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Mt. Makalu, 8481 m, the fifth highest peak in the world lies at the border of Nepal and Tibet; the autonomous state of China. Residing in the Mahalangur range in the Sankhuwasabha district, Mt Makalu is only 19km away from Mt. Everest. Mt. Makalu is an isolated peak with a unique pyramid shape formed by the sharp ridges from all four sides widely known for the same.
The first ascent to this extremely appealing peak was made on 15th May 1955 by Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray of the French Expedition. They climbed up via the saddle between the Makalu Peak and Kang Chun Tse (the subsidiary peak of Makalu) from the Northeast Ridge, which is still the standard route for climbing Mt. Makalu. However, many climbers have ascended via the Southeast Ridge and South and West Pillar as well.
Among the 8000 peaks around the world, Mt. Makalu is considered to be one of the most difficult peaks which demands a lot of strength, experience, and mountaineering skills. The steep pitches and sharp ridges are highly exposed posing quite a huge amount of risks to climbers. Proper acclimatization and high experience are crucial during this expedition to Makalu. Due to the technicalities involved in climbing, four higher camps are set up above the base camp in Makalu Expedition. Our guides and climbing Sherpas will set up properly fixed ropes throughout to help you climb up easily and safely.
The route to Mt. Makalu passes through the remote and isolated parts of Makalu Barun valley with exceptional natural beauty. One can observe the undisturbed and rare mountain ecosystems in the Barun Valley. The exotic views of waterfalls falling into deep gorges, rocks rising behind the dense forests, the blooming of colorful flowers and vegetation are comparable to none. Therefore, the overall trip is one package of adventure, peacefulness, and tranquility away from the regular chaos of life.
Preparation of Makalu Expedition
As mentioned above, Mt. Makalu is highly technical, in fact, one of the most difficult climbs in the world. So, if you are planning to head towards Makalu for Expedition, make sure you have enough experience of high altitude mountaineering and have climbed several 7000 m and lower 8000 m peaks. Also, train your body for physical strength and your mind for endurance and determination. 8K offers a 1:1 climber to Sherpa to provide you the best experience of climbing.
Best season for Makalu Expedition
The best seasons for the Makalu Expedition are Autumn and Spring that fall in the months of September to November and March to May when the weather is clear and more predictable. The trekking trail is amazingly attractive with blossoms of flowers, blooming of Rhododendron, mild heat, and cold temperatures. However, you may plan your trip for any time of the year. 8K Expeditions will craft the perfect travel plan for you in any season that favors you.
Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to obtain the Entry Visa (if you have not obtained it from your country). At the arrivals gate, one of our representatives shall be waiting to receive you. Then, s/he will drive you to the hotel for you to rest and relax.
The next day, we will complete all the necessary procedures like obtaining permits and other documentation. We will also prepare for our expedition. A short briefing will be conducted to inform you about the technical aspects of the Expedition. You may go sightseeing and shopping in the evening.
After the early morning breakfast, we will drive to the airport and take a short flight to Tumlingtar, the deepest valley in Nepal. Tumlingtar, in Sankhuwasabha district is the gateway to Makalu Barun National Park. From there, we will meet our crew members and take a 4-5 hour drive to Num, a small village in the Koshi region of Nepal. There we will stay overnight in a tented camp.
After a night's stay in Num, we set our feet on the trail towards Sheduwa. First, we descend steeply for 2 and a half hours to reach the Neguwa River with a suspension bridge, crossing which leads us to ascend the dense forests and small settlements. We get to witness the picturesque crop plantation in terraced fields. Later, we reach a check post of Makalu Conservation Area where we will need to take some entry passes.
The trail from Sheduwa to Tashi gaon is easy as we need to walk through flat surfaces through the bushes and occasional ascents. After walking for almost 4 hours, we reach Tashigaon, a huge Sherpa village, decorated with prayer flags. We will set up our camp to rest overnight.
The trail from Tashi Gaon to Khongma is an uphill climb through the forests of Rhododendron and pine trees. Kongma La is a ridge with a single tea house. So, we set up a tented camp and rest overnight. Enjoy the meals prepared by our chefs and cooks.
From Khongma, we head towards Mumbuk on a trail that ascends initially until we reach a beautiful lake, “Kalo Pokhari” meaning “a black lake” at 4004 m, and then descends to reach Mumbuk.
The trek gets a bit difficult as well as adventurous from Mumbuk as the trail passes through a section prone to landslides. The latter parts of the trails ascend through the grasslands and forests. The majestic views of Mt Tutse, Peak 7 (6185 m), Isuwa La (5340 m), and many other peaks. The Kharka is pasture land and an exceptional spot for Camping.
From Nehe Kharka, we ascend towards the Lower Base Camp of Mt. Makalu. The views of Mt. Makalu (8481 m), Baruntse (7152 m), Kali Himal (6985 m), Chamlang (7390 m), Makalu II (7640 m) are spellbinding from the Base camp. We will spend two more days in the lower base camp for acclimatization and expedition preparation.
After acclimatizing at the lower base camp, we hike up to the higher base camp at around 5600 m.
We will then start our expedition to the legendary Mt. Makalu. We will conduct multiple rotations around the higher camps before the Summit Push. Our team of Sherpas will set up the fixed ropes throughout the route. We will set up higher camps and rotate back and forth to consecutive camps for training as well as acclimatization. Eventually, when the weather is favorable and everyone is good to go, we head for the Summit Push. On Summit Day, we start early so that we reach the top at Dawn to witness the glorious Sunrise. After spending some quality time at the Summit, we then descend to the lower camps and finally to the Base Camp by the end of Day 42.
8K strictly follows eco-travel and responsible tourism. So, before we return we make sure we clean up all the trash and garbage that we produced during our stay at the Camp and higher camps. After cleaning up the Base Camp, we prepare to return to Yangle Kharka.
We retrace our path back to Yangle Kharka through the adventurous trail. We will then rest overnight in a tented camp in Yangle Kharka.
From Yangle Kharka, we retrace the path with the landscapes of landslides. After 4-5 hours we finally reach Khongma to camp overnight.
During our return, we cover more distance as we descend on major parts. So, we trek to Sheduwa through Tashigaon upon our return.
The trail from Sheduwa to Num descends steeply at the start and later ascends to reach Num. After passing a small forest of bamboo and small villages, we finally reach Num. from Num, we will meet our crew and drive to Khandbari and rest overnight in a hotel.
After a night’s stay in Khandbari, we have our breakfast and drive to Tumlingtar airport. Then, we will fly back to Kathmandu and rest at the hotel.
In Kathmandu, you can relax in Thamel, a popular street for tourists where you can get anything you want. You may do some shopping, eat in a nice restaurant, get some spa, do some laundry and many other things. There are also many different attractions in Kathmandu including but not limited to Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath Stupa, Basantapur, Bhaktapur, Patan, and so on. You may go sightseeing around these areas with one of our city guides. We will join for the farewell dinner in the evening.
If you have not signed up for any other Add-ons Adventure packages, it’s time to bid you farewell. One of our representatives will drop you off at the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure.
Trekking and mountain climbing in the Himalayas are highly dependent on weather conditions. We try to schedule our trips at the most favorable time but in case of extreme scenarios, the roadways may be blocked. In cases as such, we would like to notify you that except for the total number of days in the itinerary section, expenses of other extra days shall be borne by the client himself/herself. However, 8K Expeditions will make necessary arrangements for the accommodation of porters and guides.
Also, 8K Expeditions shall not be liable for any compensation for losses due to missed International Flights but we will surely help to make necessary arrangements to minimize your loss. To avoid missing flights, we suggest keeping some flexible time frames before trip departure and after trip departure.
Also be notified that as we will be traveling in remote areas with extreme climatic conditions and geography where trails can be distorted at times, we might need to adjust our itineraries as required. But we assure you that the quality of service shall not be compromised at any cost.
Expedition costs vary depending on factors including: group size, royalty and permit costs in different seasons, category of hotel accommodation, numbers of Sherpa’s allocated and equipment, type of arrangement and package customization. So, we would like to discuss with our client before offering the cost. Please feel free to contact 8K Expedition for any information about in your selected package.
Thank you for joining us on our Expedition!!