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Makalu Expedition

Key Points

  • Destination: Nepal
  • Duration: 60 Days
  • Max Altitude: 8463 m
  • Activity: Peak Climbing
  • Fitness Level: Very Strenuous Climbing
  • Group -Size: 2-15 pax
Trip Overview

Great Mt. Makalu (8,463 m/…..ft), the fifth highest mountain peak of the world, lies in the northeast region of Nepal located some 19 Km or 12 miles southeast to Mt. Everest – the highest peak on the earth with a height of 8848m/……ft. The peak’s summit point lies on Nepal - Tibet Autonomous Region of China border. This four sided isolated peak looks like a pyramid, and literally means the “Great Black One” due to its dark brooding appearance.

The first failed attempt to climb Mount Makalu was carried out by American team led by Riley Kigan in the spring of 1954 in which they attempted from the southeast ridge and abandoned at the height of 7,100 m/ 23,300ft. In the spring of same year New Zealand team including Sir Tenzing Hillary – who in 1953 became the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest along with Tenzing Norgey – were in the mountain but did not leave any significant impression. In the autumn of 1954 (October 22-30) French team made successful ascent to the subsidiary summits of Makalu namely Kangchungtse and Chomo Lonzo. And, Mt. Makalu was first summited by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition led by Jean Franco on the 15th of May 1954. 

Mt. Makalu is comparatively tough mountain peak to climb thus very limited attempts and ascents have made. You require highly experienced mountaineering skill, support, logistics to succeed in the climbing and we offer unmatched service to your requirements.

Contains some of the richest and most diverse flora and fauna of Nepal and you walk into the Makalu Barun National Park – established in 1992 as eastern extension to Sagarmatha National Park and only National park that covers the 8000m elevation with tropical location within. Diverse ethnic communities of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) have inhabited the lower parts of these valleys. Due to its isolation with richer market areas and cities, these communities are living in per se economically disparities; however they represent rich cultural heritages untouched by modern world. 

Mountain Delight’s Makalu Expedition includes the walk in the nature along with rich cultural diversity of Makalu Barun National Park, enough time allocated for acclimatization, and excellent care and service.


Arrival in Kathmandu. Meet with our friendly representative at the arrival terminal of only International airport. And, then you will be transferred to your hotel. You check-in at your Hotel and then after short rest you can go to explore market area of Thamel – where you can eat your supper, change money, buy some stuffs from supermarket, or buy trekking gears – if you need to do. Later we take you to our office for the trip briefing. Overnight at your hotel. Delay of any kind will postpone the events for next day according to feasibility.
You start your first day at Kathmandu with delicious breakfast served at your Hotel. The sightseeing involves tour of two religious and cultural sites of Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa. Pashupatinath Temple: It is one of the most celebrated Hindu temples in South-Asia. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. This place is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. The Bagmati river flowing besides the temple is religiously and spiritually significant for Hindus where cremation of dead body takes place. Pashupatinath temple holds the most of prominence during Shivaratri – Shiva’s birthday and thousands of pilgrims gather in the night to celebrate the day. Boudhanath Stupa: It is one of the biggest Stupas in terms of size and height in Nepal and located in east of Kathmandu in the ancient trade route between India-Nepal and Tibet. The site is peaceful and culturally filled with intermixed influence of Tibetan and Sherpa roots. Stupa built in the trading route between Kathmandu and Tibet has four pairs of eyes directed towards all four directions. It is believed to be influenced by Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone's equipment. As Kathmandu offers the last opportunity to buy anything that you think required or missing, you can take part in final hour shopping. You will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides. You will participate in the briefing program organized by the Department of tourism regarding the climbing either day in these two days. Overnight stay at hotel.
You fly to Tumlingtar – a small town located in the bank of Arun River and largest Tar or Mesa of Nepal – after breakfast. You will meet the crew members here who have driven already here with all the camping and cooking equipments, utensils and meals. Once we gather, then start a bumpy drive to Chichila – a small Gurung settlement. A moderately paced drive through the picturesque villages and lush mountain forests will take you to your final destination of the day. Overnight stay in the tented camp.
A moderately paced few hours walk through the picturesque villages and lush mountain forests will take you to your camping site for today. It is comparatively easy day to start. Num is situated in a ridge line with great views on both side. Thunder and lightning is quite normal in the place that may make your evening interesting and adventurous. Overnight in the tented camp.
You second day of walking begins with descend steeply through forest and a farm terraces to the Barun River and longer than the earlier day. We cross the river and walk steep uphill in the next side of the mountain – the very common landscape in the Nepal mountain – of equal height to the starting elevation this morning. As you are walking in the lower altitude the walk is often hot. You enter into Makalu Barun National Park from here where we register out journey details in the checkpoints. The country is particularly rocky; tiny terraces planted with corn and barley, then we have a tough steep climb to Sedua/Sindua/Seduwa. We camp right at the top of the village. Overnight in Seduwa in the tented camp.
After breakfast in the camp start the day with ascent on the ridge bounded by the Ipsuwa Khola on the west and Kasuwa Khola to the east. Crossing the hillside equipped with quiet villages and many scattered paddy fields, beautiful meadows and several streams, and finally climbing the ridge you arrive at the beautiful village of Tashi Gaon inhabited by the Sherpa ethnic people. This is the last permanent settlement in the valley. Here you are surrounded by breathtaking view of the Himalayan panorama. Overnight in Tashigaon in the tented camp.
Today is one of the hardest days of the trek. You are hiking steep uphill in higher elevation now. 3,000m or 9,800ft approximately is the line from where generally altitude sickness can happen to anyone with poorly acclimatized. You gain significant height in a day as well – 1500 m. You ascend through forests to a stream and then on enchanting ridge. You walk/climb past a Kharka (grazing land or pastureland) and have to walk on a rough stone stairs to the top of the ridge passing many mini lakes. You walk through the sparse forests along the ridge over a hillock and descend a bit to Kauma where you spend the night. Overnight in tented camp in Kauma or Khongma either spelt.
Rest and acclimatization day allows your body to relax and adapt the new climatic condition. You can gain some strength as well for tomorrow’s walk through the high Himalayan passes. Overnight stay in the tented camp.
Climb towards the summit of the Shipton La – named after explorer and adventurer Eric Shipton who climbed this pass with his mountaineer friend Edmund Hillary on the way back to Dharan from 1952 Mt. Everest Expedition – which takes a few hours to reach. Descending from the pass, you reach the lake named Kalo Pokhari, and then reach to another pass over the Keke La at 4,152m/……ft through large rock boulders. An easy descent towards Mumbuk offers 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.
A further descent from Mumbuk through the Rhododendron and birch 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.
The trail gradually climbs up the valley, through yak pastures and boulder fields. Campsite at Shershong.
You continue from Shershong your walk towards the base of Mt. Makalu. You Trek onwards & gain height. With Makalu on the left and Chamlang on the right, continue on until reaching the Makalu South East Ridge Base camp at 4,800m. Overnight stay in the tented camp.
Crossing of the Barun Galcier poses a challenge here. Cross lateral moraines and reach to a path that cuts through the rock and ice to the opposite side of the valley. Enjoy a great view of the top of the valley and in front Mt Baruntse rises to 7,129m/…….ft magnificently. Branch off to the right and head towards North RidgeBase Camp (4,800 m (??)/ PLEASE CONFIRM THE HEIGHT WITH SHERPA GUIDE AS BOTH HEIGHT SEEMS SAME HERE where you spend couple days for acclimatization and preparation of your climb.
Spending couple of days in this Base Camp immensely helps in acclimatization purpose. Our crews (Sherpas and porters) ferry all logistics to Advance Base Camp (ABC) at 5,700 m/…….ft while you are acclimatizing and exploring the mountain.
This period of your trip test your endurance in the mountain. We set your camps at around Advanced Base Camp 5,600-5,700m/…….ft; Camp I at around 6,400 m/……ft; Camp II at 6,800m/……ft; Camp III at 7,450m/……ft; Camp IV at 7,900m/……ft from where the summit bid of Mt. Makalu 8,485m/ 27,838 ft is taken.
After your summit of Mt. Makalu – the fifth highest mountain peak of the world – you prepare to return your home. This day we clean the Base Camp, pack up our logistics, and prepare for departure.
Descend back down the valley and take our last glimpse of Makalu before turning the corner and eventually reaching Yak Kharka. Overnight in the tented camp at Yak Kharka.
Now you are gradually arriving to the greenery after weeks of barren, snowy, and tough landscape. Overnight at the cam in Mumbuk.
Today you walk back to Tashi Gaon – a beautiful Sherpa village – and overnight stay in the tented camp.
Walk all the way back down to the river. Climb back up the opposite side of the valley to Num.
It is mostly easy walking to Chichila.
This is the final leg of the trek, before you fly back to city life after long mountain trek/climb. Arrive Tumlingtar and be ready for an early flight to Kathmandu.
Today, you fly back to Kathmandu after long trek in the Himalayas of Nepal – Makalu region. The flight is thrilling as usual in a small plane through the mid-hill region of Nepal. You can rest and relax all the day at your hotel or can walk around to revisit city life after long gap. In the evening we celebrate successful trek to the Makalu Base camp with a farewell dinner and cultural program. Overnight in Hotel.
You can relax your day in Kathmandu hanging around on your own. Or you can go for a short city tour around Kathmandu. After breakfast at your Hotel, we take you to the mysterious Kathmandu city tour. This historical, cultural and spiritual city unveils the social and historical mysteries to visitors. You will walk through the narrow lanes of the ancient Kathmandu – the center of power – that includes markets of Ason, Glass beads market at Indrachowk, oldest supermarket at New Road, Kilagal, and Hidden Stupas inside the family courtyard. Visit of Kathmandu Durbar Square – the administrative quarter of Malla Kings (fourteenth to eighteenth century), and Shah Kings who ruled Nepal from 1768 until 2008. The most unique experience in the square is the visit to the temple of the living goddess “Kumari”. After the tour return back to your Hotel. If you are staying in Thamel, you can hang around this bustling tourist market and enjoy shopping. Overnight in Hotel.
As per your flight schedule, you will be transferred to the international airport of Kathmandu three hours prior to the flight time and your wonderful trip in the majestic Himalayan region ends here.

What is Included?

    • Airport Pick up and Drop with representative
    • 3 star standard hotel (Nepal standard) with breakfast in Kathmandu as in Itinerary
    • Tea House and Tented accommodation as required
    • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the expedition trip
    • Tea/Coffee / Juice and other stamina boosting drinks during climbing trip
    • Sightseeing in Kathmandu with a professional guide, transportation, and entry fee
    • Required land transportation from/to Kathmandu in a private vehicle
    • Kathmandu – Tumlingtar –Kathmandu flight ticket
    • Climbing permit of Mt. Makalu
    • Makalu National Park Entry Permit
    • Trekking Guide, Porters, and other service up to Base Camp of Makalu
    • All required Staffs: Base camp Guide, Cook, Cook helper, Porters/Mules from Aarughat to Base camp and back
    • All Camping Gears (Two men tents, dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, down jacket,
             sleeping bag, matrices, torch light, water bottle etc)
    • Equipment allowances, daily allowances for Liaison officer, the expedition crew, Sherpa
    • All food, drinks, lodge, salary, Insurance, Medical, Equipment’s, all transport etc. for a guide, and porters.
    • 1:1 climbing Sherpa for the climbing
    • Oxygen with regulator and mask for emergency or medical purpose
    • High Altitude member and Sherpa tent.
    • EPI gas and burner for high climb.
    • Gamow bag / Portable Altitude Chamber.
    • All necessary climbing hardware group equipment.
    • Satellite Phone in case of emergency.
    • One high rated tent for 2 people during expedition
    • Mat, Dining tent, Toilet tent, Mess tent, Store tent, Table and chairs trekking for the expedition
    • Emergency Oxygen -Mask and regulator, Satellite Phone (call basis), Gas heater and Generator
    • All taxes and service charges

What is Excluded?

    • Any bar bills (alcoholic drinks, mineral water, and cold drinks), cigarettes, client’s personal insurance, any kind of unforeseen expenses etc.
    • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu.
    • Personal equipment for climbing & trekking.
    • Personal & medical Insurance of expedition (high risk to be covered).
    • Walkie-Talkie permit & Satellite phone permit.
    • Tips for Guide and Porter (Tips is not compulsory but expected).
    • Any other things not included in cost included.

Equipment Checklist

Boots, Crampons, Gaiters

  1. Light hiking boots
  2. 8000m climbing boots
  3. Gaiters
  4. Crampons (step-in bindings preferred)

Climbing Tools

  1. Ice Axe: (standard; around 65-70 cm, depending on height)
  2. Seat harness
  3. Locking carabineers : 6 (Automatic locking type with large pear shape)
  4. 2 folding- ski pole

Technical Clothings

  1. Polypro or Capaline long underwear (4sets)
  2. Pile jacket and pants (pants must have full separating side zips)
  3. GoreTex shells (top and bottoms, bottoms must have full separating side zips)
  4. Down jacket (medium & heavy weight)

Mitts & Gloves

  1. Light synthetic gloves - 3pr (Capaline or polypropaline)
  2. Wool (or pile) mitts and Gor-Tex overmitts


  1. Wool or pile socks (6pr light liners, 4pr heavy liners)


  1. Head lamp (spare bulbs and batteries)
  2. Glacier - sun glasses
  3. Wool or pile hat


  1. Sleeping bag (expedition quality, rated to -15 & 40F)
  2. Sleeping pads (2)


  1. Backpack: Internal frame pack 5,000
  2. Pee bottle (one-liter large mouth)
  3. Water bottles (2 one-liter large mouth)
  4. Sunscreen (maximum block)
  5. Lip sunscreen


  1. Large duffel bag for transporting all your gear at airports and on pack animals.
  2. Toiletry bag
  3. Travel clothes
  4. Personal first aid kit
  5. Small day pack: for trekking days (optional)


Apart from climbing equipments, you may feel to adjust items from trekking equipment list to have with you.

This list outlines the required things to bring during the trekking tours. There are various selections and brands that you can choose as per your interest. All required trekking equipments can be bought or even hired easily at a reasonable price in Kathmandu.


  1. Down sleeping bag (you can borrow with us if required).
  2. Duffel or Rucksack bag (you can borrow with us if required).
  3. Daypack
  4. Down Jacket (you can borrow with us if required).
  5. Fleece liner (you can borrow with us if required).
  6. Walking poles (Walking poles are optional but recommended, and you can borrow with us if required).
  7. Water bottle with purification tablets.
  8. Hand wash liquids.
  9. Lip guard.
  10. Sun-block cream.
  11. Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.

Upper Body - Head / Ears / Eyes

  1. Cap and ears covering hat. 
  2. Glacier glasses
  3. Head torch.
  4. Ear-muffs and neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth (optional)


  1. Hand gloves (One light pair and One warmer pair)


  1. T-shirts – few.
  2. Light and weight thermal tops and warm thermal top.
  3. Light jacket and vest.
  4. Wind and rain jacket.
  5. Shirts and warm shirts.

Lower Body – Legs

  1. Long and short hiking pants.
  2. Lightweight and warm long underwear.
  3. Rain and windproof trousers and warm trekking trousers.


  1. Thin and thick socks.
  2. Trekking boots, light shoes, and sandal.
  3. Trekking Gaiters.             

Medicines and First Aid Kits

(Our guide will carry first aid kit bag during the trek.  We still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as you feel it necessary).

  1. Headache and fever medicine.
  2. Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
  3. Burnt cream.
  4. Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach and diarrhea.
  5. Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide). Please discuss with us before starting to take this medicine.
  6. Antibiotics.
  7. Blister treatments such as moleskin, hand plants and-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc.


  1. Passport and extra passport photos (2 copies).
  2. Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money and passport.
  3. Pocket knife.
  4. Bandanas.
  5. Favorite snack foods and energy bars
  6. Paperback books, cards, mp3 player. Avoid players with moving hardware as it may not function. Remember, keep these items lightweights
  7. Binoculars.
  8. Camera.

All garments should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large puncture resistant plastic bags.

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