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Thread: Makalu base camp in fewer days

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Makalu base camp in fewer days

    Hello people. First post and possibly my first visit to Nepal! I'm planning the Makalu base camp trek in the final week of March this year. I've looked up a number of resources online and I've made some assumptions based on them. And based on those assumptions, I've drawn up a possible itinerary for the trek. I'd like suggestions from people who have been there.

    I'm pressed for time so I'm looking to do the trek in fewer days than the 20-25 days that agencies do it in. My broad itinerary is -

    Day From and to
    0 Delhi-Kathmandu-Tumlingtar
    1 Tumlingtar-Num (1500m)
    2 Num-Sedua (1493m)
    2 Sedua-Tashigaon (2100m)
    3 Tashigaon-Kauma (3760m)
    3 Kauma-Shipton La (4000+m)-Dobato (3700m)
    3 Dobato-Mumbuk (3520m)
    4 Mumbuk-Nehe Kharka (4320m)
    5 Rest and exploration day
    6 Nehe-Sherson (4500m)
    7 Sherson-Makalu base (4800m)
    8 Explore base camp
    9 Base camp-Mumbuk (3520m)
    10 Mumbuk-Tashigaon (2100m)
    11 Tashigaon-Num-Tumlingtar
    12 Tumlingtar-Kathmandu
    13 Explore Kathmandu
    14 Kathmandu-Delhi

    A lot of this is based on information in the route maps available online. I'll share some of them here-
    https://besthike.files.wordpress.com...makalu-map.gif
    http://www.snowyhorizon.com/page_gal...amp-trek72.jpg
    http://www.advzambuling.com/uploads/...1396246375.jpg

    I'm a fairly competent trekker and I'm perfectly aware of the risks of ascending too fast. With only second hand information, I can say I'm 60% confident that this can be done, that there are tea houses through the trail increases that confidence level. From what I gather, most of the days in this itinerary will be very long; I'm comfortable with 10 hours of walking per day.

    Does this look doable?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Makalu base camp in fewer days

    How much experience at high altitude have you got? Do you know how well and how fast you acclimatise?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Makalu base camp in fewer days

    I've got fairly good experience of high altitude. I've been on several treks in the Indian Himalayas and been at ~5000m more than a handful number of times. The quickest trek I've done was an ascent from 2000m to 4000m and back to 2000m without incident in 2 days. I've also walked multiple days in excess of 15km with a heavy backpack. I appreciate the risk - I know a lot about physiology at high altitude and I've personally tended to several sick trekkers (not a doctor, I work part time as a trek leader with an Indian agency).

    I'm a little skeptical because I know what it takes. In this itinerary I've clubbed some days together. I wont be foolhardy. That's why I'm keen on getting an idea from those who've been to MBC whether I could do this. If not, I'll switch to some other trek.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Makalu base camp in fewer days

    I haven't done this trek so all I can offer is my thoughts if I was planning this for myself.

    I acclimatise well and fast but I would be concerned with sleeping at 4800m after only seven days in the country let alone from starting the trek, I have done it but only on treks that I know very well and with much shorter stages. Should I have had problems then I would have had time and energy to slow down or go lower.

    In order to acclimatise well I need to stay very well hydrated, look after myself and sleep well. Travelling, doing double days and carrying a fair amount of kit all will work against me achieving that, the more tired you get the more you have to attend to the details, rest properly, drink all the time, get enough food down you. I *might* get away with it if everything works out perfectly but I would have no contingency plan should it prove harder than I expected, which is pretty likely.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Makalu base camp in fewer days

    I did do this trek in 2012, it was late November and many of the teahouses had shut. We had very basic camping equipment(and borrowed a bit more at Tashigoan plus food) as we were going elsewhere on the way back so were able to get by. I have no idea if late March would mean the teahouses would all be operating. Yes I found it hard. Not only the trekking but the logistics of jeeps to Num can be difficult. Your schedule is tough as you acknowledge but things like the climb after Thashigoan was the next Ďnormalí teahouse stop. There was a sort of teahouse at about 2900 we camped at then went to Mumbuk next day. I stopped earlier than you for a first acclimatisation day.
    Mostly you need check a map, itís the toughness of the trail in terms of drops and climbs (ie Num to Sedua) and the poor quality of the trail that will also impact you in places (ie slow going). Achieving day 11 will be a challenge.
    Donít know that helps and it could be that the teahouses and trail conditions are better now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs up Re: Makalu base camp in fewer days

    Hello nkedar,
    I did the trip about 4 years ago. Considering the background you provided, I think you can do it. But I have to tell you. You have a tight schedule there. Especially day 2 and 3. In general, most trekkers take 4 days for that section (well at least for me). Good luck with those days. If you can get through them as scheduled, I think the rest is achievable. It is always good to have a spare day on your back pocket (A 3 weeks trek-[at least] in 2 weeks.whee). Never know what happens. Fingers crossed. May bandhs-closures will not affect your journey like mine. Godspeed mate.

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