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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.