FATMAP difficulty grade
After spending about 10 days getting here and acclimatising, today is when your efforts are really rewarded and the mountaineering phase of your trip begins.
Get started by climbing moraine and scree (not as bad as it sounds!) for about an hour and a half to reach a boulder field at the foot of the Mera Glacier.
Cross the boulder field and go up to the right of the glacier to a large platform where you don crampons and step onto the glacier.
After the long journey to get here, this feels like a big moment! With crampons on, climb a snow slope up the glacier to reach a plateau with huge views back down the Hingku valley.
Walk across the plateau for an hour or so to the Mera La itself.
The col is not really one defined spot and there are plenty of sheltered spots to erect your campsite.
The best spots are actually just past the crest of the col because this is where the sun arrives first. Once camp is set up, try to hydrate as much as possible and conserve maximum energy - the days ahead will really test your fitness and acclimatisation so enjoy the opportunity to take it easy for a few hours and savour being in such a beautiful spot. An early start is not required for the climb up to Mera Peak high camp but you will likely be driven into bed early because the temperature drops dramatically once the sun disappears!