Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world and straddles the border between Nepal and Sikkim. An enormous massif with multiple peaks, ridges and faces it presents an awesome speactacle as seen both from the Sikkim and Nepal side. The trek to the North Base Camp, the famous Pangpema is fabled for the incredible views. The trek is a long one involving a flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur and then a nine hour jeep journey to Taplejung the start of the walk. Logistics have now become easier due to the development of basic tea houses providing food and shelter. If you want to get away from the crowds of Everest and Annapurna this autumn then this could be the trek for you.
Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular hill walkers, high level of fitness required.
1) Walking times: average 6 to 8 hours walking per day (with some longer days one the way down) - two acclimatisation days are included
2) Altitude: up to 5,140 m at the base camp Pangpema. There are no passes to cross.
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails although also likely to encounter rough and rocky conditions. There are steep ascents and descents on this trek especially in the first few days in the valley.
4) Remoteness: the trek is in a remote mountain area and a long distance from the roadhead and the nearest cities. Mobile phone connectivity will work in only a few places.
5) High altitude insurance including emergency evacuation insurance by helicopter is compulsory for this trek.
6) Prior trekking experience is recommended for this trek.
Trek Leader: Sujoy Das Sirdar: Shyam Tamang
KANGCHENJUNGA TREK NORTH BASE CAMP ITINERARY
Day 01 -Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by a forty five minute flight then lunch at Bhadrapur. Drive in our private vehicle to Ilam (four hours). Overnight in a lodge in Ilam (800m).
Day 02 – Ilam to Taplejung by jeep five hours. We reach Taplejung (1870m) by noon and then after an early lunch walk a steep downhill to Mitlung three to four hours after lunch. Night at Mitlung (900m).
Day 03 -Trek from Mitlung to Thiwa (1200m) take 6-7 hours. Lunch in the village of Sinwa (3 hours from Mitlung)
Day 04 Trek from Thiwa to Lelep (1650m) 4-5 hrs, passing through Tapethok on the way. At Tapethok the restricted area starts and we pass through a checkpoint. As there are no teahouses until Lelep we have both lunch and dinner there.
Day 05 Lelep to Amjilosa (2400m), 5 hrs. Lunch in Lamatar. The track passes through a series of waterfalls which makes the track slippery in places.
Day 06 Amjilosa to Gyabla (2725m) 5 hrs. A cultural change occurs and locals start to be more Tibetan. Lunch in Thangyem. You begin seeing yaks, the symbols of the high Himalaya.
Day 07 Gyabla to Ghunsa (3415m). Ghunsa is like the capital of Kanchenjunga. It’s a large Sherpa village, on the Ghunsa River, with a very old monastery. Lunch in Phale (3125m), a 4 hrs walk from Gyabla. From Phale it is 1 hrs to Ghunsa.
Day 08 Acclimatization day in Ghunsa, with a day hike to a nearby ridge with excellent views of Jannu Peak. Packed lunches should be taken. It’s 3 hrs up to the ridge and 2 hrs down again. You can leave summer gear here in Ghunsa, as you will be coming back.
Day 09 Ghunsa to Khangbachen (4145m) 5-6 hrs. A packed lunch is needed as there is nothing in between. We cross several wooden bridges and a section prone to landslides which can alter the trail. We cross 4000 metres for the first time
Day 10 Another rest day, to acclimatize at Khangbachen. There is also an excellent side trip from Kambachen which is very similar to Ghunsa except with views towards Kanchenjunga
Day 11 Kambachen to Lhonak (4792m) 5 to 6 hrs. We trek up a wide valley next to the glacier with excellent views on both sides. The trail becomes rough with large boulders and accommodation in Lhonak is basic but views are great and a large grassy plain which has a few lodges.
Day 12 Lhonak to Pangpema (5140m) and back to Lhonak at night, 3-4 hrs along a well formed trail. Accommodation at the teahouse in Pangpema is not guaranteed, it might be closed or full. Because of this we normally do a day trip but depending on the situation, you can also spend a night in Pangpema. We have a packed lunch at Pangpema, take a thousand pictures of the Kanchenjunga North Face and then return to Lhonak.
Day 13 From Lhonak it is 8 hrs walk back to Ghunsa, mostly downhill, back to civilization. Don’t forget to collect any equipment left there. We have lunch in Kambachen on the way down.
Day 14 Ghunsa to Amjilosa, 7-8 hrs mostly downhill. We can have lunch in Gyabla.
Day 15 Amjilosa to Thiwa 6-7 hrs walk back down, and out of the restricted area of Kanchenjunga.
Day 16 Thiwa to Sinwa to Mitlung 6-7 hrs.
Day 17 Mitlung to Taplejung, 4 hrs steep climb. We reach Taplejung by lunch and leave after lunch for Ilam which we reach in the evening.
Day 18 We drive from Ilam early morning and reach Bhadrapur by lunch time. We then take an afternoon Buddha Air flight back to Kathmandu.
October 23rd to November 9th 2017. Kathmandu to Kathmandu. You need to reach Kathmandu on October 22nd 2017 to process the permit and can leave Kathmandu on November 10th 2017.
USD 1475 (INR 95,000) Indian Citizens and US$ 1750 for foreign passport holders ( Meals not included). Please budget an additional USD 500 for meals, hot water in flasks, battery charging, wi fi charges, hot showers if possible in lodges for the trek.
The cost is per person for Kathmandu to Kathmandu (18 days) as per the itinerary given. Taxes included.
Costs given above are at current rates and may change without notice. Changes if any will be notified 2 months before the trek.
Flight costs from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur and back and transport cost from Bhadrapur to Taplejung and back to Bhadrapur in our own private vehicle.
All permits including Kangchenjunga Restricted Area permit, National Park permit and TIMS as applicable.
All accommodation on the trek on twin sharing basis. There are no luxury lodges on this route and accommodation will be basic without attached bathrooms.
Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu one night on the way in and one night on the way out is covered in a good hotel with breakfast.
Cost of porters/guides for the trek. Please note that porters will carry one duffel bag or backpack not exceeding 10 kgs in weight for each trekker comprising of personal items, clothing, sleeping bag etc.
Costs not included
Meals in Kathmandu
Breakfast lunch and dinner on the trek is not included. Desserts, drinks, and exotic items listed in the lodge menus are not included. Alcohol, cold drinks (coca cola, sprite, beer), juices, ice cream etc on the trek. Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc
Client travel and medical insurance of any kind. Emergency evacuation costs if needed.
Hot showers (Rs 200-300 per shower) as available; Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag; down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc.
Air fare from residence country to Nepal and back
Tips to porters and guide at the end of trek. Please budget USD 50 per head as tips to the common pool
|Duffle Bag||All the equipment listed below other than what you need for the day should be packed into a duffle bag, locked and handed over to the porters in the morning. In case you cannot get a duffle bag in your home country these are available very cheap in Kathmandu and I can help you with this. The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs!|
|1||Sleeping Bag||Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F|
|2||Daypack or Hipbelt||To carry water, one jacket some nuts, chocolates, cap, camera to keep with you in the day, maybe gloves and cap as well, hiking poles etc.|
|3||Boots or Trekking Shoes||one pair|
|4||Slippers or Sandals for camp||lightweight to wear in the evenings|
|5||warm Socks||2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear|
|7||Underwear||1 to wear and 2 to carry|
|8||Warm Cap||one- Wool or fleece is usually good|
|9||Heavy jacket||the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.|
|10||Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns||inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;|
|11||Mid Layer||Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking|
|12||T shirts for walking||one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt|
|13||Trousers /tights etc||one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred|
|14||One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket||useful in case of wind ... you may need it in light rain though we would usually take shelter and wait for the rain to stop. Our trek is not in the rainy season though some light rain/snow in the late afternoon evenings cannot be ruled out.|
|15||Torch or headlamp||one small needed carry one set spare batteries|
|16||Sun bloc||one small tube should be ok spf 30 or 50|
|17||some essential medicines||vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc|
|18||Hiking poles||if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!|
|19||Water bottle||one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles|
|20||Sun glasses||the sun is strong in the day|
|21||Cap for the sun||ditto!|
|22||small towel||for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower|
|23||toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb||and any other toilet items you may need!|
|24||wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom||called wet ones in India|
|25||some washing powder surf etc small||to wash clothes en route if needed|
|26||Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up||can be divided into small packets for daily use|
|27||Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bags||Carry some chocolates or energy bars to have on the way. Amul cheese slices are very useful and can be had as snacks when you are tired of sweets!|
|29||Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains||or any other equivalent|
|30||Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification||available in Kathmandu- this is important as mineral water bottles are expensive; for overseas visitors you can get iodine tablets in REI and other large outdoor outlets|
|31||Electral or any other rehydating salts||Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated|
|32||some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc|
|33||Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!|
|34||Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one for your room in case the lodge does not have a lock|
|35||Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!|
|36||Super Glue||To patch up boots that may give way!|
|37||Face mask||For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu|
|38||Extra shoe laces||one pair|
India: +919831054569; Nepal: +977 9818037020
Nepal: +977 9851022984
The cancellation policy and refunds available are given below:
0-7 days before the start of the trek =75%
8 -15 days before the start of the trek = 50%
16-30 days before the start of the trek = 35%
31-45 days before the start of the trek = 25%
46 days and above = 15%
IN CASE OF LEAVING THE GROUP
If due to illness or any other reason a client has to leave the group and go down or wait at a lodge for the group to pick him/her up on the way back or return to Kathmandu, all expenses including lodging, fooding, transport and any porter/guide related expenses if any are to be borne by the individual client over and above the trek fees paid for the trek. There are also no refunds for leaving a trek before completion.
HIRING OF PONIES ETC
In the eventuality of a client needed the services of a pony to come down to lower altitudes, the cost of hiring the pony will be paid by the client.
EVACUATION BY HELICOPTER
In the eventuality of not being covered by emergency helicopter evacuation insurance and an evacuation is considered necessary, the cost of the evacuation will be paid by the client in advance to the helicopter company/travel agent etc as deemed necessary.
DELAYS DUE TO BANDHS, STRIKES AND OTHER FORCE MAJEURE EVENTS
In the event of a delay in starting or ending the trek due to issues beyond the control of South Col, additional costs if any arising out of the same would have to be borne by the clients.
LODGES ON THE TREK
The choice of lodges to be used on the trek will be decided by South Col and clients will have to stay at these designated lodges. Clients are not permitted to choose their own lodges on the route.
The trek route and day wise schedule will be fixed by South Col and will have to be followed by the client.
RISKS AND LIABILITY
The trek is in a remote mountain area and has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which include: physical exertion for which the client should be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected changes; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties.
In the event of injury or illness South Col Expeditions (Sujoy Das) or its Staff can, at the clients cost arrange any medical treatment and emergency evacuation service as it or they deem necessary for the health and safety of the client.