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Makalu Climbing Expedition -60 days

Home Nepal Package Tour Nepal Expedition Package Makalu Climbing Expedition

Makalu expedition is a difficult tough adventure mountain lies on 8485m in south east of Everest, Nepal. This mountain has another Sanskrit word Maha Kala means Big Black. It is pyramid structure with four sharp ridges mountain with amazing spectacular sight. The summit is first achieve from French expedition leader Jean Franco on May 15th 1955. As the US team from California is the first attempt of Mt. Makalu from the way of Biratnagar in 1954.

At the same time a British team also reach in the summit Makalu expedition. The Japanese is climb Mt. Makalu in 1970, another French team climb in 1971 and a Yugoslav expedition reach in 1975. Mt. Makalu expedition is an adventurous route to climb because of its west face. This expedition is a little bit dangerous to attempt summit. The Russian expedition leads the route of the West Face on 21st of May 1997 via the most difficult route.

Normally the base camp is set up four camps to follow before reaching the top. The first camp is at 6100m, camp 2 is at 6600m, the third camp is at 7200m and the fourth camp is at 7600m. Generally a climber will following the route of south east ridge, the west pillar way. This expedition is relatively less attempt mountain of Nepal.Before this expedition, one have well information of mountaineering attempt on the above 8000m.

From the summit expediton you will view magnificent Himalayan of Kanchenjunga and Shishapangma with several snow-topped chains of mountains. Also you explore the Opportunity of the areas of Makalu-Barun National Park. This trip is complete within 60 days taking an Scenic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar to Kathmandu. Finally, the journey of expedition makes incredible and memorable moment in lifetime.


Trip Itinerary

Meet at the airport and taken to Hotel. We will be waiting you at Kathmandu airport with your name. For those joining the expedition in Kathmandu, all team members should aim to meet at the hotel on this day.

There will be time for us to explore the bazaars, shops and monasteries of this fascinating city. The expedition leader will also examine everyone climbing equipment so that any shortfalls can be purchased in Kathmandu prior to flying to Tumlingtar.

After a short bus ride to the Domestic Airport we find ourselves on board a twin propeller aircraft with the rooftops of Kathmandu disappearing beneath us. It is about a 50 minute flight before touchdown on a bumpy grass airstrip at Tumlingtar (400m). The team is picked up by jeep and it is bumpy 2.5 hour drive before we reach our first camp at Chichila 1,850m. This is also a gathering place for all of the porters

It is our first day on foot and a relatively steady walk through the picturesque villages and lush forests of the foothills. Eventually we meet a ridge line with great views on either side and perched on the end is Num at 1,505m. Almost every evening Num experiences a dramatic display of thunder and lightning, which makes life here that little bit more interesting

We start the day at Num with a great view of our campsite at Seduwa, on the opposite side of the valley. This can only mean one thing; a steep descent down through the forests and terraced plots of land all the way to the Arun Khola (river). Then it is a winding ascent up the other side again. It’s often quite hot, so the forest on the valley sides offer a bit of shade on this quite challenging day. This is where the Makalu National Park starts and we register our permits with the local Rangers. Camping right at the top of the village we can enjoy a beautiful view looking back towards Num and the ridgelines bounding the Arun Valley

From Seduwa we ascend the ridge, which is bounded by the Ipsuwa Khola on the west and Kasuwa Khola to the east. It is an easier day today after yesterday exertion. The path cuts across the hillside contouring through quiet villages along the way. You will see the locals using buffalo to plough the small paddy fields as every piece of land is being utilised for farming. Finally, we climb 500m to reach the busier village of Tashi Gaon 2,065m. Along the way we pass a local school that was built by funding from the recent British Services Makalu expedition in 2008.

The pace needs to be slow and steady today as we trek upwards towards Khongma at an altitude of 3,562m. Khongma is the last opportunity we have to stop before crossing the Shipton La and dropping down into the upper sections of the remote Barun Valley. It is an interesting walk today as we leave the green forests behind, which are replaced with the more remote scrub and rhododendrons that cover the lower reaches of the mountains.

At this point in the trek, we take a well-earned acclimatisation day. This gives us a rest and allows our bodies to catch up with us before gaining more height the following day when we take on our first challenge, the crossing of the Shipton La (4,200m).

After a good rest it is time to climb higher towards the summit of the Shipton La at (4,200m). It takes a few hours to reach the top of the pass, from where we can enjoy the views back towards Num. We then drop down the saddle for a rest by the lake, Kalo Pokhari, before passing over the Keke La (4,152m) and an easy descent towards Mumbuk (3,550m). Along the way we have the opportunity to enjoy fantastic views of Chamlang 7,319m, Peak 6 (6,524m) and Peak 7 (6,758m). This day is key for acclimatisation as it gives us the opportunity to climb high and sleep low.

A further descent from Mumbuk through the Rhododendron forest eventually leads to the Barun Nadi River and the upper reaches of the valley. It is a pleasant walk, slowly gaining altitude, until we arrive at Yangri Kharka. Yangri Kharka is a very small village situated in a meadow at the base of the valley. It is a relaxing place to stop for the night at 3,610m.

The trail now climbs up the valley, emerging into yak pastures and impressive boulder fields. We stay in a pleasant campsite at Shershong near a small stone hut at 4,650m. The local people graze a lot of their Yak and goats in this area.

We trek onwards and gain height as the valley opens up a little before we veer off to the right. At this point the mighty pyramid of Makalu 8,463m comes into full view. After a great photo opportunity with Makalu on the left and Chamlang on the right, we continue on until reaching the Makalu South East Ridge base camp at 4,800m. From here we can see the route of the South East Ridge, still unclimbed in its entirety, despite several attempts by the British Forces.

Rather than use the North Ridge Base Camp, we will stay at the much nicer South East Ridge Base Camp. During the first few days at base camp, we will take our time to acclimatize further, whilst our team of porters and Sherpas carry loads to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5,700m. ABC is where we will take up residence a few days from now for the rest of the expedition. Moving to ABC is a big jump in altitude, so after arrival in base camp we will spend the next few days organizing our equipment and taking short walks in order to acclimatize to this new altitude.

When everyone is ready and ABC is established, we will strike base camp and head up the Barun Glacier, passing the impressive West Face of Makalu, until we reach the point where the West Pillar Route of Makalu descends onto the glacier. Here we turn northwards and continue on Glacier moraine up to Advance Base Camp, which is located on a rocky promontory at 5,700m. Sheltered from the wind and from any rock fall, this camp will become home for the next few weeks. It can be very cold though, so if you intend to bring 2 sleeping bags (one for the mountain and one to leave in ABC), make sure that both are rated 5 seasons. It takes about 7 hours to make the journey from base camp to ABC.

After our important Puja we can then take our first foray onto the mountain and walk up to the Chago Glacier that gives us access to Camp 1. About 45 minutes from camp, we will establish a crampon point where we can leave our mountaineering boots and climbing equipment, which are essential for travel to Camp 1 and above. Our Sherpas will be busy fixing ropes on the glacier to ensure our secure passage and carrying loads to make sure our first camp is established.

Once the leader is comfortable that the team members are acclimatized, we will make our first visit to Camp 1 (6,347m). From the crampon point, the route takes us across some crevassed terrain on an easy-angled glacier to a steep wall which we ascend for 150m on a fixed line. From the top of the wall it is a short walk to camp along the flat plateau, situated on the Chago Glacier. On the first visit, the journey to Camp 1 will take around 5 hours, but as we become further acclimatised, this time will be reduced. Later on in the expedition, some team members may decide to move straight through to Camp 2 at 6,670m, rather than stop at Camp 1 for the night. We will want to make this journey early in the day, as it can get very hot on the glacier in the afternoon.

The route from Camp 1 to Camp 2 involves some easy-angled climbing through beautifully sculptured glacier terrain. Winding around the huge crevasses care is required to follow the correct route. Fixed ropes will be put in situ across crevasses and snow bridges. Tucked under a serac band, Camp 2 has fantastic views of Everest, Lhotse and Barunste. Once acclimatized, the trip to Camp 2 should take around 2 hours from Camp 1 or 6 hours from ABC.

Once we have acclimatised to sleeping at Camp 2 the leader will decide when it is time to explore the route up to Camp 3 onto the Makalu La. This is very much a landmark in the expedition and is one of the most technical sections of climbing on the mountain. Before we venture onto the climb between camps 2 and 3 the Sherpas will have ensured that the fixed lines are in place. Climbing to the Makalu La involves movement over rocks covered in ice and snow to an angle of 50 degrees. From Camp 2 we climb the easy-angled glacier to a height of 6,950m from where the rocks start and continue for 300m to 7,250m. At this point there is a snowfield to cross, which can be subject to avalanche danger and in deep snow it will certainly test your strength and determination. After a further 200m the next section of the route is interspersed with sections of blue ice and rocks, which provide interesting climbing. At the top of the Makalu La, we will cross the glacier for a further 200m to where Camp 3 is located at 7,400m. The decision to fix camp and to ascend to the Makalu La is very weather dependent. The jet stream winds can scream across the La, dipping temperatures to well below minus 30 degrees and can destroy any camps that have been established. Consequently, careful consideration at this stage of the expedition is essential for a safe ascent and also further progress on the mountain. Some members may wish to use oxygen on the final section to reach the Makalu La. Depending on temperatures, team members may need to wear their down trousers and jacket from Camp 2. We will also be aware of how much gear to carry to Camp 3 on the La, as it is difficult descending from there with very heavy loads.

From Camp 3, Camp 4 is established at 7,600m, which is the launch pad for the summit. Tent spaces at this altitude are limited, so is the time you would want to spend here. Reaching Camp 4 from the Makalu La involves traversing a large, flat glacier, with many hidden crevasses, towards the gigantic North Face of Makalu. Camp 4 is perched in a serac band protecting it from avalanches from the slopes above. It takes only 3 hours to climb from Camp 3 to Camp 4, the only feasible resting spot before the summit.

From Camp 4, the route traverses steeply across an ice band, before coming to a huge snow ramp, which leads to a heavily crevassed plateau. After crossing the plateau, the bottom of the French Coulouir is reached. This is a 300m high shallow gully, bounded by granite buttresses, providing excellent mixed climbing. Though never too steep, the couloirs is climbed with interest to a height of 8,350m, where the summit ridge is revealed. This flattish shoulder of ice leads to some very exposed summit towers, which are negotiated with great care, to get to the small summit area of Makalu - the 5th highest point on the planet!

Summit day is a very long and demanding climb, with an equally difficult descent returning the way you ascended back to Camp 4 and preferably all the way to Camp 3. At 7,400m, Camp 3 is still very high on the mountain and you must retain enough energy and concentration to negotiate the difficult descent, abseiling over technical ground from the Makalu La to Camp 2 and finally back to ABC. Once back at ABC you can relax and know that you have attempted and either succeeded or not on one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.

Time to get the gear organized and the porters loaded up ready for tomorrow departure.

There is quite a lot of ground to cover as we descend back down the valley and take our last glimpse of Makalu before turning the corner and eventually reaching Yak Kharka.

Continuing with our descent we eventually reach Mumbuk. As you walk, you will notice that as we have spent time climbing Makalu, the landscape beneath us has changed. Life is a lot greener and made colorful by blossoming Rhododendrons, a welcome relief from the snowy landscape endured on the mountain.

A big day back across the Shipton La, and then cutting across the hillside to eventually reach the Sherpa town of Tashi Gaon.

A day you will still not have forgotten from the way in as we follow our footsteps all the way back down to the river, only to be rewarded with a climb back up the opposite side of the valley to Num.

It is quite a distance to cover en route to Chichila, but the walking is easier overall.

The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to Kathmandu the following day.

We complete the journey with a flight to Kathmandu. In the evening, we have our farewell celebration and expedition dinner!

A final chance to buy souvenirs or perhaps just to relax by the pool.

Final transfers to Kathmandu airport to get fly back to home.

What's included?

Full fledged

  • Airport transfer - hotel/airport/hotel
  • Twin sharing standard hotel accommodation with breakfast in Kathmandu before and after trek we can book only on your request.

Elementary Cost

  • Road transfer cost -from/to trek start to ending point kathmandu-Chilchila-Tumlingtar-kathmandu
  • Basic twin sharing tea house accommodation during trek.
  • 3 times meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trek.
  • English Speaking guide and all his expenses during the trek like his transfer, insurance, salary, meals and accommodation.
  • All Trekking permit - Permit, local government taxes and TIMS card.
  • All government taxes, vat, company service charge.

What's not included?

  • lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Entrance fee in sightseeing areas in Kathmandu.
  • Travel Insurance in case of emergency for rescue and other medication.
  • Nepal visa fee
  • All kind of hot and cold drinks - coke, fanta, beer, whisky, bottle of water, hot water, tea, coffee etc.
  • All personal trekking equipment like down jacket and sleeping bag etc.
  • Porter to carry your backpack/luggage.
  • Tips for guide and porter
  • Personal expenses like wifi, hot shower, telephone, battery charge fee.
  • Upgraded lodge accommodation like room with private toilet and bathroom during the trek.
  • All the cost not mention on above cost includes
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