Kangchenjunga is third highest mountain in the world, and the most easterly of the 8000 meter peaks of the Himalaya. The name means Five Treasures of the Great Snow, a reference to its five summits. The name is also spelled Kanchenjunga, but according to the Himalayan Journal article, people who know the Tibetan language strongly insist that the ‘g’ should be there.
The huge massif of Kangchenjunga is buttressed by great ridges running roughly due east to west and north to south, forming a giant ‘X’. These ridges contain a host of spectacular 6-7000 meter peaks. On the East Ridge in Sikkim, is Siniolchu (22,600′ / 6888m), regarded as one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. The west ridge culminates in the magnificent Jannu (25,294′ / 7710m) with its imposing north face. To the south, clearly visible form Darjeeling, is Kabru (24,002′ / 7,316 m). The north ridge contains The Twins and Tent Peak, and runs up to the Tibetan border by the Jongsong La, a 20,080′ (6,120 m) pass.
Kangchenjunga does not have an “easy” route as the threat of avalanche is high. Since it is in the eastern Himalaya it receives the brunt of the monsoon moisture. The summit is considered sacred by the people of Sikkim. Early expeditions that climbed the mountain stopped a few feet from the top to respect this belief
First Ascent. In 1955 Charles Evans, who was in the first team to reach the South Summit of Everest in 1953, led another British expedition to the Yalung face, setting base camp in April. They avoided the huge lower icefall by climbing to the west of a prominent buttress and over a feature they named The Hump. They crossed an upper icefall, and set Camp 4 at the Great Shelf, a goal of the 1955 expedition. They continued, now on the east side of the glacier up a ramp called The Gangway. This allowed them to pass a curved cliff known as the Sickle, and Camp 6 was established at 26,900′ (8,199 m). On May 25, Joe Brown and George Band made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, with Brown leading Very Severe (5.7-5.8) rock climbing. Norman Hardie and Tony Streather summit the next day, but they find a snow ramp and avoid the difficult rock. Respecting the wishes of the people of Sikkim, all parties leave the least few steps to the summit untrodden.
Arrival day in Kathmandu (1300m)
Upon arrival at Nepal’s heart, the capital known as Kathmandu, via Tribhuwan International Airport, we will welcome you warmly and take you to the hotel where you will stay overnight. We will brief you shortly on your upcoming Trek with us after refreshment. We will also introduce you to your trekking guide and team guide. We will take you on a short visit of local area and one of the most popular local restaurants with delicious Nepalese food, cultural music and ethnic dance, if there is enough time assuming your flight is on time. This will give you a glimpse into the uniqueness of our country. If you arrive late in the evening or even night, there is always the next day.
Kathmandu Valley sightseeing and trek preparation
After breakfast, we will head out for city tour of Kathmandu valley and visit the Durbar Square of Kathmandu, Boudhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath temple, and Swyambhunath Stupa. After the tour is over, we will gather to discuss in brief, the tour itinerary and other information. We will then check clothing and trekking equipment you will require during our travel.
Fly Kathmandu to Biratnagar (81m) and to Suketar, (2450m)
We will take an early flight to Biratnagar and again take another flight to Suketar. As the single flight is not available from Kathmandu to Suketar, we will first reach Biratnagar and fly again to Suketar. Upon arrival we will be greeted by crew and discuss about travel plans briefly. Overnight stay at Suketar.
Trek to Mitlung (921m), 4-5 hours
On this day we will descend to lower lands and reach Mitlung which will be 4 to 5 hours away. The trail passes through green vallies, pastures and small villages. We will cross two big rivers on the way, one is Hangdewa River and another is Tamor River. After final ascend of about 400 meters on the last part of trail, we will reach Mitlung. Overnight at Mitlung.
Trek to Chirwa (1270 m), 5-6 hours
On this day, our trail ascends and descends gradually as we head towards Chirwa. We will have lunch at Tawa which is along the way. After crossing a suspension bridge at Sinwa we will reach Tawa. The trail will lead us through very rural locality but rich with natural beauty. Chirwa is a Limbu community settlement with some shops and tea houses. We stay overnight on camp.
Trek to Sukathum (1576m), 5-6 hours
The trek from Chirwa to Sukathum passes through unique landscapes such as cardamom fields and dense pine forests. We will trek uphill for some time then descend to the lush green fields below and continue trekking along the Tamor River passing through a dense pine forest again. It’s both uphill and downhill trek but steady and slow which is perfect for trekking. After crossing the Ghunsa River, we will reach Sukathum. Overnight as camping.
Trek to Amjilosa (2308m), 6-7 hours
Trekking from Sukathum to Amjilosa will be technical and difficult. After crossing the suspension bridge at Sukathum we will enter a vast forest with wild habitats as well and ascend the steep trail. We will also descend and cross the river again. This trek will be up and down one. We will also climb a gorge at Bottoma and reach Solima for lunch. After lunch we will further descend again to the level of the river at sandy beach. As we have to gradually go up and climb down, this trek will be sure a tiring and difficult one for the members of our team. We will reach Amjilosa after going through a trail which is uphill at first and then a steep climb down. Overnight as Camping.
Trek to Gyabla (2730m), 6-7 hours
On this day, our trek will start from Tamor river bank, a sandy bank indeed. Along our trail we will pass dense bamboo forest and rhododendron plantation area. We will have lunch on the way where guide feels it is time for lunch. We will climb uphill crossing few rivers and waterfalls on our way. There are few waterfalls which are spectacular and beautiful. We will reach Gayabla after crossing such waterfalls and climbing up at mountain. Overnight as camping.
Trek to Ghunsa (3595m), 5-6 hours
On this day, our trek will descend down the river. It will lead us through a valley which slowly opens up before we reach Phale. Phale is a small business center where we can buy homemade handicrafts and other items. Phale is a Tibetan refugee settlement. After crossing a dense pine tree we will reach Ghunsa which is Sherpa village. Overnight as camping.
Acclimatization day at Ghunsa
We will set aside this day again for acclimatization to minimize the chances of any member being affected by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). We will hike shortly to stay active as well. We will take a short hike towards the Laspsan La monastery through the lush green forest and we will come back to Ghunsa by afternoon, eat lunch and relax. Overnight at tented camps.
Trek to Kambachen (4050m), 5-6 hours
After breakfast we will begin our trek from Ghunsa and travel further north along the river bank which pictures magnificent mountain scenery and landscapes. We will pass through meadows full with rhododendron and pine forests. We will cross a bridge at Rampuk Kharka, and continue our trek past the waterfall. We will encounter a landslide affected area which we will cross slowly. Along the landslide spot we will begin to see magnificient view of Mt. Jannu. Further uphill and we will reach Kambachen. Overnight as camping.
Acclimatization Day at Kambachen
We take every measure to ensure safety and fit health of every climber so we take rest yet another day for acclimatisation at Kambachen which is also a camp site for climbers to accommodate and prepare for high altitude climb. We will also monitor a brief health check up of members. We can also explore the Nuphchu Khola Valley area to stay active. Overnight as Camping.
Trek to Lhonak (4780m) 6-7 hours
The trek on this day will be challenging and fairly technical so we start at early morning. We trek through mixed rocky fields along the riverbank and arrive at a waterfall where the view is breathe taking. We will then cross a bridge and reach Ramtang monastery. On our way we will pass through another landslide area slowly. After descending to the river we finally arrive at Lhonak. Overnight as camping.
Trek to Pangpema/Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5388m), 6-7 hours
Finally we will reach Kanchenjunga base camp on this day. We will trek along the Kanchenjunga Glacier and reach Pangpema to spend a night where Kanchenjunga base camp lies on the north side. We will follow team guide’s guide as the latter part of trail is full of loose soil that may even cause landslides sometimes. We ensure maximum precaution and crossing such landslides we will reach Pangpema, the Kanchenjunga base camp. If the trekker is willing to trek even more uphill, after a gradual steep climb a little higher, we can enjoy the splendor of Jannu, Kanchenjunga and Chang Himal. Overnight at camp.
Climbing Period of Kanchenjunga (8586m)
Climbing of Kanchenjunga is very tough and technical. It is among the most difficult summit to climb in the planet and success rate is lower than other summits of Nepal. Climbing period for Kanchenjunga begins now on. Experts often compare the summit with K2 of Pakistan. We will not be providing a day-to-day itinerary for the climb period, as this will be determined by the expedition guide and crew members. Guides and Sherpa will take a flexible approach based on what fits with climbers’ and their own experience. Typically, the team will spend a few days at the base camp organizing food, practicing rope skills, and acclimatizing before moving above the base camp. From base camp, there will be 3 camps set up until you reach summit. Base camp is in comfortable position on rock and protected from winds. Make sure to acclimatize well before you start climbing higher altitude. Enough time needs to be allowed for bad weather and slow acclimatization. Summit push will be normally at the mid night. So that team reached at top early in the morning.
Trek back to Suketar via Ghunsa-Amjilosa-Sakathum-Chhiruwa
We will trek back to Suketar where we will catch a flight to biratnagar and finally to Kathmandu. The trek will be downhill through magnificent sections of forest as long as we make Amjilosa in one day. We pass through the beautiful forest opening out to steep, grassy hillsides where Amjilosa is located. After short climb from Amjilosa, we will begin the steep descent. We will reach the joining of the Tamur and Ghunsa Khola. And after crossing the Simbu Khola, which originates from Kanchenjunga's south base camp, we will feel 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. Traversing in an out of minor valleys, we pass through a succession of picturesque villages on our way to Suketar, reaching around late afternoon. Overnight will be as camping.
Fly back to Kathmandu
We will fly back to Kathmandu via early flight. After reaching kathmandu, we can take a rest or explore surrounding locality of kathmandu and even do some souvenir shopping. Our guides will always help you with both souvenir shopping or sightseeing. Farewell dinner at night and overnight stay at Kathmandu.
This day is set aside for unforeseen conditions. This day is also reserved for proper rest and shopping at Kathmandu. One can enjoy local Thamel market or rest on this day. Overnight at Kathmandu.
If your schedule is to departure from Kathmandu we would drop you to the airport as per your schedule or you can extend your holiday if you have time.
Included in the Cost
- All transfer from Airport to Hotel and Hotel to Airport.
- Accommodation 4-night hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast (3-star hotel)
- Domestic flight / Drive from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and Back to Kathmandu,
- Kanchenjunga Expedition Climbing Permit.
- Garbage Deposit
- Government Liaison Officer.
- All Meals (Tea, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) during the Trek and Climbing Time in Base Camp.
- Kanchenjunga Conservation Fee.
- Climbing Sherpa Guide
- Climbing Sherpa (Assistant)
- Cook and Kitchen Staff for the Base Camp
- Trekking and full room and board at Camp
- Required Number of Porter.
- Single/Double tent at the Camp with mattress
- Group Climbing Equipment’s (Fixed rope, Main rope, Ice hammer, Snow Bar, Ice screw)
- Walkie-talkie radios set.
- Tents for Base Camp- High Camp - Camp 1 - Camp 2 & Camp 3
- Kitchen Tents, Dinning Tents and Toilet Tents in Base Camp.
- Insurance for all of the team staffs (Nepali)
- Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu.
- All local charges and park fees
- All government and local taxes
- Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu