For A Glimpse of the Magnificient
Makalu (8463 M), the fifth highest mountain in the world, is considered one of the hardest 8000 M peaks to climb because of its steep exposed ridges. This is a challenging and rewarding trek through one of the least developed parts of Nepal. The trek starts from Khandbari, though one may sometimes find a jeep up to Num. Along the walk up to Num one can see terraced farming (a paradise of bright green) amidst the thickly wooded forest surroundings, in places where there are settlements. From Num the trail seems like a vertiginous drop to the Arun Kosi river and then begins a continuous ascent up to the village of Khongma. The whole region (upto Khongma ) is very dense forests.
It is no exaggeration, in saying a thick canopy of green extends as far as the eye can see. There is an eerie silence in these woods, broken once in a while by the sound of a stream or a waterfall. When the rays of sunlight filter through the occasional gap in the trees breaking the monotony of darkness one knows that there is a world beyond. If one thought the ascent to Khongma was tiring be prepared for more - as one crosses 3 passes the Ghugura La (Tutu la : 4050 M), Shipton La (4216 M) - named after Eric Shipton., and Keke La (4150 M) to Dobato. From Dobato the trail descends steeply into the Barun Valley and continues westward along the mighty Barun River, towards the picturesque campsite of Yangle Kharka. The whole trail beyond Yangle to Makalu base camp gives one a feeling that he is in paradise, with beautiful peaks named, rather unimaginatively, as Peak 3, Peak 4, and Peak 5 and so on till one reaches the mighty Makalu. It is a time to soak in the views. After a day spent in exploring the Makalu Base camp we retrace our steps.