Makalu, 8463m is the fifth tallest mountain on Earth. Lying northeast region of Nepal, Makalu is a close neighbor to tallest peak Mt Everest. Makalu means “the Great Black One” 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. Makalu was first climbed by a French party in 1955. The peak was first mapped and photographed from the Tibetan side by the 1921 British Everest reconnaissance. Hillary and Shipton photographed mount Makalu on the 1951 Everest reconnaissance. Hillary and others approached the peak a year later after the failure of their mount Cho Oyu 8201meter expedition.
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.
Arrival in Kathmandu. You’ll meet Ramdung Expedition representative displaying your name at airport and you’ll be escort upto the hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. O/N Hotel, Dinner (D)
These day we are busy for briefing about expedition, documentation, visa application, last minute shopping and preparation for departure to expedition. We’ll also introduce to our Nepali crew coming with you for expedition. Hotel. BLD
Depending on the schedule reporting time, our staff will pick you up at the hotel. Then a 50 minute flight from Kathmandu landing on a bumpy grass airstrip at Tumlingtar (400m). From Tumlingtar, it takes about 3 hours bumpy road jeep drive takes into our first camp at Chichila. O/N Camping (BLD)
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. O/N Camping (BLD)
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) O/N Camping (BLD)
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.
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. O/N Camping (BLD)
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. O/N Camping (BLD)
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. O/N Camping (BLD)
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. O/N Camping (BLD)
The trail now climbs up the valley, through yak pastures and boulder fields. O/N Camping (BLD)
Trek onwards and gain height. With Makalu on the left and Chamlang on the right, continue on until reaching the Makalu base camp at 4,800m. O/N Camping (BLD)
Climbing period for Makalu begins now on. We do not provide a day-to-day itinerary for the climb period, as this will be determined by the expedition leader and members. Guides will take a flexible approach based on what fits with climbers’ and their own experience. Typically, the team will spend a few days at the base camp organizing food, practicing rope skills, and acclimatizing before moving above the base camp. From base camp, there will be 3 camps set up until you reach summit. Base camp is in comfortable position on rock and protected from winds. Make sure to acclimatize well before you start climbing higher altitude. Enough time needs to be allowed for bad weather and slow acclimatization. Summit push will be normally at the mid night. So that team reached at top early in the morning. Catch breathtaking sunrise and surrounding view then get back to base camp before getting affected by heat. After summiting, withdraw from the mountain removing all equipment and rubbish and taking it back to Base camp.
Time to get the gear organized and the porters loaded up ready for tomorrow's departure.
Descend back down the valley and take our last glimpse of Makalu before turning the corner and eventually reaching Yak Kharka. O/N Camping (BLD)
Continuing with our descent we eventually reach Mumbuk. The greeneries below provide a welcome relief from the snowy landscape on the mountain. O/N Camping (BLD)
Back across the Shipton La, and then cutting across the hillside to eventually reach the Sherpa town of Tashi Gaon. O/N Camping (BLD)
We follow our footsteps all the way back down to the river. Climb back up the opposite side of the valley to Num. O/N Camping (BLD)
Easy walking to Chichila. O/N Camping (BLD)
The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to Kathmandu the following day. O/N Camping (BLD)
We complete the journey with a flight to Kathmandu. We will return to the welcome haven of the Hotel. Free time for rest. O/N Hotel
Today you’ll have free in Kathmandu. You can have sightseeing in the cultural heritage inside Kathmandu, buy souvenirs and thankas to take back home or anything as the day is free and easy. O/N Hotel (BD)
The journey within the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today. At last approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight, a representative from Ramdung Expedition escorts you to the airport. Farewell…(B)
Recommended tipping and Climbing Sherpa bonuses :