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
Bhadrapur is situated in the Terai, south east of Lukla. The flight from Kathmandu takes approximately 50 minutes and affords views of the region of the Himalaya the trek will be taking place in. Taplejung is the gateway to the region and a lively place, thanks to its role in local trading and transport.
The trails throughout the lower sections of the Kangchenjunga region pass through fertile valleys that typically produce up to three crops per year. We pass by crops of rice, millet, potats, 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.
The roar of the Tamur accompanies us all day as we trek this classic Himalayan gorge with its dense patches of sub-tropical rainforest and cliffs. Most of the villages are up on the valley sides though we do pass through them in places where the valley opens out. The ethnic group here, the Kirantis now known as Limbu, date back more than 2000 years as subsistence farmers in this region. Crops such as rice, millet, barley, wheat and corn are nearly always growing at the time that we visit.
The trail today is well defined and the walk is both enjoyable and satisfying. We have only a few climbs up towards the valley where we begin to notice subtle changes in the landscape surrounding us. We weave through large boulders passing below the village of Tapethok and cross a landslide area to reach a bridge crossing a tributary of the Tamur River. This is the Simbuwa Khola, which flows from the south side of Kangchenjunga. We continue on towards the base camp, crossing several bridges and following what is now called the Gunsa Khola.
The trail is very narrow and we follow the Ghunsa River until we break for lunch. This walk requires a lot of caution and concentration. On the way, we pass a small Sherpa settlement mainly tending to Yaks. After lunch, there is a steep climb towards our overnight camp at Amjilasha. Amjilasha (Amjilosa) is a small Tibetan settlement.
Today’s walk is predominantly through forest and we will sight many waterfalls along the way. There are no villages to pass through leaving us with a feeling of remoteness in the tranquil forest surroundings.
Before lunch, we follow a narrow trail through thick forests to our lunch site is at Phole village, this is a typical Tibetan village and winter settlement for the villagers of Ghunsa. People of this village depend mainly on yak rearing and weaving carpets. Here we find the one and only monastery of the entire trek and visitors are most welcome.
Spending the night at Phumpe Danda, an early starts sees us making our way towards Kade Vanjyang. On route, we will get to view the untamed forests as well as some pasture. After a short ascent to Deurali we descend along a narrow track to the village of Yangpan before ascending once more for around 45 minutes to reach Phungphung Danda (1794M). From there its a further 45 minutes up to Yanthung followed by a walk through forested terrain, passed a waterfall to reach Khesewa. From here its only half an hour to our destination for today, Kade Vanjyang, perched on the top of the ridge. This location allows superb vista of the spectacular Kangchenjunga, Yalungkhang and Ghabur Himals. The area is home to a mix of Hindu, Limbu & Gurung people.
On the following day, after following the ridge line for 30 minutes, we will be able to see a rough, off road, trial however we prefer to follow the old route through the Kunjari village. After descending from Kunjari village we will cross the Phawa River and begin a long walk of approximately 5 hours uphill to Simbu Village where it may be possible to visit the local health post. From there it is a pleasant walk to the village of Tembewa and on to Lali Kharka to settle into our campsite for the evening.
After an early breakfast, its time to embark on the final park of our trek, through more beautiful forest to Suketar. The nature of today's trek in contrast with the previous days trekking as we descend to Suketar. From Suketar we will then drive to Bhadrapur and settle into a local hotel ready for our morning flight back to Kathmandu the following day.
Today we will enjoy a rest day and there may be time, weather permitting to wash some clothes or other domestic chores. We also have an option of a 3 hrs walk opposite River Khanso Thanso, from where we see a panoramic view of Phole Peak and Sobithongi Peak and also a glimpse of Mt. Khumbakaran. After long days of walking, a rest day is highly recommended.
The trail climbs gradually through open rocky fields to Ramtang (4240m) then across moraines north - west of Kangchenjunga glaciers. Lhonak, at 4790m, is near dry lake bed on an open, sandy plain; water scarce here. There are no houses, but we can camp among the large boulders to get out of the wind. Stunning mountain views abound in all directions.
From Ghunsa and above, any signs of human habitation are that of seasonal settlements for the yak herders. They will take their animals to heights of 4000m-4500m in the warmer months of the year. For the trekker the scenery is unmatched. The route past the sheer cliffs and towering peaks of the Kangchenjunga massif and Jannu (7710m) are awe inspiring. They rise directly out of this classical and very grand glacial valley. The trail is ill-defined at times, crossing loose scree and rocks that have been pushed forth from old glaciers. We usually make a camp at Kambachen (4200m) enroute, which is seasonally occupied by locals only. It is quite possible to see wildlife in this remoter part of the Himalaya; blue sheep, ibex, mountain goat or smaller animals among the rocks such as hyrax and marmots. Overhead, various birds of prey may be seen- Lammergeir (a type of vulture) and various eagles, kites and falcons.
This morning, half an hour after departing Sherpa Gaun you will follow the trail along the Kabeli Valley alongside the Kabeli River. A small trail carries us up and over into the Mamankhe, a small valley of Limbu people and where we may have to opportunity to explore the health post, school and a museum relating to the Limbu people. Following this we descend to cross the Khaksewa river before ascending once more to reach our campsite Phumpe Danda where we gain fantastic views of Mount Kumbhakarna, Ghabur & Boktoh and the surrounding valleys.
It is well worth exploring the upper end of the valley to fully appreciate the peaks that make up one of the largest mountain masses in the world. The main peak of Kangchenjunga and Wedge Peak cannot be seen until we are almost at Pangpema (5140m) and to increase our chances of good mountain views, we aim to spend an overnight here. This will, however, depend on the weather and trail conditions and progress of each particular group member, which will be decided by your guide. The trail follows moraine for much of the time and due to its ever changing nature and infrequent use is often in poor condition. There are a number of alternative side trips in the area that provide impressive mountain panoramas including Tent and Pyramid Peaks and the Twins. One ds not need to go far to enjoy the impressive yet varied mountain views. We aim to spend as much time as possible in the area hoping the weather will be in our favor!
The entire village is called Yamphudim but locals prefer to call it Sherpa Gaun. This is also one of the most challenging stages of the trek. Every year, there is a landslide in this area and usually we have to find our own trails. It is 3 hours of steep climbing and a very long descent that will take around 4 hours. The trail is not defined at all and requires patience and concentration.
Returning to Kambachen the way we came in gives us a different perspective of the trail and the scenery around us.
Today, we start early to reach Ramche where we stop for lunch. Ramche is our overnight camp. After lunch, we start our trek towards Octang, which is the view point of Kanchenjunga. This is a beautiful walk which has a few climbs; this afternoon walk will take us approximately 3 hrs. The trail climbs into the valley alongside the moraine of the Yalung glaciers. The valley opens up as we approach Yalung,(4260m). Climbing alongside the moraine we make our way through scrub junipers and up a stream to a lake at Lapsang (4430m). We can see the start of the route to Lapsang La as it heads off over the moraines in a valley to the north. Climbing to another lake and a big meadow at Ramche, the tight amphitheatre of peaks in this area are very impressive and Rothang and Kabru on the Nepal/Border dominate the spectacular view. Overnight Ramche.
Today is a challenging day for us. The first 2 hours are a steady, steep climb towards Mirgin La Pass, which is the best view point for Khumbakaran (Janu Himal). In the distance we see Makalu, Baruntse and Chamlang. For the rest of the day, the walks are along ridges with a final descent to Tseram. Before descending we may view Kangchenjunga, Kabru and the Himalayan range. Our overnight camp is in a large flat meadow. NB: In case of heavy snowfall the route to Tseram may not be possible. Your leader will make the final decision on weather and conditions and advise an alternate route.
From Ghunsa, the ascent is along the trail used by the shepherds. Today we ascend through thick forest of birch, pine and rhododendron. At these altitudes and locations it is quite possible the trail will be covered by snow to varying degrees. It is essential we are prepared for more difficult conditions with good clothing, footwear and equipment.
Retracing our steps, we descend to Ghunsa again for an overnight. Our descent takes us past the spectacular mountains and cliffs we enjoyed on the way in.
If the weather is clear, we have the opportunity to view some of the most impressive peaks of the Himalayan range as we take our flight back to Kathmandu. The remainder of the day you are free 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.
We trek an easy trail through varieties of pine and rhododendron forests, descending and following Simbua Khola towards Dorongdin.
After breakfast, arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to other destinations will be transferred to the airport.