Singalila Ridge
India

Mount Kanchenjunga
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Moderate
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 21 Mar 2021

Details

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.

Itinerary

Fly to Bagdogra

Drive to Darjeeling (4 hours)

No meals

Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling

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.

Excursion to Tiger Hill

Sightseeing in Darjeeling

Breakfast

Traveller’s Inn in Darjeeling

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.

Drive to Manebhanjang (1 hour)

Walking 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

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.

Walking 4 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

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).

Walking 4 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

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. 

Walking 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

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.

Walking 5 hours

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

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.

Drive to Kalimpong (2 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong

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.

Drive to Bagdogra airport (3 hours)

Fly Delhi

Breakfast

In the morning we drive to Bagdogra airport where we catch the flight to Delhi.

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 21 Mar 2021 to 02 Apr 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,815pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
N/A
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 11 Oct 2021 to 22 Oct 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,815pp Single Supplement:
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Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 21 Mar 2022 to 01 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,850pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
N/A
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now
Dates 10 Oct 2022 to 21 Oct 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$1,850pp Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
N/A
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

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What's Included

  • 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.
  • Tips.
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

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.

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.

 

Footwear:

  • 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.

Clothing:

  • 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.

Handwear:

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.

Headwear:

  • 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.

Personal Equipment:

  • 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).

Travelling:

  • 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.
  • 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 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

Maps

Sikkim Schweizerische Stiftung fur Alpine Forschung (Swiss Foundation For Alpine Research) Scale: 1:150,000

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

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

 

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