Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,481 metres (27,825 ft) and is located 19 km (12 mi) southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China. One of the eight-thousanders, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid.
Makalu has two notable subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse, or Makalu II (7,678 m) lies about 3 km (2 mi) north-northwest of the main summit. Rising about 5 km (3.1 mi) north-northeast of the main summit across a broad plateau, and connected to Kangchungtse by a narrow, 7,200 m saddle, is Chomo Lonzo (7,804 m).
Makalu is one of the harder eight-thousanders, and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock/ice climbing.