West Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 27.88970°N / 87.94310°E
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Snow/Rock/Ice/Glacier
Additional Information Time Required: Expedition
Additional Information Difficulty: Technical 8000m
Sign the Climber's Log


Makalu is one of the last great peaks where one starts hiking so low and far (120 km) from the objective making the climb even more desirable because of the time involved just to get to the mountain.

The journey begins with a flight into Katmandu. From there, catch a small plane the small village of Tumlingtar in the southeast of Nepal. From here you begin a long 9 day trek through the Arun, over Shipton La pass to the Barun River valley finally arriving at the Makalu Base Camp at 16,400’.

Route Description

This route proved to be the most challenging route so far on the mountain. It saw 5 failed attempts before it was finally overcome.

The West Face was successfully summited in 1997. The Russian expedition to the West Face of Makalu, leaded by Sergey Efimov climbed the top on 21st of May via the most difficult route. The last part of the route went on Parago ridge. Climbed to the top: Alexei Bolotov, Yuri Ermachek, Dmitri Pavlenko, Igor Bugachevski and Nikolai Jiline. For this ascent they were awarded the "Gold ice-axe".

The route can be divided into four parts:

The bottom part begins at the base of the West Face at 5,800 meters and climbs to the hanging ice-fall at 6,100 meters to the right of ice-fall. The second part extends from the plateau above the ice-fall along 35 to 45 degree rock up to the bergshrund at 6,500 meters. The next section is an ice-rock wall, 50 to 55 degrees steep, that extends to 7,400 meters. The final part begins with a 70 to 75 degree rock pillar that leads to the West ridge at 8,000 meters, and on to the summit.

Ropes are typically fixed from 5800m to 6100m and from 6500 m to 7500m.

Camps established by the Russian Team were at the following locations:

·ABC 5300m
·Camp 1 5700m
·Camp 2 6100m
·Camp 3 6500m
·Camp 4 6900m
·Camp 5 7300m
·Camp 6 7650m
·Camp 7 7750m
·Camp 8 8000m (Bivouac)
·Camp 9 8150m (Bivouac)

Essential Gear

This is a full 8000m expedition stype climb. Gear as appropriate.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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