Mera Peak (6,654 m) is the highest permitted trekking peak of Nepal. It stands to the south of Everest and dominates the watershed between the heavily wooded valleys of the Hinku and Hongu Drangkas.
J.O.M. Roberts and Sen Tenzing made the first successful ascent of Mera Peak on 20 May 1953. The route they used is still the standard route. There are many other routes to the peak, but none of them are easy. Some of them require crossing very high and difficult passes. This leads to a true mountaineering experience. In the end, all efforts and hard work is paid off with spectacular scenery as Mera provides one of the finest viewpoints in Nepal.
Mera Peak offers a panoramic view of Chamlang, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, and Baruntse in the east and the peaks of Cho-Oyu, Ama Dablam and Kangtega to the west. Everest can be viewed to the north over the massive unclimbed south face of Lhotse and the Nuptse/Lhotse ridge. Under favourable conditions, it is possible to climb the peak and descend back on the same day.
First climbed in 1955 by a German expedition via the north-east ridge, the peak of Chulu East, together with Chulu West, forms an integral part of the Manang Himal, which in turn is included in the Larger Damodar Himal. Chulu East lying south east of Chulu West is a comparatively smaller peak.
Singu Chuli (6,501 m) was formerly known as Fluted Peak. The first ascent of this peak was made by Wilf Noyce and David Cox on its North–East Face and the top section of the East Ridge. This mountain has proven to be very difficult to climb for most commercial climbing groups who have tried to concentrate on Tent Peak.
Singu Chuli is the first summit on the long ridge thrown down from Tarke Kang (Glacier Dome), which separates the South and West Annapurna Glaciers. Annapurna South Base Camp provides the best distant view of the mountain. To date, apart from the original route, most efforts to climb this mountain have concentrated on the face and ridges seen from this viewpoint. The southwest ridge of the mountain connects with Tent Peak. The terrain between the two mountains is a confusing one and the ridge is not straight.
Hiunchuli, at a height of 6,441 meters, forms a massive south-facing wall together with Annapurna South. Its eastern face overlooks the Modi Khola and guards the entrance to the Annapurna Sanctuary. An American Peace Corps Expedition, via the southeast face, first climbed Hiunchuli in October 1971. The mountain is not technically difficult to climb but is vulnerable to rock falls, and route finding may also be a problem. Even though it offers major new route potentials, it has received little attention from mountaineers and is rarely climbed.
Of the two Chulus (East and West), Chulu West is the higher peak. It was first ascended in 1952 by a Japanese Expedition. The Base Camp of this peak is situated in a small valley north of Manang, off the main trail to the Thorang La. There is a controversy regarding the name and location of the Chulu peaks. There are several peaks close by and are also a part of Chulu massif but are not indicated in the map. Thus it is difficult to differentiate between the two Chulus. However, the Chulu group comprises of four peaks: two in the east and two in the west. Chulu West may also be called Chulu Central. There is no technical difficulty in ascending this peak but progress can be slow as the slopes are vulnerable to avalanches in certain conditions.
Kusum Kanguru, 6,369 meters, dominating the southern end of Charpati Himal separates the valley of the Dudh Koshi from the upper reaches of Hinku Drangka. This peak is a complex, triple–summited mountain having at least five major ridges and faces. The north face of the main summit is the most spectacular one. The name Kusum Kanguru comes from Tibetan meaning “Three Snow Peaks”.
This peak is one of the most difficult trekking peaks to climb and was first ascended in the autumn of 1979 by a Japanese team.
First climbed in 1955, Pharchamo Peak is an attractive snow peak lying south of Tashi Lapcha. It has a north-by-northwest ridge, which rises from the crevassed glacier astride the Tashi Lapcha. The face of the ridge forms a uniform slope broken by crevasse and seraes rising from the rocky lower buttresses above the Drolambau Glaciers in the west. Rolwaling valley is the main access to Pharchamo, though this route was closed for most of the 1980s due to potential dangers to porters crossing the Tashi Lapcha. The only other alternative route is from the Khumbu side via Namche Bazar and Thame.
Imja Tse (Island Peak)
Imja Tse peak, at a height of 6,160 meters, is more popularly known by the name of Island Peak. The peak was named Island peak by Eric Shipton’s party in 1953, as the peak resembles an island in a sea of ice when viewed form Dingboche. Later in 1983, the peak was renamed as Imja Tse.
The peak was first ascended in 1953 by a British team as preparation for climbing Everest. Tenzing Norgay was one of the members who successfully ascended it.
The peak is part of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar and the main land forms a semicircle of cliffs that rise to the north of the summits of Nuptse, Lhotse, Middle Peak and Lhotse Shar. Cho Polu and Makalu lie to the east of the Island Peak. Baruntse, Amphu and Ama Dablam lie to the south.
The Lobuje Mountain consists of two different summits, viz. East and West with heights of 6,119 m and 6,145 m respectively. A continuous ridge connects them but there is still a sharp gap and a considerable distance between them. The East Peak is recognised as a trekking peak, whereas the West is known as an Expedition Peak.
Lobuje being an attractive mountain offers various existing routes and also a potential for new ones. The dark triangle of its rocky East face rises over the moraines of the Khumbu Glacier to a spectacular skyline, forming the south ridge.
The peak of Lobuje East is reached by descending a marked notch and climbing steep snowy slopes to the top. On most occasions, the mountain is climbed on the summit ridge only as far as a subsidiary snow summit, south–east of the true peak and before the notch. This peak is identified as the false peak. Laurence Nielson and Ang Gyalzen Sherpa made the first ascent to Lobuje East on 25 April 1984 although there are possibilities that others have reached the summit before. But no records are available.
Pisang Peak offers good scope for exploration. The western flank of the mountain is guarded by a hanging glacier and offers considerable challenge. The western end of the ridge is guarded by huge rock slabs, which make it difficult to climb. A German Expedition made the first ascent of Pisang Peak in 1955.
Also known as Kangde Ri and Kwangde, Kwangdi Ri is a difficult mountain to climb and stands at a height of 6,011m. It forms an impressive multi-summited ridge at the eastern end of the Lumding Himal, which in turn is part of Rolwaling Himal. The mountain stands above the Bhote Koshi River to the south-west of Namche Bazar. The northern part of the mountain forms an impressive barrier having several steep ridges to the north.
Ramdung stands at a height of 5,925 meters. It is situated south of Na in the upper Rolwaling region and is one of a cluster of peaks surrounding Yalung La. It provides an access to upper Rolwaling from the south via the Khare Khola. A team led by Bill Murray first climbed the peak in 1952; it proved to be an ideal summit for commercial trekking and climbing groups before closure of the Rolwaling. The normal route to this mountain, through the glaciers of North-East Flank, is straightforward. The mountain offers a panoramic view of mountain ranges from Langtang to Everest and also a splendid view of Gauri Shankar and Menlungtse.
Kongma Tse, 5,849 meters, was formerly called Mehra Peak or simply Mehra. It rises to the north of Kongma La and stands above the Khumbu Glacier opposite of Lobuje. It is one of several summits which make up the long south-west ridge of Nuptse.
Naya Kanga (Ganja La Chuli)
Formerly known as Ganja La Chuli, Naya Kanga (5,844 m) rises to the west of Ganja La, and is a popular but difficult mountain to climb. The normal route to this peak is via the snowy north–east ridge. It is not yet clear who climbed this summit first. The most important reward of climbing Naya Kanga is the spectacular view of mountains in or near Tibet.
Pokhalde (5,806 m) was first climbed in 1953 via the Kongma La along its north ridge by the 1953 Everest Expedition team led by John Hunt. Pokhalde looks like a crenulated rocky ridge dominated by the vast bulk of Nuptse when seen from Nuptse. The mountain has a small hanging glacier, which is best reached along the ridge rising from the Kongma La, on its northern side. Although the summit is comparatively smaller than the rest, it provides a good viewpoint.
Situated in the heart of the Annapurna Sanctuary, Tharpuchuli is an attractive mountain. It is a part of the ridgeline and is located south from the glacier dome. It includes Singu Chuli and acts as a central divider between the semicircles of peaks enclosing the Sanctuary. Tharpuchuli offers an interesting climb to the top and also offers a spectacular view of the Annapurna mountains. The peak was nicknamed “Tent Peak “ by Jimmy Roberts in 1956.
Mardi Himal (5,587 m) lies less than 15 miles from Pokhara, and is the most southerly peak of the Annapurna range. It is the lowest and the least climbed or visited peak. Photographs of Mardi Himal taken in 1953 by Baisl Goodfellow first drew the attention of western climbers, and the mountain received its first ascent in 1961. The first route was via the East Flank and is the only one used so far.
The mountain separates the southwest ridge of Machhapuchhare as a separate mass at right angles to the ridge and is best seen from the south. The southwest face of the mountain has three well-defined ridges rising from rock buttresses and separated by hanging glaciers. Its east face is separated from the Machhapuchhare ridge by a col at 5,200 meters. The normal climbing route to the summit of Mardi Himal passes through this col. The summit offers a splendid view of the Annapurna Range and the Fishtail mountain – Machhapuchhare.
The valleys and ridges south of Mardi Himal are steep and heavily wooded with bamboo and rhododendron. Alpine pastures above the forest provide a good habitat for wildlife.