- Sushant Lama
Reaching atop of Mt. Makalu is the dream of many mountaineers. Elevated at an altitude of 8,485 meters, it is the 5th highest peak in the world and ascending it is not a joke. Situated 19 km southwest of Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu is one of the most difficult mountains to climb due to its topographical features.
Pyramid-shaped Makalu stands all alone across the Himalayan belt and has been attracting lots of adrenaline – junkies for a long time who wants more challenges and excitement in their life. Makalu expedition will take you on a ride from a beautiful green valley up to the snow-covered peak.
You will be able to observe the exotic views of high altitudinal lakes, passes, panoramic views of neighboring mountains, luscious green forests filled with Rhododendron, and the wildlife of the Makalu Barun National Park which has one of the most diverse flora and fauna in Nepal.
Along with nature, you can experience the warm cultures of Gurung, Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) communities. They may be economically backward due to isolation, their cultures and traditions are pure and uninfluenced by the outer world.
Challenging yet exciting Makalu is one of the least explored regions of Nepal but, those who visited this place have returned home with some unforgettable memories.
Though Edmund Hillary and Shipton photographed it in 1951, a French team was the one to ascend it for the first time in 1955. The first attempt was made by a US team from California in 1954, but it was abandoned as Hillary became seriously ill. Later, the Japanese ascended it in 1970 and another French team climbed it successfully in 1971.
The summit of the Makalu can be reached via west ridge, west face, south face, south-west face, and north-west route. Its west face is considered one of the most dangerous routes in the world. After the fifth attempt only, the expedition of the Makalu from the west face was successful in 1997 by a Russian team. Generally, people take the north-west route for the expedition.
There are about 3 camps on the way to the summit. High camp C1 (6,500 m), C2 (7,300 m), and C3 (7,900 m). Makalu is climbed by both alpine style and expedition style.
Makalu expedition starts from Tumlingtar and ends at the summit via Sheduwa – Tashi Gaun – Khongma – Mumbuk – Nehe Kharka – Makalu base camp. It is completed in 50-60 days. The number of peoples in groups can be between 2 to 15.
The cost of the Makalu Expedition Royalty is USD 10,000 per person for the team of up to 7 members. National Park permits, foods, airfares, insurances, wages, and other things may increase your expenses.
Autumn and spring season are considered the best season for the expedition.
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