Mount Makalu (27,766 ft / 8,463 m), is the 5th tallest mountain in the world and is considered one of the technical peaks on the planet. Lying in north-eastern Nepal, this amazing impressive massif sits just 14 miles east of Mount Everest (8848.86m), the tallest peak in the world.
The name of this mountain is probably from the Sanskrit word- Maha Kala, the big black as the mountains seem like black rocks if the snow melts there. Another possible reason behind this name is Mahakal, the name of Lord Shiva, one of the most prominent Hindu gods. Shiva is sometimes an evil, cruel destroyer, but at other times he is gentle and kind-hearted. The mountain has another name in the local dialect - Kumba Karna which means 'the giant'.
The journey to Makalu follows through the alpine meadows and pristine backwoods inside the Makalu – Barun National Park. The area has vast diverse and rich flora and fauna like oaks, sal, rhododendron, pine, and so forth. This trip also allows exploring the new culture and traditions of the Rai, Bhatia, and Sherpa ethnic groups.
The journey to Makalu begins and ends at Kathmandu with a scenic flight to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu. From there there will be driving, and trekking till reaching the Base Camp. On the way, you will pass several villages such as Num, Seduwa, Tashigaon, and others on your way to the summit.
It also crosses over several minor and significant passes such as Kaumula La, Tutu La, Keke La, and several others. Reaching the Makalu Base Camp, camping tents will be set up, and begin the climbing journey.
Mt. Makalu (8,485m / 27,838ft), was the first ascent by an American team led by William Siri in the spring of 1954. Mount Makalu Expedition was composed of Sierra Club members, including Allen Steck, and William E. Long, and was called the California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu.
They attempted the southeast edge but were turned back at 7,100 m /23,300 ft. by a constant barrage of storms. A New Zealand team, including Sir Edmund Hillary, was also active in the spring but did not get very high due to injury and illness.
In the fall of 1954, a French reconnaissance expedition made the first climbs of the lesser summits Kangchungtse on May 15, 1955, by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy through a French trip to Jean Franco. The expedition was serene for Sierra Club members, including Allen Steck, and William E. Long, and was called the California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu.
A New Zealand team, including Edmund Hillary, tried the route but was turned back because of the injury and illness. These were all significant achievements especially considering that Makalu is such a rugged peak.
The journey to Makalu Expedition begins with a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar which is about 45 minutes long. On the way from the windowpane, you will get to see the incredible views of the mountains, green hills, snow-clad peaks, deep valleys, and many more.
Upon arriving at Tumlingtar, we will meet our other crew members and begin our walk above the Arun River Valley past Sherpa settlements and backwoods along with the magnificent views of the Mount Chamlang Himalaya in the distance until we step on the base of the West Face at 5,800 m. From here, we gradually to the hanging ice fall at 6100m to the right part of the icefall. The second portion of the route stretches from the plateau above the icefall along 35 to 45-degree altitude rock up to 6500m high.
Another higher section is an ice-rock steep wall with 50 to 55 degrees inclination, extending to 7400m in elevation. And the final section begins from 70 to 75-degree elevation’s rock pillar, leading to the west ridge at 8,000m. Reaching the Base Camp of it, there are many routes but we take you through the lees-trodden, an isolated route that passes through the beautiful Barun Valley.
As soon we approach nearer to Makalu Base Camp which sits at 4800m, we find the rocky train with loose scree. In the Base Camp, we will spend a couple of days for acclimatization purposes and make side trips around the beautiful high grazing areas at the top of the Barun Glacier. From here, we can witness the spectacular sceneries of Mount Everest (8,850m), Mount Lhotse (8,516m), Mount Makalu (8,463m), Mount Chamlang (7,319m), and Mount Baruntse (7,220m) and their neighboring peaks.
Leaving the Base Camp, we move up for almost seven hours over the moraine and boulder fields of the Barun Glacier till we reach at Advanced Base Camp (ABC) which lies at 5700m. It is the place where we spend most of our time. From this place, we ascend to a steep ice wall with fixed lines to summit Camp I. Spending a couple of nights at Camp I for acclimatization, we move towards Camp II which lies at 6600m above sea level. Camp II is a small, flat sheltered area nearby some ice walls.
Apart from Camp 2, the expedition is a technical part with a loose snow slope that can be deep and prone to avalanches. There is also one more mixed section of rock and blue ice which leads to the Makalu La at 7,450m.
Before arriving at Camp III at 7400 m, we must walk 200 m on flat terrain covered with ice. From here, it takes approximately 3 hours to reach Camp IV (7600 m). This is the last spot for fixing a camp below the summit.
On summit day, we climb over moderate slopes to the base of the French Couloir, a shallow 300m high gully of mixed rock bands and snow that leads to the summit. From the summit, we truly enjoy the panoramic view starting from Mount Kanchenjunga in the east to uncountable peaks including Mount Shishapangma of Tibet in the west.
Generally, we set up four camps in the approach excluding ABC (5700m). Following the lateral moraine and hiking onto the glacier, we plan to set up camp I at a glacial plateau at 6,150m further scheduled the direction of the glacier plateau to Makalu Pass, climbing bounces of steep slopes and inward at the base of the Makalu Pass to set up the camp II at 7,000m. We climb the Messner Headwall towards the northwest Ridge at Makalu La and the place of Camp III at 7,300m. Camp IV will be set up on the North Ridge at 7,850m and finally rise for the summit at 8,463m.
Outward Adventure Treks and Expedition team offers a premier once-in-a-lifetime climbing experience on the Makalu expedition in regards to summit success, a small and compact team, safety standards, and a fun-filled amazing experience.
Within our teams, we work together, have fun and form a lasting bond of friendship over the course of the expedition our team’s togetherness, as well as the very high level of support, and dedication to the excellence of our expedition standard, makes us one of the best teams amongst other operators.
We own these small climbing teams, a dedicated Base Camp crew running and making We achieve this with small expedition teams, a dedicated base camp crew running and making sure our expedition operation is fully operational, meteorologist support to update us constantly on detailed weather patterns, and so forth.
Next, we have the veteran climbing leaders who have already been to the most of the 8000m peaks along with Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu itself, and dozens of other 7000 and 6000 m peaks. Our Sherpa leaders make a sharp focus on safety and good decision-making, and the overall goal of summit success and a safe return to base camp and enjoying the experience of Makalu climbing throughout the expedition.
Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu [1345m/4411ft] & transfer to Hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing and Climbing Preparation at Kathmandu
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar [518m/1700ft] and Drive to Khadbari [1030m/3378ft]
Day 04: Trek from Khadbari to Chichira [1830m/6002ft]
Day 05: Trek from Chichira to Num [1490m/4878ft]
Day 06: Trek from Num to Seduwa [1460m/4788ft]
Day 07: Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaon [2070m/6789ft]
Day 08: Trek from Tashigaon to Kauma Danda [3470m/11381ft]
Day 09: Trek from Kauma Danda to Mumbuk [3570m/11709ft] via Kauma La [3603m/11817ft], Tutu-La [4125m/13530ft] and Keke La [4170m/13677ft]
Day 10: Trek from Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka [3700m/12136ft]
Day 11: Trek from Nehe Kharka to Shersong [4615m/15137ft]
Day 12: Trek from Shersong to Makalu Base Camp [4800m/15744ft]
Day 13-40: Climbing Mt. Makalu [8463m/27758ft] and back to Base Camp
Day 41: Trek from Makalu Base Camp to Mumbuk
Day 42: Trek from Mumbuk to Tashigaon
Day 43: Trek from Tashigaon to Num
Day 44: Trek from Num to Khadbari
Day 45: Trek from Num to Khadbari
Day 46: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu
Day 47: Leisure Day in Kathmandu
Day 48: Transfer to International Airport for departure