Day 01 – A Warm Welcome to Nepal; Arrival in Kathmandu and Transfer to Hotel
We recommend our Kanchenjunga Trekkers to obtain a Nepali Visa on arrival, which is a simpler process compared to an application from your home country. Upon arrival in Kathmandu Airport, you will need to fulfill the custom formalities on the visa desk, after which you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the arrival terminal. When you exit the terminal building, look out for someone who is holding a display board reading “Kanchenjunga Trek with a Purpose”. You will then be taken by taxi to you hotel in Thamel. Depending on your flight schedule, you will have the afternoon or evening free, when you can walk around the streets of Thamel and immerse yourself in the heart of Kathmandu. In order to attend the Kanchenjunga Trek with a Purpose, you will need to arrive on this day.
Day 02 – Guided city tour and pre trek meeting along with welcome dinner
This second day is allocated for sightseeing in Kathmandu, as we will need your passport to have your trek permit issued. You will explore five different places of Kathmandu Valley, all of which are listed World Heritage sites. Sightseeing is expected to end at approximately 5pm, after which a free hour will be provided, followed by a gathering with the rest of the team and a welcome dinner. This will take place in an authentic Nepali restaurant, complete with a live cultural show. This will be the perfect time for an informal pre-trek meeting during which you will be all things will be briefed about the Kanchenjunga Trek. Your guide, who will also be joining us for dinner, will be happy to answer questions you may have about any details regarding the trek.
Day 03 – Flight to Biratnagar and Drive to Phidim
The team will fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar via Buddha Airlines with first preference or Yeti Airlines as an alternative carrier. As soon as we arrive we would expect to find very hot weather, as Biratnagar lies at the Indian border with an elevation of just 81m from sea level. Soon we will drive out by mini bus to Phidim, where we will spend our first night.
Day 04 – Drive from Phidim to Suketar
We will be driving on the main road from Phidim to Suketar via Taplejung, where we will stop to explore one of the major market areas of eastern Nepal. This village is mostly inhabited by Limbus and Rais (Mongolian Race). Approximately two hours later, we will arrive at Suketar (2,840m altitude), well-known for its very friendly and cheerful people. On the way we will be passing by Suketar airport, one of the smallest in Nepal.
Day 05 – Our official kick-start day of Kanchenjunga Trek with a Purpose, Trek from Suketar to Mitlung
The areas where we are starting our trek from belong to the lower Kanchenjunga Section, which holds sufficient fertile terrain as well as beautiful villages in scenic landscapes. From Suketar we will be trekking downhill to Mitlung, descending to an altitude of 921m. At the last part of today’s trek we will be walking along Tamor River, heading towards its northern ridge, where we will be descending a further 350m down to Mitlung.
Day 06 – From Mitlung to Chirwa
Rai, Limbu and Magar dominate Taplejung as well as the eastern part of Nepal. Chirwa is not exception; it is a beautiful village inhabited by Limbu people. Right from the start of today’s trek we will be ascending and descending continuously up to Tawa village, which is half-way through, after which we will follow a minor ascend and cross a suspension bridge next to Thiwa. Here we will find some small retail stores and a few lodges, where we will spend another beautiful night.
Day 07 – From Chirwa to Sekathum (also known as Sukathum or Sukethum)
We will be trekking there for our next overnight stay, which is at an elevation of 1578m from sea level. Today’s trek is a perfect blend of gentle uphill as well as downhill trails through lush green fields while heading towards Sekathum.
Day 08 – Challenging Trail from Sekathum to Amjilosa
During today’s trail we will be traversing through dense forests, steep trails, as well as climbing a gorge that includes a tricky section. Slow and steady wins the race; take great care and follow your guide’s instructions, especially on the last leg of the trail before reaching Amjilosa, which has a steep section near the gorge.
Day 09 – Amjilosa to Gyabla
Before reaching Gyabla, where a Tibetan Settlement can be found, we will be crossing dense forests of bamboo, fir and rhododendron (the National flower of Nepal). Another highlight in today’s trail that will undoubtedly make the entire day even more memorable and enjoyable is a stunning waterfall flowing straight down from a tall mountain.
Day 10 – Trek from Gyabla to Ghunsa, Kanchenjunga Trek’s Capital
Ghunsa is mostly inhabited by Sherpas, which is also the case for Namche Bazar in the Everest Base Camp Trek. It is a big valley, which starts near Phale, where Tibetan Refugees are settled. One can buy some local handmade Tibetan handicrafts and souvenirs before heading further ahead towards Ghunsa (3,595m).
Day 11 – Acclimatization day in preparation for Kanchenjunga Base Camp
This may be officially a ‘rest day’, however one still needs to be physically active in order to best adapt to high altitudes. In the morning we will be hiking slightly higher to Laspsan La Monastery and by the afternoon we will return to Ghunsa.
Day 12 – Trek from Ghunsa to Kambachen
To begin with, we will head from Ghunsa towards Kambachen along mountain ranges piercing dense pine and rhododendron forests, while further ahead we will encounter a waterfall and a tricky landslide section. This trail may change from day to day because of landslides which are quite frequent in this area. Further ahead, another difficult trail will test your fitness level for the Kanchenjunga Trek, however we will be rewarded by a spectacular view of Mt. Jannu shortly before reaching Kambachen (4,050m). The Mountain View from here is commonly known as one of the best in the world!
Day 13 – Acclimatization day in Kambachen
As we will already be on 4,050m altitude, it is necessary to spend another day in Kambachen to avoid altitude sickness. This morning is a good opportunity to rest in and around our guesthouse. You can relax, take in the breathtaking views and the beautiful village atmosphere, or you may choose to read or practice your photography skills. In the afternoon we will explore the Nupchu river valley area, situated only a short hike up from Kambachen and we will returning to spend one more night in the village.
Day 14 – Early start, long trek to Lhonak from Kambachen
With a challenging day ahead, we will start our trek quite early in the morning. First, we will be passing through an impressive rocky field with large boulders that are scattered across a beautiful landscape. Next, we will reach a waterfall and river. As we approach another landslide zone, we will be taking some rest in Ramtang Monastery. We will then have to cross the landslide section with fast and steady pace, before descending to another river and arriving at Lhonak, where we will be spending the night.
Day 15 – Kanchenjunga North Base Camp and Pangpema
We will be trekking along the Kanchenjunga Glacier all the way up to Pangpema, taking care as rocky parts here are prone to landslide. After having our packed lunch in Pangpema we will hike further up to Kanchenjunga North Base Camp (KBC) at 5,388m and admire the beauty of Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586m) and surrounding peaks. At this point, if weather allows and you are interested to go up further to Corner Camp and Glacier Camp, you will need to consult your guide, as you should be technically experienced and extra fit to follow this challenging route. It may well be very cold to explore outside until late afternoon so we will have to head back to lodge in Pangpema before sunset.
Day 16 – From Pangpema to Kambachen
Previously on our way up we had to spend a night in Lhonak on the way to KBC to adjust to higher altitudes, but today we will be steadily descending down to lower elevation and it will be much easier to trek for a longer time all the way to Kambachen. On our way down we will enjoy a different view of Mount Kanchenjunga and several other peaks, including Taple Shikhar(6,510m) and Chang Himal (‘Wedge Peak’, 6,802m), until we reach Kambachen and spend a night there before heading back to Ghunsa.
Day 17 – From Kambachen to Ghunsa
Continuing our descent, we will trace our steps back by following the trail from Kambachen all the way to Ghunsa, where we will be spending the night. This time we will be enjoying magnificent views that were previously behind us and have more opportunities to stop for pictures.
Day 18 – From Ghunsa to Sinion La via Sele La
From Ghunsa, instead of going back to Phale, we follow a different route gradually ascending to Sele La Pass (4,290m). This route is quite famous for spotting snow leopards, as many locals and trekkers have claimed seeing them here. With a bit of luck, you may be able to capture a shot of this magnificent endangered animal. We will be passing through forests of juniper, moss and rhododendron through uphill and downhill trails and set camp at Sinion La (4,440m), situated about half-way between Ghunsa and Cheram.
Day 19 – Sinion La to Cheram
Expect a strenuous day ahead, as we will cross several passes including Mirgin La (4,480m) and Sinelapche (4,646m). Our efforts will be compensated with the chance to see the south face of Mount Makalu, the 6th highest mountain in the world. The last leg of today’s trek gets easier, as we will descend steeply and spend the night in Cheram.
Day 20 – From Cheram to Ramche, then back to Cheram
We will be starting quite early in the morning and will be passing along Yalung Glacier and Simbuwa River, then go through Lapsang Village until we will reach Ramche, where we can see the Blue Sheep Sightings stone hut. Next, we will trek further up from the valley towards a moraine top for a marvelous view of Mount Kanchenjunga’s southern face. Depending on weather and circumstances, we may get a chance to hike up to Oktang Monastery before returning back to Cheram for one more overnight stay.
Day 21 – From Cheram to Tortong
Heading towards Tortong, we will encounter a Y-junction trail where right would lead back to Sele La Pass; instead we take the left trail to descend further down towards Tortong, passing lush rhododendron forests along Simbuwa River before reaching Tortong to spend the night.
Day 22 – From Tortong to Yamphuding
Day 23 – Descending from Yamphuding to Yangpang
Hiking 1,000m sharply downhill, we will notice a considerable increase in oxygen levels. On the way down we will pass through Mamangkhe to visit its Culture Center and Limbu Museum, before crossing the bridge over Khesewa River. Trekking through several villages and a lush cardamom forest, we will descend down to Yangpang for tonight’s stay.
Day 24 – From Yangpang to Thorpu
Instead of heading toward the hustle and bustle of Taplejung market area, we will descend toward Thorpu, which will also allow for more time to marvel at views of beautifully terraced fields and villages. Thorpu’s inhabitants are amazingly hospitable, making it the perfect spot to get together and enjoy the last night of our trek.
Day 25 – End of trek, Drive from Thorpu to Birtamod
As we are approaching a flat part of Nepal, which is connected by major highways, we will drive all the way from Thorpu to Birtamod. One can feel the change in altitude and higher temperatures in lower elevations, as well as a drastic change in landscape from hill, terrace to valley. Birtamod town, where we will spend the night, is one of the main urban centres of Eastern Nepal and has a good selection of hotels and guesthouses.
Day 26 – Return to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur
After a short drive from Birtamod to Bhadrapur, we will be flying back to Kathmandu. From the airport you will be transferred back to your hotel in Thamel, where you can enjoy a free afternoon to take rest or do some last-minute shopping. In late afternoon, we will get together for a traditional Nepali meal to celebrate our successful “Kanchenjunga Trek with a Purpose”.
Day 27 – Farewell, Thanks for one step toward mankind and humanity
As per your international departure itinerary, we will transfer you to Kathmandu airport. Although it will be sad to see you go, we hope your experience of this truly extraordinary trek with Adventure Mission Nepal brings you back again to explore more of its spectacular landscapes and immerse yourself further in Nepali hospitality. Last, but not least, please share your treasured stories, memories and pictures to let others know about the “Kanchenjunga Trek with a Purpose”.