GHT Kanchenjunga Exploratory

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The Kanchenjunga Exploratory is the first stage of the Great Himalaya Trail and passes through stunning mountain scenery under the immense north face of Kanchenjunga before turning towards the west where we cross the Nango La.

Details

Duration: 25 Days
Starts in: Nepal
Group Size: 6-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive Kathmandu

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members. Overnight: Radisson Hotel

Free day in Kathmandu

Today you have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. You may wish to start by exploring the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. Alternatively you could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square.

Fly Bhadrapur (2420m). Drive to Ilam. Approx. 5hrs drive.

Bhadrapur is situated in the terai, south east of Lukla. The flight from Kathmandu takes approx. 50 minutes and affords views of the entire trek and the Himalaya from Kanchenjunga to Langtang. Overnight hotel.

Drive to Taplejung (1820m). Drive approx. 4-5hrs.

We plan to drive to Taplejung. Flights can sometimes be delayed due to mountain weather and so flexibility and patience may be required. The Kanchenjunga region is home to Sherpa, Limbu, Rai and Gurung people, and Taplejung is the gateway to the region and a lively place, especially for the Saturday market.

To Mitlung (1542m), walk approx. 4 hrs.

The trails throughout the lower sections of the Kanchenjunga region pass through fertile valleys that typically produce up to three crops per year. We pass by crops of rice, millet, potatoes, cauliflower and green vegetables. Gradually heading in a northerly direction the trail steepens after a few hours before a final descent of 350 metres on a muddy trail to Mitlung. Overnight camp.

To Chiruwa (1270m), walk approx. 6-7hrs.

The trail ascends and descends steadily for approx. 4 hours as we make our way towards the Tamor Khola and the valley floor at Nagadin.This area is significant to the history of Nepal and is where the first Kirati warriors originate from. The Kirati were the first who attempted to unite all the Himalayan Kingdoms into a single sovereign state.There is a final ascent into Chiruwa, a village tucked away between a steep hillside and the river. Overnight camp.

To Sukathum (1576m) walk approx. 6hrs, & Amjilosa (2308m) walk approx. 6hrs.

The stage from Chiruwa to Sukathum passes through varied landscapes such as cardamom fields and dense forests. This area does experience landslides and we will need to check in with the National Park check post before Taplechok before proceeding, if there have been recent landslides we may need to take an alternative trail. The stage from Sukathum to Amjilosa is a challenging day. After crossing the suspension bridge outside Sukathum we enter dense forest once again until the valley narrows into steep gorge country.The sound of the river is deafening and waterfalls cascade down either side of the gorge. Great care needs to be taken on this section of the trek. Our final approach to Amjilosa is a series of steep switchbacks which ease after a few hours with another hour of easier gradient before reaching Amjilosa.

To Gyabla (2730m), walk approx. 6hrs, and to Ghunsa (3595m), walk approx. 6hrs.

The valley begins to widen on the stage to Gyabla, and rather than climbing up and down it is a more gradual and steady ascent until we reach the outskirts of the pretty village of Gyabla. The stage to Ghunsa marks a change in the scenery with rhododendron, camellias and azaleas along the trail. We pass by the village of Phale, a Tibetan refugee settlement where it is possible to purchase handicrafts and homemade rugs from the locals - please mind your luggage allowance! The final approaches to Ghunsa travel along pretty trails through conifer and pine forest. Ghunsa sits within the valley in a striking setting of steep cliffs and waterfalls above. Day 11 is our first rest day of the trek and may be spent at your leisure.

To Kangpachen (4050m), walk approx. 6-7hrs.

The stage to Kangpachen is arguably the most spectacular day on trek. We pass through meadows full with wildflowers in the spring time, and we will pass through forests of rhododendron and pine with a backdrop of impressive mountain scenery. We are early in the season, and so conditions should be expected to be cold and there will most likely be snow on the ground, depending on the winter, there may be substantial snow cover when we are at higher altitudes and this may slow our progress over the coming days. Once we reach the terminal moraine of the Kanchenjunga glacier we traverse a hillside and descend to Kangpachen.

To Lhonak (4780m), walk approx. 6-7hrs

Today will be another challenging day and an early start is needed. We climb lateral moraine for an hour before reaching a landslide section with large boulders which we must pass through at a steady pace. The trail then climbs steeply to the top of a section of lateral moraine and then eases off before arriving in Lhonak.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp (4050m), walk approx. 7hrs.

The mountain views on this stage of our trek are stunning as we make our way along the lateral moraine to base camp. Climbing gently for 2 hours we then cross a steep section of loose rock for another hour before a further gentle climb of another hour before arriving in base camp. For those feeling enthusiastic there may be options for side walks in the area.

Return trek to Ghunsa

Taking two days we retrace our steps back to Ghunsa. The return journey offers a different perspective of the mountain views and stunning surrounds.

To Nango La Camp (4776m), walk approx. 5.5hrs

From Ghunsa we descend the main trail alongside the Ghunsa Kola until we meet a junction in the trail, from here we ascend to a series of summer grazing pastures (Khaka) where we will camp for the night.

Cross Nango La (4776m) to Nasa Kharka (3430m / 7hrs) & Olangchun Gola (3191m/ 8hrs).

An early start this morning will give us the best opportunity for clear views during our crossing of the Nango La. Once over the pass we descend to a bowl shaped valley. We stay on the northern side of the river and enter thick forest to Yangma Kola and our camp for the night. Day 19 - A relatively long day to Olangchun Gola. Olangchun Gola is one of the most important centres for trade between Nepal and Tibet in this region. Most commonly exports to Tibet include grain, sugar, cigarettes and cotton thread which are exchanged for Tibetan salt, carpets and wool.

To River Side Camp (1750m), Chiruwa & Phurumbu (1542m).

We now begin our exit from the Kanchenjunga loop section of the Nepal GHT. From Olangchun Gola our fellow trekkers linking up to the second stage - Makalu & Everest via Sherpani Col - will continue westward to the Makalu region whilst we head in a southerly direction to Phurumbu and then onto Suketar. We are now feeling fit and acclimatised and our days are relatively long at 6 - 7 hours of walking per day to bring us to Phurumbu.

Return to Suketar (2420m), walk approx. 4hrs.

Today is our final day on trek, and we gradually descend to Suketar passing through familiar surrounds as we approach the village. We trek through Limbu villages to a ridge before a final descent into Suketar.

To Kathmandu by air (1330m)

This morning we fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Trip concludes Kathmandu

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.

Additional Information

The Kanchenjunga Exploratory is the first stage of our inaugural Great Himalaya Trail and passes through stunning mountain scenery under the immense north face of Kanchenjunga before turning towards the west where we cross the Nango La, before looping back to our starting point at Suketar. During this trek there will be sections where the trail is very rugged or ill-defined, some trails have been trekked only once by a small party, and so the going will be tough. Space in some camp sites will also be very limited. It may be necessary to make changes to the itinerary at any time due to unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather, snow or trail conditions, river water levels, or group movement. Your trip leader will advise any changes should this occur. All participants on the GHT should be flexible and open minded. The GHT should be seen as exploratory in the true sense of the word.

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Starting From

$4,999/person

Add your business today to reach The Outbound's audience of adventurous travelers.