Makalu expedition in Nepal
Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world. The mountain stands 8,485m from the sea level. Makalu is located 19km southeast of the famous Mount Everest. Makalu expedition is the dream of many mountaineers around the world. The mountain is incredibly unique, and many mountaineers come to Nepal yearly to climb to the summit of this majestic mountain.
Makalu is derived from Sanskrit name Maha Kaal. Maha kaal is another name of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is called as Maha kaal as he is the ultimate destruction. Kaal is the death god in Hindu mythology, Shiva is called Maha Kaal as he is even beyond the death itself and even worshiped by the death good Kaal.
Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world and forth highest mountain in Nepal. There are three peaks in Nepal that are greater in height than Makalu. Mount Everest stands at top among the three peaks. The Everest is not just ahead in Nepal but in the entire world. The country itself is famous for the presence of Mount Everest in its vicinity.
Many people many do not know about Mount Makalu around the globe. In fact, the mountain is unknown to the people of the country of Nepal also. Many may know the name but know nothing about it, some even do not know the name. Another interesting thing about the mountain is that it is called as makaru in Chinese.
Makalu may not be a famous name among the people as Mount Everest, but it certainly is a popular name among the mountain junkies and mountaineers all around the world. The mountain has incredibly unique features and is incredibly special. The first and the most notable feature that make the mountain special is its shape. The mountain looks like a four-sided pyramid. Makalu peaks stands alone with the shape of four-sided pyramid.
Makalu expedition was first time completed in 1955.A.D by a French team. French climber Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy reached the summit in May 15. The next day on May 16 the leader of the expedition Jean Franco and two other members reached the summit. On May 17 the remaining members of the crew reached the summit of the mountain.
This was not the first attempt to climb the mountain. The first attempt to summit the mountain was done in 1954 A.D. by an American team. William Siri led a ten-man expedition in a daring attempt to reach the peak of the mountain. They attempted to reach the peak of the mountain from the south east ridge but failed due to snowfall, snowstorm and high winds.
Cost of Makalu expedition
A cost of all trips depends upon what services you are willing to take. If Nepal is a foreign country and you are planning to go for Makalu expedition in Nepal, you are going through some travel company. They will arrange the trip, get the necessary permits, and passes, they will organize the guides and potters. The various trekking companies also have various rates. Also, the rates depend upon the number of days you are using for Makalu expedition. The services one will take, the luxury one uses during the trip determines the cost of the expedition.
The average cost that a foreigner uses for Makalu expedition is around 11,500 USD. Moreover, this is an average cost per person. The price may fluctuate moderately to highly depending upon the travel company, services, seasons, and some other factors.
Best time for Makalu expedition
March to May and October to November is the best time for Makalu expedition. These months fall within the spring and Autumn season which is best for the climb. These months provides the stable climate and clear view from the top which is must for the best expedition experience. The stable weather decreases the chances of accidents in those altitudes. The expedition should be avoided in monsoon and winter season. These two seasons has higher chances of snowstorms and unstable weather. Moreover, the view is not as clear and majestic as in the autumn and winter.
Arrival to Kathmandu Day 1 and Day 2
The trekkers on their first-day land to Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a popular city that has been a heaven for tourists since the late ’70s. Kathmandu has a very ranged history of tourism. The city is surrounded by hills from all sides and the settlement lies in the closed area of the hills. The culture of Kathmandu, beautiful hills, view of the mountains draw the tourists to Kathmandu.
Another factor that makes Kathmandu popular is that the city has the only international airport in the country till now so those international tourists that are aiming to explore the other parts of Nepal need to go through Kathmandu. Also, Kathmandu has the workforce and available services that can provide any need of the tourists. From equipment’s to gears or even want to have a luxurious rest or services before going to trekking or coming from one Kathmandu has all of them. 7 different UNESCO heritage sites are sight to be seen when visiting Nepal and Kathmandu.
Kathmandu to Tumlingtar
Tumlingtar is the second destination in Makalu expedition. 30 to 40 minutes flight from Tribhuvan international airport will get you to Tumlingtar airport. Then the travelers will drive to Chichira. Chichira is 5-hour drive from Tumlingtar airport. The night is spent at Chichira.
Chichita to Num
This day the travelers will trek to Num from Chichira. On average the travelers must trek between 6 to 8 hours to reach Num. The night is spent at Num.
Num to Sedewa
Sedewa is 7 hours of trek away from Num. The night of the 5th day of Makalu expedition is spent at Sedewa.
To Tashi Gaon
Tashi Gaon is 4 to 6 hours walk away from Sedewa. The night is spent on that village.
To Khongma Dada
Day 7 of Makalu expedition the travelers trek to Khongma Dada from Sedewa. It is 6 to 8 hours away from Sedewa.
Trek to Dobato
Day 8 of Makalu expedition the travelers trek to Dobato from Khongma. It is 7 hours walk away.
To Yangri Kharka
The travelers wake on day 9 to reach Yangri Kharka. It is 6 to 9 hours walk away from Dobato.
To Langmale Kharka
Langmale Kharka is 6 hours walk away from Yangri Kharka.
Day 11 of Makalu expedition
Trek to Makalu base camp. Makalu base camp is located at the elevation of 4970m elevation from the sea level. The travelers had completed a long journey to reach the base camp. They started from Kathmandu with the elevation of 1400m and now reached 4970m which is very high. Various complications may occur due to the elevation and low oxygen level. The travelers need to be cautious about their health and need to check on their fellow teammates. The cold climate and elevation can be dangerous. From reaching the base camp the core part of the Makalu expedition begins.
Day 12 is the day of Acclimatization, rest and preperation of the journey ahead. The climbers need to be ready both physically and mentally to climb the mountain. This day they can rest, prepare their gears and their body for Makalu expedition.
Day 12 to Day 42
From day 12 to day 42 the mountain will be summitted and returned to the base camp. Before reaching the mountain, the climbers need to be habited to the environment of the mountain. The actual climb is just of few days, but the habitation times makes the expedition much longer. The climbers also need to determine the suitable day for the climb where the weather is perfect. The summitting need to be stopped and returned to the basecamp if the weather gets bad or there is the chance of the storm. There are five camps in total that the climbers need to go through to reach the summit and complete their Makalu expedition.
From the base camp the climbers move towards the advanced base camp. Base camp is as the elevation of 4,790m whereas the advanced basecamp is at the elevation of 5,600m from the sea level. The advanced base camp is situated in curved round slope, so the travelers need to be careful when moving there.
From the advanced base camp, the climbers need to go to camp 1 at the elevation of 6,300m. The climbers need to cross a glacier and climb a high ice wall to get there. To reach here the challenge further increases as the altitude further increases. The climate is harsh, the climb is hard, and the temperature is freezing the brave climbers all need to face these situations and move further to the peak of the mountain.
The next camp is located at the elevation of 6,600m. The camp 2 is fair share of climb away from camp 1. The climbers have to climb a big glacier to reach camp 2 from camp 1. The altitude further increases so the climbers need to take care of themselves and other. As, the climbers move into the heart of the mountainous area.
Further will the risk of storms and avalanches increase, which ultimately increases the probability of accidents. Accidents and injury around here can be fatal as the weather is very harsh and the chance of the rescue is very minimum. Even minutes of wrong decisions can be costly enough to cost a life.
Camp 3 of the Makalu expedition is located at the elevation of 7,500m from the sea level. The climbers need to complete very long and steep journey to reach camp 3 from camp 2. Then after reaching camp 3, the travelers need to make their mind to reach camp 4. Reaching camp 4 from camp 3 is said to be the hardest climb of the whole Makalu expedition.
From Camp 4 the climbers need to journey to the top. Now, after reaching and crossing the camp 4 the peak of the mountain is near and within the grasp of the climbers. The climbers need to move along the ridge on the route to the false summit. After crossing the false summit, the climbers will reach to the peak of Makalu.
Reaching to the peak of the mountain completes the half part of Makalu expedition. Now, the climbers need to first get down to the base camp at first. The climbers need to be as cautious and attentive as possible going back to the base camp. They need to get back using the same route they had climbed to reach here.
By the day 42 the climbers will have reached the summit as well as returned to the base camp. Returning to the base camp will have completed most of the journey of the Makalu expedition. However, the journey is still far from over.
Following the same trekking routes, the climber returns from the base camp to Tumlingtar airport. By the airport the travelers need to catch a plane back to Kathmandu valley. Returning to Kathmandu valley marks the end of the Makalu expedition officially. Here, in the valley the travelers if they have time left can revitalize and regain their energy in the city. The city has amazing hotels and luxury places that specialize in healing and getting rid of tiredness of the long journey. They can spend their time visiting the valley or return home through Tribhuvan international airport.
Experience and physical condition of body
The mountain is the fifth highest in the world and has an altitude of above 8000m. Which straight forward means is the feat achieved by professional mountaineers. Good amount of mountaineering experience is needed to achieve this amazing feat. The body also need to be in top condition to complete the journey.
This above 45 day’s journey is very tough, especially the day period between 12 to 42. The body will be exposed to very cold and severe weather condition. So, it is advised that before attempting this journey push the body to its limit so that during the expedition the body of the climbers be in the best condition. Running, trekking, hill climbing, mountaineering training courses are some of the activities that can be done before attempting Makalu expedition.