Itahari: The trek to the fifth
tallest peak in the planet Mt. Makalu is not an easy idea. The approximate two-week
long trek, Makalu Base Camp (MBC) is one of the least trekked Himalayan base
camps in Nepal. MBC is equipped with good teahouses and hotels. There is good
availability of accommodation and fooding along MBC route. There are mainly 12
venues for accommodation along the trekking route. These teahouses have average
quality for both food and accommodation for trekkers.
Num is the gateway to the Makalu Base Camp. The road connecting district headquarters of Sankhuwasabha, Khandbari to Num is the ultimate road that exists along the way to MBC trek. It is located at an altitude of around 1500 meters. There are plenty of hotels and teahouses in Num. Kopila Hotel and Sherpa Guest House are some noted teahouses in the bazaar. The bazaar is also the entry point to two other important areas like the working site of Arun-3 and Kimathanka border crossing. Num is the headquarters of local government named Makalu Rural Municipality and the ward headquarters of ward number five. The walking starts from Num. Before Num, trekkers would have to trek from Khandbari via Chichila and Deurali.
Seduwa is the first camp after a half-day walk from Num. It has also an altitude of around 1500 meter from the sea level. Seduwa hosts an entry point of Makalu Barun National Part for climbers and trekkers of MBC. It has some good local home-stays and other accommodation facilities. There are six registered home-stays giving good accommodation and meals. Solar power is the only available electricity facility in Seduwa. In times of foggy days or heavy downpour, there might be woes of electricity just to charge mobile phone.
3. Tashi Gaun
This Himalayan hamlet is the last available village along the MBC route. It is reached after a day walk from Seduwa, some fast-paced walker can come directly from Num. Its altitude is 2200 meter from the sea level. Having enveloped with Sherpa culture and traditions, Tashi Gaun has touristic magnet to attract all visitors. There are six registered home-stays in the hamlet. Tashi Gaun is the best Sherpa hamlet for firsthand experience of the typical Sherpa community.
4. Danda Kharka
Danda Kharka for general trekkers is the venue to have lunch after a morning walk from Tashi Gaun. Some trekkers stay overnight also. It is located at an altitude of around 2800 meters from the sea level. Two teahouses offer services to the trekkers.
Located at 3500 meter height from the sea level, Khongma, is the first major stop after the nearest hamlet of Tashi Gaun. There are three teahouses in Khongma. Many trekkers having high altitude issue start feeling some symptoms of High-altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High-altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) feel it here.
6. Thulo Danda (Shipton Pass)
This venue is located at an altitude of 4200 meter from sea level. Local call it Thulo Danda but foreigners call it Shipton La pass. Shipton La pass is named after famous climber Eric Shipton. There are two teahouses in Thulo Danda. Trekkers do stay here for their daytime meal.
Dobato is located at around 3400-meter height. There is the only teahouse in Dobato. Trekkers generally come to stay here after a daylong trek from Khongma.
Fematang is located at an altitude of 3483 meter from the sea level. Barun river flows through the edge of this location. There is only teahouse in Fematang.
9. Yangle Kharka
Yangle Kharka is not just the venue for MBC trek; it is also the base camp of famous Shiva shrine of Shiva Dhara. It is located at an altitude of 3600 meter. There are three teahouses in Yangle Kharka. Like Fematang, Yangle Kharka is also located on the bank of Barun river.
Three-hour walk from Yangle Kharka, Tadosa is the lunchtime venue of MBC trek. There is only teahouse in this area. It is located at an altitude of 3800 meters.
It is the second last camp along the MBC trek route from Num. There is only teahouse at this area located at an altitude of 4410 meter from the sea level. Trekkers return to this venue after reaching the MBC.
12. Makalu Base Camp
Makalu Base Camp is located at an altitude of 4870 meter. However, trekkers have to descend to the base camp from around 5000-meter altitude. There are three teahouses in the base camp. The Mt. Makalu is clearly visible from the base camp. The Everest base camp does not have peak views. However, Makalu Base Camp does have clear views of the the summit of the Mt. Makalu.