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Highlights of Makalu Trek

Abhishek Subedi August 6, 2020

Makalu Trek is a beautiful journey that lets you taste the real adventure of walking inside the Makalu Barun National Park to Makalu Base Camp. The region offers some magnificent views of mountains like Mt. Makalu with other peaks like Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Baruntse. The lush scenery of Arun Valley is probably the most beautiful thing that will keep you going throughout your journey. Though many people keep their interest in this trek, Makalu region attracts only few travellers during a year due to its remote accessibility and off the beaten trekking trail.  Taking about the difficulty on the way and trail, the trail to Makalu Base Camp is never flat. You will either be ascending up or descending down which makes the trek difficult and tiring. 

But the difficulty that you faced along your way is nothing as compared to the magnificence of nature that you will enjoy. The rhododendron forests, beautiful cliffs, glaciers and stunning waterfalls that you encounter in the way will make your trek full of wonders and excitement. As you stand tall in the Makalu Base Camp, all you can do is let your eye wander from one peak to another with the majestic Mt. Makalu rising tall right in front of your eyes.

Highlights of Makalu Trek

About the Trek

You can encounter some rare birds and animals in your journey if lucky. Similarly, interaction with local people on the way will give us some insights on their culture, lifestyle and tradition. People here are engaged in agriculture for livelihood. You can see beautiful fields as you pass through villages. The people are friendly which makes your journey more lively and homely. Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world (8,481m), yet the trek to its base camp is a less-frequented route due to its relative inaccessibility.

Deeper into the mountains, past the Barun River Valley, you will pass steep granite cliffs, glaciers, and spectacular waterfalls. At the higher elevations live the Sherpa people, an ethnically Tibetan group who predominantly reside near Everest. From Makalu Base Camp there are spectacular views of the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest, as well as Lhotse, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga in the far east. The Makalu Barun National Park is the eighth largest in Nepal, covering 2,330 sq. km, and is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in Nepal, including the Red Panda. The trek starts in warm, terraced farmland inhabited by the Rai people, an ethnic group found predominantly in the hills of eastern Nepal.

1. Barun Valley

If you are in Barun Valley, you will see vast green meadows covered with flowers in a horde of colours on the one hand, while on the other, you will find mighty snow-dusted mountain peaks with numerous waterfalls. The place is so stunning it will leave you spellbound and make you feel like you are in paradise! Barun Valley even holds significance in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and has a National Park containing a diverse array of wildlife. The area around the incredible alley does not have any human habitation and is only visited by the few trekkers en route to Makalu Base Camp. 

Highlights of Makalu Trek

The Barun Valley Trek is still under the radar for most travelers visiting Nepal. Because of this, you will have much of the trail all to yourself as you walk for days on end through the pristine landscape.
Give your mind a break from the tedium and stress of everyday life and step into the mountains. Focus on the beauty of the little things as you inhale the fresh air and feel the wind against your body. Even the rhythm of your own footsteps will put you at ease. Much of the trail is completely uninhabited and requires tent camping. Sleeping outside under the shadow of the Himalayas adds an additional dimension of excitement. Similarly, you will have a closer experience with Mother Nature. Realize that you are not separate from nature, but in coexistence with it. 

2. Majestic Mountain Views

In the lap of Himalayas, we can expect only one view with clear expectation, the mountains, and its Ranges. The first and last sunlight in the snow-capped mountains gives you the feeling of something which can never be achieved by anything else. The beauty one can find in such mountains is almost out of the world. Apart from the view of Mt. Everest, the view of other mountains like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, etc. surrounding the valley is more appealing. 

3. Mt Makalu 

The fifth highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu is a part of the Mahalangur Himalayas that lies southeast of Mount Everest on the border between Nepal and China. Moreover, an isolated peak, Makalu’s shape is a four-sided pyramid. Kang Chun Tse and Chomo Lonzo, the two notable subsidiary peaks of Mount Makalu also add an ethereal feel to the peak. Makalu was first submitted on May 15, 1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition. 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 that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid also involves technical rock/ice climbing. Notable feature of visiting Mount Makalu is the beautiful Makalu-Barun Valley. 

Highlights of Makalu Trek

About the Mt. Makalu

A Himalayan glacier valley situated at the base of Makalu in the Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal. Similarly, the Makalu Barun Valley lies entirely inside the Makalu Barun National Park. Brimming with stunning contrasts, where high waterfalls cascade into deep gorges, craggy rocks rise from lush green forests, and colorful flowers bloom beneath white snow peaks, the valley has a unique landscape that shelters some of the last pristine mountain ecosystems on Earth. Relatively undisturbed by human kind, rare species of animals and plants flourish in diverse climates and habitats. 

With its name derived from the Sanskrit word “Maha Kala”, Makalu is a name of the Hindu God Shiva that translates to “the Big Black” in literal English. Due to its isolation, Mount Makalu receives few trekkers- making it an off-the-beaten-paths destination. With Gurung, Rai and Sherpa people inhabiting the region, Makalu Base Camp Trek. Moreover, it is a journey that is culturally rich and provides unique biological and traditional treasures of the Makalu Barun area. Barun Valley is also a sanctuary for animals like wolves, lynxes, foxes and beautiful snow-leopards.

4. Makalu Base Camp 

The Makalu Base Camp trek is an ideal trek for nature-loving trekkers who want to experience a variety of landscapes and cultures. As well as uncommon views of some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Everest. The trek starts in warm, terraced farmland inhabited by the Rai people, an ethnic group found predominantly in the hills of eastern Nepal. As the route ascends, you will pass through rhododendron forests (most impressive in the spring. When the flowers bloom amazing red, purple, pink and white) and cloud forests, through some of the last areas of pristine forest and alpine meadows in Nepal.

Deeper into the mountains, past the Barun River Valley, you will pass steep granite cliffs, glaciers, and spectacular waterfalls. At the higher elevations live the Sherpa people, an ethnically Tibetan group who predominantly reside near Everest. From Makalu Base Camp there are spectacular views of the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest, as well as Lhotse, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga in the far east. The Makalu Barun National Park is the eighth largest in Nepal, covering 2,330 sq. km, and is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in Nepal, including the Red Panda.

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