Service.

The movie presents the adamant rock climbers pushing their limit to climb Yosemite’s cliffs.

“Valley Uprising” is the riveting, unforgettable tale of this bold rock climbing tradition in Yosemite National Park: half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity — and the laws of the land.

★★★★★
Directed by Peter Mortimer


#4 Meru (2015)

Meru coverMeru is a documentary film chronicling the first successful ascent of the “Shark’s Fin” route on Meru Peak. After attempting but failing to summit Meru in 2008, famed climber Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and filmmaker/photographer Renan Ozturk returned to ascent the mountain. A 2,000 meters wall known as the “Shark’s Fin” is toughest part of the climb.

The movie presents both the attempts made by the team. The 2008 expedition which failed and the 2011 expedition which went successfully.

★★★★
Directed by Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi


#5 The Wildest Dream (2010)

the wildest dream coverThe Wildest Dream is a docudrama based on the 1924 British expedition of the Mount Everest, when the climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared in the mountain.

The movie presents two different stories; one about climber Conrad Anker returning to the Everest to investigate Mallory’s disappearance and the other a biography of Mallory told through letters and archival footage from 1924. It is one of the most appreciated movies among the moviegoers.

Entertainment in August 2010 as The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest. The film was released in the UK by Serengeti Entertainment in September 2010 as The Wildest Dream.

★★★★★
Directed by Anthony Geffen

Types of Climbing Rope

Rope is one of the most essential gears for any climbing activity. Learning about the durability and resistance of each types of ropes can ease off your work and even save you in the nick of time. Here is the list of modern ropes available in the market and their usages.


#1 Dynamic

A dynamic rope is a somewhat elastic rope used primarily in the climbing, such as; mountaineering, rock-climbing and boldering. The greater stretch allows a dynamic rope to absorb the energy of a sudden load,  which is quite common during the climbing.

The sudden fall or the heaving loads of the climbers can counter-react on the rope’s strength, therefore, dynamic ropes helps ease such loads and lessen the chances of breakage.

Kernmantle ropes are the most common type of dynamic rope, and nylon has replaced all natural materials such as hemp since 1945 for durability and strength.

Dynamic rope
Dynamic rope

The modern ropes are mostly made from Nylon, which requires less maintenance, and rated by the UIAA for certain standards and testing. They come in a variety of lengths and diameters, with the most common lengths being 50, 60, and 70 meters.

Ropes that are frequently used are often inspected for cuts, abrasions, or frayed areas; any cut or fraying that passes into the core of the rope is cause for concern. Ropes can also be washed to clean them of any extensive dirt or grime.

Single rope

Single ropes are designed to be used alone, and are by far the most common, and used for top-roping, sport climbing, and trad climbing.

Half rope

Half ropes are also used as a pair, but only one rope is clipped through each piece of protection- the climber alternates which rope is clipped through each piece. On wandering routes where protection is placed far apart on either side, half ropes can significantly reduce rope drag.

Twin rope

Twin ropes are used by treating the pair of ropes as a single rope, clipping both ropes through the same carabiner at each piece of protection. Twin ropes share many of the advantages and disadvantages that half ropes have compared to single ropes

There are all-purpose dynamic ropes available too which can be used for all the climbing purposes.

#2 Static

Static rope
Static rope

A static rope is designed not to stretch when placed under load, and are mostly used for rescue operations, lifting the loads and caving etc.

The static ropes have fewer purposes during the climbing and are restricted to certain applications. It isn’t recommended to use static ropes during any form of climbing, except abseiling.


Climbing Essentials

Check out the complete list

EQUIPMENT
  • Alpine Climbing Harness – A good climbing harness should be light and simple in design, easy to put on and take off with gloves on, with positively foolproof locking features.
  • Crampons – Crampons must fit boots perfectly; steel crampons with anti-balling and ability to toe point positively and safely into ice. The lighter the better – extra weight on your feet is much more strenuous than anywhere else on your body.
  • Ice axe – Ice axe should be versatile and light. A general purpose technical ice axe (T rated) but not too aggressive.
    Ascender: Ascender or Jamar, a mechanical device used for ascending on a rope; must be suitable to be used with gloves or mittens. Practice using it with thick gloves on again and again.
  • Multi-LED Head Lamp – Multi-LED Head Lamp and spare batteries are essential; we do not recommend single bulb lights due to lower reliability
  • Carabiners – Minimum 2 locking carabineers, 1 large and 1 small and 4 regular.
  • Rappel Device – Figure 8, ACT or similar; be familiar with Munter Hitch as it may save your life if you lose your rappel device (which happens a lot)
  • Trekking Poles – Very handy for the approach; adjustable types are the best (preferably with a simple outside locking mechanism)
  • Slings – One 3m(10ft) and three 2m(6ft)
  • Prusik loops – Never hurts to carry a few (e.g. 0.6m and 1.2m), they come in handy in many situations
  • Masks, hoses, and regulators – Good quality for your safety.
  • Altimeter – ABC watch or more advanced GPS watches will do the trick. Watch for battery life
  • Climbing helmet – Climbing helmet is essential safety gear for crossing areas under rocks and ice cliffs; light weight is essential.
CLOTHING
Upper Body
  • 1-2 (medium insulation) short-sleeve Merino shirt(e.g. Icebreaker Merino 150 or lightweight 200, Odlo Revolution medium)
  • 2 long-sleeve Merino shirts (e.g. Icebreaker Merino 150 and/or 200 or Odlo Revolution, one medium and one thick)
  • One fleece pullover, medium weight.
  • One fleece jacket.
  • One hardshellwaterproof Gore-Tex jacket with large hood to accommodate the climbing helmet. The Arc’teryx SV range is expensive but offers excellent wind and water protection.
  • Lightweight down jacket for chilly days in base camp or warm layer when stopping for short breaks.
  • One very warm expedition grade goose-down (duvet) jacket with hood or a down suit if you prefer, for high altitude use (e.g. Northface, Rab etc.)
Hands
  • One pair lightweight liner gloves. These will be worn when tying knots etc.
  • Mitten: Goretexovermitts (that block the wind) matched with the very warm down mitts, spare mitts might also be useful (For instance, Mountain Equipment Redline)
Head
  • Warm wool or synthetic hat that covers your ears
  • Balaclava or face mask
  • Scarf or neck sleeve
  • Bandana or head scarf is useful for dusty conditions
  • Ball cap or brimmed sun cap
  • Glacier Sunglass with side shields (2x)
  • One pair of ski goggles (optional with light and dark lens) for windy conditions
Lower Body
  • Merino underwear briefs (Icebreaker, Odlo etc.)
  • One pair walking shortsOptional
  • One pair walking trousers for trekking and around camp
  • Two pair thermal Merino bottoms (Icebreaker 150 or 200 or Odlo Revolution)
  • One pair very thick thermal Merino bottoms (Icebreaker 200, Odlo Revolution Thick)
  • One pair polar fleece trousers or similar mid layer trousers
  • One pair Gore-Tex (over)trousers or bibs. Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
  • One pair of Goose-down trousers or bibs. You may prefer a down suit (Northface, Rab, etc.)
Feet
  • One pair of plastic boots suitable for >8,000 meters. (For instance La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Millet or equivalent good quality plastic shells with inner boots; avoid tight fit with heavy socks)
  • One pair sturdy leather or synthetic (Gortex) hiking boots with good ankle support for the walk to base camp
  • One pair cross-trainers, running shoes and/or sandals for Kathmandu and in camp
  • One pair down bootiesOptional
  • Two pair med-heavy poly or wool socks
  • Two Pair of liner socks. Polypropylene or wool
  • Vapour barrier liner socks or plastic bread-bags (matter of preference)
  • Two pair lightweight trekking socks, poly or wool
  • Light Merino wool or cotton socks for in town

Ama Dablam: 3rd Most Popular Peak

Not many of you know, Ama Dablam is the thirst most popular expedition peak of Nepal. Even though, the Six-Thousander peak doesn’t boast great height of the likes Everest, Makalu and Lhotse, it is still preferred by the climbers willing to tackle its technical difficulties.


Overview

Ama Dablam Base Camp
Ama Dablam Base Camp

Ama Dablam 6,812 meters is a Himalaya peak located in the Khumbu valley of Nepal. The phrase literally translates to “Mother’s Necklace” in the local dialect.

First climbed in 1961, many expeditions have been led since the commercialization of mountaineering. Moreover, it is globally known for its aesthetics. The sheer beauty of the mountain has seduced international companies to use its image for their logo or brand, namely; INVESCO Groups and Aqua Minerale (Russia).

Bear Grylls became the youngest Briton to climb Ama Dablam in 1997.


Expedition

It is one of the most sought expeditions in Nepal. The full-length expedition may last well over a month, basically 32 days. The Southwest ridge remains open throughout the Sporing, Autumn and Winter seasons.

Spring Autumn Winter
US $400 US $400 US $200

You start from the Lukla, and trek slowly through the Khumbu region up to Dingboche. The trekking prior to climbing helps to make your body accustomed to the higher altitude. From Dingboche, you make your way towards the Ama Dablam Base Camp.

  • The climb may last around 15 days. You’ll be accompanied by a Sherpa Guide, liaison officer, porters and other staffs to help establish ropes and routes, prepare meals and set up camps throughout the peak.
  • Climbers generally setup 3 different camps. Camp III is located just below the hanging glacier of the summit.
  • From Base Camp, you can approach for the Advanced Base Camp at 5,400 meters. The route leads north towards the Camp I. There are four or five tent platforms.
  • From Camp I, you approach for the Camp II. The trail follows through the mixed grounds towards the Yellow Tower, a 15 meter pitch, just below Camp II. Camp II at 5,900 meters has very limited tent space (three or four tent platforms) and is extremely exposed. It is sometimes only used to store equipment dump, with expeditions choosing to climb up to the Camp III in a single push.
  • From Camp II, the route leads through snows, ridges and gully towards the Camp III 6,300. It’s located directly below the hanging glacier of the summit.
  • The push for summit is made through the snows and ice. You continue to skirt the peak on the right, and then move west to gain a small snowfield below the Burgschrund. After Burgschrund is crossed, the climb heads directly to the ice crest. This is followed by a magnificent climb to the summit.

Gallery


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