Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest mountain, is one of its most aesthetically pleasing - a near-perfect pyramid of rock and ice thrusting 8,481m into the sky over the Nepalese - Tibetan border. First climbed by a French expedition in 1955, it’s long been regarded as one of the more difficult of the 8,000m peaks - and a huge achievement for mountaineers who make it.
Fifth highest peak
Lying just 14 miles east of Everest, Makalu’s 8,461m bulk straddles the border between the Khumbu region of Nepal and Tibet. A near-perfect pyramid structure, with four sharp ridges, Makalu is stark and stunning, presenting a tough challenge even for experienced mountaineers.
Considered one of the more difficult of the 8,000ers, Makalu is famous for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are exposed to the elements. It’s known for testing climbers’ endurance, and the final ascent of the summit pyramid requires technical rock and ice climbing skills. In short, this is not a mountain that you’d want to tackle unprepared.
Elite Exped’s hugely experienced guiding team have summited Makalu many times between them. In 2017, they were in fact the only team to reach the summit. Extreme weather conditions pushed all the others attempting the peak to turn around, but thanks to careful preparation, and good decision making at key junctures, the Elite Exped team made it to the top and back again safely.