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black-of-makaluThe 5th highest mountain on earth at 8,463 meters/27,765ft, Makalu is Sanskrit for “Great Black” – a name for Shiva, the Hindu god of creative destruction, as here is one of his homes.  You’re looking face on the Southeast Ridge (the right side in sun, the left side in shade), which is the primary climbing route.

You’re seeing the entire south side of Makalu in Nepal, while the north side is in Tibet with the border running along the horizon crestline.  Makalu Base Camp lies below the bottom right corner of the photo.  This was taken at over 20,000 feet on our approach from Everest and Lhotse – 12 miles away – during our Himalaya Helicopter Expedition, or “HHE.”

Everyone is understandably entranced with Everest – yet the other 8,000 meter Himalayan giants are breathtakingly magnificent in their own right, and you can see why with Makalu.  On our HHE, we went to them all! (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #37 photo ©Jack Wheeler)