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Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

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Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby ielyada » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:03 pm

Hello
I am planning a trek to this area on Oct. 2006 . Start & finish at Lukla .
I would like to have some usefull info in advance.
1. How long takes this kind of trek ?
2. Due to a medicine causes I am totally vegeterian . So , on my treks , usually I have to bring food materials , a stove and buy some fresh things on the way . What are the possibilities of "refuel" on this way ?
3. If the trekking permits are paid in KTM , do I have to know the exact route ? What happens if there is a major change?
4. What are the evacuation ways if needs ? Radio / phone contact ?
Thanks a lot
ielyada
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby Nelson » Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:56 pm

Those are good questions and I'll answer them by adding a new section to my <a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/route_link.pl?route_id=3761&object_id=47">Hongu Valley Trek</a> page in a few days. That information should be explictly spelled out there.

Regarding your question 3), I presume you will be hiring some Sherpa and porter staff to go with you. It would be near impossible to do this totally trek on your own. Your staff should be familiar with the route. Also, what do you mean by "if there is a major change"? A major change to what?

By the way, I'm a vegetarian also.
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby ielyada » Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:13 pm

Hi Nelson
Thanks for your prompt answer.
Sure I'm going to hire a sherpa guide & porters ( I will organize a little group of friends or join an existing group in KTM ). My #3 question ( major change) came in order to know if I have to pay in KTM for a permit to Imja Tse peak , for example , and after the Mera peak we might change the plan and decide to go back , instead of keeping on the original circuit route . Or , on the countrary , we will not pay for Imja Tse , and later on the way we will be sorry why we didn't .
Did I made myself clear ?
Regarding the "refuel" - Is there villages on the way which I can buy bread/vegetables/eggs/fruits ? if no , then I'll have to bring all the food for the trek with me .
Again , many thanks !!!
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby Nelson » Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:30 pm

ielyada, I have added a <a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/display_component.pl?type=component&mountain_id=47&route_id=3761&component_id=74426&object_id=74426">Route Logistics</a> section to the page, which hopefully answers some of your questions. Let me know.

Regarding item 3, I am not sure of that. Presumably some other SPers will know that information.

On my initial plan to go up the Arun to the Hongu in 2001 I was with just one friend and we were planning to climb Island Peak. We were prepared to pay for that permit up front. That trip fell through however.

In 2002 I was with a small group and we said we *might* try Island. We did not have a permit and were going to leave the logistics of that to our outfitter, who said we would work it out. As it turned out we did not do Island, so it became moot. I never found out what "work it out" meant, but presumably a transfer of money!

Good luck on your trip and planning.
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby dmiki » Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:45 pm

Hi ielyada,

>1. How long takes this kind of trek ?

We did this route (going South from Lukla and not East for a few extra days of acclimatization and scenery - we never regretted this decision) this September-October (thanks for all the advice Nelson!). We took about 24 days Lukla to Lukla (or was it Kathmandu - Kathmandu?) (including 2 rest days).

>2. Due to a medicine causes I am totally vegeterian . So , on my treks , usually I have to bring food materials , a stove and buy some fresh things on the way . What are the possibilities of "refuel" on this way ?

Before Mera peak there are no problems. The only place you have to get food for is Mera BC (that we skipped) and Mera HC. However, you will need provisions for the Hongu valley (this section took us 2-3 days (to Chukung)). These we brought from KTM, Lukla, but could also have purchased along the way.

>3. If the trekking permits are paid in KTM , do I have to know the exact route ? What happens if there is a major change?

Permits for the peaks have to be (and for Sagarmatha National park it is good to) obtained in KTM, and this cannot be done along the way. They are valid for 30 days. When we set out we were unsure if we would make it to Imja Tse and who would be fit enough or wanting to climb this peak. Still we had to make this decision before setting out, in KTM. Of course if you have adequate communication channels, this could be decided and arranged at a later point in time. Our peak permits were never checked. Oh, and don`t forget the garbage disposal process in Namche / KTM!

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Michael

P.S. You can rent equipment in Lukla as well at roughly the same prices as in KTM. This way you can save on the number of rental days and the amount of overweight you will presumably need to pay between KTM and Lukla both ways.
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby ielyada » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:55 pm

Hi Michael
Many thanks !
I have some clarification questions .
1. "We took about 24 days Lukla to Lukla (or was it Kathmandu - Kathmandu?) " - Well it is quite a difference . Isn't it ? Did you do the KTM-LKL and back by flight ?
2. " Refueling" - Did you mean that I have to take care about food only for the Hongu valley which takes 2-3 days ?
Is Chukung a village where I can buy some food ? Where is it ?
After the Hongu valley there is the Amphu labsa pass which takes some days more , and then Imja tse valley and all the way down back to LKL . Am I right ?
3. "if you have adequate communication channels, this could be decided and arranged at a later point in time."
Sorry , I'm affraid I didn't understand .
4. "You can rent equipment in Lukla " - Do they have snow boots , crampons , ice axes , helmets , harnesses ? enough for all the climbers coming on this season ?
Is the equipment in good shape ?
5. Is it necessary to take a guide ? Privetly directly or by an agency ? Can you give a name of a good one ?
6. Which kind of permit is needed for this Hinku-Mera-Hongu-Imja circuit ?
Again , many many thanks.
Elyada
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby dmiki » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:06 am

Hi Elyada,

>1. "We took about 24 days Lukla to Lukla (or was it Kathmandu - Kathmandu?) " - Well it is quite a difference . Isn't it ? Did you do the KTM-LKL and back by flight ?

Yes, we flew that section both ways.

>2. " Refueling" - Did you mean that I have to take care about food only for the Hongu valley which takes 2-3 days ?

Yes. + possibly Mera peak (and Island peak) base and high camps.

>Is Chukung a village where I can buy some food ? Where is it ?

Yes, it is quite a big place (you`ll find it on all maps of the area) halfway between Dingboche and Island Peak, at the foot of Chukung Ri (has a page on SP - <a href=http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain_link.pl/mountain_id/4914>http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain_link.pl/mountain_id/4914</a>). There are 6 big lodges there. Before crossing the Ampu Labtsa pass we slept close to it, at Panch Pokhari (=5 lakes). After an early start we crossed the pass and hiked down to Chukung to spend the night there. We took a day of rest and then went back to Imja Tse HC.

>After the Hongu valley there is the Amphu labsa pass which takes some days more , and then Imja tse valley and all the way down back to LKL . Am I right ?

The pass takes a few hours (in the morning) to cross. You can get down to Chukung the same day. Chukung - Imja Tse HC (or BC) is also 1 day. From HC to the summit and down to Chukung was also 1 day for us.

>3. "if you have adequate communication channels, this could be decided and arranged at a later point in time."
>Sorry , I'm affraid I didn't understand .

Satellite phone, carrier pigeon or a porter/guide to walk to the nearest phone, etc. Eg. any way to contact the NMA (in KTM) / agency from the mountains to prepare your Island Peak permit if you don`t have one when you set out and later decide you want to climb.

>4. "You can rent equipment in Lukla " - Do they have snow boots , crampons , ice axes , helmets , harnesses ? enough for all the climbers coming on this season ?

Ice axe, crampons probably. I`m unsure about the others. You can try contacting them via the internet, some / most of the lodges / sherpas have e-mail addresses (and can check their mail in KTM or in Namche). Even `in season` there are not many people visiting Nepal nowadays. (Renting an ice axe costs 25-30 NRP/day. A tent 100 NRP/day.)

>Is the equipment in good shape ?

It will most probably have been used several times, but you can find ones (most of them) that you can trust.

>5. Is it necessary to take a guide ? Privetly directly or by an agency ? Can you give a name of a good one ?

The NMA permit has to have the name of a guide on it. The easiest is to arrange this through an agency. You can arrange everything else on your own (cheaper, but more time, more organizing) or have the agency arrange everything or anything in between.

If needed, I can give you the names, addresses of several guides. +The agency we worked with.

If I went again to these peaks, I would probably just contact a guide directly and skip the agency as much as possible to save on costs, but I`m not too fussy and don`t have too high requirements. I`m not sure what you expect / would like.

>6. Which kind of permit is needed for this Hinku-Mera-Hongu-Imja circuit ?

- Mera peak climbing permit (350 USD for 4 people)
- Island Peak climbing permit (350 USD for 4 people)
- Sagarmatha national park trekking permit (1000 NRP/person)
- +the maoists... (we paid 5000 NRP/person +our guide also had to pay 1000 NRP)

I hope this helps
Take care
Michael
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby fdoctor » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:14 am

Elyada
I have hesitated a little before posting up a reply to your questions having viewed your user profile, it doesn't give me much information to "advise" you. For example, are you a climber, have you been to these altitudes before (6000m+), have you climbed on snow and ice before etc etc?
Firstly tho' most of your questions are extremely important about the details of this trip. It's a big one and you will need a degree of self sufficiency.
I will try to give you broader advice and things to consider:
1. Go into a good bookshop and scan the books by McGuinnes and Razetti shown on my Lobuche East page on this site. They will give you most of the answers to your detailed questions. Buy the one you like best.
2. Consider doing this trip the opposite way round to most people (ie Island Peak first and UP the AmphuLapsa). Reasons: Trekking towards Everest etc is more interesting than the other way around, Island Peak is lower than Mera and will prepare you for the latter, if you reach the AmphuLapsa and can't get down it for whatever reason such as a massive snow dump then you don't have a long trail to retrace your steps. (Not everyone will agree with this but it also gives you a better option of stocking up with supplies at Dingboche)
3.For something like this only use a reputable agency who will fully clothe and insure your portes, use only porters who are capable of getting up/down the AmphuLapsa, are reliable re permits/rescue/equipment.

If you look at my profile page you will see that I am married to a Nepali and work with and use a family connected agency in Kathmandu, naturally I have a vested interest but there is no way I would give bad advice. Visit my website for the basics. If you want to deal with them or get costings etc the just email me direct.
Brian
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby Nelson » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:09 pm

fdoctor, Your suggestions are good. I might add one comment regarding the reverese direction for the Amphu-Hongu circuit. I think the reason most groups go counter-clockwise, if you will, is that it is easier to lower porters and their loads down the north side of the Amphu Labsa than to have them climb that steep and loose face.

You did cover that issue in your point 3, but nonetheless going clockwise is probably <i>slightly</i> more difficult.

In thinking about it, the same might be true of crossing the Zatra La. The Hinku Valley would be a piece of work to ascend!

The Hongu-Barun region is one of the most spectacular on earth, I must think.
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby dmiki » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:16 pm

>2. Consider doing this trip the opposite way round to most people (ie Island Peak first and UP the AmphuLapsa). Reasons: Trekking towards Everest etc is more interesting than the other way around

I found trekking anti-clockwise to be a great decision we made: very few people until Chukung and a very relaxed atmosphere. But of course it could also be good to relax after spending a few weeks among loads of people. Anyhow, before and after Chukung were completely different.

>Island Peak is lower than Mera and will
prepare you for the latter

Agreed, but IP is also more difficult / technical.

>if you reach the AmphuLapsa and can't get down it
for whatever reason such as a massive snow dump then you don't have a long trail to retrace your steps.

Agreed. However, I think it is more difficult Southwards. Also the timing (where and when you start from on the day) could be more tricky.

Michael
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Re: Mera peak & Hinku-Hongu-Imja circuit

Postby ielyada » Sun Dec 04, 2005 2:10 pm

Hi everybody
Thanks to you all for your most important tips.
I will read them all carefully , and then I'll take a decision .
fdoctor - for your question about me - well you're right , I didn't give enough info . I assume it's because I do not have such qty. of "scalps on my belt " as you all do .
Unfortunately I am not a professional-technical climber . I would define myself as a good trekker who loves peaks & challenges , have stamina & in good fittness . On tha last four-five years I summitted Kachkar 3985 m. ( North-East Turkey) , Pico de Aneto 3404 m. & Monte Perdido ( Pyreneese) , Point Lenana 4985 m. ( Mount Kenya) , and finally 5 months ago - Mont Blanc 4810 m.
So, I know how to move on ice / snow but nothing about ropes working . That is the reason I'm looking for the maximum physical-mental challenge inside the safety frame .( I think I'll put this "c.v." on my profile ).
I hope I didn't bother you , describing my " history" , skills and ambitions.
Please do not hesitate to keep me upgraded with your advises.
Thanks again , everyone .
Elyada.
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