Kanchenjunga Circuit
Nepal

Trail above Ghunsa
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Strenuous
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: International Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 5 - 14 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 06 Apr 2021

Details

This is a long and challenging walk around Mt. Kanchenjunga visiting both North and South Base Camp

This has been described by many people as the finest trekking route in Nepal. It is a long trek going deep into the remote mountain ranges on Nepal’s border with Sikkim and Tibet. The trail explores the area around Kanchenjunga the third highest mountain in the world. You will see a wide range of scenery from lush, tropical jungle through to rhododendron, chestnut and oak forests and then at higher altitudes into the alpine zone. You will see a range of Nepalese culture and life-style from Rai and Limbus to Tibetan Buddhist villages.

The route starts by approaching the north side of Kanchenjunga where you see views of Tent peak, Nepal peak, Cross peak and then at Base Camp Kanchenjunga itself becomes visible. From Pangpema the trek returns to Ghunsa and then crosses the Mirgin La pass over to the south side of Kanchenjunga. Once over this pass we visit the yak pastures of Ramche and Oktang where there are impressive views of the south west face of Kanchenjunga.

  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists and we have been operating trips in Nepal for many years. Roland Hunter, owner and founder of The Mountain Company, has modified this itinerary based on his first-hand experience of the Kanchenjunga region.
  • The Mountain Company has organised eight successful Kanchenjunga Circuit treks. For more information on how these treks went please take a look at our Trip Reports.
  • We work with some of the best mountain leaders and guides with deep knowledge and experience of the Himalaya and Karakoram. Unlike many other operators we still allocate appropriately trained international leaders for more remote and technical trips like Kanchenjunga Circuit.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Kanchenjunga Circuit where our overall holiday rating is 100%. Our approach to organising trips in the Himalayas has helped The Mountain Company win awards such as 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year and 2015 Bronze Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year.
  • Our itinerary has been carefully designed to ensure sufficient acclimatisation as well as including a number of spare days to maximise the chance of crossing the passes and completing the Circuit.
  • Western branded tents are used for all of our camping treks in Nepal. These are high quality three person domed tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • The Mountain Company will receive bespoke weather forecasts for the Kanchenjunga region from EverestWeather.com and from our in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Nepal. It is essential for your guide to have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety. We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location on to Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • We provide all porters with windproof jacket & trousers, crampons and shelter as per International Porter Protection Group (“IPPG”) guidelines.
  • There will be a range of tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. We give everyone in the group one chocolate or muesli bar per day (Mars, Twix, Bounty etc) and also provide Pringles and biscuits at tea time. For breakfast every morning we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.
  • We bring a comprehensive first aid kit plus high altitude medicine, antibiotics and other medicines. There will also be a portable altitude chamber (PAC or Gamow bag).
  • Pre trip support will be given by our Operations team with first hand knowledge of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. During high season we have a TMC representative from our UK Operations team based in Kathmandu.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

None

Hotel Tibet

Flying into Kathmandu on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable experience, with the Nepalese Himalaya sprawling out below you. After customs, you will pass out of the restricted area and into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. You will see a Mountain Company signboard and our representative will be waiting to welcome you to Nepal.

After transferring to your hotel, you will be given a chance to catch your breath and then be given a full briefing. The rest of the day will be yours to explore and to shop for any items that you require. Today you will hear the Nepalese word for hello ‘Namaste’, you will probably never forget that word after this trek.

Briefing, kit checks & sightseeing in Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Tibet

Today your leader will brief you on the trek and check your gear. We will collect your passports from you at the briefing and then we will visit the government offices to obtain the expedition permits.

After the briefing we will organise a one day guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley visiting three out of the seven World Heritage Sites. You will start off by visiting Patan Durbar Square then drive to the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath followed by the last stop of the day at the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath. The tour is likely to finish around 4pm and the rest of the day is free to further explore Kathmandu as well as to pack your bags for the trek starting tomorrow morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items not needed on trek.

Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere.

In the streets of Kathmandu there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit as well as products imported from China and India. While the city has dramatically expanded over the last 10 years, on the outskirts of the valley it is still possible to see traditional houses set in landscape sculpted by contours of the paddy fields. These villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid red chillies of laid out on mats drying in the sun.

Flight to Bhadrapur

Bus to Ilam (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel in Ilam

We take the morning flight to Bhadrapur and then drive in a private bus to Ilam where we spend the night in a hotel.

Drive to Taplejung (4 hours)

Walking for 9km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 37m

Walking descent 800m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

This morning we leave early and drive passing through tea and cardamom plantations. During our drive we stop at the top of a pass of which we get our first magnificent views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Jannu in the far distance. We drive onto Taplejung where on arrival we meet our trekking crew. After lunch we start the trek by making a steep descent to the Tamur river to reach the village of Mitlung. Today and for the next couple of days the path is often wet, muddy and slippery so two trekking poles are definitely required.

Walking for 14.5km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 695m

Walking descent 350m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From camp the trail descends to the Tamur river passing several villages. This is a fertile area with a range of crops including rice, millet, potatoes and vegetables. There is a descent to a wooden bridge crossing the Thiwa Khola , then some more ups and downs before arriving at Chirwa. The village of Chirwa has a bazaar, a few lodges and some shops. We camp a short walk from the village in a large field among huge boulders.

Walking for 11.5km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 580m

Walking descent 260m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail follows the Tamur river along the valley floor and after a couple of hours we arrive to Taplechok at 1,380m where our trekking permit will be checked at the park gate. From Taplechok we cross a suspension bridge over the river to walk on the west bank along a path where cardamom can be seen growing among the forest. Cardamon is an important cash crop especially prevalent in the middle hills of east Nepal.

We will have lunch at a lodge in Phembu (3 ½ hours) then the trail starts to ascend above Tamur river to Lelep at 1,750m.  We descend to cross a suspension bridge over Tamor river to enter the more narrow Ghunsa Khola Valley and then on to our camp at Sekathum. This is a Tibetan village and it is from here you get the first views of the high Himalaya where Jannu is visible on a clear day up the Ghunsa valley.

Walking for 10km (4.5 hours)

Walking ascent 965m

Walking descent 160m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We cross the suspension bridge over Ghunsa river at Sekathum camp and then follow the path through dense forest. In places the trail is steep and narrow as we walk through a dramatic gorge. We normally have lunch at one of the basic lodges in Solima. After lunch we follow a switchback trail up through trees reaching Amjilossa high above the gorge.

Walking for 10km (4.5 hours)

Walking ascent 750m

Walking descent 450m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Gyabla there is a short ascent through lush bamboo, oak and rhodendron forests to cross a small ridge. We descend towards Ghunsa Khola at a place called Thyanyani (2,400m) where there are several stone shelters. The trail makes several short climbs and descents before passing a large waterfall and a final steep and rocky ascent to Gyabla.

Walking for 12.5km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 910m

Walking descent 220m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Gyabla, the valley opens out and we walk along an easier path for most of the way to Phole. It will start to get cooler today as we climb above 3,000m. At the same time the vegetation changes and we will see see more rhododendrons and azaleas. Before arriving to Phole we pass through the winter village for Ghunsa in a wide plateau. At Phole village it is worth having a look at the monastery and exploring the village where at some houses you can see the ladies weaving carpets.

From Phole it takes a further 1 ½ hours to reach the larger village of Ghunsa. This is a picturesque Tibetan village with wooden houses covered in colourful prayer flags. There are several lodges and shops in the village and a small Kanchenjunga Conservation Area office along with a couple of gompas. We will camp in the garden of one of the lodges however will use their dining room for meals. There are hot showers available in the lodge and also a small shop.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

An acclimatisation walk will be organised today along the route to Lobsang La. This is a good option as the trail gains height to 4,000m in about 3 hours from camp and 2 hours to return to Ghunsa. This was a good walk for acclimatising purposes by following the rule “climbing high and sleeping low”. This will help your body adjust to the gain in altitude and help you adapt over the next three days as you travel up to the northside Kanchenjunga Base Camp. This walks is 7.5km return and involves 567m ascent and descent from and back to Ghunsa.

 

Walking for 12km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 810m

Walking descent 170m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Ghunsa the trail makes a gradual ascent through pine and rhododendron forests along the east bank of the Ghunsa Khola passing several mani walls and chortens along the way. After three hours walking we crossing a bridge over Ghunsa Khola and will have lunch in a grassy area called Rampuk Kharka (3,720m). Today as you gain altitude the mountain scenery becomes ever more spectacular and higher up before the landslide area the dramatic north face of Jannu is visible. Be careful when crossing this landslide as there is a risk of rockfall from above. The trail contours the hillside then descends to Khambachen. Khambachen is a Tibetan settlement with about a dozen houses nestled in a grassy plain with mountains all around.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We spend two nights at Khambachen in order to help your acclimatisation before moving up over 750m in altitude to Lhonak. We recommend you join a short walk organised by our guides and then spend the rest of the day resting and relaxing around camp. The walk up Nupchu Khola from Khambachen is well worth doing for the impressive views of Mount Jannu. If you would like to do a longer acclimatisation walk then you can head up to the Jannu shrine, this is a 6 hour walk there and back. The shrine is just under 4400m and is 11km return distance with 500m ascent/descent.

Walking for 10.5km (4 to 5 hours)

Walking ascent 820m

Walking descent 150m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Khambachen the trail contours through azalea and rhododendron along a lateral moraine passing through a seasonal yak herder’s camp at Ramtang (4,370m). After an hour or so the trail becomes rockier and we pass under a landslide area. Like for the landslide before Khambachen it is best to keep moving at a steady pace and to keep alert for any rockfall.

We climb through open rocky fields and then cross moraines North West of the Kanchenjunga Glacier to Lhonak. The campsite at Lhonak is near several large stone huts and has incredible views of Wedge Peak (6,750m), Mera (6,344m), Nepal Peak (6,910m), Twins (7,351m) among

Walking for 18km (6 to 7 hours)

Walking ascent 700m

Walking descent 700m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Lhonak the trail ascends along the lateral moraine from Kanchenjunga Glacier for about two hours. After passing through several sections of loose rock and landslide area the trail climbs less steeply to reach the stone huts in a grassy area at Pangpema in a further two hours. The view of the vast north face of Kanchenjunga from Pangpema is very impressive. After having lunch while enjoying the mountain vista we start the return walk back to Lhonak, taking about 3 hours.

Walking for 22km (8 hours)

Walking ascent 500m

Walking descent 1,600m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Walk back along the same trail through Kambachen to Ghunsa village.

Walking for 7.5km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 880m

Walking descent 100m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Ghunsa we follow a steep rocky trail through the forest then along a ridge with a short, steep section to Sele La pass at 4,290m. The views are fantastic and you can clearly see High Camp which is about half an hour further walking from the pass. High Camp is well positioned in sheltered spot with a couple wooden lodges and a small lake. From here you can see Mount Makalu in the far distance.

Walking for 17km (8 hours)

Walking ascent 700m

Walking descent 870m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an early start from High Camp we follow a good trail as it ascends to our first pass Sinion La at 4,440m. From here the trail contours the hillside and a short steep climb brings you to Mirgin La Pass at 4,480m. The trail then descends briefly before contouring round before a final short steep climb brings you to the top of Sinelapche La Pass at 4,840m. From the top of every pass you will be rewarded with magnificent views. From the last pass there is a 1,000m descent on a trail past a small lake to Tseram which is a small settlement located above the Simbua Khola.

Walking for 15km (7 to 8 hours)

Walking ascent 890m

Walking descent 350m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we walk up to Ramche for lunch where we pass the snout of the Yalung glacier into an ablation valley. All the peaks to the east straddle the India-Nepal border- Koktang (6,147m), Rathong (6,679m) and some of the Kabrus which are all over 7,000m. There is a lake and a meadow along with two stone houses at Ramche and often blue sheep can often be seen on the grassy slopes above.

In the afternoon we follow the ablation valley to Oktang, the whole cirque is above 7,500m and the three main summits all over 8,400m can be seen. The climbing route to the summit of Kanchenjunga, first climbed by Joe Brown and George Band in 1955 can be seen from Oktang.

Walking for 16.5km (8 hours)

Walking ascent 75m

Walking descent 1,520m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail descends through Tseram and follows the river in rhododendron forest to Tortong where we camp for the night.

Walking for 13.5km (7 to 8 hours)

Walking ascent 820m

Walking descent 1,760m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Tortong it is about 3 hours to lunch as we have 650m to ascend. The trail climbs steeply through mossy forest and past the landslide that happened in 2013 to the pass at Lamite Bhanjang for lunch. After lunch the trail descends quite steeply on a good path for about 2 hours before crossing Imja Khola. The trail then contours round the hillside before descending to Yamphudin. This village has a mixed community of Sherpas, Rais, Limbus and Gurungs and there is also the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area office.

Walking for 9km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 490m

Walking descent 735m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After leaving the lovely village of Yamphudin we take the undulating path high above the river to Mamankhe.

Walking for 13.5km (8 hours)

Walking ascent 1,100m

Walking descent 744m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Mamanke the trail enters a side canyon and crosses a stream on a long suspension bridge before climbing to Ponphe village. The trail climbs to two tea shops on the ridge above then begins a traverse through a series of valleys past several villages.  The trail continues up to Kande Bhanjyang where we camp for the night.

Walking for 11km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 900m

Walking descent 750m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail traverses a ridge to the Limbu village of Khunjari and then descends to Pha Khola. From here one and ascends through Pokhara and Shimu villages to Thenbewa then continues through forest to Lali Kharka where we camp for the night.

Walking for 10.5km (3 hours)

Walking ascent 300m

Walking descent 275m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodge in Suketar

The trail descends to the Pha Khola and climbs steeply through Pokhara and Shimu villages to Thenbewa.  It then continues through forest to Lali Kharka and on to a ridge from where it descends gradually to the airfield at Suketar. We have now completed an amazing journey around the Nepalese side of Kanchenjunga.

Bus to Bhadrapur (10 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel in Bhadrapur

Drive to Bhadrapur.

Flight to Kathmandu

Breakfast and Lunch

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Fly to Kathmandu

Flight home

Breakfast

Fly back home.

Dates & Prices

We provide an early bird discount for the first people paying their deposits to make up our minimum group size

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 06 Apr 2021 to 02 May 2021 Trip Leader Ben Walker Price US$4,175pp
US$4,075pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$375pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now
Dates 26 Oct 2021 to 21 Nov 2021 Trip Leader Natalie Wilson Price US$4,175pp
US$4,075pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$375pp
Availability 4 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 05 Apr 2022 to 01 May 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$4,175pp
US$4,075pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$375pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now
Dates 25 Oct 2022 to 20 Nov 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$4,175pp
US$4,075pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$240pp / US$375pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

Enquire Here

What's Included

  • Internal flight to/from Kathmandu and Bhadrapur.
  • All transfers including airport collections.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Tibet or Hotel Ambassador in Kathmandu.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu, all meals included while on trek.
  • Twin share tents while on trek using our Western branded tents. These are three person domed tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, Western and Sherpa guides, porters and cooks.
  • The porterage allowance for your main bag to be carried by a porter is 15kg. For the internal flights the weight allowance is 15kg for your main bag checked into the hold and 5kg for day pack carried with you inside the aircraft.
  • Bespoke weather forecasts for Kanchenjunga region from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Kanchenjunga trekking map given to you after arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • After booking with us we will send you our comprehensive "Nepal Pre Trip Information" notes.
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone and face to face meetings in London.

What's Included

  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Internal flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and at the end of the trek from Jomsom to Pokhara & Kathmandu.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Tibet or Ambassador in Kathmandu and in Pokhara at Hotel Mount Kailash.
  • Breakfast only in Kathmandu and Pokhara, all meals included while on trek.   
  • Twin share tents while on trek using our Western branded tents. These are three person domed tents with plenty of space for two people sharing plus gear
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, International and Sherpa guides, porters and cook.
  • The porterage allowance for your main bag to be carried by a porter is 18kg (or 20kg for those climbing Dhampus Peak too). For the internal flights the weight allowance is 15kg for your main bag checked into the hold and 5kg for day pack carried with you inside the aircraft (we will send some of your gear by bus from Jomsom with the trek crew).
  • Bespoke weather forecasts for Dhaulagiri region from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Thuraya satellite phone for organising logistics and medical evacuations, it can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location on to Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • Dhaulagiri Circuit trekking map given to you on arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Rubberised luggage tag posted to you before departure.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone or face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Nepal Pre Trip Information” notes.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Location
  • Travel & trekking insurance
  • visa for 30 days
  • Lunch and evening meals
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Tips. Each trekker should allow for tip amounts into the group fund of 21,000 Nepalese rupees equivalent to £150, US$200 or €170.
  • Other items not listed in "What is included"

Accommodation

Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu

Hotel Tibet is located in Lazimpat next to the Radisson and is our usual hotel for our standard trips in Nepal.

We have used Hotel Tibet for over 15 years and our previous clients enjoy staying at this property due to its good location, comfortable rooms and high level of service. There is a garden terrace next to the restaurant on the ground floor and the roof terrace with the Yeti Bar overlooking the city.


Camping in Nepal

We use both Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1s and Quechua tents for our camping treks in Nepal.

Practical Information

A Typical Day On Camping Trek

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the assistant guides. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast you will pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7am and 8am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks.


There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three course meal is served in the mess tent around 6-7pm. After supper the international leader will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.

While on the trek, the cook will provide good quality food in sufficient quantities.  For breakfast you are likely to get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. For our camping treks we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine. On arrival to camp in the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three course meal will follow later in the evening.

Communications

We bring a Thuraya satellite phone for logistical, safety and personal use. Personal calls charged at £4 (US$5 or €4.50) per minute and £2 (US$3 €4.50) to send and receive SMS text.

Clothing and Equipment List for Kanchenjunga Circuit

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. Your gear will be checked by the group leader in Kathmandu prior to departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on Kanchenjunga Circuit trek you will experience hot and humid conditions with temperatures around 25˚C. You will experience the coldest temperatures at Lhonak an altitude of 4,785m where overnight lows will be down to around -15˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kgThe rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a porter. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 15kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.  Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek. Over the years of organising treks in Nepal we have had several boots fall apart so it is essential you also bring trail shoes as a backup.
  • Trail shoes. Can be used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. fully enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. These are required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak) Minimum two.
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton). Minimum two.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic pants. To be worn around the lodge or added as an additional layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.

Heads and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Headtorch.  Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.

For crossing the passes

  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail, river crossings and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Kahtoola Microspikes or YakTrax Summits. These are for your safety and security when descending passes if snowy or icy conditions.  These are not crampons - they can be fitted directly to your walking boots.
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.

Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows will be around -15℃. Note: it is possible to rent a bag in Kathmandu from Shonas Rental.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with one foam mat however we recommend two layers for maximum insulation and comfort. We also provide everyone with a pillow.
  • Daypack. Recommended size is 40 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing as well as climbing gear and down jacket. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).  You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have 2 water bottles.
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. We suggest you keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffle bag for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). A rugged, waterproof duffle bag made of a plastic material 100-120 litres in size is recommended eg. Mountain Equipment 100l or Rab 120l. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletry bag, soap, travel towel, toothbrush, travel wash etc. You will be provided with toilet paper on trek.

Personal first aid kit

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

 

 

Clothing and Equipment List for Kanchenjunga Circuit

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. Your gear will be checked by the group leader in Kathmandu prior to departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on Kanchenjunga Circuit trek you will experience hot and humid conditions with temperatures around 25˚C. You will experience the coldest temperatures at Lhonak an altitude of 4,785m where overnight lows will be down to around -15˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for items required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel bag or backpack will be carried by a porter. The maximum weight allowance is 15kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification. The maximum weight allowance is 15kg for your kit bag plus 5kg for your day pack.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.  Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek. Over the years of organising treks in Nepal we have had several boots fall apart so it is essential you also bring trail shoes as a backup.
  • Trail shoes. Can be used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. fully enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. These are required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak) Minimum two.
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton). Minimum two.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic pants. To be worn around the lodge or added as an additional layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.

Heads and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Headtorch.  Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.

For crossing the passes

  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail, river crossings and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Kahtoola Microspikes or YakTrax Summits. These are for your safety and security when descending passes if snowy or icy conditions.  These are not crampons - they can be fitted directly to your walking boots.
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.

Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows will be around -15℃. Note: it is possible to rent a bag in Kathmandu from Shonas Rental.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest). On trek we provide everyone with one foam mat however we recommend two layers for maximum insulation and comfort. We also provide everyone with a pillow.
  • Daypack. Recommended size is 40 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing as well as climbing gear and down jacket. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).  You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have 2 water bottles.
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. We suggest you keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffle bag for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). A rugged, waterproof duffle bag made of a plastic material 100-120 litres in size is recommended eg. Mountain Equipment 100l or Rab 120l. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletry bag, soap, travel towel, toothbrush, travel wash etc. You will be provided with toilet paper on trek.

Personal first aid kit

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

Threat and risk assessment for Kanchenjunga Circuit

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Kanchenjunga Circuit we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Kanchenjunga Circuit is available to clients on request. For your information we have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Getting lost or becoming separated from group eg. crossing Mirgin pass in whiteout.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping eg. at Mirgin La High Camp.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Snow and ice avalanches eg crossing Mirgin La pass.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accident [see paragraph “Internal flights in Nepal” for further information].
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights for Kanchenjunga Circuit

Please note that flights to and from Nepal’s airstrips such as Bhadrapur are dependent on the weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds. 

If you have to wait in Kathmandu at the beginning of the trip due to delays in flying in the cost for your overnight accommodation in Kathmandu is not included so you will have to pay extra for this.

British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) travel advice to Nepal states that “STOL airstrips in Nepal are among the most remote and difficult to land on in the world and are a challenge for even the most technically proficient pilots and well-maintained aircraft.” For their latest advice please take a look at their Safety & Security section under Air Travel.

There have been a number of recent air accidents in Nepal and in December 2013 The European Union banned all airlines based in Nepal from flying in the 28-nation bloc under the latest changes to a list of unsafe carriers.  For more information on Nepal’s air safety profile take a look at Aviation Safety Network.

Weather and climate for Kanchenjunga Circuit

Kanchenjunga Circuit will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool, normally around 5˚C, and during the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25˚C. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15˚C to -15˚C.

The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to May, with October and November generally recognised as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom.

Suggested reading and maps for Kanchenjunga Circuit

Maps

Kanchenjunga by Himalayan Maphouse Trekking Maps of Nepal scale: 1:100,000 This map will be included in your welcome pack when you arrive in Nepal.

Nepal Trekking Map Himalayan Maphouse Scale: 1:900,000

 

Books

Kanchenjunga the Untrodden Peak by Charles Evans.

The Hard Years by Joe Brown

The Kanchenjunga Adventure by Frank Smythe

Round Kanchenjunga by Douglas Freshfield

Living on the Edge: The Winter Ascent of Kanchenjungaby Cherie Bremer-Kamp

Kanchenjunga; First Ascent from the North-East Spur by Col Narinder Kumar

Kangchenjunga Himal and Kumbhakana by Jan Kielkowski

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman

Nepali Phrasebook by Lonely Planet

 

 

 

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