Kanchenjunga

  • 18 - 29 days
  • Age 18+
  • May, Jun, July
  • From US$ 2399 / person

Real Adventure? Yeah! No Coke, No chocolate bars, No teahouses. And very few other trekkers. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak on the planet, is far more remote and far less visited than Everest. The trails are demanding, and you make high ascents to two base camps and cross a difficult pass between them. Even the maps of the area are inaccurate.

But what adventure and personal reward! The great variety of people and cultures, terrains, flora and fauna, plus the great mountains, make this an unbeatable program for the hardy and adventurous trekker.

The Kanchenjunga area in Nepal's far East is spectacular, challenging, and relatively untraveled. You will walk in through the culturally interesting mid-hills from Tumlingtar and Chainpur, then up the Tamur and Ghunsa River valleys to the north Base Camp at Pangpema. Then back south to Ghunsa and over either the Mirgin La or Lapsang La passes. From there you'll climb again, now on the south side of the massif, to the south Base Camp near Oktang. The Yalung glacier here is a bit tricky, so the south Base Camp has to be "conditions permitting". Then south to Taplejung where the trek ends and you fly out.

This program includes a full tented camp and all transportation food, and staff: a professional, English-speaking guide and Sherpas, cook and kitchen crew, trekking permits, park fees and taxes; Hotel, breakfasts, and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 1

Fly to Tumlingtar. Meet the crew and walk a short way out of town to camp.

Day 2

Trek to Chainpur, a prosperous town known for its metal work and market.

Day 3

Past a series of small, beautiful lakes today, folloing a ridge to Mayam.

Day 4

Another forested day, with great views around each corner and at local high spots. Camp near Gupha Pokhari, under a pretty hill at about 2,000 meters.

Day 5

Contour around the Milke Danda (danda means "hill") and then descend to the Tamur River at Doban.

Day 6

Follow the Tamur River north, and camp near Mitlung.

Day 7

A tough day following rough paths along cliffs and rocky ground. The only traffic you'll see will be locals. Camp at Chirwa by the Tamur river.

Day 8

Follow the Tamur, then climb over a spur and descend to the Simbua Khola river which originates from the Yalung Glacier on Kanchenjunga. Over another ridge into the Ghunsa Khola valley. Camp at Sakathum.

Day 9

The steep trail continues upriver and uphill most of the way to Amjilassa.

Day 10

Rest day at Amjilassa. Day trekking for altitude acclimitization.

Day 11

Many yaks on the trail as it winds down to the Ghunsa Khola. The trail climbs away from the river to Kyapra, set in terraced hills.

Day 12

An easy climb to the ridge above the river, then through a large meadow and into forest. Cross another small river, and camp in Ghunsa.

Day 13

Great views today of Mt. Jannu and its glacier. Camp at Khambachen.

Day 14

You've gained a lot of altitude, so another acclimatization day at Khambachen to acclimatize. Plenty of opportunity for day hiking, or you can just relax!

Day 15

Trek to the edge of the Khambachen glacier. After crossing its lateral moraines, enter the valley of the Lhonak Glacier. Campsite at Lhonak.

Day 16

Trek to the north Base Camp at Pangpema for views of Tent Peak, the Twins, and Kanchenjunga. Wonderful sunrise views!

Day 17

Back to Khambachen.

Day 18

Retrace to return to Ghunsa to cross over to the Simbua Khola valley.

Day 19

Climb to a high camp above Ghunsa..

Day 20

Cross one of two passes and descend to a comfortable altitude before setting up camp.

Day 21

Trek to Oktung on the edge of the glacier. Views of Kanchenjunga South, Khumbakarna Chang Himal, and Nepal Peak.

Day 22

Trek south to Tseram, retracing the trail, with variations whenever possible.

Day 23

Descend and then climb through rhododendron forests to Lamite Bhanjyang. More great views of Kanchenjunga.

Day 24

Descend to the Imja Khola into Yamphudin, the first settlement in days.

Day 25

Descend to the Kabeli Khola, then along it to Mamankhe, then descend a gorge and climb up the other side to Ponphe for the night.

Day 26

A climbing day, through a set of valleys, ending up at Khunjari.

Day 27

The last real day on the trail, crossing the Pha Khola and then climbing through forest to a ridge and a camp near Taplejung airfield.

Day 28

Morning flight to Biratnagar, and from there to Kathmandu.

Jennifer Johnson - Friends in High Places guest

The trip to Nepal was absolutely the most wonderful experience of my life. Anyway, just wanted to thank you again for all your help and being part of such a magical experience. Nepal has a special place in my heart.