Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 28.53300°N / 83.95000°E
Additional Information Elevation: 22966 ft / 7000 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Machhapuchare in October 1979...
This spectacular peak, off limits to climbing due to its religious significance, is dubbed the fishtail mountain because of its distinctive summit feature. Dominating the region near Pokhara, it's striking features have attacted the attention of trekkers, photographers and "illegal" climbers, from all over the world.
Note: This peak is illegal to climb and it is not the intention of this page to encourage illegal climbs in this area, only to inform what is known about this peak and the surrounding areas you are allowed to visit.

Getting There

To get to Nepal you will have to fly from either India, Thailand or Singapore.
To get to New Delhi India try (there are many others).
Air India
British Airways
Air France
Air Canada
Kuwait Airlines
Qatar Airways
Royal Air Nepal

Once you get to Katmandu you will have basically two options:
Bus or Fly to Pokhara in west Central Nepal.

Red Tape

Photo by Mblue01, november...
Someone in the 1950's tried to climb Machhupuchare. When he did not summit stopping 300 feet from the top. He returned to the King. The king decreed that the climber was unsuccessful as the lord Shiva lived on the peak and from that time on no climbing permits have been issued nor will ever be given to climb Machhupuchare (FishTail).


First ascent
Author: danmerrick
Date: Aug 17, 2002 09:29 AM

On May 20, 1957, Wifrid Noyce, who had been on the 1953 Everest team, turned back 150 feetbelow the summit. This expedition is chronicled in Noyce’s book “Climbing the Fish’s Tail”. If youcan find a copy of this classic expedition book, it is well worth reading. ( This is the only documented climb of this peak and as I recall, it is largelydue to the efforts of Noyce’s team (lead By James Roberts) that Machhapuchare has remained unclimbed. Roberts Lived in Pokhara until his death in 1997. It is said the he suggested to the King of Nepal that the summit be preserved.

More on first (near) ascent
Author: dmiki
Date: Dec 06, 2005 06:39 AM

Apart from Wilfred Noyce (who also made the first ascent of the North ridge of Pokalde in 1953) the 1957 near ascent team included David Cox. They also made the first ascent of the NE face of Singu Chuli (Fluted peak) on 13 June 1957.

Machhapuchare Climb
Author: Damien Gildea
Date: Aug 18, 2002 01:20 AM

It is well-known and accepted within certain climbing circles that Bill Denz - an exceptionally strong NZ climber - illegally climbed Machhapuchare in the early 80s. Denz had soloed many extremely difficult routes in NZ, Alaska, Patagonia and the Himalaya, so although his cultural sensitivity might be questionable, his ability to do such a climb is not. Unfortunately he was killled in an avalanche on Makalu in 1983, so we may never know all the facts for sure. He also made an illegal approach to Menlungtse around the same time, but did not actually climb it, as far as anyone knows. It was finally climbed by Slovenians in 1991.

Machhupuchhare has been saved from environmental destruction for the benefit of the people of Nepal, particularly the Gurungs, to whom the mountain is sacred.

There is another mountain of around 6,100 meters nearby. Pisang Peak is a ‘trekking’ peak for which permission is obtainable.

information from juh33
Actually Pisang is just under 6100m, and there are a lot of other 'trekking peaks' that are far closer to Machhapuchare. The closest by far is Mardi (or Mardi Himal) which is practically under Machhapuchare and only a few miles from it.

When To Climb

Machhapuchare as it looked in...
Back in 1979 when I was there it was a religious peak therefore no summiting allowed as to not disturb the gods. This has not changed.


There are may camping spots in the region. While people in general are friendly as are most Nepali. Theft was a constant worry near Tibeten refugee camps outside of Pokhara.

Helping the Sherpa community

Machapuchare east side seen...
There are several organizations dedicated to helping the Sherpa community. Here are just two. Should you wish to contribute to this worthwhile cause contact either of the following organizations though the information below.

The Sir Edmond Hillary Foundation

222 Jarvis Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5B 2B8
(416) 941-3315

The American Himalayan Foundation
The American Himalayan Foundation
909 Montgomery Street, suite 400
San Francisco CA 94133
Telephone (415) 288-7245
Fax (415) 434-3130

Gear list

Photo by Mblue01, november...
Partial Equipment list info:
Here is a brief incomplete list for you. Minus the Climbing gear
  • 6-pairs socks
  • 6-underwear
  • 2-pairs of shorts for the walk in
  • 3-T-shirts for the walk in
  • 2-bandanas or a sun hat to keep off the sun
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen plus zinc
  • Good sturdy hiking shoes
  • 1-sleeping bag (as warm as you can get)
  • 1-sleeping pad (your choice the more comfortable you are the better you sleep the more energy you will have) you can get a Crazy Creek chair that goes with your pad this is a good investment.
  • 2-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear tops (or 1 depends on how dirty you like to be)
  • 1-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear bottom
  • 1 lightweight fleece bottom
  • 1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleece jacket
  • 1-Gortex shell jacket
  • 1-Gortex shell pants (full length zippers)
  • 1-Down filled jacket liner from Feathered Friends of Seattle, (optional but I always end up using it)
  • 1-Downfilled Gortex guides Parka 1-Warm hat with ear flaps
  • 2-pairs of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
  • 1-pair fleece gloves 1-pair ski gloves
  • 1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$$) or Asolo (I prefer Koflach, I find them more comfortable)
  • 1-pair of gaitors
  • 1-pair ski poles
  • 1-ice axe
  • 1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
  • 1-headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • 1-cup with spoon attached
  • 1-Swissarmy knife
  • 1- stove of your choice (I use Markhill stormy hanging stone with Blueway cartridges, you will have to get fuel in Nepal as it is difficult to fly over) Allow at least 1 canister per day for higher altitudes per 2-man tent.
  • 1 tent one set up at base camp. You shouldn't need others as this is as far as you should be going.
    3-1-litre waterbottles with insulators (drink at least 5 litres a day to help acclimatize)

    Political situation

     Macha  seen from near...
    Note on Nepal. There had been a cease fire and talks between the Government and the Maoist who were causing issues in parts of the country. This has led to them being included in the government. Lets hope this coalition holds so that locals, trekkers and climbers can all enjoy this wonderful place in peace.