Makalu Base Camp Trek falls under the restricted area Trek in Nepal. This trek is the Base Camp Trek of World’s fifth highest mountain designated in Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area. The Makalu-Barun National Park was established in 1992 as Nepal’s eighth National Park. The area is deep inside the eastern Himalayas, a place of outstanding herbal splendor and also varied flora and fauna. The Barun valley is an internationally protected area under an agreement between China and Nepal. With the wide variety of altitudes and climates, the Makalu-Barun region is wealthy with many plants and animals in Nepal and spreading human habitation. Our destination spot, Makalu base camp (5000m) brings us to one of the most far off and infrequent regions in Nepal. The very initial location trial to Makalu Base Camp takes you deep into the excessive Himalaya and the large Makalu, the magnificent Black looms above: Everest, Lhotse, and Baruntse. The Makalu-Barun valley trek provides lovely contrasts from in which the high waterfall cascade into deep gorges is seen. The tough rocks rise from the rich inexperienced forests, and colorful flowers bloom beneath white snow peaks to hypnotize you for a while.
The 10-day stroll from the airstrip at Tumlingtar in the Arun Valley is as strenuous as any, and the 3500m climb to Shipton pass from the suspension bridge over the Arun River among Num and Seduwa can have the fittest trekker’s heart pounding. During Makalu Base Camp trekking we traverse distinct vegetation zones; from pristine forests of fir, birch, and rhododendron in the sub-alpine zone, to the herbs, grasses and juniper shrubs of the alpine pastures. For those with a keen eye, there is a large variety of orchid, aromatic plants, oak, primrose and not least of all, 19 species of bamboo. The forests shelter with abundant wildlife, including the endangered red panda and musk deer as well as the ghoral, Himalayan Tahr and leopard. Ornithologists have identified 400 bird species, at least 16 of which are extremely rare. En route, you will meet the ethnic groups of Limbu, Newar, and Rai at the lower elevations and Tibetan Buddhists at the higher elevations. These people live in isolated villages and rely mainly on subsistence farming for their livelihoods, which are culturally rich.
The highlights of this precious natural paradise include beautiful mountains, fresh forest, and a wide variety of plants and animal and the warm-hearted and straightforward local people with rich and varied customs. The reward for the hardship Makalu adventure trek is the chance to trek through unspoiled Himalayan landscapes, far from trapping of the modern age. This region is a region where you hardly find any modern facilities and amenities but blessed with an incredible diversity of natural beauty.
Duration: 20 Days
Max. Altitude: 5000m/16404ft.
Trek Grade: Strenuous
Best Travel Time: March – May , September – November are the best season for this trek.
Accommodation: Hotel in Kathmandu & full board camping ( tented) on the trekking.
Transportation: Car/ Van/ Bus/ Plane
Activity: City tour, Trekking
We will meet you at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to your hotel. When you have had your time to settle in and freshen up after your long fight, you will be invited to visit our office for a briefing about your program. You will have meeting with your trekking guide and discuss about the equipment needed for the trekking and we will process for the trekking permits. During this visit we will help you check your equipment and facilitate the processing of other necessary items such as National Park Permits, special permits etc. If you arrive at night we will have same discussion in next day morning after your breakfast.
The very next morning, after breakfast you will be taken for a full day sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You will visit center of pilgrimage Pashupatinath Temple and Swyambhunath, very ancient and enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage sites. The biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhnath and the fine arts and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square takes you to the ancient Nepalese culture. On journey back to hotel, you can explore the local areas, gullies and lifestyle.
It’s about a 50 minute flight before we touch down on a grass airstrip at Tumlingtar (400m).The trail ascends all the way through forest of rhododendrons and sal trees passing few villages. The trail crosses a plateau and climbs gradually for about 3 hours. We camp above the village on large grassy fields. We walk north to Khandbari. We trek further an hour via the interesting fertile villages to camp site.
On our first day of trekking it’s and a relatively steady walk through the picturesque villages and lush forests of the foothills. The countryside will become more rural and we will climb through bamboo forests along the ridge to Arun Than (1280m), after which we continue through bamboo groves and big rocks to Sheka (1350m). Trek further to a small village of Chichila, mainly inhabited by Gurungs and other communities as well.
The morning starts with wonderful views of Makalu and the surrounding snowcapped peaks. Eventually we meet a ridgeline with great views on either side and descend through forest by a small perennial river where you will walk on a flat trail for about one hour to Num, which is on a ridge above Arun Koshi River. Almost every evening Num experiences a dramatic display of thunder and lightning, which makes life here that little bit more interesting.
We will descend steeply from the western end of the Num ridge through the cornfields of Lumbang. The trail passes over the suspension bridge and ascends through forest and a few traditional villages. People of this area are mainly engaged in agriculture and crops grown here are paddy, millet, potatoes and vegetables depending on the season. Ascend continue through dense forest, eventually brings to beautiful camp site Seduwa. Here is large flat camping lawn ridge above the Makalu Barun National park check point, where needed to be registered.We can enjoy a beautiful view looking back towards Num and the ridgelines bounding the Arun Valley.
From Seduwa, we ascend the ridge, which is bounded by the Ipsuwa Khola on the west and Kasuwa Khola to the east, with flat and easy hiking through the bushes. The path cuts across the hillside, contouring through quiet villages along the way. You will see the locals using buffalo to plough the small paddy fields, as every piece of land possible is being utilized for farming. Finally, we climb to the last settlement of trek to Tashigoan.The camping spot in this village is really a praiseworthy site below the national park office.
We ascend steeply through dense forest of remote scrub and Rhododendron passing many ridges and seasonal Yak herders. Trail rises to Chipla (2520m) and even becomes steeper, struggling up past stream and a huge overhanging rock right below the Mani danda. We have a packed lunch because of the lack of the water in between Tashigoan and Khongma. Khongma is the last opportunity we have to stop before crossing the Shipton La and dropping down into the upper sections of the remote Barun Valley.There are no buildings here and many of the tent sites are on the sloping hillside.
From Khongma, climb the ridge on steep switchbacks to a stone chorten at 3840m and feast your eyes on views of Chhamlang, Peak 6 and Peak 7. Scrubby rhododendrons and mossy boulders line the trail as you climb a stone staircase over several false ridges towards the small pass known as Ghungru La (4050m). The path twists and turns steeply, passing through forest before emerging on to a ridge with Mani walls, numerous prayer flags and superb mountainviews, including Kanchenjunga. Descend to a small turquoise lake after which we will ascend again through Shipton Pass. We then drop down the saddle for a rest by the lake Kalo Pokhari, before passing over the Keke La (4152m) and an easy descent walk through rhododendron and pine forest towards Mumbuk. It is a serene camping spot surrounded by green forests.
From Mumbuk, the trail drops down a scree-covered slope into the long, curving Barun Valley. The Barun River running through the trail adds more dimensions to the trek with its spectacular views of Mt. Tutse (Peak 6) 6739m and Peak 7 (6185m). It’s a pleasant walk, slowly gaining altitude, until we arrive at YangriKharka (3610m). YangriKharka is a very small village situated in a meadow at the base of the valley.From YangriKharka climb gently to Nghekharka, another cluster of herd’s hut and prayer flags on the opposite side of Barun.
Beyond Nghekharka, the river makes a huge S-shaped curve between curtains wall of cliffs that tower on either side of river. From the meadow at Riphuk (3930m), climb past a waterfall and up over swampy ground to a lonely stone hut. Another gentle climb passes a Mani wall to YakKharka (4400m). The final climb to the rather bleak camp site at Merek passes through a dizzying landscape of Himalayan giants. Have marvelous views of Chhamlang, Peak 3, Peak 4 and Peak 5.
As the path turns northwards into a side valley, Makalu finally soars into view. Stick to the faint, flat trail following the east bank of river to Shersong (4660m). From Shersong, it is a gradual climb to a minor pass about 100 meter above Makalu base camp after which we descend to a stream and cross boulders to the base camp on the west side of the river. There are terrific views of the south face of Mt. Makalu. There are no huts, shelters or vegetation at base camp which is at an elevation of about 5000m.
In truth, ‘base camp’ can an anticlimax after all the effort taken to get here. We spend a day exploring around base camp, with the aim of climbing up towards the Advance Base Camp at the start of the Makalu’s South East Ridge, where on the edge of the icy slopes you get a fantastic view up the Barun Valley of Everest. A more rewarding end point to the trek is to climb the 5250m ridge northeast of Shersong on the lower slopes of Peak 3. From this lofty vantage point, there are also views northwest to Lhotse, Lhotse Shar and Everest. When you are tire of having your awe inspired, return to Shersong for the night.
Continue descending through the rock fall and then climb the rocky gully to the Shelter of Mumbuk. Trek across Shipton La and descend to Khongma.
Make a long sleep descend back to the civilization at Tashigoan and after Lunch easy walk to Seduwa. Camp at Seduwa.
Start early morning for a relatively easy trekking along the ridge to Chichila for around 5 hours. Camping at Chichila.
The final return leg of the trek will see us overnight at Tumlingtar, ready for an early departure to Kathmandu the following day.
We complete the journey with a flight to Kathmandu. At the evening you can have your last night in Nepal enjoying the Nepali cultural dinner show, taking some beautiful snaps and making up your mind for the returning journey. (Or you may stay longer for short tours such as drives at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain flight etc).
Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu valley. Have some rest in your hotel. You can also take a leisurely stroll over the streets and buy some souvenirs and remembering from Nepal. At evening we will have a typical Nepali dinner accompanied with cultural shows in Hotel.
Today is free or last minute you have few hour special shopping for your relatives. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. We will drop you to the International airportto catch your flight back to your home and wish for your Safe journey.
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