Makalu Expedition (8,463m)
About Mt. Makalu:
Every interested people in mountaineering are well-known that Mt. Makalu (8463m) is the fifth highest mountain Peak on the Earth. Mt. Makalu is Situated in the heart of eastern Himalayas albeit just about 14 miles east of Mt. Everest. The Massive Mountain with a prominence of 2386m and taking into account surrounding deep valleys like Arun and Barun is somewhat isolated.
The valleys, in particularly the Barun valley, are the home of pristine forests and alpine meadows of Nepal. Within this wide range of altitudes and climates, the Makalu-Barun area contains some of the richest and most diverse flora and fauna of Nepal. Diverse ethnic communities of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) have inhibited the lower parts of these valleys. Due to isolation these communities are economically poor however they represent rich cultural heritage untouched by technology and world cultural influences. They are the custodians of Makalu-Barun unique biological and cultural treasures. Due to its relative inaccessibility, the area is little known to majority of the visitors, however, those who have visited, return home with unforgettable memories of the area and its people.
Mt. Makalu Expedition:
Mt. Makalu was first climbed by a French team in 1955. This peak was first mapped and taken photograph of it from the Tibetan side by the British Everest reconnaissance in 1921. Hillary and Shipton had taken that photograph of Mt. Makalu on their Everest reconnaissance in 1951. The first attempt on Mt. Makalu was in 1954 by a US team from California, who trekked all the way from the Indian border near Biratnagar. At the same time a British team had reached in the summit, but this Makalu Expedition was abandoned when Hillary became seriously ill and had to be evacuated. In the autumn of 1954 a French team attempted the peak. In the following spring, successfully ascents were made by three teams of French climbers on successive days. The Japanese also climbed Mt. Makalu in 1970, another French team climbed it in 1971 and a Yugoslav expedition reached the summit in 1975.
Mt. Makalu Expedition in Nepal is very adventurous route to climb because on its west face. This Mt. Makalu is a little bit dangerous as well. The 5 attempts were made before climbing this Mt. Makalu then only it was succeeded in the final. The West Face of Mt. Makalu was successfully scaled in 1997. The Russian expedition had taken the route of this West Face led by Sergey Efimov and climbed the top on 21st of May 1997 via the most difficult route.
Mt. Makalu Expedition Base Camp Services:
In the Base Camp,
- Snowy Horizon Treks & Expedition provides very professional, supportive and friendly mountaineering logistic services from Kathmandu to the ABC as well as during the climb. Our objective is to ensure a good quality, supportive, safe, friendly, stress free and comprehensive service to maximize summit opportunity.
- We provide a comprehensive service organizing all necessary permits, and climbing documentation, travelling logistics including airfares, ground transportation, porters, and other individual services required by mountaineers. On the track to the ABC we organize all required accommodation and food.
- Our cook and helpers will prepare and serve three delicious freshly cooked and plentiful meals a day and will ensure that hot and cold drinks are available 24hrs a day.
- We provide spacious expedition quality personal tents for all our clients both with full board or base-camp service only.
- We also provide dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet facilities and portable shower facilities and tent accommodation for our staff.
- We provide access to communication including satellite telephone and internet access, and solar panels to charge your batteries.
Mt. Makalu Expedition Full Board Services:
For the full board additional,
- We provide personal tent and food, which will be prepared by their climbing Sherpa. We provide UHF/VHF hand held radios on the mountain to maintain communications between ABC and high camps.
- We provide a personal climbing Sherpa guide to help the clients to reach the summit. Personal climbing Sherpa will set up camp 1 and camp 2 and camp 3 including food provisions, fuel and oxygen and will guide and assist the client on the summit day.
Approaches to ABC:
- The trek into the base camp of Makalu is absolutely breathtaking and takes you back in time when all Himalayan mountains were approached on foot.
- The trek starts at low elevation of 920m in Tumlingtar, where we arrive on a flight, and rises gradually over next 10 trekking days. It is a perfect way to acclimatize before base camp is reached and to take on climbing relatively quickly. From the village of Tumlingtar situated in the low country the trek climbs through narrow gorges of Arun Valley, rhododendron forest and local pastures to emerge into the higher alpine country. We pass from subtropical to high alpine vegetation with incredible diversity of flora and fauna and untouched and diverse cultures.
- Makalu has many interesting routes leading to the summit via west ridge, west face, south face, southwest face and northwest buttress. The normal commercial route is past the Southeast Peak and along the Southeast ridge. The climb is straightforward but moderately technical with exposure on the SE Ridge; it requires some fixed rope set-up.
- Traditionally there are 3 camps, high camp C1 (6,500m), C2 (7,300m) at the bottom of the Southeast Peak ridge and C3 (7,900 m) at the beginning of the SE ridge. With very low Base Camp the ABC is set-up at 5500m. The terrain encountered on the ascents varies from glacier crossings to steep snow fields and requires a good understanding of basic alpine climbing techniques. Makalu has been climbed Alpine style but traditionally all commercial operators practice expedition style to improve the chances of summit success for the clients.
- The bottom part starts from the base of the West Face at 5,800 meters and climbs to the hanging ice-fall at 6,100 meters to the right part of the ice-fall. The second part extends from the plateau above the ice-fall along 35 to 45 degree elevation's rock up to the 6,500 meters high. The next section is an ice-rock wall, 50 to 55 degrees steep & that extends to 7,400 meters height. The last final section begins 70 to 75 degree elevation's rock pillar, which leads to the west ridge at 8,000 meters height till to the top of the summit.
- Ropes are typically fixed from 5800m to 6100m and from 6500 m to 7500m. Camps established by the Russian Team were at the following locations. The French Route on the West Pillar is an aesthetically stunning line that has been seldom attempted. It is an exceedingly difficult, a very steep pillar that was first successfully ascended in 1971. The crux of the line comes at approximately 7,600m in the area of the Seignior Wall.
Elevation: 8,463m (26,747ft)
Coordinates: 27°53′0″ N 87°05′00″ E
First Ascent: J. Franco's French Expedition, the climbers Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray, 1955
Climbing Season: Late spring (traditionally less hazardous) and autumn
Expd duration: 54 days (typically)
Climbing duration: 32 days (typically)
Group Size: 02-15 person per Group
- Climbing Equipment
- Climbing Permit & Cost
- Royalty Free Mountain
- Peaks Opened for Mountaineering
- Trekking Peak Permit
- Climbing Rules in Nepal
- Peak Climbing Guide
- List of Opened Peaks
- List of Unclimbed Peaks
Peak Climbing Question/Answers
What is trekking peak?
Trekking Peaks are the mountain which can be approached in a day to the summit from their base camp including return to the basecamp. Trekking peaks are generally between 5000m to below 7000m. The climbing permits for these peaks can be obtained from Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). These peaks are also called NMA Trekking Peaks.
Who can climb a peak?
There are no restrictions to obtain climbing permit and anyone with appropriate fitness and skills can attempt a peak climbing. Climbing difficulty varies for different mountains and routes. Non-technical climbs can be attempted by a fit trekker with little or no climbing experience. For technical climbs one needs to have an appropriate level of climbing experience.
I have never climbed before. Can I go for peak climbing?
There is always first time for everything including peak climbing. There are non-technical peaks, which can be climbed safely by a fit trekker and even slightly technical peaks can be attempted by a novice climber with a professional climbing guide.
What are physical fitness criteria to climb a peak in Nepal?
To climb high elevation peak the health and fitness is a paramount criteria. The level of fitness required is proportional to peak elevation and route difficulty and length.
What is climbing permit?
Climbing Permit for trekking peaks is a legal document issued by the Nepal Mountaineering Associationauthorizing the climber to attempt the climb on designated peak or route. Attempting a climb without permit is illegal.
Do I need climbing permit?
Yes climbing permits are required to climb any peak above 5000m and it is illegal to do so without a climbing permit.
Who will lead me during climbing?
A licensed, trained and experienced Climbing Sherpa Guide will lead you while Peak Climbing.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes the rescue insurance is required while climbing.
Which is the best season for peak climbing?
In general August to November and March to May are two climbing seasons in Nepal.
Do I need to join in a climbing group?
There is no legal requirement to join the climbing group however climbing solo is an unsafe practice. It is recommended to hire the guide even for simple routes.
What will be the food and accommodation?
During the access trek you will be accommodated in a lodge/teahouse; once in the basecamp you will be assigned a tent and your climbing Sherpa will prepare high altitude food; all your climbing gear and food for the climb will be carried by the porter up to the base camp.
How much time is generally required for trekking peak?
It varies for different peaks and weather condition. Generally most of trekking peaksrequire one or two days to summit from the basecamp. The access time varies also and depends on peak location and peak elevation.
How difficult are the trekking peaks?
It depends on the Trekking Peak. There is a variety of peaks available ranging from non-technical through easy technical to difficult and very difficult technical routes.
Is there any age limit for trekking Peaks Climbing?
Children below 18 are Restricted for Peak Climbing in Nepal. Is this incorrect?
What are the sources of drinking water supply during Peak Climbing?
On most of treks bottled water is available. There are also purified filtered water stations in many lodges. The boiled water will be also available in the lodges and from the camp kitchen.
Where do we eat our meals?
On popular trails we will stay in lodges and guest houses and the meals will be cooked for you with continental menu meals often available as well as soups and noodles and rice dishes; on some routes there will be a limited choice and on some more remote routes only local Nepal Dal Bhat and curry or instant noodle soups will be available. In the basecamp your Sherpa guide will prepare meals for you from instant dry meals.
Is there any communication while we are on trekking?
It all depends on the area with most of the trekking routeshaving local VHF Phones; increasingly more places get mobile coverage of varied capacity; in remote communication is not available or very limited so the only option would be a satellite phone.
What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
You need comfortable trekking shoes preferably with Gore-Tex style lining for ultimate comfort and thick vibratim soles to have comfortable walk on rocky paths. On snow routes you will also require crampons, climbing harness and on many climbs the iceaxe.
What problems can arise on altitude?
At high altitude your cardio-pulmonary system is affected by low oxygen density and you can suffer from general breathing difficulties to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) as well as your skin is susceptible to sunburn if not protected by cloths or sunblock. The AMS is preventable through appropriate trekking pace and undertaking acclimatization.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain the insurance?
You need to obtain travel insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Your insurance should cover rescue insurance and it should allow the expense of helicopter supported medevac. Nowadays such policies are readily available through many airfare booking agents. Try ihi.com if you cannot find your insurance.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain the insurance?
You will require a travel insurance, which will not exclude climbing and helicopter evacuation. You need obtain your insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Climbing insurance may be obtained through some climbing clubs and some insurers such as IHI.
What is the cost of Peak Climbing?
The cost depends on peak you wish to climb and the number of climbers in the group. The cost of the climb consists of trekking cost, transportation costs (airfare or surface transportation), equipment and staff requirements, climbing duration and permit costs. Please consult us.