Makalu base camp trek is one of the world's fifth highest mountain trek that takes place in the Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area, a place of outstanding natural beauty, recognised internationally for the diversity of its flora and fauna. Due to its relative inaccessibility, it is little known to tourists and few trekking groups visit. Makalu is located 22Km to the east of Everest and 80km west of Kangchenjunga. The region was closed to the outside world until 1952 when the legendary explorer, Eric Shipton, visited and crossed the pass and named Shipton La (4,220m) to reach the base of Makalu. The French are the first to climb the mountain via its North West Ridge in 1955.
Having done Makalau Base Camp trek with 81 years old man from Spain, we are confident in our itinerary and the camping management that the trek can be appropriate for any age and for them who like to trek among less tourists. The trek begins in Tumlingtar at an altitude of just 400m to reach a high point ten days later of 5,500m. From a view point above Makalu Base Camp there are superb views of some of the world's highest mountains, including Everest (8,850m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,463m), Chamlang (7,319m) and Baruntse (7,220m).
For exceptionally strong trekkers we can combine Makalu Base Camp trek with a high altitude traverse to Baruntse Base Camp at 6140m and via the West Col, of approximately same elevation, Panch Pokhari (5445m) and Amphu Lapcha La ( Amphu Lapsa La, 5845m) to Chukung Valley and from there via Pangboche to Namche Bazaar in Khumbu, Everest. It is necessary to emphasize that this traverse via Upper Honku Valley is only for those with some former mountaineering experience and appropriate physical endurance.
- Dates: Daily
- Best Season: September to December & March to June
- Duration: 22 Days
- Trekking Days: 17 Days
- Grade: Hard-Medium
- Maximum Altitude: 5500 m
- Commences At: Tumlingtar
- Ends At: Tumlingtar
- Code: HMABC
Price: $ 4500 P/P camping services
Day 01 Arrival Kathmandu
Day 02 World Heritage sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 03 Kathmandu to Mane Bhnajyang (1030m) via Tumlingtar (510m)
Day 04 Khandbari to Chichira (1840m)
Day 05 Chichira to Num (1500m)
Day 06 Num to Seduwa (1540m)
Day 07 Seduwa to Tashigaon (2070m)
Day 08 Tashigaon to Khongma (3560m)
Day 09 Khongma to Mumbuk (3550m)
Day 10 Mumbuk to Nghe Kharka (3750m)
Day 11 Nghe Kharka
Day 12 Nghe Kharka to Shersong (4610m)
Day 13 Shersong to Makalu Base Camp (5050m)
Day 14 Shersong to Yangle Kharka (3600m)
Day 15 Yangle Kharka to Mumbuk (3550m)
Day 16 Mumbuk to Khongma (3560m)
Day 17 Khongma to Seduwa(1540m)
Day 18 Seduwa to Num (1500m)
Day 19 Num to Tumlingtar (1840)
Day 20 Tumlingtar to Kathmandu
Day 21 Rest day in Kathmandu
Day 22 Departure Kathmandu
A beautiful and striking mountain, Makalu is a four sided pyramid rising to an altitude of 8462 metres. The world’s fifth highest peak sits within the Makalu Barun National Park, bordered by the Sagamartha National Park to the west and the Arun River to the east. This region offers some of the most outstanding and diverse trekking in the Himalaya. Beginning our trek from the trade route village of Tumlingtar we ascend through Sherpa villages and cultivated fields with views of the Chamlang Range in the distance. Our first pass sits at an altitude of 1800 metres and it is here that we have our first views of Makalu and the Jaljale Himal. Proceeding through rhododendron forests we eventually make a crossing of the Keke la, Shipton La and Tutu la before arriving at Makalu Base Camp (5000m). From base camp we gain magnificent views of the imposing south face of Makalu, and with further forays along nearby ridges, we may gain magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse and the Barun Glacier.
Day by day details
Day 01 – Arrival Kathmandu
Today is your arrival. We welcome you upon your arrival at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel in Kathmandu or your choice of Hotel in Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur). Arrival city briefing follows after Hotel check in concerning the necessary formalities on your tour and trek program. Depending upon your arrival time you may spend free time visiting nearby historic/countryside areas or resting. In the evening sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner in an authentic Nepali Restaurant with the cultural dances. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02 – World Heritage Sightseeing in Bhaktapur
Half day sightseeing in Bhaktapur World Heritage site where your guide will accompany you on a tour of UNESCO enlisted temples and unique fusion shrines of Newari architecture, reflecting a rare blend of Hinduism and Buddhism. There is enough time to explore the city’s many places of interest with your guide or on your own or simply take a rest. Our Trek Leader/Guide will meet you in the afternoon for trek briefing and final trek preparation. Overnight Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03 – Kathmandu to Mane Bhanjyang (1030m) via Tumlingtar (510m)
If all goes as planned, we should arrive by plane in Tumlingtar at around 1 pm, where we start our trek after lunch. The ascent starts from the Arun Kosi and the Sabha Khola rivers. It is a long ridge walk with numerous villages along the road. We can see views of the huge Chhamlang massif in the distance. The trail crosses a plateau then climbs gradually after which we will arrive in Khandbari. We trek further an hour via the interesting fertile villages to camp at the Mane Bhanjyang (4:30 hrs).
Day 04 – Mane Bhanjyang to Chichira (1840m)
The countryside will become more rural and we will climb through bamboo forests along the ridge to Arun Than (1280m), after which we continue through bamboo groves and big rocks to Sheka (1350m). Ascend to Bhotebas (1740m) and trek further for 2 hours and reach the tiny ridge to the village of Chichira (1840m) where there are two excellent campsites and a few houses inhabited by Gurungs (6 hrs).
Day 05 – Chichira to Num (1500m)
Having the views of Makalu at dawn we start to trek slowly. It’s an enjoyable walk for the day. We will continue following the ridge past small Sherpa settlements of Baisake and Kuwapani (1870m). The route climbs about 100 meters before descending into oak forests and then follows alongside a stream for a short distance. We will then go upwards again to the village of Mure (2000m), a village inhabited by both Sherpas and Rais. After Mure, the trail will descent on a rocky eroded trail to some stone steps and finally to Num, which is on a ridge above Arun Kosi river (6 hrs).
Day 06 – Num to Seduwa (1540m)
After leaving our campsite at Num we will descend steeply from the western end of the Num ridge through the cornfields of Lumbang, we will continue our way down through jungle to a suspension bridge over the Arun Kosi (620m). From here we will do the steep climb up to Seduwa (1540m) which has an excellent large camping ground below the national park office. Here we must register with both the local police and the national park office (5:30 hrs).
Day 07 – Seduwa to Tashigaon (2070m)
Today there are many streams to cross that may (or may not) have bridges and makes a gradual climb high above the Kasuwa Khola to a mani wall (1890m). From here on it is a gentle walk through terraced rice fields and forested areas to Hindrungma village, and then onto Ropsesa. The route crosses meadows and several streams and then reaches the Tashigaon School, after which there is yet another stream to cross and a short ridge climb to reach the foot of the Sherpa village of Tashigaon. This is the last settlement in the valley. Many of the houses in this village are on stilts topped with round stone or wood barriers to keep out the mice (5 hrs).
Day 08 – Tashigaon to Khongma (3560m)
This will be a tough day with an elevation over 1400 meters on a steep trail. We will ascend through forests to a stream and then onto a ridge where there is a small shepards hut called Chipla (2520m). After this the trail becomes even steeper and passes a kharka (commonly owned grazing land) and finally follows a series of rough stone stairs ascending to the top of the ridge. From here it’s a short way down to Khongma. There are no buildings here and many of the tent sites are on the sloping hillside (6 hrs).
Day 09 – Khongma to Mumbuk (3550m)
Today we will first climb on steep switchbacks adorned with prayer flags to a ridge at 3840 m, from where there is a very nice view of Chhamlang, Peak 6 (6739m) and Peak 7 (6105m). We will follow the ridge through a rhododendron forest for a while and then go up to the first of three passes we must cross today, which is Ghungru La (4050m). Descend to a small turquoise lake after which we will ascend again through Shipton Pass (named after Eric Shipton, who used this pass with Edmund Hillary on their 1952 Everest reconnaissance). We then have to pass Keke La (4150m) after which we will enter a valley filled with rhododendron forest and continue on to our campstite at Mumbuk (7 hrs).
Day 10 – Mumbuk to Nghe Kharka (3750m)
Descend to Barun Khola through fir and rhododendron forests and we pass a small cave at 3250 meters and then traverse up and down to a large open area. We will have good views of Peak 7 from here. The valley widens and we have to pass several streams and then cross the Barun river on a wooden bridge to Yangle Kharka and then onto the large grassy plain of Nghe Karka (6 hrs).
Day 11 – Nghe Kharka
Rest day. It’s a very special place for a rest and observes the nature closely. And it also gives you the opportunity to wash some of your clothes if necessary.
Day 12 – Nghe Kharka to Shersong (4610m)
Beyond Nghe Kharka we will follow the Barun valley past Piphuk Kharka (3930m). Then we will climb alongside a waterfall and then on to a swampy meadow and stream. Here we will go to a single house at Jhak Kharka (4210m) and continue our way through the meadows of Yak Kharka where there is a rough hotel and an amazingly well equipped shop. Beyond Yak Kharka we will follow alongside a moraine formed by the lower Barun glacier. There are excellent views of Peak 4 (6720m), Peak 3 (6477m) and peak 5 (6404m). We will continue our way through the valley until we reach Shersong for overnight camp through pine and rhododendron forests and grassy plain. Halfway into the valley the dramatically beautiful summit of Makalu comes into view (7 hrs).
Day 13 – Shersong to Makalu Base Camp (5050m)
From our camp site at Shersong, it is a gradual climb to a minor pass about 100 meter above Makalu base camp after which we descend to a stream and cross boulders to the base camp on the west side of the river. There are terrific views of the south face of Makalu. There are no huts, shelters or vegetation at base camp which is at an elevation of about 5000 meters. We will return to Shersong on the same day for our overnight camp (6 hrs).
Day 14 – Shersong to Yangle Kharka (3600m)
We will retrace our steps down the Barun valley to the pleasant camp of Yangle Kharka (5hrs).
Day 15 – Yangle Kharka to Mumbuk (3550m)
We will continue descending through the rock-fall area and then climb up the rocky gully to the trees of Mumbuk (4:30 hrs).
Day 16 – Mumbuk to Khongma la (3560m)
Trek across Tutu la, Shipton La, keke la and descend to Khongma la (6 hrs).
Day 17 – Khongma La to Seduwa (1540m)
Day 18 – Seduwa to Num (1500m)
Day 19 – Num to Tumlingtar(1840)
By Jeep to Tumlingtar
Day 20 – Tumlingtar to Kathmandu (1100m)
Day 21 – Leisure in Kathmandu
Day 22 – Departure Kathmandu
The Trek Cost Includes:
-- International Arrival and Departure Transfers
-- Pre and Post Trek Deluxe Star Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu
-- Domestic Airport Transfers
-- Domestic Flight to Tumlingtar
-- Half Day Guided Cultural Sightseeing
-- Comprehensive Trekking Map
-- Authentic Nepali Welcome Dinner
-- All the accommodation and full board meals and hot beverages on the trek
-- Eco Conscious Camping accommodation with crews, chef.
-- Toilet tent, shower tent, kitchen tents, dining, kitchen utensils.
-- Makalu Conservation Area Project Special Permit
-- Our Extensive Knowledgeable Licensed Guides and porter services with porter gears
-- Field staff Insurances
-- Private Transportation to/from Trekking put in Point
-- Domestic Airport Taxes
-- Dawn Jackets, sleeping bag, walking poles, duffel bag, facilities
-- Extensive First Aid Medical kit
-- Quick Rescue supporting services in case of Emergency
-- Extra snacks services
-- Satellite phone/Communication services in case of Emergency
-- Applicable government Taxes
-- Himalayan Eco Trek Team Management
The Trek Cost Excludes:
-- All the personal expenses like Alcoholic beverages, Bottled drinks etc.
-- Medical and Travel Insurances
-- International Airfare and taxes
-- Visa Fees
-- Emergency Helicopter Rescue charges
-- Main Meals in Kathmandu