Mount Makalu expedition, a perfect four-sided pyramid, will make you want to climb more and more on one hand and on the other hand will make you stay quietly at one place by enjoying its spectacular views.
Do you want to feel like you are touching the sky? Do you want to fly freely in the white soothing clouds of like birds? Well, don't worry everyone has these desires and you need to start searching Mt. Makalu expeditions over google to fulfill these dreams. Mount Makalu, situated at 8,485m, is the fourth highest peak in the Nepal and fifth highest peak in the world. As like other 8000m above mountains residing in Nepal, Makalu is also full of adventure and danger that everyone needs to experience once in their life. It is located in the border of Nepal and China which is only 19km southeast of the highest peak Mount Everest and is in eastern himalayas range. At the base camp of Mt. Makalu there lies a beautiful valley filled with culture, nature and beauty: The Barun Valley. The deep Arun and Barun valleys are the treasure of Makalu. The name of the mountain was likely taken from the Sanskrit phrase Maha-Kala which signifies 'huge black' and it is taken from the name of Shiva - one of the crucial gods of Hinduism. Shiva is every now and then an evil, merciless destroyer, however, at other different instances he is mild and kind-hearted. The mountain has another name within inside the nearby dialect i.e. Kumba Karna which signifies 'the giant'.
THINGS TO OBSERVE
While you are in the Mount Makalu expedition, you will pass through deepest Barun valley which is home for the numerous rare species of flora and fauna. If you are lucky enough, you will get a chance to explore 48 species of orchids, 25 species of rhododendron, 87 species of medicinal plants and 421 species of birds along with the endangered wildlife like wild yak, red panda, snow leopard etc. You will experience adventurous trekking in the challenging area. You will get a chance to observe different lifestyles and cultures of local people. Likewise, you will visit popular and ancient gompas of the area while walking through picturesque villages and dense forests. Additionally, you will witness the breath-taking scenery and views of the snow-capped mountains like Mt Kanchenjunga to the east and Mt Shishapangma to the west with several other snow-topped chains of mountains in between like Lhotse, Mount Everest, Cho Oyu etc.
Mount Makalu was first climbed by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy in May 15,1955 who belonged to french expedition and were led by Jean Franco and G. Magnone. In 1921, this summit was first mapped and at same time its photo was taken from the Tibet side by british Everest expedition. Well, it was during 1951 when full photos of Mt. Makalu was taken by Edmund Hilary when he was on his Mt. Everest expedition. In 1954, the first attempt towards climbing Mt. Makalu was made by a US group from California, who journeyed right from the Indian outskirts close to Biratnagar. Simultaneously, a British group had reached the culmination, however at that time Makalu Expedition was relinquished because Hillary turned out to be genuinely sick and must be protected. In the fall of 1954, a French group endeavored at the summit. In the accompanying spring, effective risings were made by three groups of French climbers on progressive days. The Japanese, additionally, climbed Mt. Makalu in 1970, another French group climbed it in 1971 and a Yugoslav climber stepped at the peak in 1975.
There are several notable climbing routes for Mt. Makalu and they are;
North West Ridge, South East Ridge, South Face, South West Face, West Pillar Route, West Ridge and West Face.
Among all these routes, standard route us North Col. which has been followed by the first climber in 1955. Also, the West Face has proved to be the dangerous and difficult route. From these routes, seven attempts were made but all of them failed and finally on May 21, 1997, it was completed by a Russian team.
Likewise, other 8000m above mountains in Nepal, Mount Makalu was also not climbed and not given attention until the summit of Everest was successfully ascended in 1953. Mount Makalu expedition proved to be the toughest climb ever because out of its total first 16 ascents only 5 of them successfully reached the peak. A few years back data shows that, there have been a total of 206 successful ascents and 22 people died while making an attempt to climb Makalu.
The best season to climb Makalu is in April or May, in the spring or in October and November in the fall season. During this time the weather will be appropriate to climb. Not only this, you can also view beautiful views of clear mountains and other plants. During this time, there is a low chance of rainfall so it will be quite easy to climb.
Expedition to Makalu Summit will take from 50-60 days depending on weather conditions and other unpredictable and unavoidable circumstances. A unique 50-60 days climbing will starts from Kathmandu and will proceed through Tumlingtar, Mani Bhanjyang, Chichela, Num, Seuda, Tashigaon, Kauma, Mumbak, Nhe Kharka, Sherson, Makalu Base Camp and finally at around 34 days you will end up at Mount Makalu.
Total cost for climbing Mount Makalu ranges from US $ 15,000 to US $ 20,000 on which you will get full services which cover ground transfers, flight and cargo, accommodations and meals, permit and fees, supporting staff fees, equipment at Base Camp etc. If you want to lower your cost, then you can go for semi- services where both cost and facilities will be less for you.
There are several requirements for climbing Mt. Makalu and they are;
Technical Climbing Skills- Mt. Makalu is a technical mountain which demands technical climbing skills and if you don't possess this skill then Makalu is not safe for you.
Fitness Certificate: Climbers should submit their fitness certificate in order to avoid future damage and to make sure that they are ready for adventurous activities like expedition.
Experienced: In order to climb Mt. Makalu, you must climb other mountains with height in between 6000m to 7000m.
Travel Documents: PP size photos, valid passport, insurance paper, family members contact address etc.
Mental Ability- Physical focus is not only a major requirement for this climb but you need to be mentally prepared, too to deal with harsh weather conditions.
Mountaineering equipments- Crampons, Ice axe, Helmet, Harness, Lock and unlock Carabineers, Shovel, Climbing pack, Rope, Ski poles, Jummer, Tapes, Prusik Loops, Rappel device, Hand Warmer etc.
Clothing and Wears- Snow google, Wool cap, Thermal Underwear, Trekking shoes with spare laces, Mountaineering Boots, Gore-Tex pants, Long shorts, Insulated Parka, Jumper, Waterproof Jackets, Down Jacket, Fleece Vest,Neck Gaiter, Gloves etc.
Gadgets- Map, Compass, Camera, GPS, Two way radios, Binoculars, Head Lamp, Flashlight etc.
Other equipment: Sleeping bags, Bag packs, Sun stuff, Medical, Eating and Drinking stuffs, Toiletries, Fleece hats and so on.
PERMIT AND REGULATIONS
You have to take permits from following authority by paying certain charges;
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS)- NRS 1000 (USD 9) per person if they have come in a group and NRS 2000 (USD 18) per person if they have come individually.
Makalu National Park Permit- It charges a specific amount depending upon the rules of the area.
Makalu Climbing Permit- USD 1800 for spring, USD 900 for autumn and USD 450 for winter/summer.
Permit should be taken from Government of Nepal since height above 8000m peaks permit are given by them. This permit will be taken by your trekking company and will charge a specific amount of money. Without a valid permit you are not allowed to climb Mt. Makalu Peak. Also, one needs to pay fees for Liaison Officer, his/her insurance, food allowance, Insurance of whole Nepali staff including porters in order to obtain permit and Garbage Deposit at ministry.
In Nepal, climbing Mt. Makalu imposed certain kind of age, health restrictions and they are;
Age- Minimum 16 and no restriction has been set in upper age till now
Health- Should have a strong body, risk taking mindset and health should be free from any kind of sudden attack diseases.
NOTE: Till now in Nepal, permits to climb mountains in Nepal are issued by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) to 33 peaks and rest of others permits are issued by the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.