Makalu stands out as the fifth tallest mountain in the world.
Makalu comes from Sanskrit “Maha Kala,” which is a name for Shiva, the Hindu god.
Why Is It Famous?
This mountain is famous for its height, measuring 8,485 meters (27,838 feet).
Makalu is part of the Mahalangur Himalayas, which is 19 kilometers southeast of famous Mount Everest. This places the mountain along the border between Tibet and Nepal.
The peak of Makalu is isolated and has a four-sided pyramid shape. There are also two subsidiary peaks of note. Makalu II or Kangchungtse sits three kilometers north-northwest of the main peak and is 7,678 meters tall. Chomo Lonzo is a 7,804-meter peak about five kilometers north-northeast. These two subsidiary peaks connect via a 7,200-meter saddle.
Makalu is known as among the most difficult mountains to climb in the world because of its topography. Climbers must overcome knife-edged ridges open to the elements and steep pitches.
The mountain sits by the Makalu-Barun Valley, which is a glacier valley by the base of the mountain within Nepal, specifically the Sankhuwasabha district. This valley has high waterfalls, craggy rocks, deep gorges, lush forests, and colorful flowers. This valley is a nature preserve with strict preservation to maintain its ecosystem.
Events in Time
An American team completed the first climb on Makalu in the spring of 1954. That team reached 7,100 meters at the southeast ridge, where they had to give up due to storms. The subsidiary peaks had their first ascents in the fall of that year. The first successful trip to the summit was in May 1955. That ascent was impressive as nearly everyone in the expedition reached the summit. Previously, most summits only had one or two members of their expeditions reach the top. The first winter climb of Makalu was in 2009.
Makalu is among the tallest mountains in the world and is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas. There have been multiple successful climbs over the years and tours operate there today.