Starts from: Tumling Taar
Ending: Tumling Taar
Best season: Spring and autumn
Duration of trip: 60 days
Makalu is the fifth tallest mountain on earth. A close neighbor to Mount Everest, it lies in the northeast region of Nepal. Makalu means the Great Black One, so called due to its dark brooding appearance. Still, it is relatively less attempted mountain. So far, the number of individual climbers who have attempted Makalu is only some 300+. Therefore, if you wish to attempt Makalu, you need to have a lot of mountaineering experience including one attempt on an 8,000m. The first attempt on Makalu was made by an American team in 1954, but it was first climbed by a French Team in 1955. The mountain has two important subsidiary peaks.
Makalu has steep pitches and knife-edged ridges. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves a technical ice and rock climbing. The route to Makalu Base Camp (4823m) involves a sustained steep slope with magnificent views of Makalu (8481m) to the north. Climbing Makalu is really a demanding attempt – it’s also the reason why Makalu has not been attempted like other peaks. From a base camp at the foot of the Chago Glacier, we will use 4 camps on the mountain, including camp 3 on the Makalu La at 7,400m and a high camp on the North Face at approximately 7,800m.
Detailed Expedition Itinerary:
DAY 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel – 1300m/4264ft
Upon your arrival in the Tribhuvan international airport, our representative will welcome you and will assist to transfer you in your hotel in Kathmandu. You may relax at your hotel or go around for shopping. In the evening All Trekkers Team will organize a welcome dinner for you in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu meanwhile briefing about your adventurous trip will take place. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 02-03: At leisure in Kathmandu Sightseeing and Preparation for Makalu Expedition. While the leader attends a formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism, you will explore the fascinating city of Kathmandu. You will visit famous Stupa, Boudha Nath and the popular Hindu pilgrimage site, Pashupati Nath Temple. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone’s equipment, as Kathmandu is the last opportunity to buy anything missing. You will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 04: Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and drive to Chichila – 1,850m
A 50 minute flight from Kathmandu landing on a bumpy grass airstrip at Tumlingtar (400m). From Tumlingtar, about 3 hours jeep drive on a bumpy road takes to the first camp at Chichila.
DAY 05: Trek from Chichila to Num – 1,505m
A moderately paced walk through the picturesque villages and lush mountain forests. A ridge line with great views on both side and perched on the end is Num. Thunder and lightning make interesting displays in Num evenings.
DAY 06: Num to Seduwa – 1,530m
A steep descent down through the forests and terraced plots of land takes to Arun Khola. Then winding ascents up the other side again. Often quite hot – the forest on the valley sides offer a bit of shade. Makalu National Park starts and we register our permits. Camping right at the top of the village (4-5hrs)
DAY 07: Seduwa to Tashi Gaon – 2,065m
Ascend the ridge bounded by the Ipsuwa Khola on the west and Kasuwa Khola to the east. Crossing the hillside through quiet villages and passing by small paddy fields, we reach the village of Tashi Gaon.
DAY 08: Tashi Gaon to Khongma – 3,562m
Trek upwards towards Khongma. Khongma is the last stop before crossing the Shipton La and dropping down into the upper sections of the remote Barun Valley. The green forests are replaced by scrub and rhododendrons that cover the lower reaches of the mountains.
DAY 09: Acclimatisation day at Khongma – 4,200m
Rest and acclimatization day allows our bodies to catch up with us before gaining more height. The following day we take on crossing of the Shipton La.
DAY 10: Climb over the Shipton La and descend to Mumbuk – 4,200m
Climb towards the summit of the Shipton La which takes a few hours to reach. After the lake Kalo Pokhari, pass over the Keke La at 4,152m. An easy descent towards Mumbuk. Marvelous views of Chamlang 7,319m, Peak 6 (6,524m) and Peak 7 (6,758m). Climbing high and sleeping low gives the opportunity for acclimatization.
DAY 11: Mumbuk to Yangri Kharka – 3,610m
A further descent from Mumbuk through the Rhododendron forest leads to the Baruni River and the upper reaches of the valley. A pleasant walk, gaining altitude slowly, until we arrive at Yangri Kharka situated at the base of the valley.
DAY 12: Yangri Kharka to Shershong – 4,650m
The trail now climbs up the valley, through yak pastures and boulder fields. Campsite at Shershong.
DAY 13: Shershong to Makalu South East Base Camp
Trek onwards and gain height. With Makalu on the left and Chamlang on the right, continue on until reaching the Makalu South East Ridge base camp at 4,800m.
DAY 14: South East Base Camp to Makalu North Ridge Base Camp
4,800m. Crossing of the Barun Galcier poses a challenge. Cross lateral moraines and gain a slight path that cuts through the rock and ice to the opposite side of the valley. Enjoy a great view of the top of the valley and ahead, Baruntse, that rises to 7,129m. Branch off to the right and head towards Base Camp (4,800m).
DAY 15 to Day 17: Acclimatisation at Base Camp
Spending a few day in Base Camp immensely helps in acclimatization purpose. Our team of porters and Sherpas carry loads to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5,700m. Since we gain a big jump in altitude while moving from Base Camp to ABC, we spend the next few days organizing our equipment and acclimatization.
DAY 18 to Day 50: Ascent of Makalu North East Ridge
DAY 51: Pack Up BC Ready for Departure
Time to get the gear organized and the porters loaded up ready for tomorrow’s departure.
DAY 52: Descend to Yak Kharka
Descend back down the valley and take our last glimpse of Makalu before turning the corner and eventually reaching Yak Kharka.
DAY 53: Yak Kharka to Mumbuk
Continuing with our descent we eventually reach Mumbuk. The greeneries below provide a welcome relief from the snowy landscape on the mountain.
DAY 54: Mumbuk to Tashi Gaon
Back across the Shipton La, and then cutting across the hillside to eventually reach the Sherpa town of Tashi Gaon.
Day 55: Tashi Gaon to Num
We follow our footsteps all the way back down to the river. Climb back up the opposite side of the valley to Num.
DAY 56: Num to Chichila
Mostly easy walking to Chichila.
DAY 57: Chichila to Tumlingtar
The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to Kathmandu the following day.
DAY 58: Fly Tumlingtar to Kathmandu
We complete the journey with a flight to Kathmandu. We will return to the welcome haven of the Hotel. Once back in Kathmandu, All Trekkers Team will host an evening barbecue to celebrate the expedition and as a farewell party to thank the Sherpas for their support and friendship.
DAY 59: At leisure in Kathmandu
Buy souvenirs, hang around, and just relax in the city.
DAY 60: Depart from Kathmandu
Recommended Previous Experience:
A previous high altitude climbing experience is essential. Work together as a team so that all members reach the top safely. Members need to have experience in being part of a team, working toward a common goal and being ready to work with the group. Be a good team player!
The oxygen level over 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level. The weather is never fully predictable. The climbers must have years of prior experience on rock and ice climbing especially above 7,000m. You also need to feel confident and comfortable ascending or descending on fixed ropes along a steep technical terrain. Remember, your actions affect not only your own, but welfare of the entire team.
The climbing itinerary may vary according to the climber’s personal experience. A climbing day involves a steady climbing for 3-4 hours in the morning. After taking lunch, resting and relaxing, there is a climb of 2-3 hours in the afternoon. However, flexibility in climbing itinerary is necessary as people climb at own pace and respond individually to the stresses of climbing. We ensure the ratio of climbers and Sherpa guides focusing on high safety measures so that each individual climber is able to progress at their own rate.
Base Camp to ABC – 5,700m
The journey from base camp to ABC takes about 7 hours. Head up the Barun Glacier passing the west face of Makalu. Reach the point where the West Pillar Route of Makalu descends onto the glacier. Turn northwards and continue on glacial moraine up to Advance Base Camp. ABC would be the main station for the next few weeks of the expedition. Although sheltered from the wind and rock fall, it can be very cold at ABC.
Advance Base Camp – Camp 1 – 6,347 m
After the Puja or prayer for safe passage, we walk up the mountain toward the Chago Glacier. Establish a crampon point where we can leave our mountaineering boots and climbing equipment. Sherpa’s will fix the ropes on the glacier to ensure our secure passage. After proper acclimatization we head for our first visit to camp I at 6,347m. From the crampon point, the route passes through some crevassed terrain on a glacier to a steep wall. Ascend the wall on a fixed line. It’s a short walk to camp 1 from the top of the wall along the flat plateau. Total time is about 5 hours.
Camp 1 – Camp 2 – 6,670 m
It takes about 3 hours from camp 1 to reach camp 2. From ABC, it’s about 6 hours. However, it’s important to properly acclimatize before proceeding further. The route involves some easy-angled climbing on glacial terrain while winding around the huge crevasses. Fixed ropes will be put in situ across crevasses and snow bridges. Camp 2 lies tucked under a serac band. Today we will see splendid views of Everest, Lhotse and Barunste.
Camp 2 – Camp 3 – 7,400 m
Acclimatize properly at Camp 2. Sherpa’s will ensure that the fixed lines are in place. Climb the easy-angled glacier. Cross the snowfield. Further above, the route is interspersed with sections of blue ice and rocks. Explore the route up to camp 3 onto one of the most technical sections of the mountain – the Makalu La. Climbing the Makalu La involves movement over rocks covered in ice and snow. At the top of the Makalu La we cross the glacier for a further 200m. Camp 3 is located at 7,400m.
Camp 3 – Camp 4 – 7,600 m
Reaching camp 4 from the Makalu La involves traversing a large, flat glacier, with many hidden crevasses. The route heads towards the gigantic north face of Makalu. Camp 4 is perched at height of 7,600 meters in a serac band protecting it from avalanches. Camp 4 serves as the launch pad for the summit bid, however, tent space and time at this altitude are limited. Takes about 3 hours to get from camp 3 to camp 4.
Camp 4 to Makalu Summit – 8463m
From camp 4, the route passes through steep ice band. A huge snow ramp leads to a heavily crevassed plateau. Cross the plateau to reach the bottom of the French Coulouir – a 300m high shallow gully bounded by granite buttresses. Climb the couloir to a height of about 8,350m, revealing the summit ridge. Negotiate with great care through some very exposed summit towers before reaching the small summit area of Makalu. Summit day is a long and demanding climb with summit climb and return to camp 4 or camp 3.
The springtime from March to May is considered the favorable weather for Makalu and other Himalaya climbing. However, the weather conditions in the Himalayas are never fully predictable. In case you’re climbing in winter, the major problem would be the cold and high altitude. Temperatures may get as low as minus 20C in summer, but can drop to minus 60C or even lower during winter. The possibility of bad weather such as snow, wind, and cloud should also be taken into account. Similarly, the wind speeds may rise to more than 80Km/h (50mph). The oxygen level around 7,000m is only 40% of what it is at the sea level.
Our Makalu expeditions are led by experienced and professional mountaineers and guides who have scaled the mountain several times. These leaders are supported by the other crewmembers and they have all of the necessary experience and equipment required for a successful completion of the expedition. All Trekkers Team also makes sure that it’s leaders have proven track records in climbing high altitude mountains. The number of guides is chosen according to the team size to maximize every individual climber’s chance of making it to the summit without compromising the safety aspect. All Trekkers Team’s expedition leaders are also equipped with the expertise in handling altitude related problems including Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) symptoms. The crewmembers are experts in setting up tents and camps, melting snow on the route, cooking, and other daily needs.
Team composition is important to ensure safety and comfort of the climbers. All Trekkers pays high attention to the safety standards of the climbers. Hence, for two International Climbers, All Trekkers assigns its accredited climbing leader, high altitudes assistance Sherpa, and cook. For base camp assistance and other necessary trek support, All Trekkers Team supplies crews such as porters, yaks and yak man. Further, to maintain the high safety standard All Trekkers Team’s team members would be added as per the number of international climbers.
Trip Start Dates:
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date. The spring season of March to May is considered the best time for Makalu expedition. The months autumn months of October and November are the also considered favorable. The summer months of monsoon rains and the winter months from December to February are the most unfavorable time for Makalu Expedition. The temperatures can vary from 27°c to – 7°c at lower elevations, and at higher elevations, it can vary from 16°c to -23°c.
Why Expedition with All Trekkers Team?
Going on any adventure trip will require a substantial sum of money be paid in advance. Yet trusting a company you have no prior experience with involves a risk. We, however, are a fully bonded trek operator authorized by Nepal Government, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Nepal Tourism Board, Industry Department, Company Registration Office, Nepal National Bank and the Taxation Office. We are also affiliated with such prestigious regulating bodies as NATTA, NMA, TAAN, and KEEP.
A detailed list of our registrations and licenses for operation:
Nepal Ministry of Industry, Office of Company Register
Nepal Ministry of Tourism, Department of Tourism
Nepal Department of Small Cottage and Industries
Nepal Ministry of Finance, Department of VAT/ PAN
Tax Clearance Certificate
Central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra Bank), Department of Foreign Currency Exchange:
Fair Price with Quality:
Service, quality and fair prices – is the motto of our business. The packages we have offer unbeatable value for money. But you don’t have to take our word on it – we just ask our clients shop around to other adventure companies to try to find a similar package at a better price. However, we do not compromise on quality to cut down the costs. Our edge over other international operators is that we are a Nepal based business that allows us to keep our overhead to a minimum. So we can offer the same facilities as those provided by a Western company at literally a fraction of the price. That about 40% of our bookings come from repeat business proves our performance when it comes to client satisfaction.
Sustainable Operation Policies:
All Trekkers Team (P) LTD observes responsible and sustainable tourism practices. The company works closely with all stakeholders including the local communities to protect and conserve natural environment. We ensure that all our adventure programs leave the least possible carbon footprint. We are also aware of the corporate social responsibility; hence we maintain highest ethical and professional standards as well as transparency in our business practices.
Local and Experienced Mountain Leaders:
All Trekkers Team (P) LTD employs and trains local staff so that the local communities benefit from our adventure operations. However, we never compromise on our high safety and quality standards. All of our leaders and guides are carefully selected based on their aptitude, experience, and leadership skills. Most of our guides have been continuously working with us for more than 10 years. Our guides are trained for remote emergencies and are well versed in local politics, culture and customs. Please check out the personal records of our guides who have scaled Mt. Everest several times (and hundreds of other lesser peaks). Thus, we guarantee that all our guides, cooks, and other crews members are qualified and experienced professionals who make it sure that you’re always safe, sound, and happy.
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it, please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly, feel free to call us at: +977-98510-78240, 98122-85346
All climbing permit, land, air transportation and accommodation in lodges/tent during the trek/climb, Food: three times meals in a day, necessary guides and required number of porter(s), other essential equipment.
Personal expenses, insurance, tips, emergency evacuation by helicopter, alternative transportation in case of heavy rain, landslide, strike and road blockade, etc.