Mera Peak Ski Expedition

21 Days in Nepal / (Skill level: Introductory, Intermediate)

Price per person

$Inquire for Pricing
  • Next Available: Oct 07, 2023 - Oct 27, 2023

About this trip

Experience the Himalaya on skis, the ultimate way to experience this mountain range. Learn high altitude climbing and skiing skills and progress from backcountry skier to ski mountaineer through the techniques learned on this trip. The awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalaya and scale of the mountains will inherently increase your focus, which is essential for true big mountain ski descents.


  • skill level

    Introductory, Intermediate

  • Duration

    21 Days

Alpenglow is thrilled to be offering a ski expedition in the Himalaya. Our high altitude guides  are also big mountain ski mountaineers; the combination of their expertise and high-end logistics that have been a priority of Alpenglow’s for over a decade, uniquely positions us to offer international, high altitude ski expeditions. We created this program as a perfect segue for backcountry skiers looking to gain the skills that will enable them to ski higher and/or more technical mountains. This program is for the backcountry skier who wants to become a ski mountaineer, and the ski mountaineer looking to progress to high altitude peaks.

Alpenglow Expeditions’ guides have been skiing, climbing, and guiding in Nepal for two decades and believe that visiting the Himalaya with skis on your feet is the ultimate way of experiencing this range. The beauty of the Himalaya will leave you awe-inspired, while the scale will inherently increase your focus, which is essential for true big mountain ski descents.

We have chosen Mera Peak (21,247 feet/6,476 meters) as an ideal place to bring your backcountry skiing to the next level. While it is possible to ski tour the entire route if conditions permit, we will focus on teaching you technical skills that you might not have needed in the backcountry settings you’ve previously experienced. You will be utilizing ropes for glacier travel and on exposed terrain, while also managing the effects of high altitude. Incorporating these elements and skills with your backcountry skiing experience is a significant step in your progression from “backcountry skier” to “ski mountaineer.” During our acclimatization climbs (Chukkung Ri, Kala Patar, Lobuche East) and once on the Mera La glacier, we will be preparing everyone on the team with the skills and knowledge needed not just for these peaks, but for bigger or more technical peaks around the world.

The highest mountains of the Himalaya have long captured the imaginations of people the world over and to be amongst the few who are able to experience them on skis is very special and a proud achievement. While trekking, climbing, and skiing in the Khumbu, it becomes apparent that it’s not only the heights to which the giants around you soar that make this place so special; it’s the greater picture of the range, including the history, the weather, the people who live there, the biodiversity, and the adventurous people who visit.

While skiing with Alpenglow Expeditions in Nepal, we utilize the same high-level logistics as those used on our major climbing expeditions. With our strong and experienced Sherpa support staff, cook staff, and guides, top-of-the-line equipment, and the best food in the business, you are able to focus your energy on yourself and your surroundings. We carefully arrange our logistics and itinerary, maximizing acclimatization, while also utilizing helicopters in order to complete this expedition in just three weeks. Join us on this very unique trip for the adventure and ski experience of a lifetime!


  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude climbing, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Technical Experience

    Skiers must be competent on a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Skiers must be able to link turns in steep terrain (up to 45 degrees) while maintaining control. Skiers must also have basic snow climbing experience including use of ice axe and crampons.

  • Altitude Experience

    It is required that climbers have prior experience at altitudes up to 14,000' and it is strongly recommended that climbers have prior experience at altitudes over 15,000'.

    • Day 1 — Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal (4,600 feet / 1,400 meters)

      We transfer to our hotel, and begin the process of getting over jetlag.

    • Day 2 — Explore Kathmandu

      Today we explore some of Kathmandu’s most famous sites. These include Swyambunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupati (Nepal’s largest Hindu temple), Boudanath (Kathmandu’s most important Buddhist temple) and the old city’s original central square, Durbar. We also have our first team meeting, and organize our gear.

    • Day 3 — Fly Kathmandu (4,600 feet / 1,400 meters) to Lukla (9,000 feet / 2,743 meters), 4-5 hours.

      One of the most beautiful and memorable mountain flights in the world, our 45-minute flight takes us from Kathmandu to Lukla, the town where we begin our trek. After organizing our yaks and porters we begin our hike to the town of Monjo. The trail is excellent, and after descending to the town of Phakding, it climbs easily from the river and across our first suspension bridges up to our lodge in Monjo.

    • Day 4 — Trek Monjo (9,300 feet / 2,835 meters) to Namche Bazaar (11,300 feet / 3,444 meters), 3-4 hours.

      The walk begins with a couple of thrilling suspension bridges and wanders along the banks of the raging Dudh Khosi River, before climbing steeply up a 2,000 foot (610 meter) hill into Namche Bazaar. This hill is the first of our challenging climbs. Along the way we are rewarded with our first views of Mt. Everest, and plenty of well-built stone terraces to stop and rest. We have lunch in Namche Bazaar, and spend the afternoon exploring the vibrant town. Namche is the most important town in the Khumbu Valley, and is filled with fun shops, great bakeries, and colorful winding streets. We also visit the local monastery and the Sherpa Museum of Culture and Himalayan Climbing History. The museum’s exhibits chronicling sherpa climbing history are not to be missed.

    • Day 5 — Trek Namche Bazaar (11,300 feet/3,444 meters) to Khumjung (12,400 feet/3,790 meters), 1 hour.

      For acclimatization purposes we spend a second night near Namche Bazaar. After a relaxing morning exploring town and enjoying our first stunning views of Ama Dablam from a viewpoint above town, we have lunch and then take a one-hour walk to Khumjung and our sirdar’s (lead sherpa’s) home. We spend the night with Phurba Tashi and his family in his comfortable lodge, and possibly visit the Hillary School in Khumjung, and the Khunde hospital, both projects of Sir Edmund Hillary, and significant centers of Sherpa life.

    • Day 6 — Trek Khumjung (12,400 feet/3,790 meters) to Phortse (12,450 feet/3,800 meters), 3 hours.

      Phortse is home to most of our sherpa team. It is an incredible mountain town perched on the walls of a massive river valley and sees almost no Western visitors. To get there we set off from Khumjung on small trails, featuring a long stone staircase through vertical rock cliffs that ends at the Mong La, a high pass with striking 360 degree views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Kantegri. From the pass we descend to the river, and then climb easily to Phortse, arriving in time for lunch. We spend the afternoon visiting our sherpa team in their homes, drinking tea and tasting the locally made yak yogurt.

    • Day 7 — Trek Phortse (12,450 feet/3,800 meters) to Dingboche (14,800 feet/4,530 meters), 5-7 hours

      We begin today’s trek far from other trekkers on the trail from Phortse to upper Pangboche. In Pangboche we visit the oldest monastery and temple in the region and explore its paintings and statues. If we are fortunate, we may also receive blessings from the local lama. Once finished, we continue hiking to Dingboche, a small seasonal town perched at the base of Lhotse’s South Face that has incredible views of Ama Dablam’s North Ridge.

    • Day 8 — Climb of Chukkung Ri (17,600 feet/5,364 meters), 6-8 hours round-trip.

      Chukkung Ri is not glaciated, but provides an excellent way for us to gain additional acclimatization, as well as stunning views of Lhotse’s South Face and the huge glaciers filling the Amphu Valley. In the afternoon we return to our lodge in Dingboche in time for a late lunch and some time relaxing in the sun. As needed, this day also makes for a great rest and recuperation day.

    • Day 9 — Climb Kala Patar (18,192/5,164 meters), 6-8 hours roundtrip.

      Climb Kala Patar (18,192/5,164 meters) and return to Lobuche. Summiting Kala Patar is a non-technical but strenuous hike on good, generally snow-free, trails. The views of Everest from its summit are the best anywhere in Nepal, and well worth the hard hike.

    • Day 10 — Practice Skills and Rest Day

      Today we get some much needed rest and practice the skills we'll need on Mera.

    • Day 11 — Climb to Lobuche High Camp (17,716 feet/5400 meters)

      The route from Lobuche climbs out of the valley on a progressively steepening scree slope. Eventually, we cross a series of rock bands (fixed ropes) before reaching this beautiful camp perched below Lobuche’s glacier and summit.

    • Day 12 — Summit Lobuche East (20,075 feet/6,119 meters)

      Summit day on Lobuche East (20,075 feet/6,119 meters). (Possible ski; conditions dependent.) We start early, climbing through rock slabs and steps. When we reach the glacier, from there steep snow and ice takes us to the final knife edge summit ridge. After enjoying the views we reverse our route and descend all the way to the town of Lobuche.

    • Day 13 — Rest and Heli to Khare (15,285 feet/4,660 meters)

      Rest, heli to Khare (15,285 feet/4,660 meters). In Khare, we are now above tree line, leaving us with incredible views of our main objective, Mera Peak.

    • Day 14 — Rest and Weather Contingency Day

      Possible heli contingency day. Rest in Khare.

    • Day 15 — Hike or Skin to Mera Base Camp (17,766 feet/5,415 meters)

      Today we hike/skin to base camp, getting our legs back underneath us, and reviewing techniques along the way.

    • Day 16 — Skin to Mera High Camp (19,030 feet/5,800 meters)

      For today’s move to high camp, we are able to spend most of the time skinning. As we approach our camp, we are are rewarded with stunning views of some of the world’s highest peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Ama Dablam.

    • Day 17 — Summit and Ski Day (21,247 feet/6,476 meters)

      Mera Peak summit day and ski! Return to Khare. We skin for as long as possible today before changing over to crampons if necessary for the final portion of the ascent. We then descend 4,000+ foot (1,220 meter) on skis, providing us with the ski experience of a lifetime! Every time we stop to catch our breath, we will be staring at the peaks that give the Himalaya its fame.

    • Day 18 — Weather Contingency Day

      Summit and ski contingency day.

    • Day 19 — Fly to Kathmandu

      Heli to Lukla, continue by plane to Kathmandu. This 45-minute flight begins with one of the most exciting takeoffs in the world. Once airborne the flight offers incredible views of the mountains, the foothills, and finally the city. After landing in Kathmandu we return to our hotel for an afternoon of celebration, great food, and perhaps much needed massages. Night in hotel.

    • Day 20 — Contingency Day for Flights

      Contingency day for flights from Lukla to Kathmandu. Since the flights to and from Lukla are often delayed or cancelled due to bad weather in the mountains, this is an essential extra day. If we arrived back in Kathmandu on time, this day can be used for sightseeing in the city, shopping for souvenirs, or sleeping in and enjoying the fantastic pool at the hotel.

    • Day 21 — Departure

      Depart Kathmandu for home. After a final group breakfast, return to the airport to catch international flights home.

  • Coming Soon

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • Would you consider organizing a custom ski expedition to Mera?

      We always love organizing custom expeditions. Custom trips provide the most flexibility and best overall experience no matter the location.

    • Do I need to purchase Rescue Insurance and Travel Insurance?

      We require Rescue Insurance on all of our international expeditions. Rescue insurance will help cover costs in the event that you need to be rescued off the mountain (Ex: Helicopter/medical evacuation). Travel Insurance (which we strongly recommend) can cover issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance, like illness. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance.

      If you do choose Global Rescue, be sure to select the High Altitude Evacuation Add-On that is needed for insurance coverage above 15,000 ft.

    • Are Covid vaccinations required?

      Yes. Our leadership has made the decision to require all participants to be vaccinated for international travel. This is a safety measure that we have made to not only protect our clients, but also to protect our guide team and the local people in which we interact with during our expeditions. We want to do our utmost to mitigate the risk of Covid disrupting our expeditions, and having our teams vaccinated has become an important part of our risk management system with international travel. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or issues regarding this decision, we’d be happy to hop on a call and discuss this further.

    • What all is included and excluded?

      The cost of your trip includes your land costs (excluding in-town meals). This includes:

      • Double occupancy lodging while in town, according to itinerary.
      • Meals on the mountain
      • Group camping and climbing equipment
      • Base camp and mountain infrastructure
      • Scheduled transportation while in the countries we are visiting
      • Certified guides
      • Covid testing arrangements for re-entry into home country (does not include cost of test)

      The cost of your trip does not include:

      • Flights to/from the city where the expedition begins
      • Additional nights in hotel outside of the itinerary, this includes but is not limited to extra hotel nights due to an early summit bid and early departure from the mountain.
      • Airport taxes
      • Visas
      • In-town meals
      • Immunizations
      • Tips for guides or local staff
      • Travel, rescue, or any other type of insurance
      • Hospitalization or evacuation costs
      • Single supplement room charges
      • Excess baggage charges
      • Alcohol
      • Antigen/PCR Covid test cost
      • Other personal expenses
      • Airport transportation for early arrival/late departures outside of scheduled itinerary
      • The costs of delays or changes to itinerary that are beyond the control of Alpenglow Expeditions or its agents are not included.

Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 150 in the USA) and more than a fifteen summits of 8,000 meter peaks (17 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen, as well as an ascent of K2 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for over twenty years and has led over 130 international climbing expeditions on 6 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu (the 8th tallest mountain in the world) from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has successfully led more than 100 clients to the summits of Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons, Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Europe, and of course closer to home in Olympic Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Fischer, Hiball Energy, and Favre Leuba.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Chris Wright

Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before moving to Oregon and becoming a guide in 2006, and has been climbing and skiing across the globe ever since. He is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, and can regularly be found at work from the French Alps to the Canadian Rockies and Norway’s Lofoten Islands. His achievements include everything from big walls to virgin summits, first ski descents and traverses, and his guiding career has taken him from the Matterhorn to Denali, and from Mt. Hood to Mont Blanc. An avid alpinist and expedition climber, Chris has received the prestigious Mugs Stump and Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards for his ascents of hard new routes on unclimbed peaks in the Nepali and Indian Himalayas, as well as the rest of the world, including the famed East Face of Alaska’s Mooses Tooth. He is easily excited by rocks, snow and ice, and by travel, coffee, beer and greasy food of any sort.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is an IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Mera Peak Ski Expedition

Mera Peak Ski Expedition

Experience the Himalaya on skis, the ultimate way to experience this mountain range. Learn high altitude climbing and skiing skills and progress from backcountry skier to ski mountaineer through the techniques learned on this trip. The awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalaya and scale of the mountains will inherently increase your focus, which is essential for true big mountain ski descents.