Makalu Base Camp Trek


Makalu Base Camp Trek is one of the highest base camp treks on earth which lie on the lap of world’s fifth highest mountain Makalu (8,432m). Makalu Base Camp Trekking trail goes through the Makalu Barun National Park which is established in 1992 that covers Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts as well touches the Everest region. In this trekking the altitude variation range from 435m in Arun Valley to 5000m in Makalu Base Camp which diversify the topography and flora and fauna. We can experience the tropical, sub-tropical, temperate, sub-alpine and alpine vegetations. 25 species of rhododendron, 47 types of orchids, 56 rare plants as well endangered animals Snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, Himalayan Thar, wild boar, wild yak and more than 420 varieties of bird species are found here. Some believe that it’s the home of elusive Himalayan giant, the Yeti. Similarly the isolated villages are inhabitant by of Rai, Sherpa and Shingsawa (Bhotia), are rich in cultural heritage. 

Fascinating and challenging trek to the Makalu Base Camp begins from the Tumlingtar in north-east of Nepal, after an hour flight from Kathmandu. Real trekking begins from the Chichile after 3 hours humpy bumpy drive from Tumlingtar. Following the Arun River, exploring the charm of Makalu Barun National Park, encountering with different flora and fauna, crossing various high passes, beautiful and culturally rich villages, tranquil lakes and wonderful scenery with the breathtaking view of the highest mountains such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Chamlang, Mt. Baruntse and other Himalayan mountains along with Makalu (8481m) itself, finally reach in one of the highest base camp in planet, the Makalu Base Camp.

Makalu Base Camp Trekking offers lots and varieties of attractions including natural, cultural, and adventurous. This trek is suitable and enjoyable for all categories of trekkers from the beginners to the experienced one, from researchers to adventurous, from nature, culture lover to adrenaline.

Outline itinerary

Day 01:  Arrive in Kathmandu (1300 m / 4264 feet) 
Day 02:  Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Fly to Tumlingtar (518m) and drive to Chichila (1,840m) 8-9 hours
Day 04: Trek from Chichile to Num (1,500m) 6-7 hours
Day 05: Trek Num to Seduwa (1,493m) 6-7 hours
Day 06: Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaun (2,200m) 4-5 hours
Day 07: Trek Tashi Gaun to Kahuma Danda (3,500m) 6-7 hours
Day 08: Trek Kahuma Danda to Mumbuk (3,400m) 
Day 09: Trek Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka (3,750m) 6-7 hours
Day 10: Trek from Nehe Kharka to Sherson (4,600m) 6-7 hours
Day 11: Day trip to Makalu Base Camp (5,000m) 5-6 hours
Day 12: Trek Sherson to Yangri Kharka (3,645m) 7-8 hours
Day 13: Trek from Yangri Kharka to Mumbuk (3,400m) 6-7 hours
Day 14: Day 14: Trek from Mumbuk to Kahuma Danda (3,500m) 5-6 hours
Day 15: Trek from Kahuma Danda to Navagaun (2,500m) via Tashi Gaun 
Day 16: Trek from Navagaun to Num via Seduwa: 4-5 hours 
Day 17: Trek from Num to Chichile (1,800m) and transfer to Tumlingtar: 8-9 hours
Day 18: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu
Day 19: Final Departure


Detailed Itinerary 

Day 01:  Arrive in Kathmandu (1300 m / 4264 feet)
Upon arrival in the Kathmandu airport (TIA), you will be greeted by a representative from Black Diamond at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to the hotel. After the check in, you can either take a rest; hang around in the city as it all depends upon your interests. In the evening, we will organize a Welcome Dinner at an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. 
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Dinner

Day 02:  Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we will start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Black Diamond briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us an opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast

Day 03: Fly to Tumlingtar (518m) and drive to Chichila (1,840m) 8-9 hours
Morning after breakfast drive to the domestic airport and fly to Tumlingtar. After 40 minutes scenic flight, observing snow capped peaks from Ganesh Himal to Mt. Everest, Makalu and Kanchanjunga, we arrive at Tumlingtar. From Tumlingtar, we take a jeep drive on a bumpy road for about 3 hours and reach our campsite at Chichila village where only few houses are settled. We enjoy the beautiful view of Mt. Makalu and Kumbakarna range. 

Day 04: Trek from Chichile to Num (1,500m) 6-7 hours
Today is the beginning of out trek. We pass through the serene forest of rhododendron, oaks and hemlocks; and the picturesque villages. As we climb the ridge the view becomes fabulous on both sides. Almost 2 hours down from the ridge led us to the Num which is a small village with about fifteen houses and a primary school. From Num, we can see our further trail of next couple of days. 

Day 05: Trek Num to Seduwa (1,493m) 6-7 hours
Today is some ups and downs trail. Our trek begins descending steep down through the forest and terraced slopes towards Arun River. Crossing the suspension bridge above Arun River, we ascend up the other side again and we enter to the Makalu Barun National Park. Further the steep climb takes us up to Seduwa village with a small health post and a primary school. 

Day 06: Trek Seduwa to Tashi Gaun (2,200m) 4-5 hours
Today we commence pleasant easy walk about 3-4 hours through farm villages. Then ascend the gradual ridge between Ipsuwa River and Kasuwa River for an hour through the fields takes us to the Tashi Gau. 

Day 07: Trek Tashi Gaun to Kahuma Danda (3,500m) 6-7 hours
Today, we leave the human settlement and reach the upper section of the remote Barun Valley. After breakfast, we walk through the green dense forest and then reach the summer pastures traces with temporary made shepherd huts. From here onwards to Kahuma ridge is strenuous uphill climb, where the green forests are replaced by scrub and rhododendrons that cover the lower reaches of the mountains. 

Day 08: Trek Kahuma Danda to Mumbuk (3,400m)
Today our trail passes through very beautiful landscapes. We follow the gradual trial with few ups and downs pass through the Thulo Pokhari (big pond) and Sano Pokhari (small pong). From here we ascend Keke La Pass (4230m) and Tutu La Pass (4200m) where there is a chorten and can see the superb view of snowcapped mountains and the surrounding landscapes. After then we descend to Mumbuk where again we get vegetation. 

Day 09: Trek Mumbuk to Nehe Kharka (3,750m) 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we descend down to Barun Khola. From there the trail is rocky, steep and slippery so we have to walk carefully. Following the northern bank of Barun Khola we reach the seasonal settlement of Yangri Kharka and a little ahead is the Nehe Kharka. 

Day 10: Trek from Nehe Kharka to Sherson (4,600m) 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we head towards Sherson. Trek starts crossing the wooden bridge over the Barun River and walking up the rocky trail. After 2-3 hours walk the vegetation become thin. Passing through yak pastures and climbing up pleasantly the South East Ridge of Mt. Makalu comes into view which is the indication of reaching the Sherson. Sherson is also the lower base camp of Mt. Makalu from where we can see the lower Barun glarier, Mt. Baruntse and the towering majestic Mt. Makalu.  

Day 11: Day trip to Makalu Base Camp (5,000m) 5-6 hours
Today a short gradual climb brings us to the Makalu Base Camp. We enjoy wonderful views of the south face of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Buruntse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Everest and many more Himalayas mountains. After the exploration return back to Sherson. 

Day 12: Trek Sherson to Yangri Kharka (3,645m) 7-8 hours
After a wonderful exploration in the surrounding valley and capturing the last glimpse of Mt Makalu we trek back to end of the Barun valley named Yak Kharka about 6 or 7 hours for the overnight camp.

Day 13: Trek from Yangri Kharka to Mumbuk (3,400m) 6-7 hours
After breakfast we descend back to Mumbuk through the rocky trail. After leaving Barun Valley we climb up the rock gully to reach Mumbuk and overnight in camp in the  midst of the alpine forest. 

Day 14: Trek from Mumbuk to Kahuma Danda (3,500m) 5-6 hours
We retrace the journey to Kahuma Danda (ridge) walking through a forest of firs and rhododendrons and crossing Shipton-la (4,216m) and Thulo Pokhari for the overnight camp. Enjoy the scenic picturesque spot and evening rest at the camp.

Day 15: Trek from Kahuma Danda to Navagaun (2,500m) via Tashi Gaun
Today, we trek back to Tashi Gaun and continue walk towards Navagaun on the upper trail for another 2/3 hours through the cool shade of the forest after leaving the forest area, coming towards the farm terraces and eventually to the village of Navagaun, another Sherpa village which is much larger than Tashi Gaun, situated right above the Seduwa village.

Day 16: Trek from Navagaun to Num via Seduwa: 4-5 hours
Today we exit the Makalu National Park. After breakfast descend down to Arun Khola through the fields and reach Seduwa village. From Seduwa retrace the up and down journey to Num. 

Day 17: Trek from Num to Chichile (1,800m) and transfer to Tumlingtar: 8-9 hours
Today, we trek back to Chichile, the first 2-3 hours is all uphill and reach at the top of ridge, from here onwards it is almost downhill all the way to the Chichile. From Chichile we drive back to the Tumlingtar. Get ready for early departure to Kathmandu in next day. 

Day 18: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu
Early morning we fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu transfer to hotel We can rest and relax throughout the day in the hotel. If interested to take some gifts from Nepal for friends and relatives, you can visit to some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guides or you can do it yourself too. Evening celebrate the farewell dinner together for successful completion of Makalu Base Camp Trek.
Hotel Encounter Nepal
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 19: Final Departure 
We are saying good bye to the mountains as journey in Nepal comes to an end today! If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight a representative from Black Diamond will take you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Breakfast

Fixed departure date

2015
Jan- 4, 14, 18, 25, 28
Feb- 1, 11, 15, 22, 25
Mar- 1, 8, 18, 22, 29
Apr- 1, 12, 15, 26, 29
May- 3, 13, 17, 27, 31
Jun- 3, 7, 14
Sep- 2, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30
Oct- 4, 11, 14, 18, 25, 28
Nov- 1, 4, 15, 18, 22, 29
Dec- 6, 16, 20

Please contact us for other dates.

Price Includes:

  • All transfers, sightseeing, airport pick up and drop by private vehicle.
  • Domestic flights (Kathmandu to Tumlingtar to Kathmandu) fare
  • Domestic airport tax
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast (Hotel Encounter Nepal- www.encounternepal.com or Hotel Norbu Linka- www.hotelnorbulinka.com) or similar 3-star hotel as per availability.
  • 15 nights accommodation in the camp during trekking
  • Welcome dinner in Nepalese Restaurant with cultural show
  • Farewell dinner
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • English Speaking Guide during sightseeing
  • Entrance fees in the monuments
  • An experienced guide, porters (1 porter for 2 people), cook and assistants during trek
  • Salary, insurance, equipments, transportation, food and lodge for the guide, porters, cook and assistants
  • All high quality camping equipments, kitchen equipment, mattress; dining, toilet and kitchen tents
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are needed to be returned)
  • All necessary paperwork and permits
  • Travel and rescue arrangement
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes.

Price Excludes:

  • International airfare
  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower etc)
  • All kind of drinks
  • Extra night accommodation than the scheduled itinerary
  • Tips for guides, porters and driver

The Trekking Group
For Makalu Base Camp Trek, you will have experienced trekking leader/guide, assistant trekking guide (1 assistant guide for 4 trekkers) and Sherpa porters for carrying the luggage (1 porter for 2 trekkers). This arrangement ensures that if anybody in the group is sick, still we can lead the trip as planned. We can run the Makalu Base Camp Trek even for 1 person and the maximum of twelve people as we've found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Health & Experience Required
Makalu Base Camp Trek is a moderate level trek suitable for nature loving trekkers who carry the ability to walk 5-7 hours a day with a light backpack in high altitude. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in lower altitude, so it is advisable as well as supportive for this trek to do light exercise, jogging in nearby hill few weeks prior the trip. For this trek, we don’t need any technical skills and prior experience of trekking. However, the essential assets to accomplish this trek successfully are physical fitness, self confidence and strong determination.
Please do visit your medical doctor, consult him before heading to such altitude trekking destination. Those who have a problem of heart, lung, respiratory or blood should talk with their medical doctor and take his reference and report us before planning this trip with us. We deserve not to take those on our trip who are having such medical conditions.

Travel Insurance
It would be best to you to make a travel insurance before the trips that will be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to cancellation, medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance. 

Accommodations
All accommodations for Makalu Base Camp Trek are on twin sharing basis included in the trip cost and are chosen based on standard of hygiene, standard of service and food, location, etc. There are two types of accommodations during our trip. You will spend two nights in 3-star hotel in Kathmandu and 08 nights in standard teahouse/lodge during trekking. Basically, there are unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses in mountain. We provide attached rooms as much as possible, however, teahouses/lodges of some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are a solo traveler, you will share a room with someone else of a same sex of your group. If you prefer a single room, you can get single rooms on request by paying a single supplement.

Why Us?
Black Diamond is primarily dedicated to satisfying our travelers from around the globe. We give our best in this field because we are committed to providing you with the best services possible from our side. 

Meals
During the Trek, you can enjoy typical Nepali cuisine, different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) from pizza and chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, variety of breads, variety of drinks, and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be provided from the teahouse/lodge menu where you spent your night. Lunch will be served on the way to the destination, dinner and breakfast in the teahouse where you will spend the night. A welcome dinner, a farewell dinner and breakfasts will be provided during your stay in Kathmandu.

Equipments & Packing List
It is best if you pack the following for your trek:
Head:
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection

Lower Body:
- Under Garments
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants

Feet:
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp

Upper Body:
- T-shirts
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket 

Hands:
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)

Accessories:
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Trekking Bags/Duffel bag 
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry inside the trek bag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Trekking Poles 
- Water bottles
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
- Ear Plug (who know some people on a group are snoring)

Toiletries
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Deodorants
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror

Personal Hygiene
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Antibacterial hands wash

Extras/Luxuries
- Binoculars
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guidebook
- Journal & Pen
- Walkman
- Pencils and small notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
- Swimming customs (for Kathmandu & Trek)

Acclimatization
AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) may cause from the altitude of 2,500m and altitude above 8,000 m is considered as “death zone”. The amount of oxygen decreases as altitude increase. Strike of AMS merely depends on a person to person and it may cause even death. The initial symptoms of AMS are mild headache, loss of appetite, stomach disorder and later it increase as short breath, dizziness, fever, nausea and vomiting, and feeling very weak. Only the prevention from AMS is to ascending slowly and only the cure is to descend quickly. Black Diamond Expedition designed the itinerary of Makalu Base Camp Trek allowing the plenty of time to acclimatize.

Leader(s) & Staff Arrangements
To make your Makalu Base Camp Trek successful, enjoyable and memorable the most important thing you need to realize is the skilled, experienced, courteous and helpful trek leader and the crew members with the ability to operate your duration in the mountain smoothly. Black Diamond only employs the experienced, trained and professional staffs who have fact and up-to-date knowledge about culture, history, flora, fauna and geography of Nepal. Trek leaders of Black Diamond are also trained on biodiversity and environmental issues, potential medical issues during their trek, English language, etc:
•    Intensive Wilderness First Aid
•    Trekking Guide Training
•    Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet
•    English Language
•    Conservation and Biodiversity
•    Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders)

Porter Care
To say the truth, Nepal’s trekking and expedition industry is boost because of tireless effort of local Sherpa porters of Himalaya. Their physical effort to carry supplies, equipments, baggage and overall support make the trip to remote areas possible. But the history of their exploitation and abuse was so regrettable. To combat this, we are strictly committed to porter rights. We provide them more facilities and care as our trekkers would get. We have made full insurance of them against all the possible bad incidents, health and even helicopter rescue insurance. And for the porter's sake we require that all trekkers keep their luggage bag weight under 15kgs/33 pounds. 

Environmental Concerns
The Makalu Region is stunningly beautiful but equally fragile. Future generations have just as much of a right to appreciate it as we do and so the tourism industry has an obligation to protect and preserve it. We employ a 'zero impact' policy on the natural environment and the traditional communities that live there. We enforce a number of do's and don'ts, and our experienced staffs can advise you on how to minimize your impact.

Best Season
Autumn (mid Sept to mid Dec) and spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Makalu Base Camp Trek. The weather is sunny and warm, with outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing. Also in the winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) Makalu Base Camp Trek can be done but we need to be fully prepared to fight against cold.
Weather in Himalayan region is unpredictable and change frequently. Your planned itinerary may need to be changed because of bad weather condition considering your safety. 

Additional Information
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us.

 

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