Makalu and Shipton La
Duration: 27 days Land Only
Trekking Days: 22
Maximum Altitude: 5,200m (optional peak 6,170m)
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The approach to Makalu’s base camp is reminiscent of early Himalayan expeditions, taking trekkers through a wild and sparsely inhabited region that is seldom seen by outsiders. The stark beauty of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain, 8463m, its glaciers and awesome granite south face can all be fully appreciated on this trek.
On the approach route, several days are spent in the lush and dramatic scenery of the Arun Valley before we trek over the Shipton La, a tough pass which offers sensational views of Makalu and Chamlang. We enter the Makalu-Barun National Park, which is known for its abundant bird populations and varied but elusive animals, among them snow leopard, forest leopard, red panda, grey wolf, Himalayan black bear and musk and barking deer.
Making our way up the valley, we reach first the low base camp, where we acclimatise for a day before ascending to the high base camp near the foot of the Chago Glacier. A free day in the area allows those who have fully acclimatised the chance to climb a 6170m peak which affords wonderful views of the whole region.