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Makalu Base Camp Trek – 23 Days

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About Makalu Base Camp Trek

  • 23 Days
  • Trip Grade: Very Strenuous
  • Nepal
  • Altitude: 4900m/16,076ft
  • Spring/Autumn
  • Group Size : Min 2 Pax
  • Trek Style: Camping Trek
  • Transport: Domestic Air / Land Transportation

Makalu Base Camp Trek is a journey which offers the walk inside the Makalu Barun National Park to the Makalu Base Camp (4900m/16,076ft). It offers spectacular views of Mt. Makalu along with other peaks like Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Baruntse. The beautiful scenery of Arun valley is the one you dont want to miss during this trek. Because of the remoteness, the trekking destination receives fewer travelers though having an interest to travel. 

You will start your trek with  a 50 minutes of scenic mountain flight to Tumlingtar.  We will follow Barun River and pass through several high passes like Shipton La and Keke La during our Makalu Base Camp Trek. The trail is difficult with the comparison to other having many descends along with ascends. The way is full of wonders and excitement as we walk through the forest of rhododendron, beautiful cliffs, glaciers and stunning waterfalls. Due to rich in biodiversity, we will also get to insight the culture, lifestyle and tradition of the Sherpa inhabitants working in fields for their livelihood.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 1:Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m/4429 ft)

You will be welcomed by a Great Nepal Representative at the airport. From there, you will be transferred to the hotel. Freshen up and meet the representatives once again to get the brief about the Everest Three Pass Trek itinerary. In your free time, you can stroll around the capital city of Kathmandu. Overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2:Fly to Tumlingtar (860m/2822ft, 50 min.) and trek to Khandbari (1040m/3415ft)

After breakfast you will be driven to Kathmandu Airport to board your hour long flight to Tumlingtar, a small hilly town located at Eastern Nepal. After a short introduction with Trekking Crew followed by trek briefing, start walking up to Khadbari. You will have your lunch en-route. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 3:Trek to Chichila (1830m/6004ft, 3-4 hrs)

After breakfast, start your walk via many villages and Rhododendron Forests untill you reach Chichila, small Gurung village where you stay for Overnight today. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 4:Trek to Num (1490m/4889ft, 6-7 hrs)

After breakfast walk uphill for around 2 hours with a panoramic view of Makalu and its sibling Mountains where you will have your lunch. After lunch descend for a while to reach Num where you camp for tonight. Num is a Village Development Committee in Sankhuwasabha District with many Tea houses and telephone facility. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 5:Trek to Seduwa (1500m/4921ft, 6-7 hrs)

Today descend steeply through Lumbang till you reach a Suspension bridge over Neguwa River. You will be amazed with the view of corn, barley and other seasonal crops and vegetables field and picturesque villages. Cross the bridge and ascend through villages until you reach Seduwa. Seduwa is a small village with check post and Makalu Conservation Area Office. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 6:Trek to Tashi Gaon (2090m/6856ft, 4-5 hrs)

You will have a relatively easy day as you are walking on a flat trial with slight ascend until you reach Tashi Gaon, a large settlement of Sherpa. Tashi Gaon is also a last settlement around the valley. You will find many prayer flags waggling through the sky. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 7:Trek to Kauma (3770m/12370ft, 6-7 hrs)

After breakfast we will start a steep ascend which will continue throughout the day. Walk through Rhododendron forests over a knoll and descend slightly until you reach Kauma (Kongma). Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 8:Acclimatization day

Today you will have a rest day at Kauma for acclimatization purpose. Explore surroundings and prepare your body at high altitude as the altitude increases significantly, the oxygen level starts to decrease. So, a day for acclimatization is strictly advisable for the adventure seekers. Overnight at Tented Camp

Day 9: Trek to Mumbuk (3570m/11712ft, 6-7 hrs) via Shipton La (4125m/13533ft) and Keke La (4170m/13681ft)

Start your day with steep ascend until Kalo Pokhari (3930m/12895ft) a picturesque lake. You will be rewarded with magnificent view of Mt. Chamlang (7290m), Peak 6 (6739m) and Peak 7 (6105m). Descend through firs and Rhododendron forests until you reach Mumbuk where you will set your camp for overnight. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 10:Trek to Nehe Kharka (3000m/9843ft, 6-7 hrs)

After breakfast descend through steep trench. You will be amazed with the spectacular view of Mt. Tutse (Peak 6). Follow the rocky and slippery trial until you reach the grassy plain of Nehe Kharka. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 11:Trek to Sherson (4615m/15141ft, 5-6 hrs)

Finish your breakfast and continue your strenuous and adventurous day leaving the Rhododendron forests and entering the alpine tundra as you turn to west. You will be greeted with the panoramic view of Pyramid Peak (7198m), Peak 4 (6720m) naming the few. This day you will gain a much altitude such as you should make up your mind and walk slowly until you reach Sherson. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 12:Trek to Makalu Base Camp (5000m/16405ft, 4-5 hrs)

Ascend through rocky glacier path until you reach Makalu Base Camp. You will be amazed with the panoramic view of Mt. Makalu (8463m), Baruntse (7152m), Kali Himal (6985m), Chamlang (7390m), Makalu II (7640m) and Mt Everest (8848m) itself. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 13:Explore Makalu Base Camp

Explore Makalu Base Camp and surroundings. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 14:Trek to Yangri Kharka (3610m/11844ft, 6-7 hrs)

During our descend we will pass through Sherson, Langmale Kharka, Merek and then will reach to Yangri Kharka. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 15:Trek to Dobate (3650m/11975ft, 6-7 hrs)

During descend; we will walk through rock falls, green forest and the valley following the bank of Barun. We will then descend the trail. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 16:Trek to Khongma Danda (3,500m/11,483ft, 5-6 hrs)

We will descend from Dobate to Mumbuk and crossing the Keke La, Tutu La (Shiptoin’s Pass) and Kauma La en route. Then, we will descend to Khongma Danda. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 17:Trek to Tashi gaun (2090m/6856ft, 4-5 hrs)

Today we will trek through thick forest and the Sherpa village of Tashi gaun. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 18:Trek to Seduwa (1500m/4921ft, 4-5 hrs)

On this day we will descend following the Barun River. We will cross villages and the settlements before we reach our destination. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 19:Trek to Num (1490m/4889ft, 5-6 hrs)

The trail includes ascent and descent passing through dense forest and Sherpa villages. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 20:Trek to Tumlingtar (860m/2822ft 6-7 hrs)

We will track back to Tumlingtar sighting Mount Makalu for the last time. Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 21Fly back to Kathmandu (50 min)

We will fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival drive to hotel. Rest of the day free to explore on own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 22Guided Sightseeing Tour around Kathmandu City

The day begins with a cheerful breakfast at your hotel. Then, you go off to explore the city of temples. Our first stop is the sacred Hindu Temple, Pashupatinath. It is just 6 km away from the center of the city. This is one of the holiest places dedicated to Lord Shiva and also used as a cremation site by the Hindus. The temple situated on the banks of the Bagmati River and is decorated with beautifully carved silver doors and golden statues. Then, you will make it to the Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhanath is the largest spherical stupa in the world, also known as wish fulfilling Stupa. This site is also one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Buddhist community. Finally, you will travel to Swoyambhunath Stupa famously known as Monkey Temple. Listen to the story of how the temple was created. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the Kathmandu Valley from the temple. Evening you will have a Farewell cultural dinner with Authentic Nepalese cuisine. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 23Departure Transfer

A Great Nepal representative will guide you to the airport some 3 hours before the flight. Have a safe journey ahead.

Inclusion

  • All transportation using private vehicle as per itinerary including airport transfers.
  • Three night accommodation in Kathmandu using Three Star Category Hotel on Twin Sharing basis with Breakfast
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu (Pashupatinath, Bouddhnath and Swoyambhunath) with monument Entrance Fees.
  • Domestic Airfares (Kathmandu - Tumlingtar  - Kathmandu) with Airport Tax.
  • Organized camping trek with all necessary logistic arrangements and high quality equipments
  • All your standard Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) followed by tea/hot drinks during the trek.
  • An experienced English speaking Guide during the trek.
  • The required number of staff and Porters, high altitude working crew to carry your luggage during the trek.
  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment, medicine and transportation for all trekking/tour staff.
  • Restricted Area Permit, TIMS (Trekker Information Management System) and other necessary permits.
  • National Park/Conservation Area Permit Fees (Makalu Barun Conservation Area).
  • First aid medical kit.
  • Complementary farewell dinner with Cultural show and Authentic Nepalese Cuisine in Kathmandu.
  • Service charges and government taxes.

Exclusion

  • Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu.
  • Snacks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, water and personal items, Wifi access fees in lodges, fees for hot showers, towels, laundry or other services and Personal trekking gear while trekking.
  • Your travel insurance (compulsory), this must include helicopter rescue (Medical Tests and Hospitalization expenses. (These should be covered by your travel insurance provider)
  • International airfare and airport departure tax
  • Nepal entry visa cost. Most visitors can can obtain a visa upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. A multiple-entry tourist visa is good for 30 days and costs US$ 40 or equivalent in foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained for US$ 100. Please bring 2 passport-size photos.
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like(natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances)
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver.  While tipping is not mandatory it is highly appreciated.
  • Any other items not mentioned in the included section.
Map

FAQ

Acclimatization

To enable all expedition members to acclimatize well and hence maximize their chances of success, our expedition programs are prepared with sufficient time for acclimatization. Adaptation to the altitude takes time and there can be no short-cuts, even if supplementary oxygen is used in the final stages. The atmospheric pressure at the base camp is half of that at the sea level. A thorough program of acclimatization is built into the itinerary which consists of regulated height ascents, followed by descents and rests before the final ascent to the summit. This will prevent the climbers to get rid from altitude sickness

What kind of personal first aid should i carry?

Although our guides carry first aid medical kit, it is better to carry a supply of first aid items for your own personal use according to your health conditions. Here are the list of some general as well as some special medications you may require:
– Antiseptic cream (Betadine)
– Sunblock SPF 30+
– Throat lozenges
– Painkillers and anti-inflammatory such as Aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen etc.
– Band-aids, bandage, compression bandage and ‘Second Skin’ for blisters
– Re-hydration salts. (Trioral, Electrobin, Oral Rehydrating Salt)
– Dextrose glucose tablets
– Water treatment tablets
– Your prescription medications
– Antibiotics for longer climbing and expedition style trips

Does high altitude effects and benefits?

You will be affected by high altitude problems if it is your fist trip at a high altitude. The altitude has some important beneficial effects on the human body and your trips have been designed to enable these. Please familiarize yourself with the information on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and understand how to avoid it and read on benefits of high altitude and take advantage of these to improve your body’ metabolism.

What is Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS)

Altitude sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amounts of oxygen. The high altitude slowly decreases the flow of oxygen means the higher you climb, the flow of oxygen is very thin resulting the malfunction of body. Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2,800 meters (9,200ft) but this is different for everyone – there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at altitude thus it is vital for you to monitor your own health. AMS occurs when the body is unable to adopt at the higher altitude having less amount of oxygen. At an altitude of 5490m (18000 ft.), the oxygen availability becomes just the half of the availability at sea level. While only a third of oxygen is available at the summit of Mt. Everest. Symptoms may be mild and subside/go away after a day’s rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to death.

What are the symptoms of AMS?

Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
• Headache: Due to the less amount of oxygen in air, the blood influences the blood vessels to spread wide in order to supply more oxygen to the brain and which cause them to show the early symptom of AMS.
• Dopiness: The trekkers or climbers feel very sleepy but could not.
• Shortness of breath: The breathing pattern changes as the breathing becomes faster and deeper than normal in order to get enough oxygen and rapid pulse
• Loss of appetite and nausea: Despite of physical exercise, the trekkers don’t have an appetite to eat.

Life threatening forms of AMS.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
If one accumulates of fluid in the lungs and mild fever then, there is a chance of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). The filling of fluid in the lungs is Pulmonary Edema. The fluid blocks the passage of fresh oxygen to get into the lungs which causes the shortage of oxygen. Though the exact reason for the HAPE has not been identified, scientists think that pressure of blood vessel around the lungs is directly proportional to the altitude. As a result the smaller blood vessels leak allowing the fluid to escape to the lungs. The treatment for the HAPE victims is to give the oxygen at the rate of 4 liters a minute, using Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC). In case of unavailability of PAC bag or oxygen, one is taken down to the low altitude which is the only way of life-saving. HAPE can also lead to unconsciousness which may also results to death in a short period of time.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
HACE is the accumulation of fluid in the brain due of the swollen blood vessels to the brain. HACE is also seen within a couple of hours and can send the patient to coma and take his/her life in just few hours likewise to HAPE. The excessive flow of blood to the brain due to the low-level oxygen causes vasodilation which eventually leads to leakage of blood vessels to the brain. A 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first dose to those who suffer from such sickness and then 4mg Diamox is given an every six hours gap. Similarly, 2-4 liters/minute oxygen is given and one is taken to down if it is necessary.

Symptoms of HAPE

Breathlessness
– A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
– Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
– Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
– Severe fatigue, progressing to coma

Symptoms of HACE

– Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
– Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
– Nausea/vomiting
– Loss of balance or coordination
– Blurred or double vision/retinal hemorrhage

How to prevent Altitude Sickness?

Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness – it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness by:
– Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration
– Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
– Drinking plenty of water – the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colorless urine
– Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
– Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m/2000ft above 2,400m/8000ft
– Climb high but Sleep at a lower altitude if possible
– Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness

What is treatment of Altitude sickness?

Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatize by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for acute mountain sickness (AMS) is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages. The guide will monitor you all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.Cooperating with the guide and reporting if any of the above-described symptoms are seen allows your guide to undertaking appropriate and timely action to minimize your exposure to AMS. Sufficient time for acclimatization (After 3000 meters) is also another method to minimize AMS. Following precautions can be done in order to get rid of AMS:
Don’t ascent up rapidly.
• Never use alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
• Drink more fluid 3-4 liters a day, clean boiled water / tea / coffee / soup / juice etc.
• Climb high and sleep low.
• Don’t go trekking alone, take guide/porter.
• Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local people, guidebook.
• Descent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
• Never leave or descent sick person along.
• Avoid getting cold.
• Take an easy and comfortable trekking route even if it is longer.
• Sleep more than normal.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest for medication such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.With severe cases of AMS, our guide will contact our office in Kathmandu and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.

How do we handle during the case of emergency?

You never know when the unexpected situation comes and put you in hearse condition. So such cases you will be rescued by Helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation. So, before coming to Nepal, please make your travel insurance. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. For evacuation, we require the name of the sick person and the exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. You should not leave the place after calling Helicopter for evacuation though you are feeling better than before.

How to get safe drinking water?

On the trek, there is a facility of purchasing safe drinking water in teahouses.It is better if you carry the water purifying pills on your own. On camping trek, the water will be treated with Potassium permanganate or Iodine. On the trail, water from the streams is safe to drink, but better not to use it directly for drinking.

Do we be secure during our journey?

Security and a safe journey is our core objective of trekking. Our guide holds licenses issued by the Nepal Government and our staffs are local, honest, kind and genuine. But we also insist you to take care of your own personal belongings. If you are on ‘camping trek’ please take your main bag inside the tent once you reach campsite and put all bags and belongings in the middle of the tent when you feel sleepy. Your guide assigns a Sherpa on turn wise basis to guard the campsite throughout the night. If you are on ‘Tea house arrangement, never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.