Singalila Ridge trek
10 Trees Planted for each Booking
Singalila Ridge trek follows the border separating Nepal and India and most villages in this area are ethnic Sherpa. The ridge is heavily forested with oak and rhododendron forest and has superb views of many well known peaks- Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga and Chomolhari.
Your journey starts by visiting the old British Raj hill station of Darjeeling followed by a classic six day trek following the main spur running south from the vast Kanchenjunga massif. After the trek we visit the hill station of Kalimpong staying at the historical Himalayan Hotel. In Kalimpong you have the chance to visit a Buddhist monastery and orchid nursery or just to relax in the gardens of the hotel with a cup of tea enjoying views of Kanchenjunga.
On the flight to Bagdogra, if the weather is clear,you will get a superb view of the Himalayas from the plane including the giants of Makalu, Everest and of course Kanchenjunga.
The drive to Darjeeling takes about 4 hours and follows the famous Darjeeling toy train. The hill station was built by the British during colonial times in India on top of a ridge facing the Himalayas and soon developed many tea gardens due to the ideal climate.
We are woken early and driven to Tiger Hill for the early morning sunrise views of Kangchenjunga. On the way back, we visit Ghoom monastery before returning for a late breakfast at the hotel.
Today we explore Darjeeling with a local guide visiting the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, which has an interesting collection of Everest memorabilia, and also the zoo with many animals including snow leopard, bear and red panda. We can also visit one of the many tea plantations and get a tour around the tea processing factory.
From Darjeeling we drive for about an hour to the road head at the small town of Manebhanjang. The trail starts by ascending 600 metres along a jeep track and then eases off as it passes through oak and rhododendron forest. We camp for the night at Megma. From here there are good views of Darjeeling spread over the ridge opposite and a panaorama of the entire Kangchenjunga range on the other side.
Today we trek along the Singalila ridge and in the pre monsoon season pass flowering magnolias, rhododendrons, primulas and other sub-alpine flowers. We stop at the holy Kali Pokhari lake which is well known as it never freezes. Around the lake there are many prayer flags and mani walls (carved stones with Buddhist prayers).
From Kali Pokhari it is a steep walk to Sandakphu. At an altitude of over 3600 metres, it has views of Kangchenjunga, Jannu, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and a number of high peaks in Sikkim and Bhutan such as Chomolhari.
If it is a clear morning we will enjoy sunrise views over Kanchenjunga and Everest! There are superb views of the Himalaya throughout the day as we walk along the Singalila ridge passing through forests of rhododendron and Himalayan fir. We camp overnight at Phalut which is where Nepal, Sikkim and West Bengal all meet- there are also views of both Everest and Kangchenjunga.
For the first part of today’s walk we stay on the ridge before descending through rhododendron and magnolia forest to our campsite at Ramam.
The trail continues descending with views of thickly forested hillsides and subtropical valleys along with an increasing number of farmlands and villages. After reaching the Sri Khola valley there is a short climb to the village of Rimbik.
In the morning we meet the jeeps for the drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong has a similar layout to Darjeeling as it straddles a ridge. We can relax here for the rest of the day while enjoying the views of the surrounding Himalayan foothills and perhaps make a visit to the Bhutanese Gompa.
In the morning we drive to Bagdogra airport where we catch the flight to Delhi.
Dates & Prices
|Dates||Trip Leader||Price||Single Supplement: Room/Tent||Availability|
|Dates 10 Oct 2022 to 21 Oct 2022||Trip Leader Local Leader||Price US$1,850pp|| Single Supplement: |
|Availability 2 Left to Guarantee||Book Now|
|Dates||Trip Leader||Price||Single Supplement: Room/Tent||Availability|
|Dates 20 Mar 2023 to 30 Mar 2023||Trip Leader Local Leader||Price US$1,850pp|| Single Supplement: |
|Availability 2 Left to Guarantee||Book Now|
For private and bespoke trip, please contact usEnquire Here
- All transfers including airport collections.
- Twin share room at Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling and Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong.
- Breakfast only at hotels in Delhi, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. All meals included while on trek.
- Twin share tents while on trek.
- All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, trekking guide, ponies (or yaks) and cook.
- 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)
What's Not Included
- International flight to/from Delhi.
- Internal flight to/from Bagdogra and Delhi.
- Travel & trekking insurance.
- India visa.
- Lunch and evening meals in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
- Personal clothing & equipment please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
- Other items not listed in “What is included”.
Typical Day On Camping Trek in Nepal
We provide a comfortable experience on our camping style treks. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. We provide personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent and toilet tent(s). The camp will be set up and dismantled by the trek crew. We bring along a cook and kitchen helpers to provide the meals.
The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the trek crew. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the trek crew pack away the tents. The porters arrange their loads and set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking.
The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the camp for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a spot by the side of the trail. Our cooks prepare lunch for us and the food is usually ready by the time the group arrives.
After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive to camp by mid afternoon. Some of the trek crew would have gone ahead of the group to set up camp and to put up the tents. On arrival to camp you will get a hot drink and biscuits. In the evening our cook will provide a three course meal in the mess tent around 6pm.
After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their tent quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today! The only difference is that if we are crossing a high pass or climbing to a summit we leave camp earlier in the morning.
You can read more about our Camping Treks in Nepal on our Blog. This article explains the advantages of camping versus teahouse lodge treks. It also describes what the campsite set up is like and more about the food provided by our cooks.
Food provided on Camping Trek in Nepal
While on a camping style trek in Nepal we provide tasty and nutritional food. We make sure there is more than enough quantity to go around as trekkers will be hungry after a long day on the trail. Over the years we have worked on increasing the variety of the menus. We have expanded the list of ingredients provided to the cooks so they have more to work with. Also in 2015 we purchased two food dehydrators with a vacuum sealing machine. We dehydrate a large number of different vegetables in Kathmandu before departure. This has transformed the quality of food especially on longer treks to remote areas.
For breakfast we provide porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. We provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.
For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.
On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadoms. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.
We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. Our meals are suitable for vegetarians. If there is a meat dish then we also provide vegetarian options as standard. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.
Clothing and Equipment List for Singalila Ridge
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 Singalila Ridge 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 Singalila Ridge trek you are likely to experience quite warm conditions and you will experience the coldest temperatures at Sandakphu at an altitude of 3,636m where overnight lows can get down to around -10˚C.
- Walking boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.
- A pair used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.
- Wool and liner socks.
- Trainers/sneakers or sandals. Can be used in camp/lodge in the evenings.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers (goretex or similar).
- Trekking trousers.
- Long sleeve shirts (not cotton).
- Micro fleece.
- Mid to heavyweight fleece.
- Sleeveless or body warmer type fleece.
- Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
- Fleece pants.
- Medium weight down jacket.
- Fleece gloves.
- Warms mittens and/or gloves.
- Wool or fleece hat.
- Sun hat.
- Bandana or scarf.
- Headtorch. Bring extra batteries.
- 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.
- Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows at Sandakphu will be around -10 Celsius.
- 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.
- Recommended size is 30 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing. 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.
- Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
- Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
- Insect repellent.
- Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira).
- Favourite snack food.
- Books, ipod and cards etc.
- Trekking poles.
- Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
- Insurance certificate.
- Earplugs (optional).
- Baby wipes (optional).
- Hand sanitizer (optional).
- Duffle bag or large backpack for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a pony or yak). Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
- Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days.
- Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc.
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.
- Malaria prophylactic tablets.
- Blister treatment- Compeed patches are the best.
- Rehydration powder eg Dioralyte.
- Analgesic (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
- Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
- Throat lozenges.
Diamox (optional), helps with acclimatisation
Threat and risk assessment for Singalila Ridge
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 Singalila Ridge 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 Singalila Ridge we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.
Our full threat and risk assessment for Kanchenjunga Singalila Ridge 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.
- Severe bad weather and conditions when camping eg. flash flooding.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 accident.
- 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.
Suggested reading and maps for Singalila Ridge
Sikkim Schweizerische Stiftung fur Alpine Forschung (Swiss Foundation For Alpine Research) Scale: 1:150,000
Kanchenjunga the Untrodden Peak by Charles Evans.
The Hard Years by Joe Brown
The Kanchenjunga Adventure by Frank Smythe
Round Kanchenjunga by Douglas Freshfield
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