Mt. Makalu is 8481 meters and it is the 5th highest mountain in the world and specific and it’s a very technical peak; it’s more technical than climbing Mt. Everest. Makalu Expedition is not a huge mountaineering challenge, it’s in the North East of Nepal. We fly from Kathmandu to Tumglingtar in the East and then we have got about a three and half hour rickety drive to the start of the trekking expedition. Makalu Trek Expedition is hence considered as quite technical. remote and challenging. Our route does transverse first climbing all the way to Neghe Kharka, crossing the Barun Khola flowing from Makalu. The route to Makalu Base Camp (4823m) involves a sustained period at altitude with some steep slopes, but rewards with powerful views of Makalu (8481m) to the north. This is the realm of the glaciers, surrounded by the unforgettable presence of the world’s mightiest mountains; and brooding above the towering bulk of Everest itself.

Normally, we set up four camps in the approach excluding ABC at 5,700m. Following the lateral moraine and hiking onto the glacier, we plan to set up camp I at a glacial plateau at 6,150m further proceeding the direction of the glacier plateau towards Makalu Pass, climbing stretches of steep slopes and arriving at the base of the Makalu Pass to set up the camp II at 7,000m. We climb the Messner Headwall towards the northwest Ridge at Makalu La and the site of Camp III at 7,300m. Camp IV will be set up on the North Ridge at 7,850m and finally leap for the summit at 8,462m.


Mt. Makalu Expedition Cost Facts

Mt. Makalu Expedition can be done both in spring and Autumn however we recommend you to ascend during the Spring season. The cost covers all the transportation, meals, services to Base Camp and High Camp, Expedition Equipment, and High Standard Tents at Base Camps [mentioned in Includes]. However, if you have a big group willing to climb Mt. Makalu Expedition.

Successful Ascent of Mt. Makalu

The American team lead by Riley Keegan in the spring of 1954 attempted to climb Mt. Manaslu in the spring of 1954. The first Mt. Makalu expedition was composed of Sierra Club members including Allen Steck, and was termed as California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu. However, the Mt. Makalu was first successfully climbed on May 15, 1955, by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy as of a French expedition led by Jean Franco. Franco, Guido Magnone and Gyalzen Norbu Sherpa then summitted the Mt. Makalu the next day, followed by Jean Bouvier, Serge Coupé, Pierre Leroux and André Vialatte on the 17th May 1955.

French Expedition Team submitted the Mt. Makalu via the north face and northeast ridge, through the saddle between Makalu and Kangchungtse (the Makalu-La), establishing the standard Mt. Makalu Expedition route.

A quicker option to Makalu Base Camp:

Taking a helicopter to Makalu Base Camp saves time and allows us to immediately begin acclimatization and work on the mountain itself.  Helicopter flights are available at the climbers own expense.  The cost depends upon passenger load.

The Climb of Makalu via North East Ridge:

The Makalu Expedition begins Makalu Base Camp, 4800m and uses five camps above base camp during the expedition. 

Typical Expedition Description:

After two or three days in Base Camp, organizing equipment and enjoying short walks in the valley, we make the 7 hour journey up the moraine and boulder fields of the Barun Glacier to Advanced Base Camp 5700m (ABC), perched on a rocky dome at the foot of Makalu’s glaciers. We rest and acclimatize at ABC, a sunny camp where we spend most of our time on Makalu, and where we enjoy the comforts of heated dining tents, kitchen tent, communications and hangout tent, internet access, and much more.  Although sheltered from the wind and rock fall, it can be very cold. 

From ABC the route covers a rocky moraine of the low-angle Chago Glacier. We put crampons on and rope up as the glacier is crevassed in places and there is some avalanche danger from falling seracs, though these can be avoided with good route choice. Just before reaching Camp I, 6347m, we ascend a steep ice-snow wall with fixed lines. On this first rotation we spend at least 2 nights in Camp I, and during that time make an acclimatization trip across easy glacier to Camp II, 6600m a small, flat sheltered area by some ice walls.

Our second acclimatization rotation stops for a night at Camp 1, and then continues in a north eastern direction across the huge crevasses and snow bridges of glacial slopes.There is a steeper section of blue ice below Camp II, 6670m.Our Sherpa will have fixed the ropes. From Camp II you get a fantastic view of Everest, Lhotse and Baruntse. We spend two or more nights to acclimatize, and during that time climb to at least 7000m on the steep slopes that leading to the Makalu La (Camp III). We descend to ABC for rest in preparation for our summit push.

Climb from ABC to Camp II

The climb from ABC directly to Camp II takes only about 6 hours once acclimatized.Camp II has fantastic views of Everest, Lhotse and Barunste.We probably rest a day before proceeding to Camp III, but our decision will depend on our physical state as well as the weather.

Climb to Camp III on the Makalu La

Above Camp II, an easy-angled glacier leads straight up to 6990m. Next, a technical section of mixed climbing to about 7250m, leads onto another open snow slope, which can be deep and prone to avalanches.There is one more mixed section of rock and blue ice leading up to the Makalu La at 7450m.To reach the site of Camp III, 7400m, there is 200 meters of flat walking.Some of the mixed climbing is up to an angle of 50 degrees.This is one of the most technical sections of the climb and we will appreciate that the Sherpa has carefully selected the route and put fixed lines in place.  Remembering that we have to descend this difficult section, we try to carry the minimum to Camp III on the La.

The decision to ascend to the Makalu La requires careful consideration of the weather. Strong winds whip across the La, and temperatures can dip to -30 °C. 

Note: We start using oxygen to make the long steep ascent to Camp III, 7400m, on the Makalu La. We will use supplemental oxygen for the rest of the summit push and return to Camp III. 

Climb to Camp IV

From Camp III, it takes only 3 hours to climb to Camp IV, 7600m, the last feasible spot for a camp below the summit. We traverse a large, flat glacier, with many hidden crevasses, and then follow snow slopes to a serac band, protected from avalanches. At Camp IV, tent platforms are cut in the slope, on the North Face.  

Summit Day

On summit day, we climb moderate glacial slopes to the base of the French Couloir, a shallow 300m high gully of mixed rock bands and snow that leads onto the summit ridge at around 8350m. We negotiate the summit towers along the extremely exposed ridge leading to the true but small summit of Makalu.This immense mountain has the smallest summit of all 8000-meter peaks.The summit view unparalleled: the panorama starts with Kanchenjunga in the east with a sea of peaks reaching to Shishapangma in the west. 


Summit day is a very long and demanding day, often taking around 16 hours to reach the top and return back to Camp IV where we crash with exhaustion.  Some climbers manage to descend to Camp III from the summit.

The next descent is demanding as we are exhausted, and must focus to abseil over the technical sections from Makalu La to Camp II, where we spend the night.  We continue down to ABC to celebrate our climb, rest, and prepare for our return to Kathmandu. 

Highlights of Makalu Expedition

  • Less crowded than Everest
  • Just as challenging as Everest
  • 3rd highest mountain in the world
  • The trek into Base Camp in remote uncommercialized region
  • Incredible views of Everest, 8848m, Lhotse, 8516m, Makalu I, 8463m, Makalu II, 7660m, Peak 38- 7591m, Pumori, Lhotse Shar, 8410m, Barunste 7145m, Chamlan 7319m, Kanchanjunga, 8586m, Jannu Himal, 7710m

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival In Kathmandu And Transfer To The Hotel

Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to obtain the Entry Visa (if you have not obtained it from your country). At the arrivals gate, one of our representatives shall be waiting to receive you. Then, s/he will drive you to the hotel for you to rest and relax.

Altitude1400 m


Accommodation3-5 Star Hotel

DAY 2: Official Procedures, Briefing And Preparation

The next day, we will complete all the necessary procedures like obtaining permits and other documentation. We will also prepare for our expedition. A short briefing will be conducted to inform you about the technical aspects of the Expedition. You may go sightseeing and shopping in the evening.

Altitude 1400 m

Meals Breakfast

Accommodation 3-5 Star Hotel

DAY 3 : Fly From Kathmandu To Tumlingtar And Drive To Num (1560 M)

After the early morning breakfast, we will drive to the airport and take a short flight to Tumlingtar, the deepest valley in Nepal. Tumlingtar, in Sankhuwasabha district is the gateway to Makalu Barun National Park. From there, we will meet our crew members and take a 4-5 hour drive to Num, a small village in the Koshi region of Nepal. There we will stay overnight in a tented camp.

Altitude1560 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 4: Trek From Num To Sheduwa (1510 M)

After a night’s stay in Num, we set our feet on the trail towards  Sheduwa. First, we descend steeply for 2 and a half hours to reach the Neguwa River with a suspension bridge, crossing which leads us to ascend the dense forests and small settlements. We get to witness the picturesque crop plantation in terraced fields. Later, we reach a check post of Makalu Conservation Area where we will need to take some entry passes.

Altitude 1510 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 5-6: Trek From Sheduwa To Tashi Gaon And Acclimatize (2070 M)

The trail from Sheduwa to Tashi gaon is easy as we need to walk through flat surfaces through the bushes and occasional ascents. After walking for almost 4 hours, we reach Tashigaon, a huge Sherpa village, decorated with prayer flags. We will set up our camp to rest overnight.

Altitude2070 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 7: Trek From Tashi Gaon To Khongma (3760)

The trail from Tashi Gaon to Khongma is an uphill climb through the forests of Rhododendron and pine trees. Kongma La is a ridge with a single tea house. So, we set up a tented camp and rest overnight. Enjoy the meals prepared by our chefs and cooks.

Altitude3760 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 8: Trek From Khongma To Mumbuk (3520 M)

From Khongma, we head towards Mumbuk on a trail that ascends initially until we reach a beautiful lake, “Kalo Pokhari” meaning “a black lake” at 4004 m, and then descends to reach Mumbuk.

Altitude 3250 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 9: Trek From Mumbuk To Nehe Kharka (4320 M)

The trek gets a bit difficult as well as adventurous from Mumbuk as the trail passes through a section prone to landslides. The latter parts of the trails ascend through the grasslands and forests. The majestic views of Mt Tutse, Peak 7 (6185 m), Isuwa La (5340 m), and many other peaks. The Kharka is pasture land and an exceptional spot for Camping.

Altitude 4320 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 10-12: 10-12: Trek From Nehe Kharka To Makalu Lower Base Camp (4870 M) And Acclimatize

From Nehe Kharka, we ascend towards the Lower Base Camp of Mt. Makalu. The views of Mt. Makalu (8481 m), Baruntse (7152 m), Kali Himal (6985 m), Chamlang (7390 m), Makalu II (7640 m) are spellbinding from the Base camp. We will spend two more days in the lower base camp for acclimatization and expedition preparation.

Altitude 4870 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 13: Hike From Lower Base Camp To Higher Base Camp

After acclimatizing at the lower base camp, we hike up to the higher base camp at around 5600 m. 

Altitude 5600 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Full Board Camp Service

DAY 14-42: Climbing Period Of Mt. Makalu (8481m)

We will then start our expedition to the legendary Mt. Makalu. We will conduct multiple rotations around the higher camps before the Summit Push. Our team of Sherpas will set up the fixed ropes throughout the route. We will set up higher camps and rotate back and forth to consecutive camps for training as well as acclimatization. Eventually, when the weather is favorable and everyone is good to go, we head for the Summit Push. On Summit Day, we start early so that we reach the top at Dawn to witness the glorious Sunrise. After spending some quality time at the Summit, we then descend to the lower camps and finally to the Base Camp by the end of Day 42.

Altitude 8481 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Full Board Camp Service

DAY 43: Cleaning Up Base Camp And Preparation To Return 

8K strictly follows eco-travel and responsible tourism. So, before we return we make sure we clean up all the trash and garbage that we produced during our stay at the Camp and higher camps. After cleaning up the Base Camp, we prepare to return to Yangle Kharka. 

Altitude 4870 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Full Board Camp Service

DAY 44: Trek From Makalu Base Camp To Yangle Kharka (3600 M)

We retrace our path back to Yangle Kharka through the adventurous trail. We will then rest overnight in a tented camp in Yangle Kharka.

Altitude 3600 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 45: Trek From Yangle Kharka To Khongma (3560 M)

From Yangle Kharka, we retrace the path with the landscapes of landslides.  After 4-5 hours we finally reach Khongma to camp overnight.

Altitude 3560 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 46: Trek From Khongma To Sheduwa (1510 M)

During our return, we cover more distance as we descend on major parts. So, we trek to Sheduwa through Tashigaon upon our return.

Altitude 1510 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Camping

DAY 47: Trek From Sheduwa To Num And Drive To Khandbari 

The trail from Sheduwa to Num descends steeply at the start and later ascends to reach Num. After passing a small forest of bamboo and small villages, we finally reach Num. from Num, we will meet our crew and drive to Khandbari and rest overnight in a hotel.

Altitude 866 m

Meals BLD

Accommodation Hotel/Lodge

DAY 48: Drive From Khandbari To Tumlingtar And Fly Back To Kathmandu

After a night’s stay in Khandbari, we have our breakfast and drive to Tumlingtar airport. Then, we will fly back to Kathmandu and rest at the hotel.

Altitude1400 m

Meals Breakfast And Lunch

Accommodation3-5 Star Hotel

DAY 49: Free Day In Kathmandu

In Kathmandu, you can relax in Thamel, a popular street for tourists where you can get anything you want. You may do some shopping, eat in a nice restaurant, get some spa, do some laundry and many other things. There are also many different attractions in Kathmandu including but not limited to Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath Stupa, Basantapur, Bhaktapur, Patan, and so on. You may go sightseeing around these areas with one of our city guides. We will join for the farewell dinner in the evening.

Altitude1400 m


Accommodation3-5 Star Hotel

DAY 50: Final Departure

If you have not signed up for any other Add-ons Adventure packages, it’s time to bid you farewell. One of our representatives will drop you off at the airport 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure.

Altitude1400 m

Meals Breakfast

Accommodation N/A

Dates & Price:

The Price of the Expedition is $20,500 Per Person on Full Board.


All our trips are available on both Fixed Departure and Private Group Basis.

Please check the Fixed Departures Dates for more information on departure dates, availability and price below if you are looking for a group to join Makalu Expedition (8463m) trip. All our fixed departures are 100% guaranteed and are designed by our Travel Experts. Or, if you are planning to do alone or with your friends, families and colleagues please fill this Customize Trip and we will offer you the best time, cost and arrangements based on your request


  • Airport transfer costs
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu (4 nights)
  • Domestic Flights: Kathmandu-Tumlingtar
  • All land transportation for all members, climbers, staff, porters, guides, Liaison Officer
  • Makalu Expedition Permit, National Park Entry Fees
  • Garbage Management and Shipment fees
  • Lodging and food (3-time full course meals ) during the overall trek 
  • Base Camp Food, Tents for Dining, Sleeping, Toilet, and Shower, Tables, Sleeping mattresses, pillows, quilts, and all essentials
  • Wages and allowances for porters, guides, Climbing Sherpas, Cooks, and helpers 
  • Fees for Liaison Officer
  • Luggage carriage fee (up to 60 kg per member)
  • Insurance for all Nepali staff and members
  • Solar panels for light and charging at the base camp
  • Heater service in the Dining Tent
  • 2 Oxygen cylinders per member and 1 cylinder for high altitude Sherpa
  • Permits for satellite phones
  • 1 walkie talkie per member for communication
  • High Camp Service: Cooking Gas, utensils, gears, and equipment in Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, and Camp 4
  • All taxes imposed by the Government of Nepal
  • Comprehensive Medical Kit
  • Makalu Climbing Certificate issued by MoCTCA (After the successful ascent of Mt. Makalu)


  • Lunch and Dinner during your stay in Kathmandu
  • Expenses incurred due to extended stay in Kathmandu
  • Travel and Medical Insurance for the climbing member
  • Expenses of personal nature like alcoholic beverages, telephone, Internet bills, Laundry, etc.
  • Bonus and tips for climbing Sherpa ($1000) and staff ($200)
  • Emergency Rescue and Evacuation (Recommended to purchase an insurance policy that covers emergency repatriation)
  • Anything not mentioned in the Cost Inclusions section