Kanchenjunga, at 28158ft. or 8598 meters is our world’s third highest peak. The eastern border of Nepal and India, Sikkim is an area opened for tourists since 1988 and allows us to trek the western part of this mountain with a special permit.
Our trek offers an excellent opportunity to visit Kanchenjunga base camp by the North and South route in less than 3 weeks. Whilst trekking to the higher part, you may experience closer views of Mt. Jannu (7711m), Mt. Kambachen (7802m), Mt. Yalung Kang and of course, Mt. Kanchenjunga with its views at 8500m.
The trek is quite strenuous at some points with some steep up and down hills, rocky steps and a narrow trail because of a recent landslide. Available lodges are basic to standard. Camping is also possible for larger groups. The trek is suitable for those in good physical condition.
CHALLENGING / STRENUOUS
MAX 5350 M
MARCH TO MAY & OCT TO DEC
This trek starts with a 40 minute flight to Bhadrapur, east of Kathmandu valley. After reaching Jhapa airport, drive to Taplejung – stay overnight and continue driving until the trek’s starting point. The road is a combination of fine to rough gravel. Depending on the effects of the heavy monsoon rain, the road condition may vary. With a possible extended road, we adjust to drive as far as possible to avoid dust and noise, instead we can utilize saved days to enjoy a beautiful spot to rest and observe the views. We trek inside Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), the National Park area. We trek north by the riverbed of Tamur river, crossing over it several times. Firstly, we will walk in a wonderful rhododendron forest at the beginning with distant views of the magnificent peaks. During the trek, we will encounter remote valleys with settlements and herders camp: the lower area of Chetri, Rai, Limbu (Kirat) then the Tibetan settlements at Sekathum, Amjilassa, Gyabla, Gunsa valley (3410m) etc. The next day will consist of an easy day descending to Ghunsa, a village situated on the right bank of the Ghunsa River. During this we will encounter a big rock cave with Kirati, the sacred shrine. Following the Covid pandemic, more lodges are being built. Alternate explore to Tashi Choeling monastery.
Leaving Gunsa, we enter the high land and into dry and rough terrain. The altitude increases as we travel further uphill so it is better to walk slowly. Enjoy a mindful walk as - one more night can be spent acclimatizing at Kambachen. Then trek to Jannu (Kumbakarna base camp) for eastern mountain view.
The following day, we trek 6 hours to Lhonak (4780m). On the way up Ladam and Khando, we will rest at a waterfall for a short break to continue to Ramtang valley with a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Naur (Blue sheep) may be seen enroute.
The next morning, it takes 4 hours to explore Pang Pema (5150m) at the junction of the Kanchenjunga glaciers. Experience excellent view of the snow peaks from Pang Pema hill top. Panoramic view of above 6000m peaks - Jinsang Peak, Doma Khang, Langchung, Pathibhara peak range, Ramtang Peak, Kambachen, Nepal Peak. The Twins and the huge north face of Kanchenjunga. We retrace back to Lhonak for lunch and down to Kambachen.
After having a good night’s rest at Kambachen – there is an optional visit to Jannu base camp early in the morning. Trek back to Gunsa. For an optional longer route - ready for ascent to Selele base camp about 5 hours by crossing Tamur river valley. Spend the night in a lodge or camp then the next day cross Selele/Mirgin passes to Tseram.
We trek through the river bed of Simbua river and continue north crossing Lapsang la (pass) to Ramjer (4360m) which usually takes 4 hours. Then next morning, explore Oktang (4730m) at Yarlung glacier. It is Kanchenjunga’s south face base camp, up the steep-sided and heavily-forested Simbua Khola valley. A good views of Kabru I,II,III, IV range 7000 meter high, Okthang (6147m), Rathong (6678m), and other 6000m+ peaks Nyukla Lachung, Kumbakarna, Ghabur Peaks can be seen closely.