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Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek – 29 Days

“Kang-chen-zod-nga”, means “five great treasuries of the snow”, but in fact it has seven major summits. To the locals, Kanchenjunga, which stands at a height of 8,585 m and the third highest mountain in the

OVERVIEW OF THE TRIP

Trip:
Tour Type: Sightseeing and High Altitude Trekking
Trip Duration: 29 Days
Max Altitude: 5,400 m/17,716 ft
Trip Starts From: Kathmandu
Trip Ends At: Kathmandu
Trip Region: Nepal
Best Season: 
March to May and October to November
Trip Level: Strenuous
Ventures at this grade are 'Tough Treks' and must be fully supported. The altitude attained is between 3,500 to 5,000m. These treks also involve several nights stay above 4,000m. These are genuine expeditions where preparation and a willingness to 'rough it' are necessary. You must have be physically fit for this trek.
Trip Route: Kathmandu - Taplejung - Ramche - Yalung Ri Base Camp - Mirgin La - Ghunsa - Pang Pema - Kanchenjunga Base Camp - Suketar - Kathmandu

Trip Information

“Kang-chen-zod-nga”, means “five great treasuries of the snow”, but in fact it has seven major summits. To the locals, Kanchenjunga, which stands at a height of 8,585 m and the third highest mountain in the world, is the abode of gods who bestow prosperity and goodwill on them and their lands, while to the climbers of this mountain the phrase “five great treasuries of the snow” takes on a slightly more ominous tone. The avalanches at Kanchenjunga are said to be the largest anywhere!

Since the locals worship the mountain, there is a tradition among mountaineers not to stand on the actual summit. All successful climbs have stopped just short of the summit honoring an old promise made by the leader of the first successful attempt in 1955 to the Maharaja of Sikkim.

Kanchenjunga lies on the eastern border of Nepal providing a great chance to experience remoteness, spectacular mountain scenery, diverse flora and fauna and rich local culture, quite different to those found further west.

We begin the journey to Kanchenjunga with a flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and from there to Taplejung (Suketar). From Suketar the trek leads to Chauki through the villages of Mitlung, Ghunsa, Khambachen and Lhonak to Pangpema which is also the base camp for expeditions attempting the North Face of Kanchenjunga II and the culmination of the first part of the trek.


    ITINERARY

  • Day 01 Arrive in Kathmandu (1,345 m). Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 02 Guided Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 03 Fly to Biratnagar – 40 minutes. Overnight at a Guesthouse.

  • Day 04 Fly to Taplejung (2,320 m) and Trek to Lali Kharka (2,276 m) – 3.5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 05 Trek to Khesewa (2,120 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 06 Trek to Mamankhe (1,920 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 07 Trek to Yamphudin (2,080 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 08 Trek to Chitre (2,965 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 09 Trek to Tortongn (3,010 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 10 Trek to Tseram (3,870 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 11 Trek to Ramche (4,580 m) – 4 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 12 Explore around Ramche (4,580 m) and Trek to Oktang (4,730 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 13 Trek to Yalung Ri Base Camp (5,400 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 14 Trek to Ramche (4,580 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 15 Trek to Sallerle via Mirgin La (4,480 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 16 Trek to Ghunsa (3,475 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 17 Trek to Kambachen (4,040 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 18 Exploration Day at Kambachen. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 19 Trek to Lhonak (4,790 m) – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 20 Trek to Pang Pema (5,140 m) – 4 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 21 Explore around Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5,100 m) and Return to Kambachen – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 22 Trek to Ghunsa – 6 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 23 Trek to Amjilosa (2,460 m) – 4 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 24 Trek to Sakathum (1,600 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 25 Trek to Chhiruwa (1,200 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 26 Trek to Suketar (2,420 m) – 5 hours. Overnight at a Tented Camp.

  • Day 27 Fly Back to Kathmandu. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 28 Leisure Day and Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu. Overnight at a Hotel.

  • Day 29 Transfer to the International Airport for Your Final Departure.


    TRIP DETAILS

  • Day 01 - Arrive in Kathmandu (1,400 m)

    Our airport representative will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and s/he will be displaying an Aarohi Holiday signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle.

    Note: Either on this day or the next day, there will be pre-trek meeting. During the meeting, we will introduce your trek leader/guide. For the meeting, please make sure you bring the passport, three copies of passport-size photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. During this meeting, please clear the due balance, if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer.

    Overnight at a hotel. No meals included.

  • Day 02 - Guided Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley

    After a hearty breakfast, at 8.30 am your sightseeing trip will start. You will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide at your disposal. Today we will visit some heritages listed below:

    Pashupatinath Temple:
    Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River. Though you are not allowed to go inside the temple as it is strictly for Hindus only, you can clearly see the temple and the activities from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River. It is a square two-tiered pagoda temple built on a single-tier plinth which is famous all over the world.

    Boudhanath Stupa:
    Boudhananath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. It was built in the 5th century with four pairs of eyes of Lord Buddha in four cardinal directions keeping an eternal watch over the people and their doings. You will find Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet going round the stupa spinning the prayer wheels.

    Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
    Visit the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, famous five-storied temple of Nyatapola in Pagoda style Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Muth and Palace of 55 windows.

    The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area for trekking essentials.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 03 - Fly to Biratnagar – 40 minutes

    Pick up from the hotel in Kathmandu and take afternoon flight to Biratnagar with your guide from Kathmandu and transfer to guesthouse.

    Overnight at a guesthouse. Breakfast included.

  • Day 04 - Fly to Taplejung (2,320 m) and Trek to Lali Kharka (2,276 m) – 3.5 hours

    A half-hour flight will take us to Suketar Airport in Taplejung where we will be welcomed by the ground staff and porters. The crew will arrange your gear as you have lunch after the flight. In the afternoon we start with an easy 2- to 3-hour walk along the ridgeline to Lali Kharka, a grazing area.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 05 - Trek to Khesewa (2,120 m) – 5 hours

    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. The afternoon’s walk takes us 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 a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 06 - Trek to Mamankhe (1,920 m) – 5 hours

    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, we pass the village of Anpan, before descending to cross the Kashawa Khola and finally, we climb again through terraced fields to the village of Mamankhe.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 07 - Trek to Yamphudin (2,080 m) – 6 hours

    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 bathe in one of the clear pools within this beautiful river. It is truly an idyllic spot. After lunch by the river, we complete the day’s walk to Yamphudin, 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 cross next. 

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 08 - Trek to Chitre (2,965 m) – 5 hours

    Beyond Yamphudin the trail ascends a steep spur, a gentle introduction for what will come. Leaving villages behind we 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 09 - Trek to Tortongn (3,010 m) – 6 hours

    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 3,230 m 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-looking and challenging 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 10 - Trek to Tseram (3,870 m) – 6 hours

    Today we follow the river through a more beautiful forest, the conifers giving way to the rhododendron forest. The valley climbs fairly steeply, with the day progressing the trees become more stunted and scattered, giving us glimpses of the snow-capped 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 11 - Trek to Ramche (4,580 m) – 4 hours

    This is a shorter day’s walk up the final 600m to Ramche where the trail to Kanchenjunga South turns dangerous. The scenery is magnificent as we ascend past the snout of 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 12 - Explore around Ramche (4,580 m) and Trek to Oktang (4,730 m) – 5 hours

    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, 4,730 m, suddenly we are confronted with the southern wall of the mountain. This vast ridge forms a cirque over 15 kms long, nowhere less than 7,500 m high and with three main summits of Kanchenjunga at 8,420 m, 8,586m, and 8,474 m! It is a breathtaking mountain panorama and especially impressive is Jannu while observing the glaciers flowing from its east face.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 13 - Trek to Yalung Ri Base Camp (5,400 m) – 5 hours

    This extended part will take you to the high altitudes. It requires determination. The crossing of high passes requires good weather, and of course perfect logistic support. Expect to get acclimatized with the altitude today.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 14 - Trek back to Ramche (4,580 m) – 5 hours

    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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 15 - Trek to Sallerle via Mirgin La (4,480 m) – 6 hours

    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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 16 - Trek to Ghunsa (3,475 m) – 5 hours

    Although there are four more passes, there is little descent between them, so in effect it is a high scenic area. After lunch the 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 specialties’ is ‘Tongba’, a curious alcoholic drink. A jug or large bamboo cup is filled with fermented millet seed and boiling water pored over. The flavour 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 17 - Trek to Kambachen (4,040 m) – 6 hours

    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 Kambachen 4,040 m.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 18 - Exploration Day at Kambachen

    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 Kambachen. 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 Jannu Base Camp. The Nepali name for Jannu is Kumbakarna.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 19 - Trek to Lhonak (4,790 m) – 6 hours

    A gradual climb through rocky fields gets you to Ramtang at an elevation of 4,240 m then crossing northwest of the Kanchenjunga Glacier you reach Lhonak, which is on a sandy plain near a dry lakebed. 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.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 20 - Trek to Pang Pema (5,140 m) – 4 hours

    The main Kanchenjunga peak is only visible from Pang Pema, 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. Pang Pema is at a height of 5,140 m.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 21 - Explore around Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5,100 m) and Return to Kambachen – 5 hours

    A climb of 200 m or 300 m on a morning hike up a ridge, north of Pang Pema, 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 Kambachen the same day.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 22 - Trek to Ghunsa – 6 hours

    More descents thru magnificent sections of forest as long as we make Amjilosa tomorrow. From Ghunsa an hour down we pass through Phole, a village in two parts. The upper section houses Tibetan refugees who are well established, the second is the winter village of Ghunsa. Further down is Yangswa, a great and warm camp.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 23 - Trek to Amjilosa (2,460 m) – 4 hours

    Initially, we pass thru the beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides where Amjilosa is perched.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 24 - Trek to Sakathum (1,600 m) – 5 hours

    After a short climb, we begin the steep descent that will take most of the day. We reach the joining of the Tamur and Ghunsa Kholas.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 25 - Trek to Chhiruwa (1,200 m) – 5 hours

    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 Chhirwa, a village set among large boulders. We camp in a field out of the village. This is an easier day.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 26 - Trek to Suketar (2,420 m) – 5 hours

    Traversing in an out of minor valleys, we pass thru a succession of picturesque villages on our way to Suketar, reaching around late afternoon.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 27 - Fly Back to Kathmandu

    Enjoying your last glimpse of the mountains you have recently visited one last time on the 30-minute Scenic flight back to Kathmandu.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 28 - Leisure Day and Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu

    In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast and farewell dinner included.

  • Day 29 - Transfer to the International Airport for Your Final Departure

    The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

    Breakfast included.


    COST INCLUDES

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop off service by a private tourist vehicle

  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu valley by a private tourist vehicle

  • Standard twin-sharing accommodation in a three-star hotel in Kathmandu including breakfast (4 nights only)

  • Standard twin-sharing accommodation in a guesthouse in Biratnagar including breakfast (1 night only)

  • All standard meals (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek prepared by our expert camping cook and kitchen team

  • Tented camp accommodation for 24 days/23 nights (We will provide fully water/wind-proof twin-share tents, dining tents, kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, etc.)

  • Local Aarohi Holiday licensed English-speaking trekking guide

  • The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage during the trek (We assign one porter for every two guests.)

  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff

  • All special trekking permits & fees

  • Down jacket and sleeping bag by Aarohi Holiday (which need to be returned after the trek)

  • Kathmandu-Biratnagar-Kathmandu airfare and Biratnagar-Suketar-Biratnagar airfare including airport departure tax

  • Free Aarohi Holiday duffel/kit bag and sun hat (yours to keep)

  • Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees in Kathmandu

  • Farewell dinner in a traditional Nepali restaurant with cultural performances

  • All our government taxes, vat, tourist service charges

  • Official expenses


    COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu

  • Travel insurance which covers emergency high-altitude rescue and evacuation (See the travel insurance page.)

  • International airfare and airport departure tax (See the international flights page.)

  • Nepal entry visa; you can obtain the visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 15 days can be obtained by paying USD 25 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days and 90 days can be obtained by paying USD 40 and 100 respectively. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.)

  • Alcoholic and cold drinks

  • Personal trekking equipment (Click on the Equipment tab.)

  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is expected.)

  • Any others expenses that are not mentioned in the Price Includes section


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