So you are thinking of taking on a Himalayan Trekking Peak and are considering Island Peak or Mera Peak. Here are my thoughts on which to choose.
This April I was fortunate enough to climb both peaks. We started our expedition after an amazing flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, Hillary-Tenzing Airport. Instead of heading straight up the Khumbu Valley, we veered right out of Lukla and down into the Arun Valley. Its quiet, remote and beautifully scenic in the Arun, seriously amazing part of Nepal.
Mera is one of the highest trekking peaks in Nepal, standing at 6,476m. It’s defining features are:
Some operators take you directly over the Zatwa La, which at 4250m, is a big pass to cross early on in your trek. We recommend skirting around this to improve your acclimatisation chances and return via the Zatwa La!
Or in our case we took on Amphu Labtsa, the 5845m technical pass that sits north of Mera and drops you via abseil into the Imja Valley.
From here it is a relatively short trek to Island Peak base camp.
Here are the defining features of Island Peak:
So which to choose? Both really, but if you are more of a trekker than a climber then I would definitely say start with Mera and then build up your confidence from there.
Hope this provides some useful insights!
BTW, we used Kandoo Adventures as our tour operator and they were amazing. Incredible guides!