Mount Makalu (8485m/27,838ft) was first climbed by an American team led by William Siri in the spring of 1954. The expedition was composed of Sierra Club members including Allen Steck, William E. Long, and was called the California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu. They attempted the southeast ridge but were turned back at 7,100 m (23,300 ft) by a constant barrage of storms. A New Zealand team including Sir Edmund Hillary was also active in the spring, but did not get very high due to injury and illness. In the fall of 1954, a French reconnaissance expedition made the first ascents of the subsidiary summits Kangchungtse May 15, 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy during a French expedition led by Jean Franco. The expedition was composed of Sierra Club members including Allen Steck, William E. Long, and was called the California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu. There was also a New Zealand team including Edmund Hillary that attempted the route but was turned back due to injury and illness. These were all major achievements especially considering that Makalu is such a difficult peak.
The fifth highest mountain in the world Makalu is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km southeast of Mount Everest, in the border between Nepal and China. One of the eight-thousanders, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid.
The South East Ridge and the Northwest Ridgeare the main climbing routeson Mt. Makalu. The 8485m peak usually takes around 54 days to climb. Most climbers are able to climb Makalu in both the spring and autumn seasons. However, spring is more suitable for good weather and snow conditions. It is located at the coordinatesof 27°53'21'' N and 87°05'27'' E. The approach to Makalu is beautiful and elegant, the Barun Valley provides stunning contrasts where high waterfalls cascade 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 diverse climates and habitats, relatively undisturbed by human kind.With seven valleys radiating from Mt. Makalu and it’s almost symmetrical four ridges it presents an incredible symmetrical elegance. Within this wide range of altitudes and climates, the Makalu-Barun area contains some of the richest and most diverse flora and fauna of Nepal. Diverse ethnic communities of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa have inhibited the lower parts of country.
The climbing itself is appropriate for both the experienced climber and the novice climber making their first 8,000 meter peak ascent. The climbing consists of easy glaciers low on the mountain, steep ice and snow climbing to the Makalu La and above Camp IV a final rock ridge to the summit. Makalu is a steep and consistent climb, and in the spring season has excellent snow coverage and low hazards like icefalls, rock falling and avalanche. Satori Adventures utilizes oxygen above 7,200 meters and Sherpa support with fixed ropes throughout the climb.Each climbing day is reasonable in length and difficulty, However Satori Adventures will provide only Base Camp Servicesfor climbers who want to do the peak in an unsupported fashion. The other exciting aspect of climbing Makalu is the lack of crowds. While we expect to share the mountain with other teams, they will generally be small and strong. This gives us support on the mountain in establishing the route and ropes, but avoids any overcrowding common on other 8000-meter peaks.
The trekking into the base camp and Makalu is an absolutely breathtaking and takes you back in time when all Himalayan mountains were approached on foot. After a 25 minute flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar the trek begins from a low elevation of 920m. Climbers have a great chance to acclimatizeas the trail goes through: Num (1800m), Sheduwa (1510m), Tashi Gaon (2070m),Khongma(3760m),Mumbuk (3550m),Yangri Kharka (3600m), Sherson (4800m) and finally Makalu base camp (4870m). It is the perfect way to acclimatize before base camp is reached and to take on climbing relatively quickly.
Satori Adventures always follows a cautious acclimatization schedule we will utilize four camps on the mountain and use camp I and camp II for acclimatization purposes with us making a climb to 7000m before descending to advanced base camp in anticipation of a summit attempt. The summit push will go directly fromcamp IItocamp III on the Makalu La, we will then place camp IV to create a shorter summit day. Traditionally there is a very low base camp, abc camp at 5500m, C1 (6,500m), C2 (7,300m) at the bottom of the Southeast peak ridge and C3 (7,900m) and a high camp.
Makalu Advanced base camp is located on a rocky moraine with amazing views of the Himalaya. Satori Adventures advance base camp will be setup for almost a one month period. On an 8000m expedition climbers spend most of their time at base camp, so naturally on any long expedition, base camp becomes a home away from home. We establish our camp at a walking distance between different groups and with a strategic view of the Makalu massif. Satori provides a personal tent which becomes your private retreat, a dining tent that is the common area, a shower tent and toilet tent. When you arrive at base camp it will already be fully established with hot beverages and snacksavailable immediately. Waiting for you there will be your base camp staff and high altitude climbing Sherpa. Prior to your climbing period you will have a Puja ceremony at the base camp for good luck. This is one Nepalese tradition not to miss, it represents safe climbing passage for everyone involved in the expedition.
Once you have reviewed basic and advanced training by your climbing Sherpa guide, you will be ready for your attempt to climb to camp I which is at a height of 6400m/21,000ft. Prior to the first section of glacier you will encounter grassy slopes, rock slabs and moraine. Once on the glacier you will encounter mixed terrain including a few crevasses and 200m of blue ice. The first section of climbing on the moraine takes about an hour after that you reach the crampon point at the mouth of the glacier, the glacier portion takes about 2 hours. For average climbers it takes about 3-4 hours. Camp I is divided into two sections, lower camp I and upper camp I, the distance between the two is 100m/328ft. So camp 1 is fixed between 6400m-6500m.
The climbing from camp I to camp II is considered the moderate technical section on Mt. Makalu. During this section you encounter the heart of ice and snow. The first section is slogging over snow for about an hour, and then you encounter several steep sections of ice, there are small sections of ice fall that do not require ladder. These sections can be crossed with the support of fixed ropes, a few big steps and some steep snow climbing. For most people this is the crux of the route. This section will take slow climbers about 2½-3 hours. Camp 2 is situated above the snowy terrace.
The distance from camp II to camp III is the longest section of the route, it extends 600m/1,968ft. It does not require any ladder crossings, but there are a few crevasses that are roughly a half meter long that need to be jumped. The main ropes are fixed by a climbing Sherpa team. This section for most climbers feels easier, but still it is not to be taken lightly.The climbing is on sustained slopes and there is exposure to cold and wind. Although in spring there has been reports of direct sun hitting this section making it feel very warm. This is the camp that 40% of climbers plan to do their summit push from. However, Satori Adventures always fixes camp IV before the summit so that clients can get a half nights rest. This section takes about 4 hours for normal climbers and 5 hours for slower and first time 8000m climbers.
Climbing from camp III to camp IV feels like a short day, the distance is short but now you are nearing the death zone. The oxygen levels are very low at this altitude so it is expected that any effort no matter how minimum or trivial will feel arduous. In this section you have to climb for 3 hours on steep snow that is on a 50º-55º slope. This section is little dangerous in the autumn season because the snow slope is covering a layer of ice which make the section avalanche prone. This is the reason Satori Adventures only operates in the spring season. Many consider the crux of t route to be the Seignior Wall which will be crossed here.Camp will be set up above right above Makalu la. Satori team makes an easy traverse to camp IV at 7900m which allows you to have a shorter summit day.
The main goal during the climbing periodis the summit. Most climbers begin their summit bid at 11:00pm. If all goes well they reach the summit between 7-10am. Below the main summit is a false summit, the main summit is reached via an exposed ridge. It takes about 5 hours to return to Camp 4 from the summit and another 2 hours to get to camp three for overnight stay. The climbing is not technical in the early part as you ascend through several basins with short snow headwalls. The climb passes the false summit and finishes on an exposed ridge to the true summit for a spectacular view of the mighty Himalaya. Satori Adventures Sherpa guides will fix ropes, break trail and make every effort to assist the group to reach the summit of the 5th highest mountain in the world.
Highest access: 8485m (27,838ft)
First Ascent: J. Franco's French Expedition. Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray. 1955
Duration: 54 days (typically) Days
Group Size: 01-10 persons per Group.
Co-ordinates: 27°53'21''N / 87°05'27''E
Location: Mahalangur Parbat
Airport: Kathmandu (KTM)
Departure From: Kathmandu (KTM)
Grade: PD+ Scottish Grade III/IV
Accommodation: Tourists request-five star hotel
Meals: B/B plan in Kathmandu. B,L,D during the trekking and climbing periods
Transportation: Car, Flight, Tourist bus
Best season: Late spring (traditionally less hazardous) and autumn
Major Activity: Trekking/Mountaineering
Include Activity: Scenic flight to Tumlingtar
Culture: Sherpa and Rai
Mode of Travel: Tea House/Camping
Climbing route: South East Ridge/ Northwest Ridge
Himalayan sights: Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga
03 April/Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu Airport and transfer to hotel Yak and Yeti or similar hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (1350M/4,430ft).
4-5 April/Day2-3: Preparation and briefings at the Departments of Tourism. Last minute shopping.
06 April/Day 04: Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar. 50 min Drive to Num (1980m/6,496ft)6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
07 April/Day 05: Trek from Num to Seduwa (1500m/4,922ft) 6-7 hrs Lodge/camping accommodation.
08 April/Day 06: Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaoun(2100m/6,890ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
09 April/Day 07: Trek from Tashigaoun to Khongma Danda(3500m/11483ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
10 April/Day 08: Exploration and Acclimatization day at Khongma(3500m/11,483ft) 06-07hrs. Lodge accommodation.
11 April/Day 09: Trek from Khongma to Dobsto (3650m/11,975ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
12 April/Day 10: Trek from Dobute to Yangle Kharka (3600m/11,811ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
13 April/Day 11: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Langmale Kharka (4410m/14469ft) 6-7 hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
14 April/Day 12: Exploration and Acclimatization day at Langmale Kharka(4410m/14,469ft) Lodge/camping accommodation.
15 April/Day 13: Trek from Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp (5018m/16,464ft) 6hrs.Lodge/camping accommodation.
16 April/Day 14: Rest and acclimatization at Hillary base camp (5018m/16,464ft)
17 April/Day 15: Trek from Hillary base camp to Advance base Camp (5600m/18,373ft) 5 hrs.
18-25 May/D16-53: Climbing period for Makalu (8485M/27,838ft)
26 May/Day 54: Trek from Advance Base Camp to Yangli Kharka (3600m/11,811ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
27 May/Day 55: Trek from Yangli Kharka to Dobato (3650m/11,975ft) 6-7 hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
28 May/Day 56: Trek from Dobute to Khongma (3500m/11,483ft) 6-7 hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
29 May/Day 57: Trek from Khongma to Seduwa(1500m/4,922ft) 6-7hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
30 May/Day 58: Trek from Seduwa to Num (1980m/6,496ft) 6-7 hrs. Lodge/camping accommodation.
31 May/Day 59: Drive from Num to Tumlingtar. 4 hrs Lodge accommodation.
01 June/Day 60: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu (30min) transfer to request category hotel accommodation in Kathmandu in B&B Plan.
02 June/Day 61: Leisure day & shopping in Kathmandu; Fair well-Celebration dinner with culture program in the Evening.
03 June/Day 62: Transfer to the airport for final departure
Satori Adventures has not able to include the cost of each package in the company website. Many of our clients have the same query: why Satori Adventures has not included the price in the package. To provide you service in reasonable cost and attempt to address your each requirement we desired to provide you with some information which directly affects the cost and also helps us breakdown the cost. That’s why, we have decided to clarify our customers that due to following reasons we have not included the cost in our website and package:
Due to the above position the price range for the same trip can vary widely. So, we would like to discuss with our client before offering the cost. Please feel free to contact Satori Adventures for any information about in your selected package.
Satori Adventures offers Full Board Service for our entire range of flagship mountaineering expeditions to all 8000m peaks. Full Board service means that we will provide a Trekking service, base camp service and high camp service executed by your Sherpa climbing guide. All of our full board clients will have a personal Sherpa climbing guide exclusively dedicated to the client for the duration of the climb.
Our climbing Sherpa guide team will establish and secure climbing route in collaboration with other climbing teams participating on the route. Establish all high camps with camping equipment, provisions, oxygen and prepare high altitude food for the client. Full board also includesassistingthe client on the route while ensuringtheir safety and wellbeing.We move at the clients preferred pace andensure total commitment to the client in case of emergency with the clients safety and wellbeing being the overriding priority.
High camp service for the Full Board Service will consist of all of the equipment necessary to fix the route, all camping equipment, fuel and food for high camps as well as oxygen provision, including mask and regulator and latest model of Poisk oxygen and Summit system mask regulators.
In Base Camp
Satori Adventures provides very professional, helpful and friendly service from Kathmandu to the ABC as well as during the climb. Our objective is to provide a good quality, helpful, safe, friendly, stress free and comprehensive service to maximize your summit opportunity.
In the base camp our chefs and helpers will prepare and serve three delicious, freshly cooked and plentiful meals a day. We will also ensure that hot and cold drinks are available 24 hrs a day. In the base camp we provide spacious expedition quality personal tents for all our clients both with full board or base-camp service only. In base camp we also provide dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet facilities and portable shower facilities and tent accommodation for our staff.
In base camp we provide access to communication including satellite telephone and internet access, solar panels to charge your batteries and UHF/VHF hand held radios on the mountain to maintain communications between ABC and high camps.
Our camp manager as well as guides and climbing Sherpa’s have an extensive experience on multiple Everest climbs. They will ensure cooperation with other companies and organize base camp operations. In base camp our guides will work with other teams to ensure contribution from all operators for tasks such as route fixing and to ensure the safety of climbers from ABC to the summit.
It is important for each climber to choose the right expedition guide service that not only suites their needs, but provides the best safely and secure mountaineering experience possible. There are more than 1,700 trekking companies in Nepal who offer 8,000 meter expeditions including Everest, but only about 30 companies who operate 8,000 meter peaks on a regular basis. We are proud to be one of these 30 companies and consistently offer, run and succeed at these types of expeditions year after year.
It is very important that the climbers who choose Satori Adventures for this trip of a lifetime experience have expectations that are compatible with the program we offer and the style of expedition Satori Adventures runs. We do not want to simply “fill our expedition”, but instead we want to comprise a team of companionable people who are focused on reaching the summit with the highest level of support and safety standards that can be provided by a guiding service on Mt Everest. We team this with the best standards of food and quality equipment to further assist each client reach their full potential. We feel that we offer the best environment and opportunity for you to be successful on the world’s highest mountain.
We are always developing and growing our operational systems to ensure you participate will provide as much as facilities provided. We figure our expedition members do not deserve anything less during the trekking and climbing! In the interests of giving you the most optimal chance to summit, we limit our team size to ensure the group summits on the best weather day; sometimes there are less window days for summit in Everest. In big size of group offering cheap climbs often miss out as they split their groups over several potential summit days. We feel like our climbing members are feeling that they are climbing as a family and friends team even on international people. We accept maximum 08 people in a group and if we have more than that we always split in two groups. So that our base camp staff cooks, climbing Sherpa guide will fully taking care about you and provide service as per your desire.
The Satori Adventures methodology and tactical approach to climbing Mt Everest has seen us achieve the highest success rates and our extensive experience gives us the edge when it comes to making the right decisions. We provide a consistently higher Sherpa and Guide ratio than any other operator, resulting in more support and backup for your summit attempt and therefore a greater safety margin and chance of success. There is always a 1:1 ratio of the climbing Sherpa/guide and client. We always use professional and experienced climbing Sherpa or guides who have all reached the summit of Everest.
Our guides are professionals who are trained and assessed either via the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) resulting in a greater repertoire of skills that enables them to provide a dedicated level of security to you during the expedition, or many years of mountaineering experience on the world’s biggest peaks. Our guides are experience in both advanced and basic rescue courses and all have a minimum of 3 years guiding on Everest.
Satori Adventures Everest expeditions have been at the forefront of providing top communications for our Everest expeditions. This allows us to obtain and deliver comprehensive weather forecasts via U.S., European and Kathmandu weather forecasting. Our lead guide is always equipped with a satellite phone during the climbing and at base camp. Two way radio communications between climbing members, guides, Sherpa and base camp staff is also provided. There is also local mobile network available at base camp that provides easy connection with your family during your stay at base camp.
Satori Adventure focuses on comfortable conditions at base camp, including good quality food and other services. We find this helps clients with their overall success rate on the mountain. Our cooks are regarded as the best in the business, providing wholesome and appetizing meals with an agreeable array of menus to suit all your food requirements. The meals you are served on the mountain are also of the highest standard and designed to sustain you for the rigorous ascent. We offer various choices that will suit any diet plan, including vegetarian, Vegan, continental, Indian and others.If you have special food consideration, please provide this to us 60 days prior to the expedition so we can plan the best meals for your trip.
The approach on its south side is through the Barun region of Nepal leading up to Sarsing Kharka Glacier. It starts with the flight to Tumlingtar and the trek via Num (1980m/6,496ft), Seduwa (1500m/4,922ft) , Tashigaoun(2100m/6,890ft), Khongma Danda(3500m/11483ft) ,Dobsto (3650m/11,975ft),Yangle Kharka (3600m/11,811ft), Langmale Kharka (4410m/14469ft), Makalu Base Camp (5018m/16,464ft) to Advance base Camp (5600m/18,373ft). It takes typically 12 days to reach ABC from Kathmandu.
When you arrive at base camp, our staff will set up the camp and you will have time to rest and continue to acclimate. Upon completing a Pooja ceremony at base camp, our team of Sherpa’s will begin to open the route to camp I. When this is completed, our guides will begin to take clients and loads to camp I. Depending on your physical fitness and bodies’ reaction to altitude, you may stay at camp I for a second night, or move up to camp II and then descend back to base camp.
Our team will then open the route and fix the lines to camp II and supply the camp with gear, equipment and food. If required for acclimation and if the weather conditions allow, you may sleep a second night at camp II, or proceed up to camp III and then return. During your rest and time at base camp our team will continue to open the route, fix the camp and line and supply food, oxygen, and equipment and prepare for the summit push.
After your camp I and II acclimatization, our climbing guides will check the weather forecast, group fitness and recovery conditions. If upcoming weather reports, your physical fitness and conditions are good, we will begin the summit push. On the summit push, you will move to camp I, camp II and then camp III before moving to the summit. At camp III you will awake at 0100 hours and begin the summit push.
If due to any reason (bad weather, group physical fitness, accident, incidence) we have to return to base camp before the summit push, but still have climbing time, good weather conditions and climbers are interested for another summit push, we will provide one more opportunity. However, more than 98% of climbers either summit on the first try, or give up the trip after the first summit attempt.
1849: Makalu was registered by Indian Topographical expedition as Peak XIII.
1921: Topographical expedition leaded by Howard Burey made the description of the Makalu region and took pictures of the summit.
1951:A group of Britains Everest Committee led by Eric Shenton located the routes on theSouth face.
1954: First attempts of ascents: American mountaineers leaded by W. Seyra climbed up to 7100 m via the Southern ridge. Britain mountaineers reached 6 500 m in the direction to the North col.
First Ascent 1955: May15th Jan Cusi and Leonel Terrey summitted Makalu via the North col.
1970: Japanese mountaineers Ch. Takanaka and I. Otsaki climbed the South-East ridge of Makalu.
1971: West ridge was climbed. Members of French expedition J. Senior and B. Millet summit Makalu
T1973: Makalu, South face was climbed. (Czech expedition, leaded by Ivan Galfi).
1976: Makalu, South-West face was climbed via the buttress (Czech expedition, leaded by Ivan Galfi). Climbers that reached the summited included: M. Krissak , K. Shubert and Spaniard J. Kamprubi.
1981: (autumn) After the unsuccessful attempt to climb the West face Kukuchka successfully soloed the North-West buttress.
1990: (spring) For the first time a woman climbed the West ridge as a member of an American expedition, via one of the most difficult routes up the peak. Kitty Kalon-Griss and Jott Chat reached the summit on the 18th of May, from an altitude of 7800m.
1997: The West face was successfully summited. The Russian expedition to the West Face of Makalu, lead by Sergey Efimov climbed to the top on 21st of May via the most difficult route. The last part of the route went on Parago ridge. Summiteers included: Alexei Bolotov, Yuri Ermachek, Dmitri Pavlenko, Igor Bugachevski and Nikolai Jiline. For this ascent they were awarded the "Golden ice-axe".
2001: Sherpa Lhakpa Dorje became the first climber in history to summit Makalu twice.
2009: On February 9th, Italian Simone Moro and Kazakh Denis Urubko became the first people to make a successful winter ascent of Makalu. This was the final Nepali 8000 meter peak to be climbed in the winter.