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Kachenjunga Base Camp Trek is possibly the last unexplored region of Eastern Nepal. Breathtaking views of the vast Himalayan range can be seen from the majority of the route’s trails. This is a sparsely populated area with mainly Limbu and Rai communities. The people are not accustomed to receiving tourists at their doorsteps and show great hospitality.
It is said that the famous sage Guru Padma Sambhava buried the treasures of knowledge in this most beautiful of mountains. It is so revered by the locals that the Lamas from Sikkim do an annual tribute dance to this sacred peak. This region takes you to the snowline through thick forests of rhododendron trees in the lower region and yak grazing in high pastures. The wild flowers are in full bloom during the months of April and May, and clear views of the mountains are also more likely during this period.
For an all-round experience Mount Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek- Trekking to the Base Camp of Kanchenjunga Mountain 8586 meters – Third highest mountain on earth, is always possible but our experience recommends making the both base camps in a single trip. Once you arrive in the higher parts of Kanchenjunga, you will find great masses of Himalayan peaks surrounded by a number of peaks lesser in height but no less attractive. The trek is at times arduous but it passes through some wonderful remote villages and is never boring.
A journey to Kanchenjunga trekking area is a special treat- starting from the tropical lowlands through great rhododendron forests and lovely villages of eastern north Nepal up to the glacier and overwhelming views. This trekking lead to base camp of third highest peak of the world Mount Kanchenjunga (8586 meters) which is least known among all great peaks.
Kathmandu – Taplejung (Suketar)
March to May
September to November
Every Year 4 departures
This is a sparsely populated area with mainly Limbu communities of eastern Nepal. The trek offers you the nature in its pure form, where besides the Mount Kanchenjunga 8586 m. /28170 ft., you get to see various other fascinating mountain peaks; Mount Yalung Kang (8505m), Dromo Peak (6100m), Yalung Ri (5200m) etc. Rich flora and fauna, and the stunningly beautiful scenarios. This region is inhabited by the friendliest people of Nepal, such as Rai and Limbu, Chhetris and Brahmins whose cultural treasures and rituals always thrill the visitors. In spite of the difference in traditions and rituals, you get to see them living in peace and harmony with other ethnic groups..
Arrive to Kathmandu, an exciting and memorable experience with the panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan range greets your sight.
Our Airport Representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After arrival to hotel, Short briefing about the trek and final payment procedures.
We will finalize paperwork-permit for your trip. Final checking of your climbing equipment. A half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu including Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath.
Fly from Kathmandu to Taplejung (2320 meters) Half hour flight to Taplejung at Suketar Airport. Independent Himalayan Adventures crew will be waiting for your arrival. Take an early lunch, while the crew arranges all bedding and baggages. An easy 2 to 3 hours walk along the ridge line to Lali Kharka, a grazing area.
After traversing the hillside a short way, we descend to the village of Pakora along the Phawa Khola, crossing a suspension bridge before beginning the steep climb up towards Kunjuri. Lunch will be taken somewhere below Kunjuri and the afternoon’s walk takes on a short distance over the crest of the ridge to our campsite at Khesewa. We get our first views of Kanchenjunga, and should be able to clearly make out the south and main summit along with Yalung Kang. Overnight at tented camp.
Today the path covers steep hillside through terraced fields high above the Kabbeli Khola. There are some ups and downs crossing side valleys but there are many shady spots to rest. After lunch at one of these we pass the village of Anpan, before descending to cross the Kashawa Khola and then, finally, we walk up again through terraced fields to the village of Mamankhe. Overnight at tented camp.
Today the walk starts with an easy climb to Yamphudin along a track which contours the hillside above the Kabeli Khola. The path has several ups and downs as we cross the ridges and stream beds that make up the valley sides. Generally the route is flat and the river eventually becomes level with the trail a couple of hours before Yamphudin. At last we can stop to lunch in one of the clear beautiful river. It is truly an idyllic spot. After lunch by the river we complete the day’s walk to Yamphudin. Yamphudin is the most remote settlement in this area and the last village we will see until we reach Ghunsa. It is a charming place tucked away beneath the ridge of Deurali Danda that we must cross next.
Beyond Yamphudin the trail ascends a steep spur, a gentle introduction for what will come. Leaving villages behind us trek through pleasant forest, stopping for lunch in a meadow capturing fine views of the north and south. A steep descend to the river an interesting bridge across the Omje Khola to our campsite in Chitre.
Starting the day with 3 hours of steep ascent to the crest of the Deurali Danda in dense forest most of the way. From the 3230 meters pass we see Jannu, definitely closer! We descend across some steep and exposed areas before entering the forest again. The sharp descent through beautiful forest continues down into the valley of the Simjua Khola. Across the ‘interesting’ wooden bridge is Tortongn, a camping place with numerous rock shelters amid towering conifers. The steep hills make today a tough 6 to 7 hours trekking.
Today we follow the river through more beautiful forest, the conifers giving way to the rhododendron forest. The valley climbs fairly steeply and as the day progresses the trees become more stunted and scattered, giving us glimpses of the snowcapped giants ahead and the massive snout of Yalung Glacier. Just before Tseram the towering heights of Kabru and Rathong peak start to peep over the moraine. Camping at Tseram, a grazing area, the night temperatures will remind us that we are really gaining height.
A short day walk up the final 600 meters to Ramche where the trail to Kanchenjunga South turns dangerously. The scenery is magnificent as we ascend past snout of the Yalung Glaciers into a series of ablation valleys which gives easy walking and good camping. A frozen lake, clear streams and views of Koktang, Rathong and Kabru are the highlights of this stroll. Expect to feel the altitude today.
Our first close encounter with Kanchenjunga. Following the valley round to see the stunning south face of Kanchenjunga and Jannu. We get across the Yalung Ri Glacier and continue by a sweeping curve, at Oktang, 4730 meters, we are suddenly confronted with the southern wall of the mountain. This vast ridge forms a cirque over 15 kms long, nowhere less than 7500 meters high and with three main summits of Kanchenjunga at 8420 meters, 8586 meters, and 8474 meters! It is a breathtaking mountain panorama and especially impressive is Jannu while observing the glaciers flowing from its east face.
This extended part will take you to the high altitudes. It requires determination and some luck too. The crossing of high passes requires good weather, and of course perfect logistic support. Expect to get acclimatized with the altitude today.
Yalung Glaciers and a series of valleys, give good walking and perfect camping. A frozen lake, clear streams and magnificent views are the highlights of this stroll.
We trek down the valley, passing the turn off to the high and challenging Labsang La route to Ghunsa and the north side of Kanchenjunga. This pass is rough and dangerous, especially for porters so we take the more southern set of passes, beginning with the Mirgin La. After an initial steep climb and several false summits we reach Mirgin La. Apart from the magnificent Jannu, on the horizon are Makalu, Gyakung Kang, Everest, Lhotse and Chamalang. To the south it is possible to see down to the Terai, a panorama worth the effort. Our campsite will be beyond the pass, after 6 to 7 hours tough walking.
Although there four more passes, there is little descent between them, so in effect it is a high scenic area. After lunch descent brings us to Lamba Sumba Kharka where there are more views of the awesome Southwest Face of Jannu. From Kharka the going is easy again down a pleasant forested trail to the village of Ghunsa, where we camp in the village. Ghunsa is a picturesque Tibetan village; prayer flags flutter from the wooden houses and there are two monasteries, a welcome sight after the many days of wilderness. One of the local specialty is ‘Tongba’, a curious alcoholic drink. A jug or large bamboo cup is filled with fermented millet seed and boiling water pored over. The flavor and alcohol seep though and you drink it with a special straw. You might need a drink after the tough 4 to 6 hour walk.
Gradually the trail ascends to south of the Ghunsa Khola and crossing flood plains while emerging on a pasture situated at the north side of the river. A steep climb to a slope from where it crosses a slide and then descends to Lakepo. A short climb from here to the village of Khambachen 4040 meters.
Today we spend acclimatizing to high altitude. It also doubles up as a rest day and can be used for a short morning hike to explore the area around Khambachen. Those who feel the urge should be able to catch up on their laundry. Otherwise, a good book should get you through the day perfectly. It is essential to acclimatize to the higher altitude as you have been spending a lot of time at lower altitudes. From here there are good mountain views of the peaks near Kanchenjunga which are visible. You can hike up the ridge above the village for better views or take a day hike to the Jannu Base Camp. The Nepali name for Jannu is Kumbhakarna.
A gradual climb through rocky fields gets you to Ramtang at elevation of 4240 meters then crossing northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier you reach Lhonak. Lohnak is on a sandy plain near a dry lake bed. You will camp between the boulders here to stay out of the wind. There are beautiful mountain vistas all around. Water is very scarce in Lhonak and you will need to use only as much as absolutely necessary.
The main Kanchenjunga peak is only visible from Pangpema, which is the base camp for expeditions on Kanchenjunga. From Lhonak, the trail gradually ascends across the plain but soon gets steeper as it follows the moraine. Pangpema is at a height of 5140 meters.
Today those who would like to take a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pangpema. A climb of 200 or 300 meters and provides a great vantage point with views of Kanchenjunga, Wedge Peak, the Twins and Tent Peak. As usual the descent goes faster and you can reach Khambachen the same day.
More descents thru magnificent sections of forest as long as we make Amji Lassa tomorrow it doesn’t matter where we stay. From Ghunsa an hour down we pass through Phole, a village in two parts. The upper sections house Tibetan refugees who are well established, the second is the winter village of Ghunsa. Further down is Yangswa, a great and warm camp.
Initially we pass thru beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides where Amji Lassa is perched.
Down, down and down! After a short climb we begin the steep descent that will take most of the day. We reach the joining of the Tamur river and Ghunsa Kholas then to Syakathum.
We cross the Simbu Khola, which originates from Kanchenjunga’s south base camp, the Khola that we followed up from Torontan. It is pleasantly warm at these low altitudes and cardamom grows freely in the moist shaded forest. Crossing numerous small tributary streams we reach Chirwa, a village set among large boulders. We camp in a field out of the village.
Traversing in an out of minor valleys, we pass thru a succession of picturesque villages on our way to Suketar, Taplejung; reaching around late afternoon.
Enjoying your last glimpse of the mountains you have recently visited one last time on the 55 minute Scenic flight back to Kathmandu from Suketar (Taplejung).
It is your spare day in Kathmandu,You may do local shopping in Kathmandu or Relax or Self visit. you can start today.
Evening Farewell Dinner.
Transfer for your final flight departure. The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal. Nepalese Hotels Check-Out time mostly before 12:00 noon.