Holecek and Bernat to Climb Sura Peak, Near Everest

Marek Holecek waited until he was off to reveal the peak that he and partner Matej Bernat will climb. Had he mentioned it before, few would have recognized the name. Holecek says that the mountain is “neither a giant nor a small one.” Known as Sura Peak (6,764m), Holecek helpfully says that it is one of the mountains in the picture below.

Mountains partially covered in snow, dry glaciers below and blue sky.

Somewhere in here is Marek Holecek’s next climbing goal, Sura Peak. Photo: Jamie McGuinness


The photo’s author, Jamie McGuinness, told ExplorersWeb that he took that picture long ago from Mera Peak. The tallest mountain in the background is Everest. Holecek’s targeted peak is somewhere on the right.

Part of the Makalu-Barun Conservation Area, Sura Peak is also known as Hongu. It lies not far from the Khumbu but in the wilder Hongu Valley to the southeast. The Czech climber possibly noticed it while climbing a new route on nearby Chamlang in 2019.

Holecek says that Sura Peak has one previous ascent, but there are probably more, most done without a proper climbing permit before the mountain officially opened to foreigners in 2003.

Even after that date, the number of previous ascents is not totally clear, since spellings and altitudes vary. Sura/Hongu, for example, is frequently mistaken for neighboring Hongku Chuli (6,680m). The American Alpine Journal reports a “first recorded ascent” via the northeast face in 2019 by Pemba Sherpa of Nepal and Hiroki Nakayama of Japan.

Holecek and Bernat did dutifully pay for their “ridiculously expensive” permit earlier this week.

Currently, Holecek and Bernat are trekking up the Khumbu Valley, made muddy by relentless rain. Yesterday they reached Namche Bazaar. The weather is now improving, both for them and for the hundreds waiting at Everest Base Camp.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.