Makalu Base Camp Trek

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Accommodation: Hotel, Teahouse

Meals

3 Course Meals

Trip Grade

Moderate to Challenging

Maximun Altitude

4870m

Attractions

Offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity.

The Base Camp of Mt. Makalu (8485m), the fifth highest mountain in the world.

Activity

Trekking & Cultural Tour

Overview

A rigorous trek to the foot of Mt. Makalu (8475m), the world’s 5th Highest Peak!
 
Makalu Base Camp Trek 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 in the Arun River Valley, through one of the least frequented areas of Nepal, to the Base Camp of Mt. Makalu (8485m), the fifth highest mountain in the world. 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

You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your trip activities.

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, you will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square.

Your beautiful adventure in Nepal starts with an early morning flight from Kathmandu. 50 minutes of adventurous flight away from Kathmandu will take you to Tumlingtar. After reaching Tumlingtar, you drive to Num for overnight stay which takes around 3 hours.

Your Makalu trek begins today, from Num. You 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 (660 m). From the bridge you climb steeply to some tea shops, then through corn and buckwheat field. Moving along the rocky path and tiny terraces planted with corn and barley, you make a long, steep, rough climb to Sedua (1460m).

Leaving Sedua, you make a gradual climb high above the Kasuwa Khola to Gyang (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, you cross meadows and several streams, and then climb to the Sherpa village of Tashi Gaon, the last permanent settlement in the valley.

You 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. You climb past two small streams, then switchback up the ridge in forests to a kharka at 2900 meters and up to a saddle and Unshisha, a tiny meadow at approx. 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. You then move over a hillock and descend a bit to reach Kauma (3470 m).

After breakfast, you continue your trek to Dobate. Your trekking trail goes uphill and takes you towards Shipton La summit. You pass through Kalo Pokhari, Ke Ke La and cross the Ke Ke La pass. Finally, a descent takes you to Dobate valley.

Your trek today is steep and dangerous in the start from Dobate. Trek should be done under guidance and precautions provided by experienced crew. The trail slowly goes flat on reaching Yangri Kharka. Overnight stay is arranged in Yangri Kharka. Your trekking hours sum up around 6-7 hrs today.

Beyond the Nhe Kharka, you follow the north bank of the Barun Khola for a while. You 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 1500 to 2000 meters above the river, but the trail climbs gently as you 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 you pass a ridge the glacier turns slightly north. You enter an alluvial valley and Makalu pops into view just before Sherson (4615 m). Sherson is somewhat sheltered, but still is a very cold spot. It is a long trek today of approx 8 hours.

From Sherson, you stay to the right in a gully on the east side of the valley. It is gradual descent to a minor pass about 100 meters above Makalu Base Camp. You then descend to a stream, cross on boulders to the base camp on the west bank of the river. From here you 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, Everest and Lhotse.

Today is a rest day for acclimatization and exploration.

Today you retrace our steps down the Barun Valley towards Yangri Kharka.

Your descent continues as you head from Yangri Kharka passing through enjoyable landscapes.You reach to Dobate in around 6/7 hours.

Trek starts today from Dobate in steep trail. Your trek is around 5/6 hrs long today. Crossing beautiful sceneries of Ke Ke La, Tu Tu La and Kauma La you return back to Khongma Danda.

Continuing down the same trail and enjoying more distant views of the mountains and lush landscape, you reach Sedua.

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 (520 m). 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 530m, the trail descends to the banks of the Sankhuwa Khola (370m), across from the Chhetri village of Bumling. After arriving at Num, you conclude your Makalu trek.

You drive from Num to Tumlingtar.

You fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day free for your own activities.

Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as wildlife Safari at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us.

General Information

TRIP GRADE – Strenuous Trek

This is a longMakalu Base Camp trek that goes far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. It is physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities, such as, climbing/ scrambling across high passes.

 

TREKKING TYPES

Trekking in Nepalis categorized in three different types based on their way of organization (Camping Trek, Tea House Trek and GAP Trek). Makalu Base Camp Trek is organized in two ways (Tea House Trek and GAP Trek) due to the abundance of accommodation facilities available in the region.

  1. Tea House Trek: This trek includes services like guide, food, accommodation in local Tea Houses and porters.
  2. GAP Trek: This trek includes services like Guide (G), Accommodation (A) in the Tea Houses, and Porters (P). Food bills are to be paid directly by the client.

 

ACCOMMODATION

You will find clean and friendly lodges along the trek toMakalu Base Camp. You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.

In Kathmandu, we have a pool of hotels under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice.

 

FOOD

LODGE TREK: Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali (rice, curry & lentil, momo, noodles, chapatis etc.) and Western food (pizza, pasta, sandwich, chips, porridge, toast, pancake, soup etc) as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer). The Guide suggests you the best option as per the availability.


GAP Trek:
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25-$30 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.

 

WATER

On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. However, you can also buy bottled water in tea houses. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps.

 

PERSONAL EXPENSES– MONEY TO TAKE ON TREK

Money requirement depends largely on type of trek style, duration and trekking region.
For a two-week Makalu trek, you can take about $200-$300, more if you intend to get more table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas), souvenirs, battery charge, internet, hot shower (available in some places) etc. If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. Approximately $25-30 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (tea house) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us, plus extra bar bills, snacks, hot shower, battery charge, internet etc.

 

CHANGING MONEY

You can change money at a bank or the money exchange counter in city like Kathmandu. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. These days, there is availability of ATMs in Kathmandu.

 

TIPS

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your trekking in Nepal. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.

 

GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE

If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 people and the maximum is 15 people.

For a Private Booking, any number size from 1 pax to 20 pax is acceptable and can be comfortably organized. We go for special planning for handling group size bigger than 20 pax.

 

GROUP LEADER AND CREW

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. We provide 1 porter for 2 members.

 

COMMUNICATION

For using internet during Makalu Base Camp trek, Wifi service is available in lower altitudes. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).

 

FLIGHT AND LAND TRANSFERS

The starting point of the Makalu Base Camp trek is Tumlingtar, which is connected by a little less than an hour’s flight from Kathmandu. On your return, you shall take a flight from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).

Note: There is a high probability of cancellation of domestic flights in remote sectors due to bad weather conditions. Hence, we advise you to keep at least one or more day extra in Kathmandu before your flight home.

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

During Makalu trekking your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgsfor flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.

 

TYPICAL DAY ON TREK

Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek

A typical day while trekking in Nepal consists of about 7-8 hours of activity. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.

 

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT

You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

 

GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU

There are numerous suppliers of trekking gears in Kathmandu supplying genuine branded items or imitations depending on your choice and price. You can get anything from down jackets and sleeping bags to socks or thermal wears that you need for your trek. They might not be the best but good enough for the trek considering the price.

 

TREK SECURITY

Security of our clients is our foremost priority. All our guides are licensed by Nepal Government. Our guides and support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They will ensure your safety and security throughout your trip. During your trek, you will be sleeping in local teahouses. You have to take precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.

 

MEETING AND GREETING AT AIRPORT

You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the customs desk and come out of the terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.

 

TREK DURATION

We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

 

CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO

The best seasons for trekking in Nepal are Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper parts and high passes could be covered with snow in winter.
March, April, October and November are the most favored months. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.

 

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary for this Makalu Base Camp trek is a standard itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation while on trek, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.

 

HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration during the Makalu Base Camp trekking is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

 

FIRST AID KIT

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

 

VISA

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. For doing Everest Base Camp Trek, you can come with a 30 day visa which costs US $ 50. You should have a passport size photo to get it at airport upon arrival. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.

 

JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP

Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this Makalu trek, please check our ‘Fixed departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 pax & maximum 20 pax at a time). If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS

We take your safety and security very seriously, and make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.

 

INSURANCE

Before joining this Makalu trekking, we recommend you take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

We are among the few companies in Nepal to receive Travelife Certificate Award https://www.travelife.info for our long-term efforts in sustainable practices.

 

 1. Care for porters and staffs

We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions during the Makalu treks are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. All our porters carry less than 30 kg and underage porters are strictly prohibited in our operations. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net).

 

2. Environmental Responsibility

Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible.

As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have campfires and use LPG gas or kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We don’t use plastic bottles. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative. Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. Our staff carry garbage bag with them all the time and collect our garbage and other litters they find on trail, and dispose them on the designated area. We also volunteer to bring garbage down to Lukla while returning back. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

 

3. Social Responsibility

Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal. Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agro practices and culture preservation. A certain amount of your trip money goes to these projects. For more details on our CSR initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • Lodge trek with guide, accommodation & porters (Standard rooms on twin sharing)
    • All meals during Makalu Base Camp trek
    • English Speaking local Trekking Guide and assistants as per group size
    • Porters for carrying luggage during the trek (2 members=1 porter,1 porter carries 25kg total)
    • Domestic Airfares: Kathmandu/Tumlingtar/ Kathmandu.
    • Makalu National Park fee.
    • Trekkers’ Information Management System fees (TIMS)
    • 4 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
    • Sightseeing tour with English speaking local guide in Kathmandu
    • Entrance Fees to the monuments
    • Airport and tour transfers with an escort in private vehicle
    • Equipment’s and clothing for all porters and staff
    • Insurance for all staff and porters
    • First aid kit (carried by Guide)

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa fees
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
    • Personal expenses (like, communication, laundry, bar bills, internet, camera/mobile battery recharge, hot water/shower on trek, extra meals, snacks while walking etc.)
    • Personal gears & clothing
    • Tips for guide, porters, drivers, local staff etc.
    • Personal insurance and medical expenses
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/rescue due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Any other services other than mentioned under “Price Includes”

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

BOOKING PROCEDURE

Your booking of this Makalu Base Camp trekking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

TRIP EXTENSIONS

In addition to your Makalu Base Camp trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan etc. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.

DISCLAIMER

It is fundamental to acknowledge that Makalu trekking is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which will be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, Please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 Hours.

TRAVEL GUIDE

MAKALU

Makalu is a beautiful region in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal which offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity. The place lies at the base of Mt Makalu in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. The region has world’s 5th highest mountain and world’s only protected area with an elevation gain of more than 8000m. The region has high waterfalls cascading into deep gorges, craggy rocks rise from lush green forests, and colorful flowers bloom beneath white snow peaks. This unique landscape shelters some of the last pristine mountain ecosystems on earth. Rare species of animals and plants flourish in the region’s diverse climates and habitats, relatively undisturbed by humankind.

MAKALU BARUN NATIONAL PARK

Makalu Barun National Park was established in 1922 as an eastern extension of Sagarmatha National Park. It is the world’s only protected area with an elevation gain of more than 8000m starting from Arun Rriver valley located at altitudes of 344–377 m to 8,025 m the peak of Makalu, covering an area of 1500 sq km in the Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts. The National Park is encircled by a buffer zone to the south and southeast and shares the international border with Qomolangma National Nature Preserve of Tibet Autonomous Region in the north. It is home to different species of flora and fauna from tropical to alpine and to different snow-covered peaks and glaciers.

PLACES

Ripuk
Ripuk is a local name for the highland pastures in Barun Valley. It’s the place where locals set up their temporary seasonal settlements. In this place, river Barun used to be a glacier ages ago flowing to north which made up this lush green valley today.

Barun Valley
Barun valley is one of the most beautiful valleys of Nepal located at the base of Makalu Mountain. The valley is also called the Amazon Forest of Himalayas valley because of its thick forest with lots of rain. The valley offers magnificent view of high mountain range, rare species of flora and fauna, stunning high waterfalls flowing down the deep gorges.

Tadasho
Tadasho is in Barun valley. It is a large stone cliff with a hole in its face, and through which a waterfall cascades. Local legend has it that a dark lake lay atop the cliff, which mysteriously caused the deaths of many Tibetan refugees after nightfall. A Buddhist monk by the name of Rinpoche broke the cliff with his Tadasho, in order to destroy the lake and save the lives of the Tibetan refugees. So the name of the place remained Tadasho.

 

PEAKS

Mt. Makalu
Mt. Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world and fourth highest mountain in Nepal. It lies in the Mahalangur Himalayas southeast of Mount Everest. It stands at the elevation of 8485m. Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid. Makalu was first summited on May 15, 1955, by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition led by Jean Franco.


Chamlang Himal

Chamlang is a mountain in the Nepali Himalayas, near Makalu. It lies in the southern section of the Mahalangur sub range of the Himalayas. Chamlang has an elevation of 7,319 m. Recently in 2021 the north face was climbed by two mountain guides, Charles Dubouloz and Benjamin Vedrines. It took them 4days to complete the climbing on that route which they named as ‘In the Shadow of Lies’.

Mera Peak
Mera Peak is highest trekking peak standing at 6,476 m. It contains three main summits: Mera North, 6,476 m; Mera Central, 6,461 m; and Mera South, 6,065 m. It is located in the Mahalangur section, Barun sub-section of the Himalaya, dominating the Hinku valley.

CLIMATE, FLORA AND FAUNA

Makalu area falls in the eastern Himalayan climate zone where the first monsoon clouds can be seen in April. Pre monsoon rain is common in April and the heavy rainfall may start in early June and stays until late September. The temperature varies in this region due difference in altitude, slope and aspects within the area. The best seasons to trek in the Makalu region are autumn (from mid-September till November end) and spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). The vegetation can vary from tropical to alpine. The plants found in the region are sal, schima, castanopsis; rhododendron, orchids and other rare plants. The area is home to many animals, birds and insects that include snow leopard, red panda, wild boar, rose-ringed parakeet, Blyth’s kingfisher, deep-blue kingfisher, spiny babbler etc.

 

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Makalu region is blessed with an incredible diversity of natural beauty and culture. Some 32,000 people of ethnically diverse people live in this region. The Sherpas, originally from Tibet, live at higher elevations. They follow Buddhist traditions similar to Tibetans. Prior to mountaineering and trekking, the main occupation Sherpa were engaged in was trading and porter, carrying butter, meat, rice, sugar, and dye from India; and wool, jewelry, salt, Chinese silk and porcelain from Tibet and beyond. Now the Sherpa are the known as unsung heroes of mountain because of their amazing climbing prowess. Being the local in the mountain, climbers and trekkers can rarely imagine doing a Himalayan adventure without their support.In lower elevations live Rais and a handful of other hill tribes including Tamangs, Magars, Gurungs, Newars, Brahmins, Chhetris, Bhotias and other occupational castes. Both Hinduism and Buddhism are in practice in this region.

This region is culturally rich but isolated. People heavily depend upon forest resources for food, fuel, housing materials, animal fodder, fertilizers, medicines and other creative uses. People of this region are also involved in making home made products by utilizing local resources. Some of the products are clothing spun from allo (nettles), paper made from Lokta (danphe bark), and countless items made from bamboo including furniture, containers, baskets, musical instruments, raincoats, and aqueducts. Many seasonally migrate to other areas to supplement their income through trade or wage-earning jobs.

FESTIVALS

Lhosar is celebrated in the month of February by the Sherpas. ‘Lhosar’ means New Year in Sherpa language. Apart from the Sherpas and Tibetans, the Gurungs and Tamangs also celebrate Lhosar. Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.

Dumje is celebrated to mark the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). The celebration takes place in June and lasts for six days. It is celebrated in a grand way in the villages of Namche, Thame and Khumjung, all important stopovers of your trek.

Mani Rimdu is a festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the ancient animistic religion of Bon. This festival is celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwang and Thame. At Tengboche, the most iconic monastery of the Everest region, the celebration takes place during the November- December full moon. At Thame, Mani Rimdu is celebrated during full moon in May. Chiwang Gompa generally celebrates this festival during autumn. The Lamas wear elaborate brocade gowns and masks while performing. Through the dances, symbolic demons are conquered, dispelled, or converted to Dharma Protectors as positive forces clash with those of chaos. The dances convey Buddhist teaching on many levels from the simplest to the most profound, for those who do not have the opportunity to study and meditate extensively. It gives an opportunity to the Sherpas to gather and celebrate together with the monks.

Sakela (Chandi Dance) is a harvest festival celebrated by the Rai community. The harvest ceremony involves the worship of mother earth, called ‘Bhumi-Puja’. The festival is celebrated twice a year, once in spring before planting begins and once during autumn before harvesting. Ubhauli is celebrated during the spring season on Baishakh Purnima. In the autumn season on Mangsir Purnima, Udhauli is celebrated. The spring worship is done to propitiate mother earth for a good harvest and the rain god to bless the earth with enough rain. The festival is celebrated with more fervor in the remote hills. The Rai villagers celebrate it with priests (dhami) who perform rituals to worship their ancestors. The elders of the community begin the dance with a puja. Later on everybody participates in the dance forming a circle by holding each other’s hands. With drumbeats, they begin dancing at a slow pace but moves faster later with the drumbeats. The dance steps and hand gestures imitate the sowing and harvesting of crops. The festival also provides an opportunity for the Rai people to socialize.

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