Which Everest Region 6000er? The Khumbu Classics Compared

Our CEO, Oliver Browne has climbed all three of the classic Khumbu 6000ers: Mera Peak, Island Peak and Lobuche East. Here he gives his thoughts on how the mountains compare.


Oliver has climbed Lobuche East twice and Mera Peak / Island Peak once. Here he answers the questions about how the three compare...

Easiest out of the three?

Definitely Mera Peak. Although the highest at c. 6500m, Mera Peak is as easy a 6000er as they come anywhere in the world. With no fixed rope or technical sections to contend with - people do not even wear helmets, Mera is very much a high altitude trek albeit on glaciated terrain. The summit push is relatively short and the descent to Khare is very straight forward. We whisk you back to Kathmandu by helicopter!

Most Scenic?

Mera Peak, just.. The views from Lobuche East of Mount Everest and its surrounding peaks are really amazing. Similarly on Island Peak you get close up to Ama Dablam and Lhotse, but the Mera Peak trek feels like stepping into a different level of natural beauty and the views from the summit of Cho You, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu in particular are out of this world.

Best Trek to Basecamp?

Mera Peak. Although you land at Lukla as you would for Island Peak and Lobuche East you head in the opposite direction towards Khote, crossing the Chetra La Pass to the Lake Khola Valley. It is wild and quiet here with incredible scenery. I constantly scan the forest hillsides - it seems perfectly plausible a tiger or snow leopard could emerge. There are some great tea houses here also. 

Best for Progression?

Definitely Island Peak. Technically more interesting and demanding, this climb takes strength and endurance and has one near vertical section. If you are looking to climb 8000ers in the future or want a tougher test of your climbing and fitness then you should definitely go for Island Peak.

Best to Combine With Everest Basecamp Trek?

Lobuche East. You can trek to basecamp via the normal or Gokyo Lake route and then climb Lobuche East in as little as 2 extra days. Our EBC & Lobuche East Express expeditions get people in and out of Nepal in under 2 weeks by using helicopters to descend.

Best Time to Climb?

All three of these mountains have become popular to climb. The busiest perhaps is Island Peak which is problematic due to one funnel like section where disturbed loose rock ca fall on the climbers below. There are lots of climbers vying to use the fixed ropes which can cause delays.. For that reason I would say that for all 3 the best season is early in Spring season or in the autumn season which has traditionally had fewer climbers.