At 8,586m, Kanchenjunga is the world’s 3rd highest mountain. Located in the far north eastern corner of Nepal, on the border with Sikkim, the surrounding region is less accessible than the Khumbu or Annapurna’s and still sees few Western visitors.
My itinerary approaches the North Base Camp first, trekking through deep ravines, forests of bamboo, rhododendron and larch pine to the Tibetan village of Ghunsa and the high mountains.
We will take time acclimatizing around Ghunsa and Kambachen, before continuing along the Kanchenjunga Glacier to spend a night at Pangpema base camp on the north side.
The views of Jannu, Kanchenjunga and Chang Himal are jaw dropping. Then we cross the Mirgin La (4,550m) to Tseram. It is much more logical to cross the pass from north to south and this part of the trek is simply superb. Magnificent scenery and interesting walking. By now we’re well acclimatized, and can enjoy the gentle walking up to Oktang and the awesome views of Ratong, the Kabru Peaks and the South Face of Kanchenjunga.
We exit the mountain via an esoteric route, travelling through villages where the locals rarely see trekkers. Expect to be the focus of much attention! This is a long and committing trek in a region with little infrastructure. The trails are at rough and undulating, at times exposed and there are landslides to cross. Therefore to join this trip you need to be an experienced mountain walker, mentally prepared for consecutive days of tough trekking in an extremely remote part of the Himalayas.
Trekking to the North Base Camp first, then crossing the Mirgin La (Pass) from North to South to then visit the South Base Camp is, in our opinion, the best way of doing this trek.
Here is the detailed itinerary:
Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m/4265ft)
Day 2 – Full Day City sightseeing tour
Day 3 – Fly to Biratnagar
Day 4 – Fly Biratnagar to Suketar/Taplejung
Day 5 – Trek to Mitlung (921m)
Day 6 – Trek to Chirwa (1,270m)
Day 7 – Trek to Sekathum (1,660m)
Day 8 – Trek to Amjilesa (2,510m)
Day 9 – Trek to Gyabla (2,730m)
Day 10 – Trek to Ghunsa (3,595m)
Day 11 – Acclimatisation day at Ghunsa (3,595m)
Day 12 – Trek to Kambachen (4,100m)
Day 13 – Acclimatisation day at Kambachen (4,100m)
Day 14 – Trek to Lhonak (4,785m)
Day 15 – Trek to Pangpema – Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (5,100m)
Day 16 – Trek to Ramtang (4,370m)
Day 17 – Return to Ghunsa (3,595m)
Day 18 – Trek to Sele Le (4,300m)
Day 19 – Cross Mirgin La (4,480m) and descend to Tseram (3,870m)
Day 20 – Trek to Ramche (4,610m)
Day 21 – Descend to Torondin (2,995)
Day 22 – Cross Lasiya Bhanjyang (3,415m) to Yamphudin (1692m)
Day 23 – Rest day at Yamphudin (2,080m)
Day 24 – Trek to Khebang (1915m)
Day 25 – Trek to Sinam/Panchami (1500m) 6-7 hrs. Last day of the Trek.
Day 26 – Drive to Illam (1500m)
Day 27 – Drive to Bhadrapur and fly to Kathmandu
Day 28 – At Leisure in Kathmandu
Day 29 – Departure for home
As a summary, here are some highlights of this fantastic adventure:
– Explore the ancient city of Kathmandu, Nepal
– Visit the Bodhnath Stupa with its’ 130 ft. dome
– Visit the ancient Pashupatinath Temple with its holy cremation site.
– A short scenic flight to the plain city of Nepal, Biratnagar
– Experience the colourful cultures & Traditions of Eastern Nepal People
– Meet the true Gurkha people of Nepal (Limbu and Gurung), worldwide renowned for their sincerity and bravery in the UK armies.
– Panoramic views of world’s 3rd highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m) and its sister mountains.
– Visit Pangpema, the Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (5,100m)
– If you are lucky enough then you may spot Snow Leopards and Panda
If you are interested to experience this unique trek, please get in touch with me. I will guide you there with much pleasure. I think it’s also a very good opportunity for you to leave with a local IFMGA mountain guide who will ensure that you are 100% safe and give you a good taste of the Nepalese culture.