Mount Makalu is the fifth highest peak in the world and it lies in Nepal with vibrant beauty and colors. Situated on the border of Nepal and Tibet, Mount Makalu calls hundreds and thousands of global climbers to its lap, for trekking and expedition. But climbing Makalu is not an easy feat – you require several preparations and strategic plans to succeed in the climbing mission.
Among them, cost is one of the most important things that should be planned and prepared beforehand. Many people might wonder how much it costs to climb Mount Makalu. Well, we are here with answers. There are several factors such as permit and visa fees, transportation, food, accommodation, and others that contribute to the increase and decrease of the total cost to climbing Mount Makalu. Read the following blog to uncover all the essential information regarding the cost of climbing Makalu in Nepal.
Cost Breakdown of Climbing Mount Makalu
Arriving At Nepal | Visa Cost
To embark on the Mount Makalu Expedition, you first must arrive in Nepal. This is a global international rule to acquire a visa to be eligible to stay in any country legally for a certain period. So, upon arriving in Nepal, climbers must obtain a visa to ensure their legal stay in Nepal when they climb Mount Makalu.
Nepal Visa can be acquired at Tribhuvan International Airport after arriving from your home country. The Immigration Office, managed under the Department of Immigration, facilitates tourists flying to Nepal. You can get an ‘On Arrival’ Visa at the Airport, which is quick and simple. If you missed it from there, you could get it from the Embassy of your respective country in Kathmandu.
If you acquire your visa from Nepalese Diplomatic Missions, your arrival in Nepal should be within six months of its issue date. Since the climbers will be visiting Nepal for tourism, they are recommended to get a Tourist Visa, which might differ from others. The tourist visas will carry information of your purpose of visit and length of stay in Nepal.
Three timeframes for Tourist Visas should be noticed while purchasing it. The first one has a validity of 15 Days, which costs around USD 30 per person. Similarly, the next one is for 30 30-day validity. While the validity date increases, the cost of the visa also rises significantly. Here, the 30 Days Valid Visa costs you around USD 50 per person.
Last but not least, there is a long-term validation Visa, which is valid for 90 days. And it costs USD 125 per person. Tourists looking forward to embarking on long treks, extended tours, and expedition packages will likely get this visa. We also recommend climbers purchase the 90-day visa since our Mount Makalu Expedition itinerary exceeds a month.
|15 Days||30 USD|
|30 Days||50 USD|
|90 Days||125 USD|
To scale the beautiful peak of Mount Makalu, mountaineers must acquire a climbing permit from the Nepal Government. This permit is offered by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), and it comes with different price variations, which we will delve into in this article.
The cost of acquiring the climbing permit for Mount Makalu differs from one season to another. The permit prices are comparatively higher, especially during peak seasons like Spring and Autumn. The cost of Mount Makalu Climbing Permit is around USD 1800 per person in Spring. This only for the license to climb the peak and it does not include any other facilities and services for the climbers.
Similarly, the Autumn Season comes with the second-most expensive climbing permit, with a price tag of USD 900 per person. Lastly, acquiring a climbing permit for Mount Makalu costs around USD 450 per person in an off-season expedition time frame like Monsoon and Winter.
|Spring||USD 1800 per person|
|Autumn||USD 900 per person|
|Winter & Monsoon||USD 450 per person|
Entry Permits and Cost:
Talking about the entry permits and their cost, climbers must obtain several entry permits for the Makalu Expedition package. There are two entry permits required for this journey, and they are:
- Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit
- TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System)
The Makalu Barun National Park Entry Fee: It is the mandatory permit required for this journey. Mount Makalu is one of Nepal’s attractions in Makalu Barun National Park. It is a protected land area in Nepal that was established as the extension of the Sagarmatha National Park in 1992. It is home to several endangered animals like Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Danphe Munal, Blue Sheep, and many others. Similarly, it offers a sanctuary to more than 84 varieties of fish and 400 species of birds.
So, the Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit came into action, targeting the region’s wildlife to be secured and safe. This permit is essential to track down the activities of trekkers and mountaineers.
Talking about the cost of the Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit is around NRS. 3000 per person for foreign trekkers. Similarly, trekkers from the SAARC Nations must pay around NRS. 1000 per person to obtain this license. The Nepalese Trekkers are the most privileged in terms of price, as the cost is only NRS. 100 for them.
|For Foreign Tourists||NRS. 3000|
|SAARC Nationals||NRS. 1000|
|Nepalese Tourists||NRS. 100|
TIMS Card: It is another essential permit for climbing Mount Makalu. Trekkers’ Information Management System or TIMS Card helps the local authority to track the tourists’ records in the region. Similarly, it helps to gain the statistics of the total tourists gained in a certain period.
To obtain this permit, climbers must pay NRs. 2000 per person for foreign tourists. The cost is NRS. 1000 for the SAARC Nationals, while the Nepalese Tourists must pay only NRS. 100 per person for TIMS Card.
The cost of transportation is the least prioritized section during travel, but it should be one of the most emphasized. Transportation plays a vital role in the Makalu Expedition, and allocating enough budget should be very important.
The first thing to remember is that climbers must embark on a flight from Kathmandu to reach the nearby destination from Mount Makalu. And then, the journey to Makalu Base Camp starts from where the actual climb starts.
Climbers can get a bus from Kathmandu Bus Park to Tumlingtar. If your travel agency offers you transportation services, the cost will be added to the overall package cost. But if that’s not the case, you must pay the transportation cost, which might range anywhere from NRS. 3000 to 5000, depending on the level of comfort and services.
Similarly, from Tumlingtar, mountaineers must embark on another drive to Num Village, which will cost you extra budget. So make sure that you have allocated enough budget for transportation as well.
Accommodation is another important factor that contributes to the cost of climbing Mount Makalu. The standard duration of the Mount Makalu Expedition package ranges from 45 to 50 days, so climbers must know their accommodation costs for such a long period.
There are three types of accommodation services you can opt for during this journey. The first one is staying at a hotel. While you are in Kathmandu, Tumlingtar, and Num, there are plenty of hotels and lodges where you can stay safely. These hotels have attached bathrooms, hot showers, and 24/7 electricity & internet services. Similarly, the cost is comparatively higher than other options.
The average cost of staying at a hotel might cost you anywhere from $10 to $50 per night, depending on the level of services you enjoy.
Similarly, climbers can stay at Tea Houses en route to Mount Makalu. Plenty of Tea Houses offer accommodation and food services while reaching the lap of Makalu, Makalu Base Camp. These accommodation services have amenities like shared bedrooms or dormitories, shared bathrooms, and sometimes internet facilities.
The average cost of staying at Tea Houses is around $7 to $15 per night.
Last but not least, there is an option for camping as well. Climbers can stay in a tented camp, excluding the hotel and Tea house services. But they must carry their gear, food, and utensils. In high-altitude locations, such as Mera and Makalu Base Camp, you cannot find any tea houses or lodges to stay. So, the only option left is staying at a camp.
Some trekking agencies offer camping services by themselves, while some won’t. In case of missing camping services in your itinerary, you must carry your tent, food to eat, gear like a sleeping pad, sleeping bags, and utensils to cook your food.
Gear and Equipment
Gear and equipment are integral to expeditions and trekking. Climbers can never succeed in their expedition without proper gear, and the same goes for the Mount Makalu Expedition. Several climbing gear are required for this journey, including an Alpine Clothing System to Technical Climbing Gears. Here is a list of some required gear with their prices that are essential for the Mount Makalu Expedition:
|Base Layers||$100 – $300|
|Insulated Jacket||$200 – $500|
|Hardshell Jacket and Pants||$300 – $700|
|Down/Synthetic Jacket||$100 – $200|
|Climbing Pants||$50 – $150|
|Hats and Buffs||$20 – $50|
|Mountaineering Boots||$300 – $800|
|Gaiters||$30 – $70|
|Crampons||$150 – $300|
|Socks||$15 – $40|
|Harness||$50 – $150|
|Helmet||$60 – $150|
|Ice Axe||$100 – $300|
|Climbing Helmet||$60 – $150|
|Carabiners and Quickdraws||$100 – $300|
|Belay/Rappel Device||$20 – $60|
|Slings and Cordage||$20 – $60|
Backpack and Gear Bags:
|Mountaineering Backpack||$200 – $500|
|Duffel Bags||$50 – $150|
|High-quality Expedition Tent||$500 – $1,200|
|Sleeping Bag||$300 – $800|
|Sleeping Pad||$50 – $150|
|GPS Device||$100 – $300|
|Satellite Phone||$200 – $500|
|Sunglasses and Goggles||$50 – $150|
|First Aid Kit||$50 – $100|
Guides and Porters Cost
Guides and porters are the most important aspects of mountain climbing. Without their help, climbing Mount Makalu is almost impossible. It is essential to hire them as they come with several benefits during the expeditions. Guides help in fixing ropes and navigation services while porters help climbers to carry their heavy loads and gear during the journey.
Moreover, guides and porters can help you in ensuring your safety as they are enriched with several safety measures and practices. They can also aid you in seeking medical attention in case of any injury or emergencies. Moreover, they come in good use while communicating with the local people of the Manaslu Region and learning more insights about their culture and lifestyle.
Regarding the cost of Guides, they charge you anywhere from $25 to $35 per person. Highly experienced guides have the cost negotiation upto $50 per day. But it is necessary to talk and fix the cost of their services before embarking on the Makalu Expedition.
Similarly, porters also charge around $20 to $30 per person. The highest weight porters help you carry is 25kg. So depending on the total weight they carry, their cost might fluctuate accordingly.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
How challenging is the Mount Makalu Expedition?
Climbing Mount Makalu is one of the most challenging tasks to do. It comprises of technical climbs, extreme altitudes, and harsh weather conditions.
When is the best time for a Mount Makalu Expedition?
The best time to embark on the Mount Makalu Expedition is during Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). During these timeframes, the weather is stable and favorable.
Do I need prior climbing experience to attempt Mount Makalu?
Of course, yes! You need prior high-altitude mountain climbing experience to attempt Mount Makalu. Expertise in using climbing equipment and technical climbing skills are some of the essential prerequisites for climbing Mount Makalu.
Are there any risks associated with climbing Mount Makalu?
Altitude sickness and high altitude are some of the risks associated with climbing Mount Makalu. The route to the summit includes several risks such as avalanches, crevasses, falls, and extreme colds.
How to minimize the budget for climbing Mount Makalu?
Climbers can minimize the budget for climbing Mount Makalu by leading their expedition during off-seasons, renting gear, and joining groups during the journey. But while embarking on an off-season climb, the safety issue emerges, which can even cost your life, so it is not recommended.