Makalu Base Camp

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23Days

This is an outstanding trek in the eastern region of Nepal which offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity. The trail takes you from the steamy lowlands of Tumlingtar on the Arun River, through one of the least frequented areas of Nepal, to the base camp of Makalu [8475m]. The trail follows the beautiful Barun river valley in the Makalu Barun National Park, crossing Shipton pass at 4127 meters before arriving at Makalu Base Camp [5000m]. From here, views of the south face of Makalu, as well as Everest and Lhotse are truly regal and fantastic. The Arun valley is also home to rare species of various Birds which are found only in Nepal.

Anyone in good shape and has previous experience of trekking can make this fairly challenging trek anytime in March to May and September to early December.

  • Itinerary Overview
  • Detailed Travel Plan
  • Included / Excluded
  • Travel Notes
  • Departure Dates
  • : Arrive Kathmandu.
  • : Sightseeing tour.
  • : Fly Kathmandu -Tumlingtar [1518ft/460m] and trek to Khandbari [3432ft/1040m].
  • : Trek to Fururu [6270ft/1900m].
  • : Trek to Num [4917ft/1490m].
  • : Trek to Sedua [4818ft/1460m].
  • : Trek to Tashi Gaon [6831ft/2070m].
  • : Trek to Kauma [11451ft/3470m].
  • : Trek to Mumbuk [11781ft/3570m].
  • : Trek to Nhe Kharka [9900ft/3000m].
  • : Trek to Sherson [15230ft/4615m].
  • : Trek to Makalu Base camp [16500ft/5000m].
  • : Rest day at the Base Camp.
  • : Trek to Nhe Kharka [9900ft/3000m].
  • : Trek to Mumbuk [11781ft/3570m].
  • : Trek to Kauma [11451ft/3470m].
  • : Trek to Tashi Gaon [6831ft/2070m].
  • : Trek to Balung [2508ft/760m].
  • : Trek to Pukuwa [1815ft/550m].
  • : Trek to Bumling [1221ft/370m].
  • : Trek to Tumlingtar [1518ft/460m].
  • : Fly to Kathmandu.
  • : Depart Kathmandu.
  • : Arrive Kathmandu.

    It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. A representative and driver from Explorer Nepal will meet you at the airport and escort you to Hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

    Check In at the Hotel.

  • : Sightseeing tour.

    After breakfast at the hotel, commence the sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city, Swayambhunath and Patan city.

    Kathmandu city: Kasthamandap, the source of the name Kathmandu means ‘made from the timber of a single tree’. Also known as Kantipur, the capital Kathmandu is the hub of Nepal's art and culture. It is a place for rest, relaxation and easy-day sightseeing of historic and artistic temples and monuments. Kathmandu Durbar Square with its arrays of temples, Seto Machhindranath and the ancient palace of the former Nepali Royals enriches your experience of the centuries old civilization.

    Swayambhunath Stupa: Said to be around 2000 years old, this Buddhist Stupa sits atop a hill. The main stupa is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire crowned by a pinnacle of Copper gilt. Painted on the four sided base of the spire are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The hill of Swayambhunath is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda temples. You’ll get a scenic view of Kathmandu city from there.

    Patan city: Located about 5 km south of Kathmandu, Patan is one of 3 royal cities in the valley. A destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.

    Patan is believed to have been built in the third century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty later expanded and enriched by the Licchavi and the Malla rulers in the medieval period. Patan Durbar Square, like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former Royal palace complex is the centre of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a beautiful museum. One remarkable monument here is 16th century temples dedicated to the Hindu go Krishna, built entirely of stone.

    Check In at the Hotel.

  • : Fly Kathmandu -Tumlingtar [1518ft/460m] and trek to Khandbari [3432ft/1040m].

    Fly Kathmandu -Tumlingtar [1518ft/460m] and trek to Khandbari [3432ft/1040m]
    We take an hour flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, from where our trek commences. From Tumlingtar, we walk north towards Khandbari after lunch. We begin walking on a plateau for about 45 minutes after which the trek starts climbing gradually for approx 3 hrs to reach Khandbari camp above the village on large grassy fields.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Fururu [6270ft/1900m].

    Leaving Khandbari, continuing along the trail which passes a ridge, we walk a short distance to reach the settlement of Mani Bhanjyang (3630fit/1100m). We continue through fields, bamboo groves, big rocks and climb a short distance to reach the Tamang village of Bhotebas (5742fit/1740m). Beyond the village, the cultivated fields disappear as the trail climbs through trees to a pass at 6105fit/1850meters that offers spectacular views of Chamlang, Makalu and Jaljale Himal. We then descend a bit to the next ridge, and then follow the crest as it makes some ups and downs through a rhododendron forest to Chilchela (6039fit/1830m), with a tea shop and few houses inhabited by Gurungs. We follow along the ridge to the small settlements of Kuwa Pani (6303fit/1910m) and Sakurati Majuwa (6138fit/1860m). Just past a mani wall, the trail leads up to a campsite. The lower trail heads to the village of Fururu, situated below the ridge at 6270fit/1900 meters.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Num [4917ft/1490m].

    From Fururu, we move back to the ridge at 6468fit/1960 meters and trek through forests of huge rhododendrons just below the ridge line to a mani wall and a dirty pond. We continue along the ridge past a small stream to a single Sherpa house and tea shop. This is Mure, a spread-out village at 6534 fit/1980 meters that is inhabited by both Sherpas and Rais.

    Below Mure, the route cuts across the ridge, then makes a tedious descent on a rocky eroded trail to some stone steps and a final walk to Num (4917ft/1490m). Num is situated on the ridge above an S-shaped bend in the Arun River. On the opposite side of the Arun is the village of Sedua.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Sedua [4818ft/1460m].

    We continue along the trail descending steeply from Num through the corn fields of Lumbang. Below the village the trail drops very steeply through a jungle to a suspension bridge over the Arun River (2178ft/660m). From the bridge we climb steeply to a primitive tea shop, then through corn and buckwheat field. Moving along the rocky path and tiny terraces planted with corn and barley, we make a long, steep, rough climb to Sedua (4818ft/1460m).

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Tashi Gaon [6831ft/2070m].

    Leaving Sedua, we make a gradual climb high above the Kasuwa Khola to Gyang (5841ft/1770m). Climbing past the school at Gyang, it is a gentle walk through terraced fields and forested areas to Hindrungma village, and on to Rupisa. En route, we cross meadows and several streams, and then climb to the Sherpa village of Tashi Gaon, the last permanent settlement in the valley.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Kauma [11451ft/3470m].

    We climb over the ridge and ascend through forests to a stream and onto a ridge where there is a small campsite. The trail levels out, and then climbs to a shepherd’s hut called Chipla atop another ridge. We climb past two small streams, then switchback up the ridge in forests to a kharka at 9570 fit/2900 meters and up to a saddle and Unshisha, a tiny meadow at approx 1089 fit/330 meters. Here the trail joins the ridge that separates the Iswa and Kasuwa drainages. The slope gets steeper and becomes a series of moss-covered stone stairs to Dhara Kharka, a meadow atop the ridge. We then move over a hillock and descend a bit to reach Kauma (11451ft/3470m).

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Mumbuk [11781ft/3570m].

    Today leaving Kauma, we climb on steep switchbacks for a while. We then climb less steeply through rhododendron forests to the top of the ridge, with a large mani wall adorned with prayer flags. From here, we get superb views of Chamlang, Peak 6 and Peak 7.

    Following the ridge for a while, we ascend a stone staircase. After a few false summits the trail veers left off the crest to a small lake. We then climb gently up a shallow rocky gully to the Kike La (13619ft/4127m). From the pass, we descend to another lake, then ascend steeply through large boulders to the Tutu La. We continue descending about 150 meters into sparse rhododendron forests to a level area. The final descent is through a forest of firs and rhododendrons to Mumbuk (11781ft/3570m). Mumbuk is a forest camp, on a grassy slope about 330 fit/100 meters above a small stream, with views of snow peaks through the trees.

  • : Trek to Nhe Kharka [9900ft/3000m].

    From Mumbuk, we descend a steep gully with a stream for about 1650 fit/500 meters. We then move left through fir forests, along the flank of the Barun Valley. Moving along ill-defined trail, we cross a 660 fit/200-meter-long slide area, and then follow the river to a kharka. Moving through forests of birch and scrub rhododendron, we reach Yangle Kharka. We Climb from Yangle Kharka, finally crossing to the north side of the Barun Khola to reach Nhe Kharka (9900ft/3000m). There is a small Gompa at the south side of the valley that offers great mountain views in all directions.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Sherson [15230ft/4615m].

    Beyond the Nhe Kharka, we follow the north bank of the Barun Khola for a while. We then cross a small wooden bridge before the river turns northward. The Barun Valley makes a huge S-shaped curve and the walls rise almost vertically 4950 fit/1500 meter to 6600 fit/2000 meters above the river, but the trail climbs gently as we approach Ripok Kharka. Still on the north side of the Barun, the trail turns westward and leaves the rhododendron forests for alpine tundra. Above Ripok Kharka, the route crosses a rocky crest with a few goths, and then ascends alongside a moraine formed by the Barun Glacier. There are excellent views of Pyramid Peak, Peak 4, Chamlang, Peak 3 and Peak 5, but Makalu is not yet visible.

    As we pass a ridge the glacier turns slightly north. We enter an alluvial valley and Makalu pops into view just before Sherson (15230ft/4615m). Sherson is somewhat sheltered, but still is a very cold spot. It is a long trek today of approx 8 hours.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Makalu Base camp [16500ft/5000m].

    From Sherson, we stay to the right in a gully on the east side of the valley. It is gradual descent to a minor pass about 330 fit/100 meters above Makalu Base Camp. We then descend to a stream, cross on boulders to the base camp on the west bank of the river. From here we get terrific views of the south face of Makalu. The large buttress of the south face rises across from base camp. An ascent of this buttress yields views of Peak 6, 7 and Baruntse (23826ft/7220m); Everest and Lhotse complete the panorama.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Rest day at the Base Camp.

    Today is a rest day for acclimatization and exploration. Overnight at Camp.
    Day 14: Trek to Nhe Kharka [9900ft/3000m]
    Today we retrace our steps down the Barun Valley towards Nhe Kharka.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Nhe Kharka [9900ft/3000m].

    Today we retrace our steps down the Barun Valley towards Nhe Kharka.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Mumbuk [11781ft/3570m].

    From Nhe Kharka, we continue descending through the forests to Mumbuk. From here we get beautiful sunset views of Makalu and Chamlang.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Kauma [11451ft/3470m].

    Leaving Mumbuk, we trek across the Shipton La and descend to Kauma.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Tashi Gaon [6831ft/2070m].

    Today we make a long steep descent back to Tashi Gaon. At Tashi Gaon we spend the rest of the day relaxing in order to recover from the high altitude.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Balung [2508ft/760m].

    We descend the Kasuwa Khola Valley back to Sedua, then turn south down the west bank of the Arun River. From Sedua, we follow a trail that descends gently to Mulgaon, and then drop steeply on a rocky trail through fields of corn and barley to the Ipsuwa Khola, crossing it on a suspension bridge at 2508 fit/760 meters elevation.

    The route now enters the hot bottom lands of the Arun Valley. Most of the settlements in this area are temporary settlements used by Rai and Chettri farmers who live in villages high on the hillside above. Passing the villages, we continue along the trail through rocky fields to Balung (2508ft/760m).

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Pukuwa [1815ft/550m].

    We continue through temporary farming settlements to the spread-out Rai village of Walung (880m). The trail descends to the Apsawa Khola and crossing it on a suspension bridge we climb steeply to Chhayang, a pleasant Rai village with an extensive bamboo-pipe water supply at 2640ft/800m.

    The trail then crosses a stream at 1947ft/590m and makes some ups and downs to reach Parangbu, a delightful camping spot among rice fields on the banks of the Arun River. We continue through forests and pass several small streams to reach Pukuwa (1815ft/550m).

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Bumling [1221ft/370m].

    The trail now follows a route through forests and some spectacular high and exposed narrow tracks as it climbs over rocky ridges. The route eventually enters a region of intense valley bottom cultivation, crosses a huge landslide and some more scrub jungle before descending to Tome (1716ft/520m).

    Below Tome, the Arun Valley becomes wider and more U shaped. The trail climbs over another ridge on a steep, narrow stairway of rock steps. From the top of the ridge at 1749ft/530m, the trail descends to a delightful camp on the banks of the Sankhuwa Khola (1221ft/370m), across from the Chhetri village of Bumling.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Trek to Tumlingtar [1518ft/460m].

    The trail traverses the fields of lower Bumling, then climbs over a ridge and descends to the Inkhuwa Khola, crossing it on a rickety wooden cantilever bridge. The trail follows the river downstream to its confluence with the Arun. It then follows the Arun downstream, crossing it on a large suspension bridge.

    Now following the east bank of the Arun, the route passes through Chyawabesi before making a short climb back to the Tumlingtar plateau. It is a few km of completely level walking to the airstrip.

    Overnight at Camp.

  • : Fly to Kathmandu.

    From Pokhara you can either fly or drive back to Kathmandu.

    Overnight at Hotel.

  • : Depart Kathmandu.

    Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home.

  • Included

    • Meet, assisted upon arrival at Kathmandu by our office representative.
    • All arrival / Departure transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicle.
    • 03 Nights twin/double room accommodation with breakfast at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu.
    • Fully organize camping trek including all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea and coffee and hot water including guide and necessary support staffs with their insurance and salaries.
    • Kathmandu city tour as per the above itinerary with our local English speaking guide including monumental entrance fees.
    • Airfare for the sector Kathmandu / Tumlingtar / Kathmandu with domestic airport tax and necessary airport transfers.
    • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and Trekkers’ Information Management System fee.
    • First Aid Medical Kit box.
    • Applicable hotel taxes presently 24.3%
  • Excluded

    • Any meals in Kathmandu other than breakfast.
    • Travel insurance.
    • International air fare to and from Nepal.
    • Nepal Tourist Visa fees.
    • Items and expenses of personal nature.
    • Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, snacks, laundry, phone call, internet.
    • Personal Trekking Equipments.
    • Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
    • Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, landslides, domestic flight delays due to weather, political disturbance and strikes etc.
    • Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusion.
    • Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
    • Tipping amount.
Departure Date Avaibility Price Note Book Trip
No Departure Dates Found.

Dates

  • Duration: 23 Days
  • Grade :
  • Rating:
  • Region:
  • Activity: Sightseeing And Trekking
  • Max Altitude: 16500ft/5000m

Trip Brochure

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Map of Travel

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