Expedition At A Glance

25 days, 24 nights

Difficulty Level: 5

Price (US$): From $4,195

Months Available: April - May and October - December

OVERVIEW


Kanchenjunga Trek (with 3 Summits)

Join us on a once in a lifetime trip! On this Kanchenjunga trek, we guarantee unlimited adventure, culture, local interaction, volunteer opportunities and spectacular mountain scenery.

This is definitely not your average trek in Nepal. We will begin the Kanchenjunga trek in culturally intriguing, relatively low altitude Rai, Limbu and Gurung villages. Because of our relationship with the people of the region, we will be welcomed into local homes, not as trekkers but as friends allowing you to experience the daily lives of the people of this region. In these villages, we will be invited for a jar of Tongba (millet brew) or Rakshi (Nepali wine). We will also visit three schools that were built by 3 Summits.  We will then trek to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp through Sherpa/Tibetan settlements and yak pastures. Our return is via the Pathibhara ridge which offers mind-blowing views of the Kanchenjunga massif and Makalu. $500 of your trip price will go towards supporting 3 Summit’s effort to provide better education for children of the region. Our immediate goals are:

  • To provide a teacher/trainer for the schools in Yasang and Margem.
  • Build a semi-permanent school in Solima. Their school was washed away by a landslide last year.

Kangchenjunga literally translates to ‘Five Great Treasures in the Snow’. There are five peaks within the Kangchenjunga range, and local people believe that each of the five peaks is a repository of different treasures: gold, silver, gems, grains and sacred texts. Kangchenjunga is a sacred mountain. In due reverence, the first summiteers stopped a few meters short of the summit in 1955. (This practice is no longer followed by today’s climbers!).  Kangchenjunga is situated in the Beyul Demazong [beyuls are sacred valleys that were hidden by Padmasambhava, a much revered Indian saint who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century]. The purpose of beyuls was to provide sanctuaries for people seeking refuge from social and religious persecution. During our trip, Beyul Demazong will allow us to experience its purpose as we seek refuge from the daily grind of our hectic social lives.

Our Nepal and Tibet treks and climbs are operated by our sister company based in Nepal – Crystal Mountain Treks – managed by our founder’s family. Crystal Mountain Treks has been in business for over two decades and employs only the best guides with a minimum of 15 years experience. We treat our staff with the utmost care and respect. Each staff member is provided high-quality equipment and paid higher-than-average wages. Our clients have commented that our treks provide a better value (we provide more for less) than other companies they researched, comparing services, quality and price. We are happy to provide references of people who have journeyed with us in the past upon request.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore monasteries and palaces in Kathmandu.
  • Visit schools built by 3 Summits.
  • Hike to the Base Camp of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain.
  • Interact with locals in areas where very few other trekkers visit.

Testimonials from 2014 participants:

“Honestly – it was the most amazing trip I have taken in a decade or more. You want to go on this trip. It is amazing.”Christopher N

“Feeling grateful today reflecting on time in Nepal and 3 summits. I was fortunate to be a part of this and it was truly epic. I applaud you all for your efforts to enrich (and sometimes save the lives) of these kiddos. They are strong and tenacious children and it is inhumane that they not have access to an education. Seeing your fundraising efforts come full circle in these communities was heartening.”Tonya H

 

 

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 01 – Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Transfer to Tibet Guest House. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Dinner)

Day 02 – Kathmandu

Visit Bodhnath – the Stupa of a Million Dewdrops. Bodhnath is a sacred destination for Buddhists. Here, you will find devotees circumambulating the sacred monument at any time of the day. Step in the rhythm with the devotees, spin prayer wheels along the stupa walls, and immerse yourself in the sacred experience of Bodhnath.

Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the God of Destruction. The main temple has a two-tiered golden roof and an ornate silver door. Non-Hindu visitors cannot enter the main temple sanctum and must view it from across the sacred Bagmati River. Here, you are likely to witness a Hindu cremation.

After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum which houses ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar (Palace) Square. Patan is also known as Lalitpur, the City of Arts. Most households in Patan are craftsmen, and there are countless stores selling metal artwork ranging from jewelry, to meditation bowls and divine statues. The medieval architecture of Patan is the finest amongst all ancient kingdoms in Kathmandu Valley with stunning architectural designs of palaces and temples, including the Krishna Mandir.

Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Homestay in Ilam

Kitchen at the homestay in Ilam

Day 03 – Kathmandu to Ilam
A forty-five minute flight takes us to South East of Nepal to the border town of Bhadrapur. Board a chartered vehicle and drive to Ilam. The 4-hour journey starts in the lowlands and winds its way uphill through hamlets, subtropical forests, and picturesque tea gardens. Ilam is a prosperous hill town famous for its tea, as well as cardamom, and hot chilli peppers. We will stay at a local home where you will be served local tea and other fares.

Overnight at a home-stay. (All meals)

Day 04 – Ilam to Taplejung (4,730ft.)
Continue drive to Taplejung Bazaar on winding hill roads that ascend and descend through river valleys. Taplejung Bazaar, known locally as Fungling, is a bustling town that hosts the district’s headquarters. Telephone and internet services are available, although they may not be reliable.

Overnight local lodge. (All meals)

Carrying a doko

Tonya helps to carry the doko load

Day 05 –  Taplejung to Sinuwa (3,200 ft.)
Descend from Taplejung through Hangdewa criss-crossing the new jeep track. Cross a suspension bridge to Mitlung, a sleepy hamlet situated on the upper banks of the Tamur River. Continue past Mitlung on the jeep track and descend to Sinuwa where the jeep road ends. Our camp is just beyond the village on the river banks.

Sinuwa is a multi-ethnic village with a high school, a health post, a police post, numerous shops, as well as a weekly market (haat bazaar).

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 06 –  Chiruwa (4,500ft.)
The trail continues along the banks of the Tamur through paddy fields, subtropical forests, and numerous villages before joining the road track again at Thewa. This is where we enter the Kangchenjunga Conservation area after you cross the steel suspension bridge over Thewa Khola. For the next few weeks, the area will be dominated by the Limbu ethnic community: the women are easy to recognize with their fish-shaped nose rings, while the men generally carry a khukuri (curved ‘Gurkha’ knife sheathed in a leather case) on their waist.

Past Thewa is Chhiruwa a small crowded village situated precariously below a huge rock-face and above the mighty Tamur River. We continue for another hour past a large cardamom plantation and reach our camp at Tapethowk. Our campsite is in a sunny paddy-field near the suspension bridge.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Children at Margem enjoying new lights

Children studying under the newly installed solar lights

Day 07 – Margem (6,000ft.)
The trail continues along the Tamur Khola through moist alder forests, paddy fields and lush cardamom plantations. Cardamom, grown as a major cash crop, is a spice used especially in Indian and middle-Eastern dishes.

About an hour past Tapethowk, we leave the main trail and cross the Tamur river. Past the river, it is steep climb of about 1,000 feet to Margem village, the site of one of our schools.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 08 – Yasang (6,100ft.)
Today is a short day of around 3 hours to Yasang. Enroute we stop at the Hellok Child Care Center. Continue to

School staff and students

The children and our staff in the newly built school

trek past cardamom plantations and through an area ravaged by a large landslide a few years ago because of which it was very difficult for the younger children of Yasang to trek to Hellok. This is why 3 Summits had built a school in Yasang.

The area has now recovered and has hundreds of sprawling small trees. Past the landslide area, the trail climbs steeply to Yasang.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 09 – River Camp (8,850 ft.)
We begin the day by ascending a few hundred feet. Past the village our trail is now through a thick bamboo forest. It becomes very obvious that this is not the main trail. Local villagers from Yasang, if necessary, may accompany us and will clear the trail with machetes. Bamboo tends to thrive in this area and spreads very quickly. Once past the bamboo forests, the trail undulates and we soon cross the river. Part of the trail today is exposed and extreme caution is required. Our camp is on the river banks of the Simbuwa River.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 10 –  Anda Phedi (11,050ft.)
After an hour of walking along the river, we soon join the main trekking trail. Shortly, we arrive at Torongden where there are a couple huts. Our trail, for the next few days, continues to follow the Simbuwa Khola into the Yalung Kang Glacier. Today the trail is a gentle ascent all the way to Anda Phedi. Past Toronton, the trail is through a thick rhododendron forest occasionally opening into meadows and shepherds huts. Villagers bring their yaks and sheep to graze as high as Ramche at 15,000 ft. during the Summer months. Along the trail today, there is a Buddhist/Hindu shrine with a three pronged iron trisul. This marks the boundary beyond which killing is prohibited. Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 11 and Day 12 –  Tseram (12,700ft.)
Today is a short hiking day. Continue gentle ascent to Tseram. There are several log huts which cater to trekkers who have crossed the long Selela pass coming over from Ghunsa after trekking to the North Base Camp of Kanchenjunga.

The following day is a rest and acclimatization day to help our body adapt better to the altitude. It is possible to trek towards the Selela pass as a good acclimatization hike.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 13 –  Ramche (15,100ft.)
Today is another short day to Ramche. We climb steeply through a small forest and then through a small landslide to some mani walls and a stone house. The valley then opens up with great views of the Kabru peaks. The valley floor is strewed with scrub junipers that are used by Tibetan families as incense. Continue past Lapsang Lake to another meadow at Ramche.

Yaks resting

Yaks resting near Tseram

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 14 –  Oktang. Return to Ramche (15,100ft.)
Today is a day hike to get up front views of Kanchenjunga. Follow the stream along the moraine. You soon reach Oktang from where Kanchenjunga is visible. From a little further, Jannu appears in the distance. Retrace trail back to Ramche.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 15 –  Toronton (9,800ft.)
Retrace trail back to Toronton.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 16 –  Lasiya Bhanjyang (10,900ft.)
Today is a short (3 hours) but all uphill day. The trail is through Rhododendron forests passing several small pastures. As you ascend on the muddy switchbacks, the Kanchenjunga massif is visible. As we approach camp, you will notice a large landslide. To avoid this, we climb a few hundred feet above the landslide to stay above this exposed section. Extreme caution is required. Lasiya Bhanjyang is a small open meadow in the forest with a small tea-house. The ground can be muddy. (Bhanjyang means hill pass; La is a mountain pass)

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

weaving Gurung carpet

Weaving the Gurung carpet in Nepu

Day 17 –  Nepu Village (6,560ft.)
The trek today begins with a steep descent. We soon leave the main trail and follow the shepherds trail to the East. Past a few shepherd’s huts, we cross the river and begin a steady ascent through the jungle. Past the Bhanjyang, descend through a landslide. Nepu village is soon visible with the distinct blue roof of our first school. We rebuilt this school after the great earthquake measuring 6.8 M had caused much damage in the Eastern Himalayas (Eastern Nepal and Sikkim).

Nepu village is a predominantly Gurung village. The main village includes a main home of the patriarch/matriarch and there children and grand children.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 18 –  Upper Yamphudin (6,820ft.)
Today is a short two-hour trek to Upper Yamphudin on the other side of the valley. Descend to the river through cardamom plantations. Follow the trail above the village church. Soon we cross a suspension bridge and begin the short but steep ascent. Upper Yamphudin is inhabited bhotes, who moved to Nepal from Tibet only a few centuries ago. Our campsite is near the village monastery

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Sunset on Kanchenjunga

Sunset on Kanchenjunga

Day 19 –  Deurali (11,600ft.)
Today is a long slog to Deurali. We start the steep climb early in the morning. We soon reach a couple of shepherds about a 1,000 feet above the village. Here the trail becomes more gradual as we enter bamboo and mixed forest. We continue to ascend steadily. Walk stealthily as this is the area where Jwalant saw a red panda for the first time. The trail then crosses a small stream and ascends steeply to Deurali. (Again Deurali too means hill pass). Our camp is about a 30-minute hike in a small clearing with Shepherd’s huts West of Deurali. From here, there are magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga massif.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Clouds over the hills

Above the clouds

Day 20 –  Neghung (12,400ft.)
Today is a very short day of around 2 hours. We ascend through rhododendron trees to a small clearing. Here, we are above the clouds and the small hills to South. Continue ascent to the top of the hill. This is the highest point in the area offering 360 views of the mountains – the Kanchenjunga massif to the North East, the Syamdo Kangri’s to the North and Makalu to the North West. South of us is Pathibhara. We will also be able to see the route we have taken near the Yalung glacier. Our camp is on a sandy flat land near a shepherd’s hut.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Sunset on Pathibara

Sunset on Pathibhara

Day 21 –  Pathibhara Kharka (11,000ft.)
Today’s hike is around four hours to a pasture below Pathibhara. From Neghung, we hike on the ridge for about half an hour followed by a short steep descent. The trail then ascends gradually to the top of another hill through a rhododendron forest. The shepherds call this incense hill and the scent is very obvious. Again, this hill offers great views of the Kanchenjunga massif and Makalu appears closer. From here it is a steep descent through several pastures until we reach camp.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 22 –  Suketar (7,900ft.)
Start the day by climbing steeply to the top of Pathibhara Hill. The temple is dedicated Parvati, the consort of the Hindu god Shiva. It is believed that Parvati meditated at this site. Both Hindus and Buddhists come to this place. And this is one of the few Hindu temples in Nepal which will allow Westerners into the main temple complex.

From Pathibhara, descend steeply to Phedi where we will board jeeps for a short ride back to Suketar.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 23 – Fly to Kathmandu.
A chartered plane will take us back to Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Day 24 – Kathmandu
Free day in Kathmandu for shopping or relaxing. Overnight Hotel Tibet (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 25 – Final Departure
Transfer to the airport for flight home. (Breakfast)

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY


COST AND INCLUSIONS


Per person Price – valid till December 31, 2017

4 persons: $ 4,795 USD per person
5 – 7 persons: $ 4,495 USD per person
8 or more persons: $ 4,195 USD per person
Single Supplement: $300 USD

Price includes:

  • Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
  • Motivated, well-cared-for staff
  • All airport transfers
  • One full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments.
  • 4 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu.
  • Airfare: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur
  • Chartered plane: Suketar to Kathmandu
  • Chartered vehicle: Bhadrapur to Taplejung
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Camping trekking as indicated in the itinerary
    • Three meals a day
    • Boiled water for your bottles three times a day
    • Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals
    • Guide and staff insurance
  • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Fee and trekking permit
  • Gamow Bag (High altitude pressure chamber)
  • Satellite Phone


Price does not include:

  • Your international airfare
  • Nepal Visa
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you
  • Travel insurance (Required)
  • Other expenses of a personal nature

DATES AND AVAILABILITY


2017 Dates:

October 29 – November 22, 2017

We will also run this as a private trip for 4 or more participants for a date of your choosing.

AVAILABLE:

Book this trip now as spaces are available.

GUARANTEED:

This trip has the minimum sign ups required and is guaranteed to run.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY:

Limited spaces are available so please contact us to inquire about the departure status.

FULL:

This date is unavailable. please contact us to inquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as part of a Custom Itinerary.

BOOK THIS TRIP


“Feeling grateful today reflecting on time in Nepal and 3 summits. I was fortunate to be a part of this and it was truly epic. I applaud you all for your efforts to enrich (and sometimes save the lives) of these kiddos. They are strong and tenacious children and it is inhumane that they not have access to an education. Seeing your fundraising efforts come full circle in these communities was heartening.”

-Tonya H: Kanchenjunga Service Trek, December 2012

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