Makalu Expedition

Makalu Expedition (8463m) is the fifth tallest mountain on earth. It lies in the northeast region of Nepal, close to Mt.Everest and Mt.Lhotse. Makalu is impressive because its perfect pyramid structure with four sharp ridges makes this mountain all the more spectacular. Makalu means the Great Black One, so called due to its dark, brooding appearance. Makalu is one of the more complicated and technical eight-thousanders and is considered one of the most challenging mountains in the world. Makalu expeditions are arduous because the mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that make climbing Makalu very open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock climbing. While there have been many a Makalu expedition, it is the only Nepalese 8,000m peak that has yet to climb in winter.

An American team made the first attempt at Makalu in 1954, but it failed to reach the top of Makalu. Finally, for the first time in 1955, a French expedition team reached the top of Mt. Makalu. Out of the first sixteen attempts, only five were successful then.

Brief Itinerary View in full

  • Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
  • Day 2/3In Kathmandu for official documentation, equipment check and shopping.
  • Day 4Fly to Tumlingtar and drive to Num .
  • Day 5Trek to village of Seduwa.
  • Day 6Trek to Tashigaon.
  • Day 7Trek to Khongma Danda.
  • Day 8Rest and acclimatisation day at Khongma Danda.
  • Day 9Trek to Dobato.
  • Day 10Trek to Yangle Kharka.
  • Day 11Trek to Hillary BC/Makalu Basecamp.
  • Day 12Trek to Makalu Advance Base Camp.
  • Day 13-41Climbing period
  • Day 42Final packing after the Summit and fly by helicopter to Lukla
  • Day 43Fly to Kathmandu
  • Day 44Free day in Kathmandu before final departure
  • Day 45Transfer to the international airport for final departure

Itinerary Details

  • Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.

    Elevation: 1400 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: D

    You will be met at the arrival terminal and transferred to the group hotel. The Hotel locates within walking distance of Thamel in Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or can choose to relax.

  • Day 2/3 In Kathmandu for official documentation, equipment check and shopping.

    Elevation: 1400 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: B

    We will set these two days aside for us to help you get some last-minute supplies or finalize any official documentation needed for the expedition. Of course, you will be briefed about the program by our team members as well.

  • Day 4 Fly to Tumlingtar and drive to Num .

    Elevation: 1550 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: BLD

    Prepare for an exciting day of adventure as we embark on a trek to Num, starting with an early morning 40-minute flight to Tumlingtar. From there, we will hit the off-road and drive for 3-4 hours to reach Num, the gateway to the magnificent Makalu Base Camp trek. As we make our way through the winding roads, get ready to feast your eyes on the stunning views of bamboo and sal forests surrounding us. Remember that there might be some delays on the road due to muddy conditions or stalled vehicles.

  • Day 5 Trek to village of Seduwa.

    Elevation: 1530 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 6 hrs

    Meals: BLD

    Embark on an exciting trekking adventure from Num to Seduwa, where you will experience the thrill of an 800m descent and an 800m ascent in a single day. The trek will take you through lush cardamom fields and down to the Arun River, where you will cross a suspension bridge and make your way uphill to the charming village of Seduwa. Your journey will be accompanied by the serenity of bamboo forests and local villages, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. First, make sure to stop at the Makalu-Barun National Park checkpoint, where your guide will present your permits to enter the park. Upon reaching Seduwa, you will find a bustling village with small shops, lodges, and even a school. Spend the night in a cosy lodge, ready for another day of trekking tomorrow.

  • Day 6 Trek to Tashigaon.

    Elevation: 2065 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 6 hrs

    Meals: BLD

    The way from Seduwa to Tashi Gaon will take you on a pleasant ascent of about 5-6 hours, offering classic trekking experiences you'll cherish forever. As you pass through idyllic villages, you'll get a glimpse of the local way of life. Walking alongside mani walls and through bamboo and rhododendron forests, you'll come across several streams that you'll cross on log bridges, surrounded by the sweet sounds of drongos, cuckoos, and barbets calling from the trees. The trek's final leg will be a climb up to Tashi Gaon, where you can rest for the night and enjoy a delicious plate of dal bhat, a traditional Nepalese dish.

  • Day 7 Trek to Khongma Danda.

    Elevation: 3500 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 7 hrs

    Meals: BLD

    The trek from Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda will require a bit of ascension, so be prepared for some uphill climbing. For birdwatchers, it's an excellent opportunity to bring out your binoculars and spot some warblers, sparrowhawks, and flycatchers in the dense rhododendron and magnolia forests. As you make your way up, you'll witness stunning views of snow-capped mountains in the east. After climbing up stone steps for 7 hours, you'll finally reach Khongma Danda, where you may even glimpse some snow. Rest for the night in a cosy lodge.

  • Day 8 Rest and acclimatisation day at Khongma Danda.

    Elevation: N/A

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: BLD

    Today is a rest and acclimatization day at Khongma Danda. To help your body adjust to the altitude, you'll be hiking up to an elevation of 3,900 meters to Khongma-La. After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you'll ascend on stone steps through the beautiful rhododendron forest. Once you reach Khongma-La, you'll have 15-20 minutes to enjoy the stunning views before returning to the lodge for a hot lunch. The afternoon is yours to either relax or explore the area.

  • Day 9 Trek to Dobato.

    Elevation: 3860 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 7 hrs

    Meals: BLD

    Today, you'll be passing through four high mountain passes: Khongma La (3890m), Sano Pokhari Danda (4105m), Shipton La (4200m), and Keke La (4170m). Although challenging, the climb will be worth it as you'll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Makalu, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga. Along the way, you'll also come across Kalo Pokhari at 4080 meters, a sacred spot visited by Hindu pilgrims during the Janai Purnima festival. After Keke La, there's a short 45-minute descent to reach Dobato, where you'll spend the night in a cosy lodge filled with memories of the day's four passes. Remember that there are no lodges on the trail, but we'll ensure you have enough food and water for the journey with a few tea shops along the way.

  • Day 10 Trek to Yangle Kharka.

    Elevation: 3690 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 5 hrs

    Meals: BLD

    Today's trek from Dabato to Yangle Kharka (3630m) will be a pleasant 5-6 hour descent through rhododendron and pine forests. Watch for bird species such as Guldenstadts, redstarts, minivets, tragopans, and magpies. However, be cautious as you pass through landslide-prone areas. Along the way, you'll come across a tea shop in Themathang after four hours, with a stunning waterfall just before. Finally, you'll reach Yangle Kharka, where you'll spend the night in a tented camp.

  • Day 11 Trek to Hillary BC/Makalu Basecamp.

    Elevation: 4800 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: BLD

    Today's trek from Yangle Kharka to Hillary Base Camp (4800m) takes us through mixed forests, including rhododendron, fir, and pine. Next, we'll make our way to Langmale and navigate a moraine through the Barun River. Along the way, we'll pass by a stunning glacial lake as we ascend to Hillary Base Camp. Finally, we'll spend the night in a tented camp, enjoying the breathtaking views.

  • Day 12 Trek to Makalu Advance Base Camp.

    Elevation: 5300 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: BLD

    Today's trek takes you on an arduous ascent to the advanced basecamp (ABC) at Makalu. Following the side moraine of the glacier, you'll eventually cross the ice stream and scree to the other side. However, beware of steep slopes covered with big blocks of rock that obstruct the way up the side valley of the Chago Glacier. Watch for rockfall, and avoid losing the path amongst the scree! After navigating these obstacles, you'll reach ABC at 5300 meters on a small hill at the tongue of the Chago Glacier.

  • Day 13-41 Climbing period

    Elevation: N/A

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: BLD

    Puja Ceremony: The Puja ceremony is a crucial tradition followed by the Sherpa and the international climbers before the start of the climbing. It is a religious ceremony in which the climbers ask the mountain for permission to climb and for the safety of all those involved in the expedition. Acclimatization: After the puja, the group leader will begin planning the acclimatization rotation. Acclimatization involves gradually ascending to higher camps to allow the climbers' bodies to adjust to the altitude, a crucial part of the expedition as it helps prevent altitude sickness, which can be severe and potentially life-threatening. The acclimatization rotation usually involves climbing to a higher camp, spending a few days there to rest and adjust, and then descending to a base camp. Rest Days: During the rest days, the climbers will take time to recover and prepare for the final push to the summit. Eating high-energy foods, hydrating, and getting plenty of rest is very important. The climbers need to be in peak physical and mental condition before attempting the summit. Summit Push: Finally, with the best weather window, the group leader will coordinate the final push to the summit, which is a highly coordinated effort involving all climbing team members. The climbers will make their way up the mountain, often roped together for safety, and work together to reach the summit.

  • Day 42 Final packing after the Summit and fly by helicopter to Lukla

    Elevation: 2860 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 15 minutes

    Meals: BLD

    After the expedition, the trekking route retraces from the base camp to Tumlangtar ariport. Due to the time shortage for the summit attempt and the lengthy expedition period, we fly to Lukla directly from the base camp after doing the final packing.

  • Day 43 Fly to Kathmandu

    Elevation: 1400 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: 35 minutes

    Meals: BLD

    The flight from Lukla takes 25 minutes to Kathmandu. Depending on your flight time, we provide a transfer from the airport to the Hotel. Back at the Hotel, you will take a proper shower and rest.

  • Day 44 Free day in Kathmandu before final departure

    Elevation: 1400 m

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: B

    We reserved this day as a weather contingency for flight cancellation or any extra day used during the program. However, if everything goes as the program, this day you can use it for relaxation or sightseeing around Kathmandu. The most popular sightseeing spot is Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath.

  • Day 45 Transfer to the international airport for final departure

    Elevation: N/A

    Distance: N/A

    Time Taken: N/A

    Meals: B

    Today is the last day of the program; depending on your flight time, we will arrange the transfer to the airport, and your guide will go to see you off. The airport check-in time is 3 hours before flight departure, and the checkout time at the Hotel is noon. If your flight is later in the evening, you can request a late checkout at the hotel reception.

Dates and Prices

2025

Dates Dossier Price Status
6 Apr - 20 May
USD 31500 Available

Inclusion

  • Kathmandu Service includes arrival & departure transfers, domestic airport transfers, 5 nights in Kathmandu hotel with breakfast and a welcome dinner
  • Government fee climbing royalty/permit. Includes all the permits charges required to climb Makalu, including the garbage deposit fee, government liaison officer charges and wages and insurance for at least 1 Climbing Sherpa as required by the Government of Nepal for permit & other miscellaneous costs
  • Trekking service includes all the necessary arrangements required during the trek: i.e. domestic flight/transfers including helicopter in group from Makalu base camp to Lukla, accommodation and three meals a day in local lodges, a trekking guide and portage of personal trekking & climbing gears
  • Basecamp Service includes three-course meals a day and unlimited hot drinks while at basecamp, a required number of kitchen crew with their wages, transfers and insurance, a personal tent, and a common dining tent with a heating system and generator /solar battery charging facilities, toilet tent, shower tent and human waste disposal fees
  • Higher camp Service (C1, C2, C3 & C4), higher camp service beyond the base camp; it includes the necessary number of tents, oxygen set (4 bottles), high food, cooking pots, epi gas, gas stove, walkie-talkie, satellite phone and weather forecast.
  • High Altitude Climbing Sherpa, a personal climbing Sherpa with his equipment, daily wages, load ferry charge, meals, accommodation, oxygen set (2 bottles) if required, flight/transfers and insurance for the expedition duration

Exclusion

  • The expedition price does not include your international airfare, climbing gear, visa fees, evacuation costs, insurance and other personal nature expenses. In addition, the clients are accountable for paying the summit bonus of US$ 1500 and tips (US$ 1500) to personal Sherpa once they reach camp IV and tipping for the kitchen staff, US$ 350 per client.

Key information

Makalu-below-summit

Makalu Expedition 2023

Imagine Nepal’s Makalu expedition team reached the summit of Makalu on May 13, 2023, at 11:05 am NPT. Makalu is the world’s fifth-highest mountain, standing at an elevation of 8481 meters above sea level.
Congratulations to Raul Eerik Helander from Sweden, Pemba Chhiri Sherpa, Ngima Nuru Sherpa, and all the other members who joined the team.

Hillary Steps

Makalu Expedition 2022

We are thrilled to announce that on May 28, our Team successfully stood on the Summit of Mt. Makalu at 8463 meters.

Makalu was a massive accomplishment for us, as we had only recently begun attempting to climb this mountain. It is also the first time that Mingma G has summited a mountain without supplemental oxygen, making him the only climber to complete 13×8000m Peaks without supplemental oxygen. We are so proud of him and our climbers for their hard work, determination and perseverance!

The list of summiteers is as follows:

1. Mingma G

2. Dong Hongjuan – China

3. Jill Wheatley – Canada

4. Sirbaz khan – Pakistan (Makalu summit without O2, The only Pakistani climber to complete 11×8000m Peaks)

5. Dawa Gyalje Sherpa

6. Tamting Sherpa

7. Pasang Namgel Sherpa

Hillary Steps

Makalu Expedition 2019

Mr Gao Li from China with Sherpa Mr Phur Galjen Shepa made the Summit on May 22 2019. Phil Crimpton and Ms Malgorzata Jolanta Watroba along with Sherpa pasang Wangchu and Dawa made summit on 16-may-2019. They are from Altitude Junkies joined with Imagine Nepal.

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Start Date :
April 6, 2025

End Date :
May 20, 2025

At a Glance

  • Group Size : 2 to 15 Participants
  • 45 days trekking
  • Contact Details
    Mingma G
    Mingma G