Amphu Lapcha Pass has one of the most challenging trekking trails of Khumbu region of Nepal. It is placed in the difficult pass trek because it is not only the summit of high Himalaya but also a famous historical exploration of monasteries, temples and different lakes. The trail of trek also features classic expedition, and it is challenging because the trail doesn’t follow frequently traveled path rather it takes you to barren and uninhabited areas, snow-covered mountain passes and glaciers.
As challenging as this trek might be, but it also offers the most stunning and spectacular view of mountains like Everest, Makalu, Amadablam, Thamserku, Baruntse, Kusum Kanguru and several other small mountains. Along with the majestic view of big and small mountains, you will also get pass some distinctive and remote village of Nepal including Chutanga, Kotte, Thangnak, Chhukung, Khare, Tengboche and Namche Bazaar. It will allow to explore the life and way of living of Himalayan people, which are very different from that of city areas.
About Amphu Lapcha Pass
Amphu Lapcha Pass is located at an elevation of 5,845 meters/19,177 feet in an isolated valley of Honku valley. The pass is a glaciated pass covered in serac cliffs. The base of Honku valley lies at an elevation of 5,000 meters/16,400 feet and has several glacial lakes including the Panch Pokhi as well. The ice and rock summit of the pass is quite exposed and gives an excellent view of Mt. Lhotse, Island Peak (also known as Imja Tsa) and Imja glacier.
About Mera Peak
Mera Peak rises to a height of 6,476 meters/21,247 feet, and it is classified as a trekking peak of Nepal. Mera Peak has three main summits; Mera North at 6,476 m; Mera Central at 6,461 m and Mera South at 6,065 meters. Except for these three main summits, there are other smaller trekking summits as well which are visible from the south but not marked on most maps of the region. With its height, Mera Peak is claimed to be the highest trekking peak.
About the trek
Amphu Lapcha Pass is a challenging as well a worthy trek. It is one of the high alpine region treks which consists classic trail like world’s highest mountain, Everest expedition and most exciting and adventurous trek among all the trek of Great Himalayan Range itself.
The trek starts in a sub-tropical region and gradually reaches over the height of 5,000 meters from sea level. You will get the most breath-taking view of Mount Everest and climb Mera Peak as it is possible during the follow of trail and why not climb a mountain itself after taking so much of challenge.
Difficulty and Acclimatization on trek
As mentioned above, Amphu Lapcha trek has very challenging trails, so to accomplish the trek it requires technically enhanced and experienced trekkers. The trek goes through upper Hongu valley which is a difficult trail. Also, you have to go through Chukkung valley which needs technical climbing equipment and skilled trekkers to use equipments. So, it will be a call for unwanted risk if you are on this without no prior experience of higher altitude climbing. It will be best for hardcore adventure lovers and who are looking for ultimate experience.
Now, you know the trek includes difficulty, and you have to spend many days on height above 3,000 so, the chance of altitude sickness is high. Acclimatization is one of the best options to keep altitude sickness away. It helps your body adjusts in a new environment. Along with acclimatization drinking plenty of water, hiking slowing, avoiding alcohol, smoking and sleeping also help. Also, you should not ascend more than 400 meters per day after reaching the height of 3,000 meters. Another important tip is, garlic is a great help for preventing altitude sickness. Garlic soup is served in most of the hotels and lodges of Himalayas. However, no scientific study has proven it’s effective, it is suggested by trekking guides to have garlic soup every day during trek.
Best time for trek
Spring and autumn are the best seasons for trekking in Nepal. And for Amphu Lapcha trek, you must trek during these seasons as the treks difficulty is high, and there are challenging trails.
It is the best season for trekking in Nepal. During this season, the temperature is moderate and days are usually clear allowing trekkers to have a view of majestic mountains.
You must avoid trekking in winter for Amphu Lapcha trek because there is usually snowfall, snowstorm causing a high risk of avalanche. As the trek takes place in higher region for most of the days, you shouldn’t trek in winter. Temperature is usually below zero. However, trekking in lower elevation area can be done during winter as well.
It is another best season for trekking. During this season, you will see several wildflowers and rhododendrons flowers blooming so beautifully. You will witness several colors of rhododendron flowers in hills. In lower regions, the temperature is mildly warm and quite moderate in higher regions over 3,000 meters. Along with varieties of fauna of Nepal, you will also have a great landscape view of hills and mountains.
Summer is characterized by heavy rainfall, storm, and thunder and it makes summer unfavorable for trekking. Also, you will encounter insects and worms like leeches in rainy season.
Way to Amphu Lapcha Pass and Mera Peak
The journey of this trek starts with a domestic flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. Lukla is located at an elevation of 2,860 meters, and the airport is often claimed to be the most dangerous airport in the world. Starting your trek from Lukla, you will gradually move on to a place called Paiya (2,730 meters). It will take about six hours even if you walk with slow speed.
After staying overnight in Paiya, you will trek to Panggom (2,846 meters) which takes around 6 hours. While trekking to Panggom, you will pass through small settlement areas, forests and trails are not so challenging. At Panggom, you will stay for a night and rest the tiredness. Next day, you will be moving towards Ningsow. You will reach Ningsow in about 4-5 hours. The village of Ningsow is located at an elevation of 2,863 meters.
From Ningsow comes Chhatra Khola located at 2,800 meters height. It takes around eight hours of hike to reach Chhatra Khola. Moving on the next day comes Kothe (3,691 meters). With every passing day, the trail gets more challenging and difficult. Leaving Kothe behind you, you will trek to Thaknak (4,358 meters). It will take only about four hours to reach there. You will stay overnight at Thaknak because it is not safe to trek for higher region even if you have time. From Thanak, you will trek to Khare which takes about three hours. Khare is located at 5,045 meters height, and you will stay for an extra day for acclimatization reason.
Moving on from Khare, you will trek to Mera High Camp located at 5,780 meters, and it takes around six to seven hours. Next day will be the big day as you will climb Mera Peak. From high camp to the peak and from peak to Kongma Dingma, it takes around eleven hours, so it is going to be a tough day. Kongma Dingma is at an elevation of 4,850 meters. Well, after such a victory of conquering a mountain, have a rest day at Kongma Dingma.
From Kongma Dingma, you will next trek to Panch Pokhari (5,863). Panch Pokhari is an exquisite piece of art of nature. It contains five lakes in same location, and it is simply breathtaking. Now after an overnight stay at Panch Pokhari, you trek towards Amphu Lapcha Base Camp (5,650 m) and the next day you will cross Amphu Lapcha Pass and trek towards Chhukung (3,468 m). By this day, you are almost at an end the trek. Now from Chhukung comes Namche Bazaar (3,438 meters) and it takes about six hours of hike. Moving on from Namche, you will trek to Lukla, the point where this trek began. You have a small celebration for completing the trek in Lukla and fly back to Kathmandu the next day.