Ready to take you’re trekking to the next level? The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has designated 33 trekking peaks that can be tackled without an expedition permit. All of the trekking peaks are less than 7000m (22965 Feet) and most can be summated by anyone with a moderate experience level in mountaineering for a relatively small fee. Want to go above 7000m? You will need to pay quite a bit more as these peaks qualify as expedition peaks.
Actual skill levels required for climbing trekking peaks vary quite a bit. Some of the designated peaks require significant mountaineering or climbing skills and others are just physically challenging and don’t require any particular mountaineering skill. Keep in mind that Yala Peak (5520m) which of all the trekking peaks has the lowest elevation is still almost as high as Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Africa or Denali (6194m) in North America. Tackling any trekking peak is a serious endeavor and requires proper acclimatization, equipment and physical conditioning. Here is quick overview of just a few of the 33 trekking peaks in Nepal.
Island Peak (6160m)
Island Peak or Imja Tse named for floating its appearance of floating like a ship in a sea of ice is the most popular trekking peak in Nepal. Between 2006 and 2010 over 12,000 climbers attempted the summit. Lying in the Everest region the route to the base camp for Island Peak starts from Lukla so is easily accessible. The main challenges are snow at the summit and lack of acclimatization.
Cholatse is a steep walled peak that and is one of the most difficult trekking peaks. Attracting mountaineers from around the world its not for first timers. Viewable from Gokyo Ri it seperates the Gokyo and Khumbu Valleys and is accessed via several days of trekking from Lukla. The peak was not climbed until 1982 when the first climbing permit was issued and was the last named peak in the Khumbu Region to be scaled.
Lobuje Far East (6119m)
Lobuje towers above the Khumbu Glacier on the opposite side of Mount Everest. It really consists of two peaks Lobuje East (often referenced as Lobuje West – 6145m) and Lobuje Far East (6119m). The peak is often climbed by parties later seeking to summit Everest as an acclimatization climb. The peak requires more mountaineering skills than either Island or Mera peak.
Larkya is often climbed as part of the Manaslu Trek and is physically taxing climb that requires a tough slog through the snow. Those reaching the summit are rewarded with great views of Manaslu and the Annapurnas. Sano Larkya is a secondary summit that can be reached in a single day from base camp. Those attempting to summit the main peak will need to set up a second camp above base camp.
Pisang Peak (6091m)
Pisang Peak is often climbed in combination with the classic Annapurna Circuit. It is a 3+ day round trip from Manang for those who are already properly acclimatized. A high camp is at 5200m and above that the upper ridge is guarded by imposing rock outcrop. It is slightly more difficult to summit then Island Peak.
Yala Peak (5520m)
Yala Peak is one of the easier trekking peaks and a great for first timers looking to summit a peak in Nepal. Its in the Langtang region which is easily accessible by ground transport from Kathmandu. Count on 20 days to get from the start of the trek to the summit and return. Shishapangma (8013m) the highest peak in Tibet is visible from the summit. The trekking portion through the Langtang region is pleasant with comfortable tea houses and is a great way to skip the crowds of the Everest region.
Mera Peak (6,654 m)
Mera Peak is the tallest trekking peak and the second most popular in Nepal. In fact between, 2006 and 2010 it was attempted by nearly 6000 people. One has views of 5 of the 10 world’s tallest peaks from the summit. It a fairly easy peak in technical terms only requiring a short trek across glacial ice to reach the summit. The starting point for trekkers is Lukla in the Everest region. Despite the fact that it is technically easy its suggested to give yourself 10 to 14 days to acclimatize before approaching the summit.
Tent Peak (5663m)
Tent peak lies in the middle of the Annapurna Sanctuary giving amazing views of the surrounding peaks including 8000m+ Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Fang and Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail). It’s possible to do this with a 2-week itinerary from Pokhara and combines great tea house trekking with a challenging peak at the conclusion.
This is just a brief review of a few of the 33 trekking peaks that Nepal has to offer. The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has designated trekking peaks as either “A” or “B” category. The designation has to do with the timing of and has nothing to do with the difficulty level of the peak. It’s important to note this only because of the difference in the fee structure. Permits for “A” peaks cost $350 and permits for “B” peaks cost $500 for groups of up to four people.
Some Quick Trekking Peak Facts:
Trekking peak with the lowest elevation: Yala Peak (5520m)
Trekking peak with the highest elevation: Mera Peak (6654m)
Easiest Trekking Peak: Yala Peak (5520m)
Most Difficult Trekking Peak: Cholatse (6440m)
Most Popular Trekking Peak: Island Peak (6160m)
Suggested Peak and Trek Combinations:
Everest Base Camp and Island Peak or Lubuje
Annapurna Sanctuary and Tent Peak
Yala Peak and Langtang Trek
Pisang Peak and Annapurna Circuit
Larkya Peak and the Manaslu Circuit