Makalu Expedition

makalu_expeditionOne of the world’s greatest challenging mountains although it is the fifth highest on this planet, it is 5 times harder than Mt.Everest due to its rocky and ice pyramid shape, the expeditions has to be very experienced for this climb technically and physically, the expeditions route enter the lowest valley in the world to begin the journey to the base of Mt. Makalu.  But first you will have the opportunity to visit cloud-forest jungle, high alpine terrain, orchids, and rural farm and market villages.  From there, you will follow the ridge above the Arun River, proposed site for the largest hydroelectric plant in Nepal.
Pass through yak pastures towards the endless ice fields of Mt.Makalu, Baruntse and Sherpani col.  View the Kanchenjunga massif, Everest, Lhotse, Baruntse and Chamlang as well as the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest. Return through isolated Sherpa villages, then on the main Everest trekking trail to Lukla for your picturesque return flight below the Nepalese Himalaya.

The trek starts from Arun Valley following the rural areas, through fascinating medieval traditional markets and farm villages, this walk-in follows picturesque and rarely trekked route, offering views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga all the way, more stunning views of the Mt. Khumbakarna Range as you enter the Barun valley of Makalu basin. From here, the trek passes over the yak pastures beneath the Makalu’s towering south face along with the great view of the rare east (Kanshung) face of Mt. Everest.

This challenging trek and expeditions is a mountaineering challenge from the foot of Makalu all the way to its summit. Starting this trip at Tumlingtar in the Arun valley, from here spending a varied eight days, trekking in to the base camp of Makalu at Sherson, on the high yak pasture beneath the towering Mt. Makalu the 5th giant mountain in the world. This walk-in follows a picturesque and rarely trekked route, which passes through a number of interesting settlements and offers tantalising views of the highest peak of this planet earth. On this trek we have allowed a couple of days for acclimatization at Sherson and beyond in the laps of these giant peaks.

From here moving to a higher camp at the foot of the Barun Glacier, here making the final preparation for the climb to the summit.

Ropes will be fixed on the steepest and most exposed sections, to safe guard the passage of the group, from this route a spectacular view of most of the high peaks of the central eastern Himalaya, including Mt.Everest, Lhotse from the south east.

Highlights: In the midst of the rhododendron, alpine forest, on the
least accessible isolated route, diverse vegetation, glacier and high peaks, friendly locals with superb views of the great giant mountains and dramatic landscapes, traditional villages, in the vicinity of rich Buddhist culture.

Trip Profile:

Trek Grade:   Adventurous to Challenging.
Climbing grade: Full fledge Expeditions.
Expedition’s duration:   55/ 56 days

Outline Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive and transfer to Hotel at Kathmandu.
Day 02-3: In Kathmandu.
Day 04: Fly to Tumlingtar
Day 05: Drive to Chichele via Khandbari.
Day 06: Trek to Num 5-6 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Seduwa. 4-5 hours trek.
Day 08: Trek to Tashigaon. 3 hours trek. The last village on route Makalu.
Day 09: At Tashigaon.
Day 10: Trek to Khoma Danda. 5-6 hours.
Day 11: Trek to Mumbuk.6 hours trek.
Day 12: Trek to Neha Kharka 6 hours trek.
Day 13: Trek to Sherson. 5 hours trek.
Day 14: At Sherson for acclimatization.
Day 15: Trek to Makalu BC. 4-5 hours.
Day 16-17: At Makalu Base Camp. 5,200m.
Day 18: Climb to Advance Camp at 5,800 meters.
Day 19-20: At ABC
Day 21-40: (21 days) Expeditions Period for the climb to the summit.
Day 41-42: Back to Base Camp.
Day 43: Clean up and packing end of the Expeditions.
Day 44-48: Trek to Tashi gaon.
Day 49: Trek to Seduwa.
Day 50: Trek to Num.
Day 51: Trek to Chichella.
Day 52: Drive to Tumlingtar.
Day 53: Fly back to Kathmandu.
Day 54-55:  In Kathmandu at leisure.
Day 56:  International Departure to your respective destination

Details Itinerary

Day 01:      Arrive Kathmandu.1,300m via respective airlines.
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you will be received by our staff and will escort you to the Hotel, where our Sherpa guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Expeditions, Trek / Camping, do’s and don’t and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.

Day 02-3:   A day in Kathmandu.
Free day in Kathmandu for necessary paper works obtaining permits and checking the equipment for the expeditions with time for half day guided tour
in Kathmandu at places of interest.

Day 04:      Fly to Tumlingtar (950m) 45 minutes’ flight.
After breakfast, take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 45 minute sweeping scenic flight to Tumlingtar overlooking range of snow capped peaks from Langtang all the way to Mt.Everest, Makalu &
Mt. Kanchenjunga, Tumlingtar airport and its village town located on a shelf above the Arun River, walk across to meet our expeditions staff beside the airstrip, we can clearly see, far off to the north, the peak of Makalu.

Overnight stop at Tumlingtar, with time to make friends with the staffs who drove to and walked here with all the camping gear.

Day 05:      Drive to Chinchilla (1,800m) Approx 4-5 hours.
First day of the trip, starts from Tumlingtar the drive is pleasant for an hour through the farm fields and villages. After leaving the suburb of Tumlingtar, the trail climbs up gradually towards Khadbari in the midst of the sub-tropical forest of Sal(Sorea-Robusta)and more farm fields along the way, coming to a town of Khadbari a major village and a headquarter of the Sankha Shaba and Makalu region. A busy bazaar, especially on Saturday market day

From Khadbari the trail is gradual with few ups and down till it reach Manibhanjang after an hour and half of gradual drive. After a brief break here,  ascending the ridge on a wide dirt track, reaching to the small ridge-top village of Chinchilla. Chinchilla a small farm village with 6-8 houses with a superb view of Mt. Makalu 8,463m and the Khumbukarna mountain range.

Day 06: Trek to Num (1,500m)Approx 5-6 hours.
In the clear dawn we have good views of Makalu and its satellite peaks, from this magical spot of Chinchilla, perched high above the surrounding countryside. The walk to Num leads us through the cool and serene forest of rhododendron, oaks and hemlocks as we climb to the ridge top, from the ridge top it is almost downhill for two hours to the overnight camp at Num. Num a small village with about fifteen houses and a primary school on the large flat ground, from where we have good view of our route for the next couple of days.

Day 07:      Trek to Seduwa (1,493m.) Approx: 5 hours.
From Num, the path leads down the incredibly steep and terraced slopes towards the Arun River, nearly 800 meters below. The lower slopes of this narrow valley are densely forested and the paths are quite slippery, after reaching the bottom, cross the suspension bridge across the torrential Arun River, at the height of 670 meters, starting the climb back out of the rain forest, reaching our lunch place at Runruma. After lunch, a steep climb takes up to Seduwa, a village with a small health post and a primary school. Overnight camp near the schoolyard.

Day 08:      Trek to Tashi Gaon(2,200m)Approx 3-4 hours.
The trek to Tashi-Gaon is a short walk of three to four hours probably with lunch and camp on the same spot. The walk takes you to more rural farm villages, on the gradual trail through the farm fields and terraces, as we come near to Tashi Gaon, it’s an uphill climb for an hour through the millet and rice fields. Tashi Gaon is a Sherpa village, unlike the Sherpa of Everest, they are bit different in the way they live in, the dress and the house they live in, being settled in the low warm areas they are engaged more in agriculture and cattle raising. In the afternoon, you’ll have time to wander around.

Day 09:  At Tashi Gaon.
Necessary free day here at Tashi gaon, as this is the last village before the expeditions to Mt. Makalu, so all the porters need to buy and equipped with their food ration, and for the Expeditions team to recheck the equipment and supply of foods as well.

Day 10: Trek to Kohma Danda (3,500m) 5-6 hours walk.
After this village the walk is refreshing for an hour and a half in the beautiful shade of the rhododendron and oaks forest, after leaving the dense forest coming to a summer pastures with traces of temporary made shepherd huts. From here onwards to Kohama ridge is a strenuous uphill climb, as the tree lines declines for the bushes of rhododendron and juniper.

After the climb, coming to the open area of Kohama danda for the overnight camp. From this spot a grand view of the far landscapes with the 3rd highest mountain Kanchenjunga in view towards the north east and Mt. Makalu towards north. From here onwards you can feel the cold chill of the Himalayas.

Day 11: Trek to Mumbuk (3,400m) 6 hours walk.
With the wonderful morning and the superb views of the surrounding landscapes and snow capped peaks, our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and down as we pass through the Thulo Pokhari (big pond) and Sano Pokhari (small pond). In the heavy snow, the path from here can be quite misleading and it will be arduous to find the trail sometime, after the last pond cross the pass of Tutu-la at 4,075m. From here onwards it is all downhill back to vegetation, as we reach to our camp at Mumbuk, a small clearing place for camping in the middle of the woods of pines, hemlock, birch and rhododendrons.

Day 12: Trek to Nehe Kharka (3,750m) 6 hours.
The camp being in the shade of the tree, the view of the Khumbukarna can be seen through the vegetation of the tree lines, the walk from here is downhill to the enclosed and concealed Barun Valley, one of the least explored area in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal. This unique landscapes within the Makalu-Barun National Park are some 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 bird species and 75 species of mammals, including the endangers clouded leopard, red panda and musk deer.

The remarkable bio-diversity is considered to be a global significance and provides a living laboratory for international scientific research. As we reach the lush alpine area of Barun Valley the walk is very pleasant with gradual uphill slopes, following the Barun River upstream on the valley gorge towards our camp at Nehe-Kharka one of the summer pastures for the local folks of Tashi and Navagoan.

Day 13:      Trek to Sherson (4,600 m). 6 hours walk.
Beyond the camp cross the Barun River by way of couple of wooden bridges, which make use of conveniently situated boulders?
There is a large prayer wall at Ramara, after 2-3 hours walk, from here the vegetation gets sparse, although the rhododendron, barberries, cotoneaster and juniper bushes persist for some time, this lovely day’s walk, through the high alpine, as we come nearer to Sherson in sight of the lower Barun glacier and the towering majestic Mt.Makalu. Sherson is also the lower base camp of Mt.Makalu. There are number of stone enclosures at this high grazing ground with outstanding view of host of peaks, including the upper part of Makalu south face, and Mt.Baruntse 7,220m peeking above peak 4.

Day 14:      Free day for a day hike.
A leisure day for a day hike, free from the hassle of packing, around Sherson there are many interesting hike and view points to explore, the most scenic walk would be taking a hike on the right side of the camp above for the closer view of Mt. Makalu, Barun Pokhari and the view of the rare face of Everest the Kanshung face with Lhotse nearby. A one hour steep up brings you to the large meadow you can walk further up to have a magnificent views of the Mt.Makalu and more other peaks of this area and beyond.

Day 15:      Trek to Makalu Base Camp (4,800m) 2-3 hrs.
From Sherson, walk continues to more isolated area towards the higher base camp, which is less than three hour trek above Sherson, at the snout of the Barun glacier, near its glacial pond, on arriving at the camp afternoon free for short hike above this camp, a climb on the moraine ridge, for more spectacular views of Mt.Makalu, and of the usual hidden east sides of Lhotse and Everest, which looms above the Barun glacier to the North West.

Day 16-17: At Makalu Base Camp.
Spend the rest days at leisure and preparing for the next big adventure. Some of the porters will set off back with equipment which we do not need to take with us making the load as light as possible to overcome the traverse near the Sherpani Col and for the higher camps.

Day 18:      Trek to Advance Base Camp (5, 200m) 4-5 hrs.
Our journey from here heads westwards to camp just below Makalu west pillar, as the altitude gains slowly, take time with enough breaks in this high terrain  walk follows a path which climbs an ablation valley on the west side of the Barun glacier. Following this valley onto the glacier make the way over the boulder-strewn caves and ice to a camp known as Puja Camp below the towering Mt. Makalau’s West Pillar. Our strenuous climb on the glacier is rewarded with unique views of Lhotse and the rare Kangshung face of Everest. Overnight camp on the clearing of the moraine.

Day 19-20:  At Advance Camp.
Another necessary break here for acclamatisation and preparation for the ascent to the summit.

Day 21-40: Expeditions and ascent of Mt. Makalu.
We have reserved 21 days for the big climb with time to acclmatise and with some exercise on rock and ice climbing before making the final ascent to the summit.

Day 41-42: Back to Base Camp.
B
y this time every member of the Expeditions team including the staff should be back here at the Base Camp. Our porters will back here to shuttle the loads to the Road Head at Chichelle.

Day 43: Clean up and packing end of the Expeditions.
A
necessary day for packing the gear and clean up of the Base Camp.

Day 44-48: Trek to Tashi gaon.
Retrace the journey back to Tashi-Gaon.

Day 49: Trek to Seduwa.
Trek back to Seduwa by the same or via the upper Nava-Gaon.

Day 50: Trek to Num.
Retrace the journey back to Num for the overnight stop.

Day 51: Trek to Chichella.
Last day of the walk on the same route to the village of Chichella.

Day 52: Drive to Tumlingtar.
Repack all the gear and drive back to Tumlingtar for the last night of these Expeditions.

Day 53: Fly back to Kathmandu.
The flight time to Kathmandu, are schedule for morning normally, because of the wind in the afternoon, sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason. After getting the boarding pass depending upon the flight time make way to the terminal for security check, this scenic flight from takes about 45 minutes to Kathmandu, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen during the flight. Arriving at Kathmandu domestic terminal, our Office staff will receive and transfer you back to Hotel.

Day 54-55: In Kathmandu, free day at leisure.
A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley.

Day 56:      Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your confirmed air ticket, and your passport handy. Our Office staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

MAKALU-BARUN NATIONAL PARK AND CONSERVATION AREA
AREA (2,330 SQ. KMS.)

LOCATION:       The Park and Conservation Area are situated in the Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu Districts, bordered by the Arun River on the east, Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park on the west, the Nepal-China border on the north and Saune Danda (ridge) to the south.

FEATURES:       This is the only protected area in Nepal with a strict nature reserve. The park has some of the richest and unique pockets of plants and animals, elsewhere lost to spreading human habitation.

Steeping up the slopes are a series of vegetation zones starting with tropical sal forests below 1,000 m elevation; subtropical Schima-Castanopsis forests at 1,000 – 2,000 m, fir/birch/rhododendron forests in the sub-alpine ( 3,000 – 4,000 m); and herbs, grasses and rhododendron/juniper shrubs in the alpine pastures ( 4,000 – 5,000 m). There are 47 varieties of orchids, 67 species of economically valuable medicinal and aromatic plants, 25 of Nepal’s 30 varieties of rhododendron, 19 species of bamboo, and 15 oaks including Arkhoulo, 86 species of fodder trees and 48 species of primrose. Over 400 species of birds have been sighted in the Makalu-Barun area, including two species never before seen in Nepal, the spotted wren babbler and the olive ground warbler.

Wildlife includes the endangered red panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard and possibly the snow leopard, in addition to more substantial populations of goral, Himalayan Thar, wild boar, barking deer, Himalayan marmot and weasel, common languor monkey and the serow.

The Arun River system contains 84 varieties of fish. Some 32,000 people inhabit the conservation area.

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