Update May 13 2016
Pradeep and the team are now on the Kanchenjunga trek. Follow their Journey here
In 1979 British Mountaineer Pete Boardman stated that the walk to the base of Kanchenjunga was the most beautiful he had ever undertaken. It is a strong contender for “The most beautiful walk in the world.”
The word Kanchenjunga comes from old Tibetan and translates to “Five treasures of snow.” Local inhabitants have worshiped these holy mountains for as long as their stories go back in time. The five treasures are Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Grain, and Holy Scriptures, referring to the five individual peaks of the Kangchendzonga Himal range.
Kanchenjunga lies on the far eastern side of Nepal, near the border with Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state in the north-eastern part of India. It is the 3rd highest mountain in the world with an elevation of 8586 meters. Although first climbed in 1955 is was not until the late 1980’s that restrictions were lifted to allow trekkers rather than just mountaineering expeditions to approach Kanchenjunga from Nepal. Special, restricted permits are needed to walk here as you traverse pristine conservation areas. Solo hiking is not allowed and local guides must be employed to obtain permits.
A trek to Kanchenjunga is an unforgettable adventure into the heart of the Himalaya where the scale of both mountain and valley is difficult to comprehend. The peaks are visible in the distance for days, floating like ships on a distant sea. Trekking does not get any better than this. When Douglas Freshfield came here in 1899 he was awe-struck by the sheer scale of it all, which left an impression of “stupendous vastness”. All around, massive yet elegant peaks thrust up into the Himalayan blue, then suddenly the immense north wall of Kanchenjunga bursts into view, with a shelf of grass spilling down the slope towards its base. This is Pangpema (5140m), one of Nepal’s most treasured sites.
You can choose from the Kanchenjunga south trek, the Kanchenjunga north trek, the Kanchenjunga circuit, which visits both the north and south base camps, or we can tailor-make an itinerary for you. On all treks you will meet local Tibetan refugees, who welcome you with hospitality and smiling faces as you walk through rippled farmland, meadows and forests of pink barked rhododendrons.
Kanchenjunga is classed as a demanding trek due to its remoteness and altitude. There are no crowds and you will meet few other trekkers. Participants should be physically fit enough to walk for at least 6 hours a day. However, because the government is emphasizing tourism in the area as part of the Great Himalayan Trail you can now walk Kanchenjunga on a tea-house basis. Staying at local accommodation, assists locals with augmenting their incomes.[/fusion_text]
You will need a special restricted permit for Kanchenjunga. Also, KCAP entry permit is needed. A printed copy of passport size photo, original passport with at least six months of validity, minimum two trekkers and authorized agency can’t be avoided.
Check the online zoom able trekking map of Kanchenjunga trek. It covers entire trekking trails, information about elevation, villages, monasteries and available facilities along the trail. You can buy an offline printed version of the map in Kathmandu.