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Makalu Expedition (8,463m / 26,747ft)

  • Overview
  • Spring Dep.
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  • History
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Facts of the Trip

Highest access: 8,463m (26,747ft)

Duration: 54 days (typically) Days

Location: Mahalangur Parbat

Grade: PD+ Scottish Grade III/IV

Himalayan sights: Everest Lhotse, Kanchanjungha

Accommodation: Five star hotel in Kathmandu

Transportation: Car, Flight, Tourist bus

Group Size: 02-10 person per Group

Best season: Late spring (traditionally less hazardous) and autumn

Major Activity: Trekking/Mountaineering

Include Activity: scenic flight to Tumlingtar

Country: Nepal

Airport: Kathmandu Airport

Departure From: Kathmandu Intl Airport

Meals: B/B plan in Kathmandu & B,L,D in during trekking and climbing

Culture: Sherpa and rai

First Ascent: J. Franco's French Expedition, the climbers Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray, 1955

Mode of Travel: Tea House/Camping

Climbing route: South East face

Co-ordinates: 27°53'23'' N / 87°05'20'' E

Mt. Makalu is the fifth highest mountain of the world and it is with 8463m elevation towering just 14 miles east of Mt. Everest is one of the isolated higher peak for climbing. Mt. Makalu is situated in the heart of the eastern Himalayas of Nepal and recently promoted for expedition. Mt. Makalu Expedition is covering a massive mountain, a prominence of 2386m and taking in to account surrounding deep valleys. The famous Arun valley in particular bottoming at 435m ASL; the climb of Makalu including the approach requires an ascent of over 8000m. With seven valleys radiating from Mt. Makalu and it’s almost symmetrical four ridges it presents an incredible symmetrical elegance.

The valleys around Mt. Makalu, in particular the Barun valley, are the home of pristine forests and alpine meadows of Nepal. Within this wide range of altitudes and climates, the Makalu-Barun area contains some of the richest and most diverse flora and fauna of Nepal. Diverse ethnic communities of Rai, Sherpa, and Shingsawa (Bhotia) have inhibited the lower parts of these valleys.

Due to the isolation of entire commercial world these communities are economically poor however they represent rich cultural heritage untouched by technology and world cultural influences. They are the custodians of Makalu-Barun unique biological and cultural treasures. Due to its relative inaccessibility, the area is little known to majority of the visitors, however, those who have visited, return home with unforgettable memories of the area and its people.

Mt. Makalu Expedition has proved to be a challenging climb in the history of expeditions. Thus only out of five of its first sixteen attempts were successful. Previously, it had been admired and studied by several Everest climbers, but like so many other giants in Khumbu region, it was not attempted until the summit of Everest had been attained in 1954. A French group first climbed Makalu in the year 1955.

Snowy Horizon expedition operation team had organized the Makalu Expedition in the year of 2013 and 15 on spring. Late Mr. Mika Samuli Mansikka had successfully attempted the mountain peak summit with his own effort that had lost his life in Annapurna 1 in spring 2015. Hence Snowy Horizon management had decided to operate the same Mt. Makalu Expedition Spring 2016 and 17 for providing opportunity to all technical and isolated mountain lovers.

11 April: Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and Hotel transfer.

12 April: Day 02: Preparation, briefings, last minute shopping and formalities.

13 April: Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and trek 5hrs to Mane Bhanjyang (1100m).

14 April: Day 04: Trek 5hrs from Mane Bhanjyang to Kuwapani (1420m); camping.

15 April: Day 05: Trek 6hrs from Kuwapani to Num (1800m); camping.

16 April: Day 06: Trek 5hrs from Num to Sheduwa (1510m); camping.

17 April: Day 07: Trek 6hrs from Sheduwa to Tashi Gaon (2070m); camping.

18 April: Day 08: Trek 6hrs from Tashi Gaon to Khongma (3760m); camping.

19 April: Day 09: Trek 5hrs from Khongma to Mumbuk (3550m); camping.

20 April: Day 10: Trek 4hrs from Mumbuk to Yangri Kharka (3600m); camping.

21 April: Day 11: Trek 6hrs from Yangri Kharka to Sherson (4800m) ; camping.

22 April: Day 12: Trek 6hrs from Sherson to Makalu Base Camp (4870m); camping.

23 April-22 May: Day 13-42:
Climbing period; summit Makalu (8463m).

23 May: Day 43: Preparation to return to Kathmandu; Clean Base Camp.

24 May: Day 44: Trek 5hrs from Base Camp to Yangri Kharka (3600m); camping.

25 May: Day 45: Trek 5hrs from Yangri Kharka to Mumbuk (3550m); camping.

26 May: Day 46: Trek 5hrs from Mumbuk to Tashi Gaon (3420m); camping.

27 May: Day 47: Trek 5hrs from Tashi Gaon to Num (1800m); camping.

28 May: Day 48: Trek 5hrs from Num to Chichira (1615m); camping.

29 May: Day 49: Trek 4hrs from Chichira to Tumlingtar (920m); camping.

30 May: Day 50: We take early morning flight from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu; hotel accommodation.

31 May: Day 51: After breakfast conduct city tour of Kathmandu which includes the World Heritage Sights in Kathmandu e.g. Kathmandu Durbar square, Swoyambhunath, Bouddhanath and Pashupatinath; evening farewell-Celebration dinner with domestic cultural dances.

01 June: Day 52: Transfer to the airport for final departure or alternatively join other activities.

Note:

  • Cost depends on Group size and Hotel Category in Hotels in Kathmandu.
  • The itinerary is changeable and modifiable as per needs and time frame of trekkers.
  • Cost will be re calculated if the itinerary is changed or modified.
  • Additional activities may be added as climbers request with appropriate additional cost.
  • For any kind of change please contact us by mail or call.

Expedition Cost:

  •  Negotiable and Depends on Group Size.

  •  Please Contact at info@trekkingagencynepal.com

Cost Includes

  • All arrival and departure transfers to and from Airport both domestic and international.
  • Snowy Horizon’s assistance in airport with its representative.
  • 4 Nights Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu on BB Plan as per itinerary.
  • Flight tickets for Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Kathmandu to the climbing member and his guide.
  • All camping equipments like camp furniture (table, chairs), kitchenware, kitchen, dining, guest and toilet tents in Advance Base Camp.
  • Three meals a day (BLD-tea-coffee) and twin sharing teahouse accommodation during trek, freshly cooked 3 meals, tea or coffee by Snowy professional cook in Base Camp.
  • Baggage allowance for trekking up and down is 40kg: 30kg ration per person.
  • Barun National Park entry fee.
  • TIMS card (Trekker’s Information Management System).
  • Expedition royalty and climbing permit for climbing Mt. Makalu.
  • Government appointed Liaison Officer during climbing period fully paid.
  • Wages, equipments, medical and accidental Insurances for staffs.
  • Required base camp food for climbing member and all involved staffs
  • .
  • Each expedition member will have an individual tent in the ABC.
  • Solar panel for light and battery charger in Base Camp.
  • One day city tour in Kathmandu as per itinerary.
  • National English-speaking tour guide for city tour in Kathmandu.
  • Satellite phone carrying by Guide for communication and available for members with the cost of US$ 4 per minute call.
  • First Aid medical kits for the Group and the staffs.
  • Free assistance service for cargo and duty clearance.
  • Our service charge and Government Taxes levied in Nepal.
  • Complete pre-departure information, flight ticket date change or reconfirmation and visa extension procedure assistance (where necessary).
  • Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu.
  • Snowy Horizon Special Gifts (T-shirt/Pashmina etc.).

Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner during your stay in Kathmandu (except for the farewell dinner).
  • Climbing Sherpa Guide, high altitude food and tents above ABC (Camp: 1-2-3-4).
  • Ropes, any other climbing gears and services above ABC (Camp:1-2-3-4)
  • Any packed food/snacks, aerated drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, nutria-bars or any other food consumed beyond the prescribed breakfast, lunch and dinner, etc.
  • Items of personal nature and laundry expenses.
  • Expenses incurred towards usage of landlines, mobiles, walkie-talkies or satellite phone and internet expenses.
  • Clothing, packing items or bags, personal medical kit, camera/video fees or trekking gears.
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, changes in Government regulations, etc.
  • Any additional staff other than specified.
  • Climbing guide, high altitude food, tents and other services above Advance Base Camp.
  • Rescue, repatriation, medicines, medical tests and hospitalization expenses.
  • Medical and travel Insurance with helicopter search and rescue.
  • Permits for walkie-talkies & filming if special camera.
  • Personal climbing gears.
  • Nepal custom duty for import of expedition goods.
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.
  • Any other item not mentioned in “THE PACKAGE COST INCLUDES” section.

Cost Includes

  • All arrival and departure transfers to and from Airport both domestic and international.
  • Snowy Horizon’s assistance in airport with its representative.
  • 4 Nights Hotel accommodations in Kathmandu on BB Plan as per itinerary.
  • 1:1 Experienced private climbing Sherpa guide during trek and climb (Makalu Summiteers).
  • Flight Ticket from Kathmandu- Tumlingtar-Kathmandu for group and member.
  • All camping equipment like camp furniture (table, chairs), kitchenware, kitchen, dining, guest and toilet tents in Advance Base Camp.
  • Three meals a day (BLD-tea-coffee) and twin sharing teahouse accommodation during trek, freshly cooked 3 meals, tea or coffee by Snowy professional cook in Base Camp.
  • Baggage allowance for trekking up and down is 60 kg: 40 kg ration per person.
  • Barun National Park entry fee.
  • TIMS card (Trekker’s Information Management System).
  • Expedition royalty and climbing permit for climbing Mt. Makalu.
  • Government appointed Liaison Officer during climbing period fully paid.
  • Wages, equipments, medical and accidental Insurances for Sherpa guide and other staffs.
  • Required base camp and high altitude food for climbing member and all involved staffs.
  • Required fixed and dynamic rope during climbing period.
  • Emergency oxygen mask and regulator upon requirement of guest with reliable charge.
  • Each expedition member will have an individual tent in the ABC.
  • One day city tour in Kathmandu as per itinerary.
  • National English-speaking tour guide for city tour in Kathmandu.
  • Satellite phone carrying by Guide for communication and available for members with the cost of US$ 4 per minute call.
  • 3 Oxygen Bottles (4L) with mask and regulators.
  • Solar panel for light and battery charger in Base Camp.
  • All tents for camp 1, 2, 3 and 4. Ice fall charges.
  • First Aid medical kits for the Group and the staffs.
  • Free assistance service for cargo and duty clearance.
  • Our service charge and Government Taxes levied in Nepal.
  • Complete pre-departure information, flight ticket date change or reconfirmation and visa extension procedure assistance (where necessary).
  • Farewell Dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu.
  • Snowy Horizon Special Gifts (T-shirt/Pashmina etc.).

Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner during your stay in Kathmandu (except for the farewell dinner).
  • Any packed food/snacks, aerated drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, nutria-bars or any other food consumed beyond the prescribed breakfast, lunch and dinner, etc.
  • Items of personal nature and laundry expenses.
  • Expenses incurred towards usage of landlines, mobiles, walkie-talkies or satellite phone and internet expenses.
  • Clothing, packing items or bags, personal medical kit, camera/video fees or trekking gears.
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, changes in Government regulations, etc.
  • Any additional staff other than specified.
  • Rescue, repatriation, medicines, medical tests and hospitalization expenses.
  • Medical and travel Insurance with helicopter search and rescue.
  • Permits for walkie-talkies & filming if special camera.
  • Personal climbing gears.
  • Nepal custom duty for import of expedition goods.
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.
  • Any other item not mentioned in “THE PACKAGE COST INCLUDES” section

Early Explorations and Ascents

1950: The peak is reconnoitred by the French expedition, led by Maurice Herzog; however they did not see a feasible route and switched their objective to Annapurna, where they succeeded in making the first ascent of an 8000 m peak.
1953-1958: Five expeditions attempted the North Face route.
1959: An Austrian expedition led by Fritz Moravec makes the first attempt on the Northeast Ridge, which will become the first ascent route the following year.

First Ascent

1960: First successful summit by Swiss-Austrian expedition.

First Routes, notable attempts

1969: Americans, led by Boyd Everett, attempt the Southeast Ridge; seven team members, including Everett, were died on the mountain.

first-ascent route

1970: The second ascent of Dhaulagiri, via the first-ascent route; Japanese expedition reach the summit on October 20

third ascent of Dhaulagiri

1973: An American team led by James Morrissey makes the third ascent of Dhaulagiri, via the first ascent route (Northeast Ridge).

1978 Spring: Takashi Amemiya returns, after unsuccessful attempt in 1975, with an expedition which puts five members on the summit via the Southwest Ridge; for the first time other route then Northeast Ridge was climbed;

Southeast Ridge ascent

1978 Autumn: Japanese expedition lead by Seiko Tanaka successfully climbs the very difficult Southeast Ridge. Four team members died during the ascent;

south ridge Ascent

1979: A Japanese expedition, led by a woman, Michiko Takahashi, climbs Dhaulagiri II via the east ridge and Dhaulagiri V via the south ridge. They place camps on the summits of both peaks, and members of the expedition make traverses along the 4 km (2.4 mi) intervening ridge, all above 7,150 m, in both directions.

1980: Two Polish climbers: Voytek Kurtyka and Ludwik Wiczyczynski, Frenchman René Ghilini and Scotsman Alex MacIntyre climbed the east face and topped out on the northeast ridge at 7500 meters;

1981: Yugoslav team reach 7,950 m after putting up the first route on the true South Face of the mountain;

monumental west face

1984: Three members of the Czechoslovakian expedition (J. Simon, K. Jakes, J. Stejskal) reached the summit via the monumental west face of the mountain. J. Simon died during the descent;

first winter ascent

1985: first winter ascent by Polish expedition including Jerzy Kukuczka via the standard route, summit on January 21;

1993: A Russian-British team puts up the Direct North Face Route;

first ever ski descent

2007: Fredrik Ericsson attempted its first ever ski descent. Bad weather and unstable snow conditions forced him to turn around at 7900 meters, but Ericsson skied more than 3000 vertical meters down to base camp.

An 8000 meter expedition refers to an expedition to one of the 17 tallest peaks in the world, which are all above 8,000 meters in altitude. Ten of these mountains are located in the Himalaya Range of Nepal. Summit bids for these 8000 meter mountains range in duration from 45 to 60 days from base camp. These 8000 meter mountains range in height from 8,091meters to 8,848 meters. The climbing permits for these peaks can be obtained from the Department of Tourism in Nepal and the Tibet mountaineering association in Tibet.

There are no restrictions to obtain climbing permits for these mountains. Any climber with appropriate fitness and skills can attempt an 8,000 meter mountain. However, our policy for accepting clients on these peaks requires the client to have previous experience on 6,000 to 7,000 meter peaks and general skills and knowledge with ice and rock climbing. Experience and knowledge of ascent and decent on fixed lines and the proper use of ice axe and crampons are also a plus. Attempting these types of peaks also requires excellent physical fitness and good health.

Snowy Horizon Treks and Expeditions operate 8,000 meter expeditions in both the spring and autumn climbing seasons. Climbing an 8,000 meter peak is a serious physiological and physical undertaking with snow climbing and some simple ice-climbing. It is considered by many 8000m climbing enthusiasts a pre-requisite for attempting Everest expedition. There is no other 8000M climbing or mountaineering experience required, but high level of endurance fitness will be require to start 8000m expedition. Previous 6000m or 7000m experience is fully support and confidence you for climb. Snowy Horizon will provide guided preparations for you. So, if you have good health, physical fitness and ice and rock climbing experience this

Our climbing Sherpa guides are experienced and highly qualified. Most were born in high altitude regions and have spent much of their lives above 4,000 meters. We provide extensive training to our guides in technical climbing as well as English, customer relationships and Wilderness First Aid. These guides are all certified mountain guides via the Nepal Mountaineering Association and generally have three former summits of the 8,000 meter peak that they are guiding.

Our high altitude Sherpa climbing guides are qualified through training with TAAN and NATHAM and have many years of experience. These workers are highly skilled in all aspects of Mountaineering in Nepal and hold a Nepal Government License and Mountaineering Association Accreditation. Our main objective is to provide high quality service with an experienced climbing staff where you have unforgettable trips. Our first priority is your safety and security and this is why we only use experienced climbing Sherpa guides. With our background in climbing, mountaineering, and logistical services, we understand requirements of independent climbers and employ experienced climbing guides.

To climb peaks of this altitude, fitness is very important, not only for the opportunity to succeed, but for the clients overall safety and enjoyment. Excellent physical fitness is required. Our guides like to tell clients, “Be in the best shape of your life”.

A licensed, trained and experienced climbing Sherpa Guide will lead all expeditions on 8,000 meter peaks above base camp. On the approach to base camp our teams may be lead by a licensed Sirdar or professional mountaineering/trekking guide.

Yes, Snowy Horizon representative will be waiting for you at the airport. Clients will need to collect their luggage, clear customs and proceed to the outside of the terminal. The Kathmandu International terminal is very small and once you exit the airport terminal, you should see our representative holding a placard with your name. We will then transfer you to the hotel. We monitor all client flights, so if your flight is delayed, we will adjust your pick-up time and be waiting for you.

Yes, all climbers are required to purchase adequate Travel Insurance, which include helicopter emergency evacuation. Insurance is not expensive compared to the cost of expedition and potential cost of evacuation.

You need to obtain your travel insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Your insurance should cover high altitude mountaineering, mountain rescue and helicopter supported medical transportation and rescue. These types of policies are readily available through many travel agents and/or our affiliates.

Spring and autumn are the best seasons for climbing in Nepal and more specifically September-October and April-May are great months. The season for climbing 8,000 meter peaks in Pakistan run from June through August.

There is no legal requirement to join a climbing group to climb an 8,000 meter peak, but if climbing in Tibet, the Tibet Mountaineering Association requires a minimum of two persons to issue the climbing permit. With that being said climbing solo is generally more expensive and much less safe. We highly recommend hiring a reputable guide service for a safe and secure summit opportunity.

Time requirements vary for different peaks and the variety of weather conditions. Generally most of 8,000 meter peaks require 25-30 days to summit once getting to base camp. This time can also vary depending on the approach, mountain location and elevation.

Persons below 16 years of age are restricted from climbing 8,000 meter peaks in the Himalaya of Nepal. Tibet does not allow persons under 18 years of age to climb 8,000 meter peaks.

On popular trekking trails we utilize lodges/ guest houses and the meals will be provided by the lodges. Menu meals are often available including soups, noodles, rice, and dishes. On certain 8,000 meter trekking routes, lodges and guest houses may be limited, or not available. In these instances, accommodations will be via tents and the meals will be provided by our staff. While in base camp our expedition cooks will prepare meals and above base camp the meals will be provided by our climbing Sherpa.

Communication will vary greatly depending on the location. Most trekking routes have local VHF phones and increasingly more places get mobile coverage from a variety of carriers. In remote areas, communication is generally not available, or on a very limited basis. Some options are for the clients to use a Satellite communication device like a Delorme, or a satellite phone.

At high altitude your cardio-pulmonary system is affected by low oxygen density and you can suffer from general breathing difficulties to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). AMS is generally manageable through appropriate trekking pace, proper acclimatization and proper diet and hydration. Sunburn can also be an issue at altitude, so the use of sunscreen and appropriate clothing is important.

Simply click on COST INCLUDED, table where you will find a list of everything that is included on your expedition. . If you have any questions, please contact Snowy horizon treks at info@trekkingagencynepal.com .

Most of the 8,000 meter expedition equipment, food, climbing and personal gear will be delivered by jeep, truck and flight. After that we will use Yaks, porters, or mules to reach base camp or advanced base camp. With full board service, porters will also assist in carrying the clients gear to the higher camps. We provide a personal climbing Sherpa guide (1:1 ratio). This personal climbing Sherpa guide will take your gear as well as camping gear and food to camps 1, 2, 3 and 4 (as requested), setup your tent and prepare your high altitude food. If you share climbing Sherpa service you will be expected to contribute by carrying light loads to the high camps. If you use base camp logistic service only, then you have to carry your food, equipment, tents, and climbing gear on your own and open the route.

We employ trained and experienced high altitude expedition cooks and provide tasty, nutritious and healthy food. There will be lots of emphasis on carbohydrates, which is needed as a source of energy and they are also much easier to digest. We will attempt to provide fresh vegetable as much as possible and our cooks have a wide range of culinary repertoire and expedition members are encouraged to request their personal favorites to promote good appetite and consumption of adequate amount of calories despite general high altitude lack of appetite. Different flavors of tea as well as coffee, snacks, juice and hot water will be available 24 hours.

In the high camps we utilize freeze dried packaged foods from the USA or UK. They offer a variety of flavors, good quality and tasty meals. Your personal climbing Sherpa will melt sufficient ice for hot water, tee, coffee and verity of juice. At camp one, it may be possible to supply food from base camp.

The Advance Base Camp is always located at the glacier moraine and it is protected from landslides and avalanches. Camp 1 and 2 are generally located in a safe location, however camp 1 has to be chosen wisely due to some areas are prone to heavy snow accumulation. Camp 3 is located below the yellow band on a steep slope potentially prone to micro avalanches and sloth with fresh snow conditions.

All foreign visitors except Indian nationals are required to obtain a Nepal visa. These visas are generally easy to obtain upon arrival at the airport. China, some African countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan are more difficult and generally require more time. Since spring 2015 Nepal Immigration has introduced a computerized automated visa system making the arrival immigration process fast and convenient. For Tibet expeditions you will need a two week single entry visa on arrival and a two week single entry visa on departure, which will cost US$ 25.00 per two weeks. Most of the 8,000 meter Himalaya expeditions will be more than 40 days, so we advise that you obtain a three month multiple entry visa which will cost US$ 100.00. If you are going to leave Nepal within 24 hours you may request free transit visa.

Yes, you are required to obtain a visa to enter Tibet. We will arrange this visa for you with the Chinese Embassy during your preparation period in Kathmandu. This will allow us to collect the visa and climbing permit at the same time. You will not need to obtain a Chinese visa and a main land Chinese visa does not work in Tibet.

We use a jeep or mini bus to travel to Kodari. Upon crossing the Tiber border, the Tibet Mountain Association (TMA) will provide transportation by jeep and hotel accommodation in Zhangmu, Nylam and Tingri, on the way to the Chinese base camp and back to the border. After acclimating for two days at the Chinese base camp, we will trek for two days to reach advanced base camp.

Yes, the climbing permit is included in the package and we will organize the permit, visa and transport service from border to the base camp provided by CMA (Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association). CTMA has the monopoly for the service as the Chinese government imposes strict control over foreigners travelling through Tibet.

In Kathmandu we provide the requested category of hotel accommodation which is located in quiet part of Thamel. In Tibet, CTMA provides transportation and accommodation services between the border and the base camp. The accommodations provided by CTMA is very basic, but due to Chinese policies we have no control or influence over these accommodations.

Our experience tells us that a two sleeping bag system works well for 8,000 meter peaks. One sleeping bag is utilized and kept in base camp. This bag should be rated -20 to -25 C and the second bag used in the high camps should be rated -30 to -40 C. When traveling in Tibet, blankets are available in the lodges in Nylam and Tingri, but some clients prefer to use their -20°C sleeping bag in the lodges.

Snowy horizon will provide a thick quality pad for use in base camp and advance base camp. You will need to provide your own sleeping pad for the higher camps. Foam pads generally work best, but some clients prefer air mattresses.

Please click on the climbing equipment list where you will find the recommended climbing gear list. If you need further information please contact us at  info@trekkingagencynepal.com
We recommend you to purchasing down gear as well as fleece and Gore-Tex jackets from the brand quality such as North face, Ozark, Marmot.  In 8000m expedition we advice to use One sport  millet or La-sportiva   climbing boots,  personal gear is one of the major factor for mountaineering for successful summit opportunity. in personal gear for trekking, climbing and mountaineering due to innovative design and high quality manufacturing equivalent or better, for Himalayan use, to leading western brands.
You will also require basic climbing gear such as helmet, Ice-axe, crampons, climbing and trekking boots and following climbing hardware: alpine style of harness (Black Diamond Alpine Bod), ascender device, rappel device, minimum 4 karabiners (2 locking and 2 non-locking) and 4 Prusik loops (2 long and two short. Your info pack will contain details.

There are several options for acclimation for Cho Oyu. Ascending a 6,000 meter peak prior to an 8,000 meter peak is a good option. Some of our clients take advantage of our climbs of Mera Peak, Lobuche Peak, Island Peak and Pisang Peak before attempting Cho Oyu. These peaks will provide acclimatization to 6,000 meters, which is equivalent to the altitude between camp1 and camp 2 on most 8,000 meter peaks. If you don't have the time or resources you can acclimatize during the trip from the border to base camp. Most of the 8,000 meter expeditions you will ascend and descend several times between from base camp to the higher camps.

The risks during an 8,000 meter climb are developing AMS, gastric problems, physical injury, or frostbite. SNOWY HORIZON maintains programs and procedures to prevent and avoid all the above. Each team has an appropriately equipped and up-to-date First Aid Kit, trained staff to use this equipment. We require each group member have valid Travel Insurance, which allows Medivac in case of emergency. We treat AMS, gastric issues, bleeding and frostbite with more serious issues requiring emergency evacuation. There is no helicopter rescue available in Tibet, therefore all rescues are by Jeep and manpower and in Nepal manpower and helicopters rescue. There are some risks associated with natural disasters such as snowfall, avalanches, landslides and potential earthquakes. We have developed western style and quality emergency and evacuation procedures to ensure safety on our expeditions, which include back-up communication devices to our office in Kathmandu to assists us with any emergency. In case of road blockages during massive landslides or earthquakes we will evacuate the expedition members via plane through Lhasa in Tibet and helicopter in Nepal. Such an evacuation is considered emergency evacuation due to a natural disaster and the cost of airfare or helicopter should be covered by your travel insurance.

Acute Altitude Sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to the decreasing amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available for the body to carry on normal functions. This is caused by decreased partial pressure of Oxygen, a difference between external and intercellular pressures.
Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 3000 meters (9,842 ft) but this is different for everyone - there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at the altitude, thus it is vital you monitor your own health.  Generally higher cardiovascular fitness decreases susceptibility to AMS. Symptoms of AMS may be mild and subside/go away after a day's rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to serious health issues including death. All biking adventure participants are required to purchase adequate Travel Insurance, which doesn't exclude helicopter emergency evacuation.
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep or drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Swelling of hands, feet & face

Symptoms generally associated with more severe Acute Mountain Sickness include:

  • Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis)
  • Chest tightness or congestion
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
  • Grey or pale complexion
  • Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
  • Shortness of breath at rest

At high altitude all people will experience some of the above symptoms in a mild form. If the body is unable to adjust to altitude these symptoms will persist and, if they are left untreated, altitude sickness may progress to High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Edema means simply fluid accumulation in your interstitial body tissues. Both HACE and HAPE can be fatal if ignored.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HAPE (fluid in the lungs)?

  • Breathlessness
  • A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
  • Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
  • Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
  • Severe fatigue, progressing to coma

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HACE (fluid in the brain)?

  • Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
  • Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Blurred or double vision/retinal haemorrhage

Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness - it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness by:

  • Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body
  • Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
  • Drinking plenty of water; the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colourless urine
  • Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
  • Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m above 2,400m
  • Sleep at a lower altitude when possible
  • Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatize by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for AMS is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages.
Our guides have training and experience in AMS symptoms recognition, prevention and treatment. The guide will monitor you all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS. We ask you to cooperate with the guide by reporting any above described symptoms and allow your guide to undertake appropriate and timely action such as take a rest and have a drink or snack, help to carry your day pack or change a pace, take an extra day of rest or descend if necessary.
Your guide will carry some medications in the group first aid kit and may suggest medication such as Ibuprophen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication.  Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination.  Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.

With severe cases of AMS our guide will contact our Kathmandu office and arrange your evacuation by helicopter.  Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.

An expedition on Cho Oyu is a very serious physical and physiological undertaking with some technical aspects.  Excellent physical condition is a must.   Many of our clients for Cho Oyu expeditions are cyclist, recreational runners and fitness enthusiast.   Some of these clients ride 50 to 100 km bike rides, run marathons, or compete in triathlons.  If clients are participating in these are similar fitness endeavors, the next step would be to ramp up your training for 3-4 months prior to the expedition.  This should adequately prepare you for this kind of trip.  This 3-4 months of training should consist of running three to four times weekly trying to get your 10km within 1 hour or 100km road ride within 5 hours, which will mean that you can sustain the pace needed for this trip.   To help prepare, you should incorporate outdoor step training or riding hills a minimum of twice a week. The more hills and steps you manage to get in, the more prepared you will be for the expedition. 
There is section of 10m ice cliffs from where you need to be able to rappel with confidence. We offer rappel clinics in Australia, so please contact us about it.

Our expeditions are scheduled during spring and autumn, with the climbing window scheduled for the monsoon change period.  This allows us to have a summit bid when the wind stops on most 8,000 meter peaks for a few weeks before the monsoon changes direction.   The difference between spring and autumn expeditions is the change of temperatures from cold to warmer and from warmer to colder respectively.

Complete the booking form on the related trip on the booking page.  Select the size of your group and required services and obtain our price for your group.  Simply click on BOOK NOW/INQUIRE FORM button and give us required details.   In order to secure your booking we require a 30% deposit for your trip.  We will also require a scanned page of your passport, JPG format of your passport photos suitable for printing and your arriving flight details.  An additional 30% of trip cost should be paid as a 2nd installment at least 15 days prior to leaving your country of residence.  The balance should be paid in Kathmandu upon arrival. 
For more details about booking process and down payments please visit below links.
http://www.trekkingagencynepal.com/terms_conditions.php
http://www.trekkingagencynepal.com/how_to_book_trek_in_nepal.php

When you arrive at base camp, our staff will set up the camp and you will have time to rest and preparation for proper acclimation.  Upon completing a Pooja ceremony at base camp, the climbing Sherpa guide will open the route and set up camp 1.  Once the camp is set up, clients will be taken to camp 1 to acclimate.  Depending on your physical fitness and bodies’ reaction to altitude, you may stay at camp 1 for another night, or move up to camp 2 and then descend back to base camp. 

Next our high altitude Sherpa guide will open the route and fix lines to camp two and supply gear, equipment and food.  We will then provide a similar acclimatization.  If  required and the weather conditions allow, they will allow you to sleep one more night at camp 2 and then return back to base camp via camp one.  During your rest and time at base camp our Sherpa guide will open the route, fix the camp and line and supply food, oxygen, and equipment and prepare for the summit push.

After your camp one and two acclimatization, our climbing Sherpa guide will check the weather forecast, group fitness and recovery conditions.  If upcoming weather reports, your physical fitness and Sherpa guide conditions are good, we will begin the summit push. On the summit push, you will move to camp 1, camp 2 and then camp 3 before moving to the summit.  At camp 3 you will awake at 01:00 hours and begin the summit push.

If due to any reason (bad weather, group physical fitness, accident, incidence) we have to return base camp before summit push, but still we have climbing duration, weather condition and climbers are interested for re-try we will provide once more opportunity. However, more than 98% people either success or give up the trip after first trying to summit with camp one, two and three experience and acclimatize.

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