The Makalu Base Camp to Everest route takes you to one of the least visited area of Nepal by foreigners. We start walking from humid lowlands of Tumlingtar reaching Makalu base camp via crossing Shipton La. Then we pass Sherpani Col over the Baruntse Base camp and West Col arriving at Panch Pokhari. Then finally cross Amphu Laptsa pass entering into the Khumbu region. We trek passing through large diversity of ecosystems, cultures and villages of Rai and Sherpa indigenous community. The trail provides magnificent panorama of Makalu south face, Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga and Chamlang. The area receives few foreign trekkers due to its remoteness, wilderness, pristine forests and alpine meadows in Nepal.
This trekking is also the part of Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and is truly a adventurous expedition style trekking program. Our itinerary is carefully designed in order to cope with altitude. Also, previous mountaineering experience is required to safely complete this trek.
Important notes :
a. Makalu Base Camp to Everest trek crosses high Himalaya glacier and altitude of over 5700m with extreme temperatures of -10 to -20 degree. It is crucial to follow expedition style camping trekking facilities with highly experience Sherpa and staffs.
b. Flight between Kathmandu and Lukla is generally reliable. In case of bad weather, flight are cancelled often and to avoid missing international flights, we recommend 2-3 days extra at end of your trip.
c. Also be prepared to pay some extra money for Helicopter flights. Which may cost $ 150- $ 500 or more depending on persons on the flight. For group, we normally charter helicopter flights. Make sure that you have full-fledged insurance coverage arrangement. In our program there is two night as buffer day in case of unforeseen circumstances.
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 willorganize 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)
Half day Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley and in the afternoon our guide will brief you and help you sort out all the requires equipments for the trip. You can have question and answer session with our staff if you have any confusion or need any information about the trip. O/N Hotel (B)
You'll be transferred to domestic airport toake early morning flight to Tumlingtar. 50minutes flight overlooking range of snow capped peaks from Langtang all the way to Mt. Everest, Makalu & Mt. Kanchenjunga, on arrival at Tumlingtar airport, a village situated near Arun River, we'll walk besides the airstrip and walk to the camp for overnight and meet up our crews for the trekking. Rest of the time explores the town. O/N Camping (BLD)
We starts our adventurous journey from Tumlingtar with pleasant walk for an hour through the farm fields and villages. The trail climbs up gradually towards Khadbari (Headquater of Sankhuwasabha district) in the midst of the sub-tropical forest of Sal tree and more farm fields along the way, as we come to a town of Khadbari a major town of the Makalu region and from Khadbari with up and down walk lead to the camp at Mani Bhanjyang. O/N Camping (BLD)
We start our walking with ascending 3-4 hrs to the ridge on a wide and well-used trail, reaching our lunch stop at place named Bhotebas. After lunch we walk passing through fertile land and forested path brings you to the top of the small ridge at Chichila village for the overnight after few hours walk which is settled few local houses with superb scenic mountains of Mt. Makalu and Khumbakarna range. O/N Camping (BLD)
Our journey furthers to Num leads us through the cool and serene forest of Rhododendron, oaks and hemlocks as we climb to the top of the ridge, from the top it is almost downhill for two hours to the overnight camp at Num, which is a small village with about fifteen houses and a primary school on the large flat ground, from where we have good view of our route for the next couple of days. O/N Camping (BLD)
Today, we descend incredibly steep and terraced slopes towards the Arun River, nearly 800 meters below. The lower slopes of this narrow valley are densely forested and the paths are quite slippery, after reaching the bottom, cross the suspension bridge across the torrential Arun River, and climb back out of the rain forest, reaching our lunch place at Runruma. Further walk steep climb takes us up to Seduwa a village with a small health post and a primary school nearby we will camp for the night. O/N Camping (BLD)
We have easy and pleasant short walk that takes you to rural farm villages, on the gradual trail through the farm fields and terraces, as we come near to Tashi Gaon, it's an uphill climb for an hour through the millet and rice fields. Rest of the time walk around the village. O/N Camping (BLD)
This is the last village up to the Makalu and after this village the walk is refreshing for an hour and a half in the beautiful shade of the Rhododendron and oaks forest, after leaving the dense forest coming to a summer pastures with traces of temporary made shepherd huts. From here onwards to Kahuma ridge is strenuous uphill climb, as the tree lines declines for the bushes of rhododendron and juniper. O/N Camping (BLD)
After the superb mountains view and the surrounding landscapes and snow capped peaks, our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and down as we pass through the Thulo Pokhari (big pond) and Sano Pokhari (small pond). In the heavy snow, the path from here can be quite misleading and it will be arduous to find the trail sometime and further walk cross the pass of Tutu-la at 4,075m. We onwards our journey, it is all downhill back to vegetation, a small clearing place for camping in the middle of the woods of pines, hemlock, birch and rhododendrons to reach at Mumbuk. O/N Camping (BLD)
Our camp settled in the shade of the tree, the view of the Kumbakarna himal can be seen through the vegetation of the tree lines, the walk from here is downhill to the enclosed and concealed Barun Valley, one of the least explored area in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal. This unique landscapes within the Makalu-Barun National Park are some 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 bird species and 75 species of mammals, including the endangers clouded leopard, red panda and musk deer. As we reach the lush alpine area of Barun Valley the walk is very pleasant with gradual uphill slopes, following the Barun River upstream on the valley gorge towards our camp at Nehe-Kharka, one of the summer pastures for the local folks of Tashi and Navagaun. O/N Camping (BLD)
Our trek onwards crossing the wooden bridge on the Barun River and walk on the boulders, where is a large prayer wall at Ramara, after 2-3 hours walk the vegetation gets sparse, although the rhododendron, barberries, cotoneaster and juniper bushes persist for some time. With a pleasant walk we come nearer to Sherson in sight of the lower Barun glacier and the towering majestic Mt. Makalu. Sherson is also the lower base camp of Mt. Makalu. There are number of stone enclosures at this high grazing ground with outstanding view of host of peaks, including the upper part of Makalu south face, and Mt. Baruntse 7,220m and at Sherson. O/N Camping (BLD)
Today you have full day rest for acclimatization. Explore around for scenic view of Mt. Makalu, Barun Pokhari and the view of the rare face of Everest the Kanshung face with Lhotse. A one hour steep up brings you to the large meadow you can walk farther up to have a greater view of the mentioned peaks and more other peaks of this area and beyond. O/N Camping (BLD)
From Sherson, we continue to more isolated area towards the higher base camp, which is less than three hour trek above Sherson, at the snout of the Barun glacier, near its glacial pond. On arriving at the camp afternoon free for short hike above this camp, a climb on the moraine ridge, for more spectacular views of Mt.Makalu, and of the usual hidden east sides of Lhotse and Everest, which looms above the Barun glacier to the North West. We will spend rest of the afternoon at leisure and preparing for the next big adventure. Some of the porters will set off back with equipment which we do not need to take with us making the load as light as possible to overcome the traverse over Sherpani Col and beyond. O/N Camping (BLD)
Our journey from here heads westwards to camp just below Makalu west piller, as the altitude gains slowly, we take our time with enough breaks in this high terrain our walk follows a path which climbs an ablation valley on the west side of the Barun glacier. Following this valley onto the glacier we make our way over the boulder-strewn caves and ice to a camp known as Puja Camp below the towering Mt. Makalau's West Pillar. Our strenuous trek on the glacier is rewarded with unique views of Lhotse and the rare Kangshung face of Everest. Overnight camp on the clearing of the moraine. O/N Camping (BLD)
Leaving our camp the path follows to a steep climb up the rocky slopes of the Barun's west bank, until a line of cairns leads us into the valley where two small glaciers are fed by the slopes of the Sherpani Col. We will make our camp beneath the ice cliffs at the terminus of these two glaciers after 4-5 hours of vigorous climb. O/N Camping (BLD)
Today is an important rest day for acclimatization before the hard high climb and steep descend. At this altitude offers superb views of the giant West Face and West Pillar of Makalu. Here our expert guides will check the route and make the pass accessible by fixing ropes en route pass. O/N Camping (BLD)
The big day! Leaving the camp before dawn, we climb on the icy snout of the Sherpani Glacier, three separate Col's give access to the cirque, we will choose the most appropriate of these routes, according to the prevailing conditions, our climb follows on steep snow covered slopes, with the back-up of the fixed ropes which we had set up on the previous day. From the Col we will rope up to cross the glacier to the rocky crest of the West Col. This stunning cirque is framed by the sweep of Baruntse's icy ridges to the north, the vast cliffs of Makalu, the wall of Chamlang to the south and the shpely spire of
Ama Dablam ahead of us to the west. We will be having our packed lunch on the world's highest picnic spots, in the meantime our guides will scout the safe route down the West Col. After a break a descent from the Col on fixed lines leads us to the Hongu Glacier, and end our long hard day with a gradual walk over snow slopes down to our camp on the moraine. O/N Camping (BLD)
Our journey leads to our next adventure over the Amphu Laptsa before we head towards the main busy trail of Lukla, Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche. Walk follows across the wide reaches of the upper Hongu Basin towards Kang Leyamura a 6,430 m peak to the west. Following the rocky glacier in the beginning, then towrds old and more recent moraine deposits, we reach the beautiful Panch Pokhari meaning 'five ponds' and make our camp near to the largest pond at the foot of our final pass Amphu Labtsa 5,780m. O/N Camping (BLD)
Today we start our trek after breakfast to the Amphu Labtsa Base Camp. Here our guides will go up to the Amphu Labtsa and will fix ropes on some difficult section for the safe descent towards Imjatse Valley. O/N Camping (BLD)
Another big day, an early start from the camp for 2-3 hrs treks leads us to the top of the pass and overlooking stunning views of the impressive south face of Lhotse and Lhotse shar and the summit of Island or Imajatse Peaks which looks as if it could almost be even lower than our vantage point. As soon the kitchen staffs and porters arrive at the pass, they will be lowered the 150 meters to the relatively less steep ground below the pass. Similarly, loads have to be carefully lowered, after checking every member in the group we slowly and carefully descend with the help of ropes and ice axe if required, then reaching the safe side from the pass by early afternoon everybody should be off the snow. Once in the safe ground away from the snow and ice area, an hour or more walk will take us to the ablation valley by the side of the Imja Glacier, now being within the Imja-tse valley walking will be more or less easier most of the way to the trekkers civilization at Chhukung a temporary settlement with 5-6 teahouse and lodges. O/N Camping (BLD)
After the hard couple of days over the two high hidden pass in between the massif peaks, our route from here leads to a pleasant walk on the downhill slope to Dingboche and Pangboche village before Tyangboche. After two hours of easy walk brings us at Dingboche village. Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of field enclosed by stone walls, protecting the crops of barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Dingboche has about more than ten teahouses and it is also the gateway to Chhukung and farther beyond for the most challenging traverses towards Makalu area and Hinko Valley. From Dingboche a gentle walk leads towards the Imjatse River with excellent views of Ama Dablam, Kangtenga and Tawoche peaks the trail leads to a small wooden bridge, from the bridge an easy walk to Pangboche village. From here the route diverts into two ways, the upper one going to the upper Pangboche village, where the old Monastery is located, the gradual low route is the straight forward main trail onwards Thyangboche and beyond. It will be better to go the upper trail, for more view and to visit the upper Pangboche village 3,900m and its Monastery, which had a Yeti scalp, and a skeleton believed to be Yeti's hand, it was stolen in the early '90's, and has never recovered back again, like the monastery in Khumjung this Monastery is believed to be older, after the visit to the Monastery a gradual walk downhill brings you back to the main trail, with a short climb after the bridge over the gorge of Imjatse River, the walk follows Mani wall through the beautiful forest of silver fur, birch and rhododendron all the way to Tyangboche Monastery a magnificent place surround by the impressive view of the snow capped mountains.
After a visit to the newly built monastery after the old one was burned to the ground in the late 80's, our trek begins with a descend for an hour to Phungi Tenka, here we cross the long suspension bridge over the Imjatse River by now the trail is more busier with trekkers, porters and pack animals than the previous days. From the bridge an hour and half climb brings us to a small place of Shana-sa offering grand view of Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Perhaps we might stop for lunch in this village. After a break here, if people are interested to visit the upper sleepy village of Khumjung and Khunde they may do so, as the walk to Namche from here is just 2 hrs away on the easy winding trail with constant view of the snow capped peaks of Kwangde, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. Splitting the trail from here to Namche and Khumjung the later village will take about an hour uphill walk and then about 2-3 hrs to reach Namche for the overnight halt. On reaching Namche Bazaar it will be more or less back to civilization with excellent restaurant, shops, lodges and even Cyber cafe. O/N Camping (BLD)
Finally we return to Lukla where we started our trek, which might seem like a lifetime ago. We'll spend some time enjoying and reflecting on the trek as a group and the personal achievement of all those who took part. We also have some spare time to explore the town some more. O/N Hotel (BLD)
On your flight back to Kathmandu as you leave Lukla, you can enjoy some last-minute glimpses of the mountains you just recently visited. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, our airport representative will transfer you to your hotel from the airport. O/N Hotel (BLD)
The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal. (B)
Normally, we use following 3 star standard hotels in Kathmandu depending on availability in our trekking package.
Hotel Manang. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.hotelmanang.com
Hotel Utse. Located in touristic hub, Thamel. www.utsehotel.com
Hotel Manaslu. Located in Lazimpat near to Thamel area. www.hotelmanaslu.com
While on trek, most of the accommodation will be in tent since there are no lodges in Makalu area but you'll be accommodate in lodges in Everest area. The lodges are fairly basic but perfectly adequate for the mountain type service. Two people will be accommodated in each room mostly in twin beds with foam mattresses. If you prefer private accommodation, you can choose “single supplement” option. It is important to consider that some places in the trek do not have sufficient lodges and rooms; in this case you’ll have to share room. Some lodges now have showers (charged at $3-$5).
FLIGHT DELAYS IN KATHMANDU-TUMLINGTAR-LUKLA
Flight between Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and Lukla is generally reliable. Being Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) mountain airstrips, flight is dependent on the weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds. In case of bad weather, flight is cancelled often and to avoid missing international flights, we recommend 2-3 days extra at end of your trip.
If you have to wait in Kathmandu at beginning of the trip due to flight delays, the cost for your overnight accommodation in Kathmandu is not included so you will have to pay extra for this.
Also be prepared to pay some extra money for Helicopter flights. Which may cost $ 150- $ 500 or more depending on persons on the flight. For group, we normally charter helicopter flights. Make sure that you have full-fledged insurance coverage arrangement. In our program there is two night as buffer day in case of unforeseen circumstances.
it is mandatory to have travel insurance for the trekking and please submit us photocopy before departure to mountain. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure it covers up to 6000m.
You are expect to trek about 5-7 hours covering distance of 10-15 kilometer daily depending on trial conditions and state of the weather. You’ll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside and high elevations. Trekking with a guide is not only safer but also for more enjoyable experience. Our guides and porters are expert in Himalayan treks and have more than one decades of experience in average. It is recommended that you prepare for trek with suitable training such as climbing hills/stairs, jogging, exercise and gym to improve your stamina few months prior to trek. The trek will be more enjoyable if you are fit.
MEALS AND DRINKS
There are plenty of excellent restaurants to serve food and drinks in Kathmandu such as Rum doodles, Fire & ice, La Dolce Vita, Ktoo Steak House, Everest Steak, New Orleans, Gaia etc. Breakfast is provided at your hotel every morning. It will cost $ 3-7 per meal depending on meals item chosen and restaurant.
While on trek, our experienced cook and kitchen staffs will prepare your breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks. Meals will be mostly of Continental, Italian, Indian and Nepal cuisine. Every morning, our staff will provide you with boiled water to carry and drink through out the day.
You can purify your own water if you carry a canteen or water bottle and iodine drops or tablets.
Spring starts from March until May where temperature fluctuated between 20°c to 30°c. From June to August is summer season which is also time of monsoon with occasional thunderstorms and hot temperatures. From late September to end November is autumn and is best for trekking activities. Winter is from late November to February. The trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the elevation and time of the particular day. In the mountains between 1000m-3500m, the night generally will be cool around 5°C and during the day temperatures every so often rise to 20°c. At the higher altitudes, temperatures range from 15° to -15°c.
Tips is not mandatory but generally after hard work something extra is expected. We recommend a tip for guide and porter as at least $80 (more will be appreciated).
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST
The following are what we recommend to bring as clothing and equipment needed for the trek. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper price; we can assist you with necessary arrangement. Except for your day pack, your luggage will be carried by porters. You’ll have strong and hospitable porter for two people. The weight limit for trek is 10-13kg per person. One porter can carry 20-25kg weight. Before the trek, you can store all your excess baggage in Kathmandu at hotel or at our office and take only which is required for the trek.
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sun Hat or scarf
Cotton tees or thermals
Gloves for hand
Lightweight cotton pants (long)
Thin inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Comfortable Trekking boots
Sleeping bag rated to -20
Trekking bag or duffel bag
Large plastic bags (keeping items dry inside trek bag)
Trekking poles (recommended, optional)
Water bottle Toiletries
Lonely Planet Nepal: A guide book of Nepal.
Annapurna: A book by Reinhold Messner about his expedition experience in the dead zone of Annapurna.
Trekking in Nepal: Written by Stephen Bezruchka is an nice book for all treks with and bibliography of additional books.
Trekking and climbing in Nepal: Written by Steve Razzetti, this book gives comprehensive knowledge of major trekking trails and climbing peaks.
Nepal Handbook: By Kerry Morgan. Recommended specially for Kathmandu Valley sightseeing’s.
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya: By Stan Armungton. This book has detailed trek descriptions including restricted areas of Mustang, Manaslu, Dolpo and kailash.
Into Thin Air: By Jon Krakaur. A personal account of the Mount Everest disaster.
Travelers Tales: Edited by Rajendra Khadka, Traveler’s Tales, and San Francisco.
Mustang: A lost kingdom by Michel Peissel.
Day 01 - Arrival in Kathmandu.
Day 02 - Sightseeing trip / trek preparation
Day 03 - Fly to Tumlingtar (950m). 50 min. Drive to Chichila (1800m).
Day 04 – Chichila to Num (1500m). 5-6 hrs
Day 05 – Num to Seduwa (1493m). 5 hrs
Day 06 - Seduwa to Tashi Gaon (2200m). 3-4 hrs
Day 07 – Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda (3560m). 6-7 Hrs
Day 08 – Rest and acclimatization day.
Day 09 – Khongma danda to Shipton la (4215m) Dobate (3650m). 6-7 Hrs
Day 10 – Dobate to Yangle Kharka (3700m). 5 hrs
Day 11 – Yangle Kharka to Langmale Kharka. 4-5 Hrs
Day 12 - Rest and acclimatization day
Day 13 – Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp (4900m) 4-5 hrs
Day 14 – Explore near Makalu BC
Day 15 – Pre-climbing skills training at Makalu BC
Day 16 – Makalu BC to Sherpani Low Camp (5200m). 4-5 hrs
Day 17 – Acclimatization day
Day 18 – Sherpani low camp to High camp (5700m). 6-7 hrs
Day 19 – Cross Sherpani Pass (6135m) and west col (6143m) to Upper Baruntse Base Camp (5700m)
Day 20 – Rest day at Upper Baruntse BC
Day 21 – Upper Baruntse BC to High Camp before Amphu Laptsa (5400m). 6 hrs
Day 22 – Cross Amphu Laptsa pass (5850m) to Imja Lake camp (5100m). 7-8hrs
Day 23 – Imja lake Camp to Pangboche (3875m). 6 hrs
Day 24 – Pangboche to Namche Bazaar (3445m). 7 hrs
Day 25 – Namche Bazaar to Lukla. 6 hrs
Day 26 – Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 27/28 – Contingency or spare day
Day 29 – Trip ends, farewell and departure