I just got back to Kathmandu after leading a group to Mera Peak (Nepal) and I thought it would be worth sharing some information on here. There has been significant (and by the sounds of it frequent) rockfall on the standard route as one climbs onto the snout of the glacier above Japanese Camp on the way to Mera La.
In fact I saw a large rockfall on the day before we planned to go that way, the ridge above this section has been destablised and there is one huge boulder ready to topple at anytime. On return to Kathmandu I heard the news that two people had been injured apparently from a UK based company only two weeks before (broken femur and other person had a dislocated shoulder) from rockfall on the same spot. It seemed strange that no-one on the trek like lodges owners or national park office made any effort to warn groups about this risk which has changed significantly from previous years.
There is a new route below Japanese Camp that descends loose scree (now well cairned) to the glacier that descends directly to Mera La, it seems a reasonable route and our groups had no problems going this way. On our return from summit the news had luckily got around and most other groups and their porters were following this new way to Mera la.
Anyways I have copied link below to the trip report on our blog with further information and photos of old and new routes to Mera La, it is certainly worth considering your route choice carefully if you are planning on climbing Mera Peak in near future.
Hi Roland, Its not just Mera thats been having problems After the almost unprecedented period of clear dry weather this year with no snowfall to hold rocks in place, Tilmans Pass was like a very dodgy shooting gallery (Mick and I discussed this briefly with you before you left for Mera), friends on Langshisa had to bail due to the lower snow gullys no longer existing and a lack of water was a problem on some routes later in the season as the normal snowfields had melted out.
People should be aware that many route descriptions are no longer valid and that they should make their own judgements rather than blindly following guidebook decriptions or local guides
Yes I certainly agree there has been significant change on many routes in the Himalaya plus of course other mountain ranges too. As you say one should not rely on guidebooks or route descriptions that are likely soon to be out of date as a result of changing conditions. Your trip with Mick over Tilman's Pass sounded pretty hairy I am glad to hear you and crew managed to dodge the rocks and safely cross over to Langtang.