Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking
Kanchenjunga base camp trekking facts
- Duration of Trip: 24 Days
- Trekking Days: 20 Days
- Type of Trek: Teahouse / Lodge stay
- Max. Altitude: 5140 mt.
- Grade of Trek: Fairly challenging- strenuous
- Main Attraction: Kanchenjunga Camp
- Permit :USD 10 Per week per person :KCAP USD 30 :TIMS 10
The great Himalayan massif Kanchenjunga is situated on the eastern border of Nepal adjoining the small Indian state of Sikkim. Its highest point at 8,586 metres makes it the third tallest mountain in the world. The name of this iconic mountain comes from Tibetan and translates roughly to mean “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow.” It stands proud with multiple peaks, hence the name. Local legend has it that each of the five “treasuries” contains symbolic riches: gold, silver, gemstones, grains and Holy Scriptures.
The beautiful and very challenging trek to its base camp is one of the least tourist frequented hiking routes in Nepal. If you wish to get off the standard “beaten track” and are prepared for very simple, basic tea house accommodation and local food, are very fit and wish to enjoy the majestic mountain wilderness with even the possibility of spotting a rare snow leopard, this trek is certainly worth your consideration. For this trek, you will need to have had some mountain hiking experience and also have considerable time available, around 24 days, including your travel time from Kathmandu to complete it comfortably, to give yourself a few rest days and also to factor in possible but not inevitable delays due to bad weather or feeling out of sorts.
This all having been said, the trek itself will provide you with a remarkable, unforgettable walking experience in the Himalaya which will be compensation for the challenging stretches where the path is extremely, steep, narrow and traverses areas of scree and moraine. Be prepared for some vertiginous views from parts of the trek which are both narrow and high. Your trek will take you from around approximately 2300metres at Suketar to around 5140 metres altitude at Pangpema, the base camp for climbing expeditions to the north face of Kanchenjunga.
Your journey will begin with a flight of a little over an hour from Kathmandu to Suketar-Tapeljung, landing on a remote airstrip in the north east of Nepal. During the course of your trek, you will climb from the densely forested temperate lower slopes, past raging rivers and rhododendron forests up to the higher alpine regions beyond the tree line. After you have climbed to over 3000 metres, you will encounter yaks and also have the possibility of spotting some of the renowned wildlife of the mountains, such as ibex, blue sheep and even the rare snow leopard. Towards the higher altitudes you will experience beautiful vistas across many of the neighbouring peaks including Jannu, 7710metres, as well as of Kanchenjunga itself.
There are several ethnic groups living in the areas you will traverse during your trek: Rai, Limbu and also Sherpas. You will observe there is a strong Tibetan influence on the culture and way of life of the local people. You will experience their hospitality and also develop an appreciation for their great resilience and resourcefulness fostered through living so remotely in the mountains, dependent mainly on their own produce and labour. The simplicity of their lives may inspire you to reflect on your own needs and what it takes to feel fulfilled and contented.
It would be hard to return to your usual life after such an extended and beautiful Kanchenjunga base camp trekking without feeling deep gratitude for having experienced this challenging walk and also profound humility in the face of such mountain grandeur. Should you have any questions at all, contact EncountersNepal.com Rishi is always honest, supportive and does his utmost to ensure the safety, well being, comfort and enduring memories of his guests. He will give you sound advice on your capacity for this trek or make suggestions as to what may be an excellent and satisfying compromise for you.