Makalu itself will provide you with both a technical and endurance challenge, and combined with a spectacular trek in, it’s magical!

Trip Overview

Makalu is situated approximately 19km to the south east of Mt Everest in the Makalu-Barun National Park bordering Tibet, China. This mountain is the 5th highest mountain in the world and was first climbed in 1955. Only a small number of expeditions today climb this mountain due to its tough technical demands on the summit pyramid. The Makalu-Barun National Park is a remote wilderness with few comfort services available compared to neighbouring Sagarmatha National Park. Hence, this expedition has additional challenges and difficulties; attempting Makalu is a considerable undertaking amongst 8,000m peaks.

The route to the mountain begins with a flight into Tumlingtar (285m), a town at the base of the hills that climb into Makalu-Barun National park. We will then drive to our trailhead in Chichila. The journey from this point is a 9-day route on foot through villages and subtropical forests, descents ascents of the Arun valley, and hikes over a series of passes including Shipton La (4,200m) to finally reach Makalu base camp. Whilst some climbers may elect to fly into base camp or advanced base camp, we recommend the trek in (where possible) in order to get you mountain fit or conditioned on your way in, as additional preparation for this spectacular climb.

We will take a few days to rest and acclimatise at base camp before starting our rotation rounds on the mountain. Using the route of the first ascent, we will ascend via the north-west ridge. From Makalu base camp, we will place 4-5 camps on the mountain beginning with an advanced base camp (5,700m) located just across the glacier moraine. As Camp 3 and Camp4 are generally close together, we will make a call during the expedition, in discussion with team members as to whether we set a Camp 4.

The route from advance base camp is long and windy, sometimes on rock, sometimes snow. Between Camp 1 to Camp 3 we climb between seracs and crevasses with sections of steep mixed climbing. Camp 3 is a particularly long day and many climbers under-estimate this part of the climb – so leave advanced base camp early. Camp 4 to the summit is a significant day that involves negotiating a steep ice band, crevasses, a 300m gully (the French couloir) and an exposed summit ridge. There is a definite false summit as you come out of the French couloir, you climb up to the false summit and then traverse across and slightly up to the true summit. When you stand at the summit and look at the view, you will wonder why you did not attempt this climb sooner in order to see views that only a small, select group of people get to see. To see Mt Everest and Lhotse from Makalu is one of the most special memories you will take home with you.

Why join with Expedition Base?

When it comes to mountaineering expeditions, for any peak, we are known for our sound strategy, strong leadership and well-resourced approach to our expeditions. The mountains are fun and full of wonderful experiences. But, we also recognise that they also carry with them risk. For that reason, we approach the mountains on the basis of ‘safety first’. With safety as our first focus, fun and amazing experiences will follow. Few companies offer logistics as good as ours for a reasonable price point. Our goal is to put our clients in the best position for success, whatever their personal goal in the mountains may be. Our guides are some of the best in the business, with experience on a wide range of peaks from small, right up to the 8,000m peaks, many with multiple summits on the 8,000m peaks. We see strong leadership as critical to success on the world’s highest peaks and we can offer that leadership here at Expedition Base – and not all companies can. We offer the level of services historically offered by leading western companies, but without costly western overheads. In the mountains, your safety is our prime importance. We know our clients value our commitment to them and with that flows a great experience.

Trip Highlights

  • Climb the 5th highest mountain in the world
  • Challenging 8,000m technical climb and endurance test
  • Varied and remote trek through the Makalu-Barun National Park
  • Spectacular views, and see Mt Everest and Lhotse as you have not seen them (first- hand) before

Trip Facts

  • Price starts from

    USD 25,000

  • Advanced Mountaineering


    Advanced Mountaineering

  • Duration

    52 Days, 51 Nights

  • Activity

    Expedition, 8,000m+

  • Max. Altitude


  • Destination


  • Trip Start


  • Trip End


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Trip Map

Difficulty level

Advanced Mountaineering

Advanced Mountaineering

This trip is for experienced mountaineers. The trip will involve challenging trekking, advanced mountaineering, moving on snow, rock and ice, with technical tools, at reasonably high altitudes up to around 8,848m, depending on the mountain. You can expect to experience some serious heights, some ledges, and exposure to steep terrain. For this trip, you want to have an advanced level of fitness, with cardiovascular exercise and own- body weight type exercises (or similar) at least 4-5 times per week for the period of around 6-12 months before this trip, building on your already sound fitness. Weight training is also strongly recommended. Training on uneven terrain is strongly recommended. By registering for this trip, you likely already know what you need to do but wherever we can help, we will.

Trip Notes

View the printable version of the short itinerary and detailed trip notes here.

View Trip Notes

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Kathmandu

Day 2-3

In Kathmandu (Personal and team preparation, briefings)

Day 4

Fly to Tumlingtar, drive to Chichila

Day 5

Trek to Num

Day 6

Trek to Seduwa

Day 7

Trek to Tashi Gaon

Day 8-9

Trek to Khongma and acclimatisation

Day 10

Trek to Mumbak via Shipton La pass

Day 11

Trek to Yangri Kharka

Day 12-13

Trek to Shershong and acclimatisation

Day 14

Trek to Makalu base camp

Day 15-16

Acclimatisation in Makalu base camp

Day 17-19

Trek to Advanced base camp, puja and acclimatisation

Day 20-47

Climb and summit Makalu

Day 48-49

Pack up camp

Day 50

Helicopter to Kathmandu

Day 51

In Kathmandu

Day 52

Depart Kathmandu

Note: Daily walking hours include a lunch break, and regular rest breaks.

Package Details


4 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu eg. Hotel Radisson or Hotel Tibet, Lazimpat (or similar), airport transfers to hotel (and back to airport), welcome team dinner, all necessary climbing and trekking permits, team transport in Kathmandu, experienced expedition leader, government liaison officer fee, fixed wing flights to and from Tumlingtar, all meals and accommodation during trek to base camp and return, porter service to carry up to 60kg personal gear to base camp, fully serviced powered base
camp (including personal tent, heated dining tent and communication tent, full satellite communication system (pay per use), all meals/snacks and hot showers), 2-way radio system for guides to communicate between camps, team of climbing guides to set up and stock higher camps, climbing guides to assist to carry personal gear to higher camps, all meals and tents above base camp, minimum 1:1 guide:client ratio on summit day, O2 allowance with quality delivery system, high altitude wilderness first aid kit, transport of group equipment to base camp, all group climbing equipment supplied, all other charges for route setting and two complimentary expedition duffels for client to use and keep.


International flights to and from Kathmandu, tips and summit bonuses for climbing guides, tourist visa fees, meals in Kathmandu (allow USD $10-15 per meal), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, laundry, internet), personal transport in and around Kathmandu, travel insurance (including early departure and mountain search/rescue) and personal climbing gear, helicopter flights (at client option).

Meet Our Expert Team

No matter what the enquiry, our commitment to exceptional service ensures that a helpful and knowledgeable staff member is on hand to assist you whenever the need arises.

Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa

Managing Director

Lakpa Sherpa


Chhiring Sherpa


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