MANASLU CIRCUIT 17 DAYS
Kanchenjunga base camp trek is a superb 25 day holiday in the east of Nepal, with 19 days of actual trekking covering around 210 km in an area which is far less visited by tourists and includes a wide range of wonderful scenery from lush, tropical jungle through to rhododendron, chestnut and oak forests and high onto the glaciated base camp of the third highest peak in the world.
Visitors numbers to this trekking area are restricted, so to trek in Kanchenjunga, you need a local guide and at least 2 trekkers fulfil and gain the necessary permits.
This trek visits both base camps on the north and south side of the mountain.
The route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp passes through the Arun valley which is considered one of the most beautiful regions for trekking in Nepal, and one of the highlights is the Kanchenjunga Conservation area which covers an area of 2035 square kilometres.
Day 1 Kathmandu
You will be met by a representative of Himalayan Travel Partner Pvt. Ltd and transferred to the hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around evening time. Overnight in hotel, Kathmandu.
Day 2 Fly to Bhadrapur, drive to Phidim (approx. 5-6 hrs drive)
Bhadrapur is situated in the Terai, south east of Nepal. The flight from Kathmandu takes approximately 50 minutes and affords views of the region of the Himalaya the trek will be taking place in. Phidim is located within a magnificent valley in the foothills of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal. It is a beautiful hill township which offers enchanting views of the eastern Himalayas. Approx. driving time: 5-6 hrs. Overnight hotel/lodge.
Day 3 Drive to Chiruwa (approx. 8-9 hrs drive)
Today we drive to Chiruwa via Taplejung. Chiruwa is located in a Himalayan gorge with dense patches of sub-tropical rainforest and cliffs. The ethnic group here, the Kirati's 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. Approx. driving time: 8-9 hrs. Overnight hotel/lodge.
Day 4 Start trek to Sukethum (1640m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
Today we commence our trek to Sukethum. The trail 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 Kanchenjunga. We continue on towards the base camp, crossing several bridges and following what is now called the Gunsa Khola.
Day 5 Trek to Amjilosa (2390m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
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 Amjilosa. Amjilosa is a small Tibetan settlement.
Day 6 Trek to Gyabla (2730m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
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.
Day 7 Trek to Ghunsa (3430m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
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.
Day 8 Rest and acclimatisation in Ghunsa
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.
Day 9 Trek to Khangpachen (4040m). Walk approx. 7hrs.
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 Kanchenjunga 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.
Day 10 Trek to Lhonak (4790m). Walk approx. 6hrs.
The trail climbs gradually through open rocky fields to Ramtang (4240m) then across moraines north - west of Kanchenjunga 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.
Day 11 Rest and acclimatisation in Lhonak
Day 12 To Kanchenjunga Base Camp (Pangpema) (5140m). Walk approx. 4hrs.
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 Kanchenjunga 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 does not need to go far to enjoy the impressive yet varied mountain views.
Day 13 Return to Khangpachen (4040m). Walk approx. 7hrs.
Returning to Khangpachen the way we came in gives us a different perspective of the trail and the scenery around us.
Day 14 Return to Ghunsa (3430m). Walk approx. 5 hrs
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.
Day 15 To Selele Base Camp (4500m). Walk approx. 6 hrs.
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.
Day 16 To Tseram (3870m) via Mirgin La Pass (4480m). Walk approx. 8hrs.
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 Kanchenjunga, 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.
Day 17 To Ramche (4620m) via Octang and Yalung Glacier. Walk approx. 7hrs.
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 Glacier. 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.
Day 18 Contingency Day or rest day in Ramche
A contingency day, or day of leisure to rest and relax in Ramche with an optional side walk.
Day 19 To Dorongdin (3000m). Walk approx. 7hrs
We trek an easy trail through varieties of pine and rhododendron forests, descending and following Simbua Khola towards Dorongdin.
Day 20 To Sherpa Gaun (Yamphudim) (2080m). Walk approx. 8hrs.
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.
Day 21 Trek to Phumpe Danda (1858m). Walk approx. 6-7hrs.
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.
Day 22 Trek to Kade Vanjyang (2130m) Walk approx 5-6hrs.
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 Kanchenjunga, Yalungkhang and Ghabur Himals. The area is home to a mix of Limbu & Gurung people.
Day 23 Drive to Ilam (approx. 8-9 hrs drive)
Today is a long driving day to Ilam via Taplejung. Ilam is a beautiful hill station in eastern Nepal. It is well-renowned for tea production with sloped tea gardens, lush green forests, holy sites and unique culture. Overnight hotel/lodge.
Day 24 Drive to Bhadrapur, fly to Kathmandu (approx. 3-4hrs drive).
After breakfast, we will drive to Bhadrapur to catch our flight back to Kathmandu. If the weather is clear on our flight, we have the opportunity to view some of the most impressive peaks of the Himalayan range. Transfer to our hotel for overnight. Overnight Hotel, Kathmandu.
Day 25 Kathmandu, trip concludes
After breakfast, arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to other destinations will be transferred to the airport.
All accommodation in lodges/tea houses and in tents on the camping days
All meals on trek, either from the menu in the lodges or prepared by our staff at the camps
National Park Fees and permit for Kangchenjunga area
Sherpa guides (English speaking, trained in first aid) and porters
Internal flight to Biratnagar
First aid kit and group equipment
International flight to Kathmandu
Hotel in Kathmandu - we have a choice of options available during booking or you can book yourself
Personal costs on trek - hot and cold drinks, hot showers, charging, wifi, snacks.