Makalu is a close neighbor of Mount Everest, lying in the northeast region of Nepal. Besides, the Makalu Barun National Park in the region offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas. This region is blessed with an incredible diversity of natural beauty and culture.
1. Standing apart from the rest, a mountain named after God
The name “Makalu” is derived from the Sanskrit Maha Kala, a name for the Hindu god Shiva that translates “Big Black.” It is in Nepal’s Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area. One of the eight-thousanders, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid.
2. Test yourself! It is not an easy feat
Makalu is one of the harder eight-thousanders and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock or ice climbing.
3. The first summiteers and the pioneers of the present route
The first attempt on Mt. Makalu was made by an American team led by William Siri in the spring of 1954. The French team that did the first ascent in 1955 climbed the north face and northeast ridge, today’s standard route, and placed nine climbers, including one Sherpa, on the summit.
4. Off the beaten trail, truly untouched beauty
Due to its isolation and lack of tea houses this area still receives few trekkers. This is one of the most remote and unfrequented trekking areas of Nepal. It is also known as off beaten area by the trekkers because of the geographical remoteness as well as adverse climatic condition, which normally caused hazardous mountain sickness.
5. The fusion of race, culture and heritage
Gurung, Rai and Sherpa are the main habitants in this region. Settlements of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) are farmers. Though economically poor and isolated, they retain a rich cultural heritage. They hold the key to the preservation of the unique biological and cultural treasures of the Makalu Barun area.
6. Makalu-Barun valley, sanctuary of the exotic wildlife
Makalu-Barun Valley is a Himalayan glacier valley situated at the base of Mt. Makalu in the Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. This valley lies entirely inside the Makalu Barun National Park. The park of 2330sqkm is bordered by the Arun River in the east and the Sagarmatha National Park in the west. Barun Valley is a sanctuary for wild animals such as wolves, lynx, fox and the elusive snow leopard.
7. Undisturbed beauty, rare glimpses of the unique flora
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.
8. A border to two beautiful Himalayan regions
Makalu has two notable subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse (Makalu II 7,678 m) lies about 3 km north-northwest of the main summit. Rising about 5 km north-northeast of the main summit across a broad plateau and connected to Kangchungtse is Chomo Lonzo (7,804 m). The summit ridge is the border between Nepal and Tibet.
9. Makalu Region a true destination for the wild at heart
Makalu region, rich for natural paradise, includes beautiful mountains. The grand vistas include views of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Chamlang (7,319m), Mt. Baruntse (7,129m), Mera Peak (6,654m) and other Nepal known peaks. The area contains 25 species of rhododendron, 47 types of orchids, and 56 rare plants. Snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, and wild boar are among the wildlife found here.