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Mt. Makalu, a four-sided pyramid rising to 8460 meters, is the world’s fifth-highest peak, requiring far more difficult climbing than Mt. Everest. This stunning and majestic massif is located on the Nepal-China border, barely 18 kilometers southeast of Everest. The peak is known as Kumba Karna in the local dialect. The magnificent pyramid structure of this mountain, with four sharp ridges, adds to its beauty. The Barun Valley, at the foot of Mt. Makalu is home to beautiful high waterfalls, ethnic groups with rich customs, and a diverse array of flora and fauna.

A picturesque flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar kicks off the Makalu Expedition journey. The journey begins above the Arun River valley, passing past Sherpa settlements on our way to the base of the West Face at 5,800 meters. Although there are alternative routes up the mountain, we choose a less-traveled path that leads to the breathtaking Barun valley. On Makalu, there are two subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse lies 3 kilometers north-northwest of the main summit, at 7,678 meters. Chomo Lonzo, on the other hand, rises to the north of the main summit and is linked to Kanchungtse by a short 7200m saddle. Before reaching the summit, the base camp is normally established at around 5,600 meters, followed by four further camps. The first camp is located at 6,100 meters, the second is located at 6500 meters, the third is located at 7400 meters, and the fourth is located at 7800 meters.

The Makalu Expedition was only tried after Everest’s summit was first reached in 1953. A party from New Zealand, led by Edmund Hillary, attempted the route but were forced to abandon it due to injuries and illness. In the spring of 1954, an American team led by Riley Keegan attempted but failed to ascend Mt. Manaslu. However, during the year 1955, a group of French climbers led by Jean Franco made the first ascent of this massive Himalaya. The French Expedition Team submitted the mountain by the north face and northeast ridge, passing across the saddle between Makalu and Kangchungtse. 

The only Nepalese summit above 8000 meters that has yet to be climbed in true winter circumstances is Makalu. It is known for its high gradients because of its nearly symmetrical four knife-edged ridges. Spring and autumn are the best times to climb Mount Makalu. There is no possibility of snowfall or rainfall throughout the spring and autumn seasons (March to May and September to November). Mountain climbing is possible in the middle of mother nature’s breathtaking grandeur, with sunny sky and blossoming wildflowers. You can even see rare animals and plants thrive in a variety of natural settings. 

Trip Highlights

  • Witness the most remote area in the Himalayas. 
  • Explore the famous Hilary base camp. 
  • Indulge in the rich culture and lifestyle of the local people. 
  • Scenic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar
  • Witness and ascend the fifth highest peak, Mt. Makalu. 
  • Encounter unique wildlife along with a diverse range of flora and fauna.
  • Stunning sun setting and panoramic views of Mt Makalu. 
  • Improve your fitness by gaining a metabolic boost while ascending this challenging mountain.

Why climb Makalu?

Makalu Expedition  is popular with mountain climbers who desire to participate in this tough road because of the challenging aspect as well as the opportunity to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition. Mount Makalu is considered a technical climb by climbers. Due to the knife-edged ridges and high-altitude concerns that are prominent in this region, a beginner will not be able to participate in this expedition. 

Climbing skill is determined by the climber’s previous climbing skills, physical conditioning, climate, age, individual mountaineering equipment quality, and climbing season. Although Sherpa guides and porters will be available to carry your belongings and assist you throughout the journey, it is nevertheless recommended that you receive the necessary training before departure. Though there are challenges along the way, this trek is well worth it for those who want to ascend one of the world’s highest peaks.

Best Season for Makalu Expedition

The optimum season to start trekking to Makalu and experience its distinctive features is in the spring (April to May) or fall (October to November). The weather is pleasant and bright during these seasons, with excellent visibility. Temperatures at night can be severely cold or extremely cold, so bring a warm sleeping bag and an expedition-weight down jacket.  

Rain keeps the pathway wet throughout the monsoon season (June to August), making visibility difficult. Summer trekking is damp for the most part, resulting in avalanches. During the winter (December to February), the trail is covered with snow, making it impossible to reach this destination. In the winter, this excursion is extremely tough to execute. Simone Moro of Italy and Denis Urubko of Kazakhstan were the first to summit Makalu in the winter of 2009. It was the final Nepalese 8000 mountain to be climbed in winter. 

How Difficult is The Makalu Expedition ?

Makalu is one of the more demanding and technical treks which is regarded as one of the world’s most challenging mountains to scale. Technical rock climbing is required to reach the top of the summit. This climb is not technically tough, but it is physically challenging due to long days and areas with a lot of exposure. The route to Makalu Base Camp is lengthy with some steep hills, but it is rewarded with amazing views of Makalu despite the frigid weather and low oxygen levels. The world’s most formidable mountains, including Everest, encircle this glacier. 

Before undertaking a real climb, climbers can practice utilizing them on training peaks. Due to the famed knife-edge peaks, essential equipment such as fixed ropes, ice axe, harness, accessory cord and other mountaineering equipment will be required. At such a great altitude, exhaustion adds to the challenge. The hike’s difficulty is determined by its elevation, terrain, and weather patterns. Climbing such steep terrain is challenging since climbers must contend with a variety of challenges, including rain, cold, snow, and low oxygen levels. If you continue walking at a higher altitude, mountain sickness symptoms will emerge, thus it’s advisable to adopt in the lower zone. To avoid getting lost, always stick on your trekking trail.

Other factors to consider include sleep deprivation and altitude sickness. During the ascent, vital oxygen bottles, a summit oxygen, and a regulator are provided to help with the difficulty. The bottom part is the greatest place to adapt. Travelers can exercise their bodies to develop strength and endurance to make the journey smoother. The trek is best for strong, experienced climbers who want to tackle the peak on their own. Prepare yourself for the shifting way on the hiking trail by doing some physical exercises and day expeditions with steep hill climbs before the adventure. 

Accommodation and Meals During The Makalu Expedition

The tour operator will arrange all the necessary camping equipment, such as base camp tents, kitchen utensils. Hotel accommodations in the city and the surrounding area can be arranged to suit your requirements. One tent is supplied for each person at the Makalu Base camp.  Each tent has foam flooring that is well insulated. When you get to the upper base camp, three people share one tent. A shower tent and a toilet tent will be given. This private camp will have a cooking tent that will be outfitted with all the necessary camping friendly utensils. 

The food on the trek and at Base Camp is delicious and designed to pique your interest despite regular altitude-induced hunger. The cooks are well qualified western chefs who ensure that hygiene procedures are properly followed. Throughout the journey, our cooks will provide a varied and nutritious western menu. The evening meal always begins with a soup that has all the necessary ingredients for acclimatization. Three hot meals a day are served, as well as an excellent assortment of appetizers for our daily gathering at base camp. We use fresh products and meats from the local market for the ingredients, which are supplemented by a large assortment of international meals and snacks.

Makalu Expedition Cost

The tour selection, hotel, and mode of transportation, as well as services to Base Camp and High Camp, expedition gear, and high-quality tents at Base Camps, all influence the cost of the tour package. You can even tailor the tour to your requirements. Any additional perks will be more expensive than a typical bundle.

Extra tips for the guide, porters, and driver are not included in the package. Most trekkers tip the staff, as a sign of appreciation, after successfully summiting Mount Makalu, one of the world’s highest summits.

Trekkers must also secure the following permits before beginning their adventure. 

  • Expedition Royalty.
  • Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) Card. 
  • Permit of Nepal Government to climb Mt. Makalu
  • Permit for Makalu-Barun National Park.

In addition, to obtain the necessary approvals, a government-registered local trekking agency will be required. An application form for a group trekking permit can be obtained from any Nepalese trekking company. Some restricted areas are only accessible to group trekkers, and lone trekkers will be denied admission. Gear costs should be factored in as well. Because this is a technical climb, it is important to have all the necessary gear and mountaineering equipment organized before beginning the Mt. Makalu Expedition. Hikers may consider getting travel insurance because the trail passes through numerous tight knife-edge places. This will come in handy in the event of an evacuation or other unforeseen circumstances. Many travelers who face difficulties while ascending have access to and use rescue services. Our insurance policy covers these additional expenses.

Trip Details

Departure/Return LocationKathmandu
Guide Meals
not included
Hiking Equipment
Guide Gratuity

  Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu and drop at hotel
  • Day 2: Preparing expedition and short view of Kathmandu city
  • Day 3: Briefing of Expedition
  • Day 4: Fly to Tumlingtar and drive to Num village
  • Day 5: From Num trek to Seduwa campsite
  • Day 6: Trek from Tashigaon village to Unshisha
  • Day 7: Trek to Khongma
  • Day 8: Trek from Khongma La to Dobato
  • Day 9: Trek from Tashidongma to Yangle Kharka
  • Day 10: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Langmale Kharka
  • Day 11: Trek from Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp
  • Day 12 to day 45: Ascend through the summit of Mt. Makalu
  • Day 45 to 53:Take the same route back to Kathmandu
  • Day 54: Departure


Detailed Itinerary

    • You will be met by a representative and sent to your accommodation on your first day after arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. At night, you have the option of visiting the downtown sights.

    • On the second day, you will have a rest day so that you may prepare for the forthcoming adventure.

    • This day in Kathmandu begins with an adventure briefing, during which you will learn in detail about the schedule for the next few days.

    • The day in Kathmandu begins with an early breakfast at the hotel. After that, we go to Kathmandu airport and take a 40-minute flight to Tumlingtar in the early morning. We will take a local jeep for around 5 hours from Tumlingtar to Num village, where we will drive on a difficult route through rice fields. We resume our overdrive to Chichila, a little top settlement, and continue to Num, where we will spend the night.

    • The next day, we begin our trek  enjoying the  beautiful views of our Seduwa campsite. We must register our permits with the local rangers because this is the Makalu National Park’s boundaries. 

    • On this day, from the Seduwa campsite, we climb to Tashigaon, a bigger settlement, and hike through more distant scrub and rhododendron fields. We first cross the bridge and ascend through the woods, then onto a ridge that leads to Unshisha.

    • On the seventh day, we will spend some time in Khongma, which is at a high altitude. You may learn about Sherpa culture and Buddhist beliefs in the area by visiting some monasteries surrounding the village.

    • On day eight, we will walk from Khongma La to Dobato, passing through four passes before arriving at our destination before dark. The first pass is the Kauma La pass, from which you can proceed directly to the Keke La pass. The third pass, Shipton La, is a rather easy climb. Tutu La Pass is the fourth and final pass, after which you will arrive at Dobato.

    • You will hike further out from Dobato to Tashidongma on this day. We continue our journey west via Barun Valley after breakfast on day 9, passing multiple streams before reaching the bridge to Yangri Kharka.

    • The trail ascends the next day, and we will enjoy the gorgeous peaks of Mt. Isuwa La and many other unidentified mountains and peaks that lie ahead of us. To get to Langmale Kharka, we will hike across passes and small communities.

    • During this day, we will trek for about 7 hours from Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp. We begin by ascending the steep hiking track that runs alongside the Barun River. As we approach Makalu Base Camp, the trip passes along a flat track. At the end of this excursion, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking vista of Mt. Makalu. You will continue walking and arrive at Makalu base camp after another 2 hours of trekking. Our Sherpa staff will put up the camps once we get to the base camp.

    • In most cases, it will take an additional month to reach the summit and return to base camp after day 12. During this period, you’ll spend several days practicing mountaineering techniques, with enough time for proper acclimatization. Additional camps will be prepared by Sherpa crews at higher elevations. We will follow the advice and instructions of experienced climbing professionals, fully prepared with all climbing equipment and with suitable acclimatization. We are rewarded with stunning vistas of the world’s largest mountains as we approach the top, including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, and several other high peaks.

    • We’ll take some time to admire the beautiful mountains before descending the trail, and then we’ll return to base camp by the same route. Based on the climbers’ physical fitness, health, and condition, the guide and team will choose the daily routine, including the time spent at the upper camps. The same path will be taken back to Kathmandu, which will take approximately 9 to 10 days.

    • After taking some rest in the capital city, you get your bags ready and drive back to the airport.

Inclusion & exclusion

Expedition costs include:
    • All transportation in Nepal, including round-trip flights from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar
    • 5 night in Hotel Holly Himalaya in Kathmandu including breakfast on twin sharing
    • Food and accommodation during the trek and climb.
    • All group equipment needed to reach base camp and climb the mountain
    • Sherpa, porters, liaison officer, camp staff and 1 personal climbing guide. Cook and kitchen helper at Base Camp
    • All necessary paper works including  climbing permit
    • 2 bottles of 3ltr Poisk oxygen and TopOut Masks- regulators and back up masks (extra oxygen use USD 600 per bottle)
    • Availability of second attempt oxygen supplies.
    • Equipment allowance and daily wages for all Nepali staffs
    • Summit bonus
    • Heated dinning tent and solar panels for charging photo equipment and computer at Base Camp
    • Communication in base camp
    • Insurance for all Nepali staffs and porters including helicopter rescue provision.
    • Special welcome and farewell dinner
Expedition costs do not include:
    • Meals in Kathmandu
    • All personal climbing equipments
    • All personal expenses
    • Tips for the staffs
    • Personal medical and evacuation insurance of climbing members
    • Garbage Deposit


    • A full-board service in the Makalu expedition will cost around USD 13,000 per person. This includes the flight, lodging, and mode of transportation, as well as services to High Camp, excursion equipment, and elevated tents. This pricing does not include the costs of medical and personal insurance. It is, nevertheless, necessary to obtain insurance before the adventure.

    • Mt. Makalu is one of the most complicated mountains to climb in the world. Technical rock climbing with a knife ridge ascent approach is required for the summit pyramid’s final ascent. In the offered days, you will need to continually ascend six to seven hours deeper into the high base camps. This necessitates a great deal of endurance and strength. Even though an oxygen regulator is given, good health is still required to go on this voyage. A typical climber will need several days to complete all of Mount Makalu’s camps.

      At an elevation of 5600 meters, the Makalu Advanced Base Camp offers a breathtaking view of the Himalayas. On long treks, you spend most of your time in the base camp. This is mostly for relaxation, but it also serves as a training and acclimatization tool. From Makalu Base camp, it takes roughly 5 hours to get to High Base camp. The first two hours are pleasant and lightweight, but the last three hours are challenging due to snow and rocks. The climb to all four camps is long and requires a lot of stamina. However, once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a scenic backdrop of the Himalayas.

    • his expedition takes about 55 days to finish in total. Only those who have successfully climbed the four ascending camps can reach the peak. The first camp is somewhere around 6100 meters, the second is around 6500 meters, the third is around 7400 meters, and the fourth is around 7800 meters. For a month, the Advanced base camp is set up. You will rest for about three days at the Makalu base camp before moving on to Camps 1 and 2. You will also receive basic instruction here before the climb.


       It takes about 4 hours to get to Camp I from the Advance base camp on average. Grassy slopes, rock slabs, and moraine cover this section of the glacier’s ascent. After a day or two of relaxation, you’ll begin our ascent to Camp 2, which should take about three hours if you’re a moderately fit climber. It won’t be a particularly challenging ascent. The ascent from Camp 2 to Camp 3 takes 4 hours and reaches 600 meters where you will use ropes that the Sherpas have secured.


      The climb from Camp 3 to Camp 4 will begin early in the morning, Because Camp 3 is at a height of 6,900 meters, it takes five hours to ascend to Camp 4. This time can vary depending on how many climbers are present to conduct their climbing at any time. During this ascend the oxygen level begins to drop, making it difficult to breathe.


      The final ascent takes about 8 to 9 hours and takes you through a series of valleys with steep ice headwalls. The main summit is reached through an exposed ridge. From the peak of the world’s fifth highest mountain, we’ll be able to get a breathtaking panoramic vista of the Himalayas. The given time can fluctuate and change completely. Your walking speed is determined by your level of acclimatization, the climate, and your endurance capability.