Place : Nepal
Duration : 20 Days .
Highest Altitude Gain : 5,160 Mtr. ( 16,923 Ft. ).
Grade : Difficult.
Approx Trekking Km : Kms.
Activities : Trekking, Camping & Photography of Nature.
Best Time to Go : March – May & September - November.
The journey begins wonderful & long drive to Taplejung, on the edge of the Indian & Nepal plains, where we check into our hotel and have a free afternoon.
After breakfast we meet our porters at Suketar and then trek down to the village of Asahangpati and on to the Tamor Khola. This major river, and its tributaries, carries the waters off all the mountains to the north to the Ganges. Most villages are situated on high gentle slopes above steep sided valleys where agriculture is possible. We follow it upstream through bird filled forest, to the Chhetri village of Mitlung. Overnight at Mitlung.
Today’s trail passes through dense patches of sub-tropical rainforest and follows the valley, from village to tributary crossings and up again. The region is home to ethnic Kirantis, now known as Limbus, who are chiefly involved in traditional agriculture. Beyond Sinwa, the valley narrows and the trail picks its way over landslides to Tawa. There are many bee hives in this region. Chirwa is a delightful cluster-village set amongst boulders: the campsite is next to a stream beyond the village. Overnight at Chirwa.
Now the valley broadens and the landscape changes subtly. Cross the Sisuwa Khola and continue to Tapethok; the entrance and checkpoint to the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area. Wealthy cardamom farms surround the village. Follow the trail to a bridge over the Tamewa Khola and Tamewa and continue to Hellok. (Between these villages, a bridge leads west to the hilltop village of Lelep: headquarters of the KCA project.) Beyond Hellok, a suspension bridge crosses the Simbuwa Khola: the river that rises from the Yalung Glacier on Kangchenjunga’s south face. The next bridge crosses the Ghunsa Khola that rises from Kangchenjunga’s north face glacier. This is at its confluence with the Tamur Khola just below the village of Sekathum. The first views of Khumbakarna (Jannu) may be seen. Overnight at Sekathum.
After breakfast, we follow the trail along the north bank of the Ghunsa Khola which is set in a steep sided and narrow valley. It passes through oak and rhododendron forest with bamboo undergrowth as well as small Sherpa settlements, mainly tending yaks: there is still evidence of extensive forest burning for slash-and-burn agriculture. After lunch, there is a steep climb up to the small and friendly Tibetan settlement of Amjilosa, set on a small level kharka with great views back down the valley. Overnight at Amjilosa.
This is a fairly short day. The trail leads up to a flat ridge and then meanders through forests of bamboo, rhododendron, birch and brown oaks. It passes waterfalls and a few scattered summer pastures. Eventually it reaches a large set of rapids, after which a stiff climb leads up to the Sherpa village of Gyabla. The slopes around the village have been denuded for fields, but the forest remains pristine on the opposite side of the valley. Overnight at Gyabla.
Today’s trail passes through hemlock and bamboo forest as it drops steeply into a ravine before levelling out. The forest gradually changes to alpine Himalayan fir and rhododendron as the path rises towards the large summer yak pastures and potato fields around the village of Phale (3,140m/10,302ft). There is a wooden Gompa with several statues and old thangkas, brought originally from Tibet.
Beyond Phale, the valley widens and the trail improves as it passes through larch forests and cultivated fields. It then dips down to cross the Ghunsa Khola and enter Ghunsa. This is the largest village in the region and is now occupied throughout the year: swelling in numbers as yaks and goats are brought up (and beyond) to pasture during the summer months.
Ghunsa is an attractive Tibetan village with homesteads spaced in wood-enclosed fields. Steep forested slopes and almost sheer rock faces form the valley sides with snow-clad peaks towering 1,000m above.
Visit the monastery (belonging to the Khampa Dzong monasteries of Tibet) on the edge of the village. Look for locally made Tibetan carpets. Consider a day hike up the Yamatari Khola, along the Lapsang La trail, to a lake at the terminal moraine of the Yamatari glacier. Alternately follow the trail along the pipe line of the hydro electric plant towards the Tamo La: on the trail to Kangchenjunga’s south base camp. Bharal may be seen grazing above the village.
The trail leads north of Ghunsa through glorious larch and juniper forests on the east bank of the Ghunsa Khola. After crossing a sandy, boulder-strewn floodplain it crosses the river over a rickety, wood and stone bridge before climbing above the west bank to Rambuk Kharka (3,720m/12,205ft). The hillsides become increasingly barren as the trail rises past a high waterfall and rock falls along a narrow trail. Further on it crosses a large, sandy landslide before climbing more steeply while passing the impressive snout of the Khumbakarna (Jannu) Glacier on the opposite side of the valley. It then drops briefly into Kambachen. From here there are great views of several peaks including Jannu (7,710m/25,295ft). Lammergeyers, eagles, kites, falcons and choughs are commonly seen. Overnight at Kambachen.
The landscape becomes increasingly desolate; forged over aeons by glacial ice. The path is not strenuous but for a time negotiates the stony river bed before reaching summer-pastoral huts at Ramtang (4,370m/14,338ft). Beyond is the snout of the Kangchenjunga Glacier which has been joined by the Ramtang Glacier. Higher up, the stony path climbs over the moraine and drops to the riverbed of the Ghunsa Khola as it leaves the Lhonak Glacier to the north. Ford the river or cross on a low unstable bridge to the summer grazing kharkas at Lhonak, situated well above the main glacier. There are three small buildings and some old stone walls amongst boulders that can assist with tent-shelter from the icy winds. Ice peaks rise in all directions with the 1½km ridge of Chang Himal (Wedge Peak) as centre piece. Tent Peak is prominent on the eastern horizon at the end of the visible glacier. Overnight at Lhonak.
From Lhonak the Kangchenjunga Glacier flows eastwards for several kilometres before turning south to rise to its extensive head on the northern slopes of Kangchenjunga. The path follows the lip of the glacier over short grasses or rocky tracks that undulate with the terrain. Pang Pema lies opposite the head of the glacier and from here offers the first full view of the vast north face of the mountain. Overnight at Pang Pema.
The views from Pang Pema must rank amongst the most spectacular in the world. From Kangchenjunga, an unbroken wall of peaks, nowhere less than 6,100m/20,000ft forms the border with Sikkim and to the north, Tibet. Beyond the campsite the West Langpo Glacier flows into the Kangchenjunga Glacier. A difficult route north leads over the Jonsang La into Tibet. Climb the lower slopes of Drohma Ri (5,500m/18,045ft) behind the camp for better views of the mountain – at sunrise. Walk along the Langpo moraine to Corner Camp for better views of Pyramid Peak, et al. Overnight at Pang Pema.
The return journey from Pang Pema to Lhonak will be fairly slow, but beyond that the route is almost all downhill and thus Kambachen can easily be reached in a day. There are great views to enjoy. Overnight at Kambachen.
Retrace the path down to Ghunsa, for lunch. Look out for pheasants in the forest. Cross the river below the village and continue downstream beside the Ghunsa Khola, through forest and farmland, to the Tibetan summer grazing village of Phale. Visit the wooden gompa. Overnight at Phale.
The trail, through forests of rhododendron, conifer, birch and oak, continues down the valley, dropping to cross numerous tributaries to the last of the Tibetan villages at Gyabla. It then undulates on down to Amjilosa. Overnight at Amjilosa.
After the waterfall beyond the village, the path begins to descend fairly steeply to Sekathum: at the confluence of the Ghunsa and Tamur Kholas. The path then follows the western bank of the Tamur Khola and soon crosses the suspension bridge over the Simbuwa Khola that flows in from the Yarlung Glacier. An afternoon's walk leads to the riverside campsite a ¼hrs walk before the cluster-village of Chirwa. Overnight at Chirwa.
From Chirwa, leave the river trail and follow the trail that climbs above the east bank of the Tamor Khola to the hamlet at Thiwa (an exit point from the KCA). It then climbs high above the houses of Tawa, over a ridge before dropping into a side canyon to cross the Tawa Khola before climbing back to the ridge. It then passes above the hamlet of Malbanse before reaching Linkhim. Overnight at Linkhim.
From Linkhim, the trail winds in and out of side canyons to the Limbu village to Phurumbu and a ridge overlooking a vast landslide before Jogidanda. A final 3-4 hrs climb, through the Sherpa villages of Bung Kulung and Bhote Gaon leads to the airstrip at Suketar. Celebrate with a farewell dinner before saying goodbye to your trekking crew. Overnight at Suketar.
After breakfast, board an early morning flight to Biratnagar and later an onward flight to Kathmandu from where you will be driven to your hotel. Afternoon free.
By Train :
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or NJP is a major railway station located in Siliguri, the gateway to North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan and North-East India. There are many long distance trains arrives or pass through the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or NJP station. You can choose to come to Kolkata and take one of the many trains to NJP. If you are coming from Delhi or north part of India, Mumbai, Pune or West part of India, Chennai, Bangalore or South part of India, try to take any north east train which directly goes to NJP by passing Kolkata.
By Flight :
Flying to Bagdogra or IXB is another option that you can choose. Bagdogra is well connected with regular direct flight from Kolkata & Delhi.
1. Accommodation : As per the current availability over there we can provide you Dormitory room at Yoksum & you will be accommodated in Tents / Trekkers hut during the trek.
2. Meal Plan : Day 1 Lunch to Day 10 Lunch.
3. Transportation : We will provide you : NJP / IXB / Siliguri to Yoksum & Yoksum to NJP / IXB / Siliguri return - Non-Luxury vehicle - seat capacity maximum 8 to 9 seats ( Sumo / Sumo Gold / Spacio / Mahindra Maxx / Similar ).
( Please Note : Vehicle will be taken for all transfers (Point to point drop) & the mentioned sightseeing points including fuel expenses on hire basis )
4. All Car Permits, Parking, Toll-Taxes, Tips / Bata for the said vehicle & driver.
5. Entry fees & forest camping charges of Kanchenjungha National Park.
6. One group leader from our company
7. Local Guide.
8. Local Porters, Yak / Mule / Horse for ration & equipment carrying only.
9. Cook during trek.
* Any Airfare / Train fare / Bus fare.
* Any extra porter for personal luggage.
* Any services not specifically mentioned in the inclusions.
* Any transportation which is not mentioned in the itinerary.
* Still Camera / Video camera fees at any sightseeing points.
* Any meals / food during transit outside menu or other than those mentioned above.
* Any expenses of personal nature like Room Heater charges / Hot Water Bag charges / Mobile charging fees etc.
* Any kind of Entry Tickets / Fees at sightseeing points/ Monument / Parks / Boating Points / Museum / Zoo / Any Excess Waiting Charges or Parking charges at any Riding point, Example - Ropeway, Boating, Horse Riding points etc.
* Any portage at airport / rail station / hotels / on the way / during trek / or anywhere, all Tips / Bata, Any Insurance / Travel Insurance, Beverages & Soft drinks, Mineral water, Telephone charges etc and all items of personal nature.
* Expenses caused by the factors beyond our control like any rail and flight delays, any roadblocks, any vehicle disturbances/malfunctions, any political disturbances, any Natural Calamities like earthquake, flood, land slide, snow-falls, storm, heavy rain-fall etc.
To prepare for a trek, we need to strengthen our 2 prime M’s – Mind and Muscle, the body. Only then, the spending of the 3rd M – Money; a little or more, can bring to us an intense lifelong experience like trekking.
At high altitude as the air gets thinner oxygen becomes less abundant. The percentage saturation of haemoglobin with oxygen determines the content of oxygen in our blood. After the human body reaches around 2,100 m (7,000 feet) above sea level, the level of oxygen in our haemoglobin begins to plummet. However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen.
You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.
You can follow this stretching before run
After 15 min of stretching you can follow this training schedule for trekking fitness required.
Week 1: Start with 10 minute of brisk walk and then jog for 10 minutes and finally 10minutes of easy walk.
Week 2: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 3: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 4: 5 minutes of brisk walk and jog for 25 min and cool down your body.
MIND, THE MENTAL ENDURANCE :
To build our physical endurance prior to trek, we workout in a gymnasium or outdoors nearby. In both the cases, we actually choose a suitable environment for us to sweat. So, even if you get extremely fit before the trek, you don’t get exposed to the versatile environmental or climatic challenges that nature offers during a trek. All these environmental conditions have a deep impact on our body and mind too. A walk through heavy rains or snowfall, even in a normal gradient, becomes more challenging than the same trail in a pleasant weather. And it happens not only because of rain or snow makes the walk more difficult. Also, you need to adjust, tolerate and fight the adverse nature psychologically in which your body and mind are not habituated. Here, your mind comes into play. This is where the game becomes more mental than physical.
1. Bulid your own motivation system.
2. Use your passion to bring more motivation.
3. Study about your trek route to gain knowledge to plan and prepare yourself appropriately.
4. Think positive & stay focused.
5. Visualization is a common technique for handling stress.
Developing mental strength is not a one day game. Your experiences are the best teacher. You become more confident after every trek. Cherish your journey after completion of the trek. Sense, the achievement. These will build your mind stronger forever, no matter where you want to use it for, a trek or a life.
1. Hire a digital trainer for free. The key is to do it perfect than more in numbers. Use video tutorial, mobile apps, read blogs and use a mirror to make it perfect.
2. Be a regular, rather inconsistent & intense.
3. Drink more water during the exercise routine and more importantly in the time of trekking. Keep dehydration, muscles cramps, and life-threatening hypothermia away.
4. Food is fuel. Maintain a well-balanced diet consist of carbohydrate, fat, and protein during your exercise and trekking days.
5. Sleep well. Finally, the lack of sleep can spoil your whole preparation for a trek.
Below are the list of personal articles which are required for a trek on the Himalayas. This guide helps you to give an idea about the things that you need to bring in as a trek member. Depending upon the number of days of trek, the articles quantity may vary and this list is made considering the trek duration being 5 to 7 days (week long treks).
Always try to avoid unnecessary Cloths, toiletries which are heavy and of little use on mountain. Pack light.
For selection of personal gear/equipment and backpacking please read the articles carefully, before buying an item:
Rucksack/Back Pack : A Must item. Between 40 to 50 Litres. Don’t buy more than 60L unless you are in expeditions. These will be heavier and can cause discomfort if not fully loaded. You can buy it online or offine from trekking gear store. We can help you to find the right one.
Sleeping Bag : You can hire from us or bring your personal one rated for high altitude in case you have. Personal one is always better for hygiene. You can purchase from us. http://www.majestichimalayan.com/final/hire-a-guide
Trekking Shoe / Boot : A must item. A good quality trekking shoe/boot must have the following specs :
i) A sticky rubber sole with lug (indentations for better grip).
ii) Ankle support (Medium or high ankle).
iii) Waterproofing membrane. (A must for high altitude and winter treks).
Mattress (Foam/Rubber) : It is very cheap. You can buy it from Hardware shop or trekking gear shop.
Micro spikes/Anti slip grip & Gaiters : Its necessary only for snow trek, specially in winter time.
Rucksack cover (Waterproof): Advised. MUST for protection from rain/dust/stain etc. (Alternately you can keep your clothing and warm jacket inside polythene pack. Do get the pack(s) back to home and re use/recycle).
Daypack/Knapsack : Optional (Can carry along with you with water bottle, food, camera and wind/water proof etc.) if you want to offload your Rucksack in permissible routes.
T-shirt (Base layer while you are hiking) : A must item and as per need. Take at least one Dry fit/Quick dry type which can ventilate sweat/moisture wicking. These are made of synthetic materials. Cotton T-shirts are NOT advised and avoid especially when you walk.
Warm Jacket (Mid layer clothing for warmth ) : A must item. Warm Fleece Jacket/Synthetic fill (Some refer as Hollow Fill Jacket/Down feather Jacket.
While hiking you will not require this unless you are hiking in cold conditions. Use this when you cool down at campsite. You can but from us - http://www.majestichimalayan.com/final/hire-a-guide
Windproof Jacket/Wind Cheater (Outer layer clothing for protection from wind and rain/snow fall) : A MUST item. A hooded one made of water resistant/repellent material is highly advised.
Use this along with Base layer (t-shirt) while hiking unless it is warm and sunny weather. Wear this always as outer later to protect from wind chill be while hiking or at camp site.
Thermal wear (Base Layer once you reach campsite) : Upper and lower (Woolly cot). Must for winter treks.
Trek pant : A must item. Can be Track pants (avoid cotton), 3 quarter/Cargo or Convertible kind.
One Dry fit/Quick dry track pant is advised. Water repellent/proof quality is a plus.
For altitude above 5000m/16400ft you should use wind proof and water proof trek pants.
Raincoat/Poncho/Waterproof clothing: Waterproofing is MUST during your trek in the Himalayas, be it in summer or winter.
This can be achieved by any of the following:
i) Use your windproof jacket and hiking pant having water repellent/proofing quality.
ii) A Poncho/Raincoat.
Balaclava/Woolen skull cap/Monkey Cap : A Must item for protection from cold. Made of woolen/synthetic warm material.
Sun cap/Wide-brimmed Hat/Bandana : For protection from sun while you hike.
Under garments/Inner wear : As per need.
Hiking Socks : 3/4 pair. Use full length socks (Don’t use tennis socks). 100% Cotton socks are NOT recommended as these absorb sweat and dry slowly. A pair of woolen material is nice to have especially in winter treks.
Woolen gloves : A Must item.
Waterproof gloves : Optional. Useful especially on high altitude treks where snow/ice is encountered.
Camp sandal : Can be a strap on sports sandal or a Hawaiian sleeper.
Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles/Ski Poles : Nice to have, reduces the pressure on knees and gives balance specially while descending. Advised at least one pole for treks involving snow/ice.
Knee cap : Optional. Makes a difference especially if you have knee injuries/problems (Neoprene added variant is better).
Water bottle/Hydration pack : Must. Good quality plastic bottle.
Sunglasses : This is MUST for all the high altitude treks and winter treks. Polarised/Anti-glare is always a better option in snow with UV400 (UV A & B) protection. Trekkers using spectacle can order custom make powered sunglasses.
Torch/Head Lamp with extra batteries : A MUST item. Head torch keeps your hands free.
Accessories/Toiletries : Optional and try to share when you travel in group.
Sunscreen lotion – Optional. At least 30/40 SPF.
Chap Stik/Cold & Moisturising cream – Optional. As per need. Use small tubes/bottles.
Tooth brush and tooth paste – Carry smallest available tube of tooth paste.
Soap/Soap strip – Carry small pocket size soap, or Soap strip.
Hand sanitizer – Optional. Small bottle.
Tissue roll ( Toilet paper) – This is a must item as water may not be available in the vicinity.
Towel – Medium size (light weight).
Anti-Fungal Powder – Optional. This helps to keep the socks and the trek shoe drier and odour free to an extent. Carry smallest container.
Camera with extra cells: Optional. Normally there is no charging point on the Himalayan trek routes, carry spare batteries/power bank.
Dry food items(Kit): Must. Carry some dry fruits, chocolate/energy/protein bars and GluconD/Tang/Getorade.
Personal First-Aid Kit: Optional – Anti septic cream, Betadine/Dettol/Savlon, Band aid, cotton, crepe bandage, safety pin etc.
Medicines Kit: This is a simple guide line and a doctor’s consultation is recommended.)
In case of cancellation of tour/travel services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reason/s we must be informed in writing. Cancellation charges would be effective from the date we receive letter in writing and cancellation charges would be as follows:
Please note – Irrespective of above mentioned cancellations slabs – in case of cancellation of tour services after the booking is made with us – a minimum 10% service charges would be applicable.
In case you cancel the trip after commencement refund would be restricted to a limited amount that too would depend on the amount that we would be able to recover from the hoteliers we patronize. For unused hotel accommodation, chartered transportation and missed meals etc. we do not bear any responsibility to refund.
In regard to refund of unused / unutilized services (which are paid for and cancelled in advance) the refund amount would be worked out on the basis of cancellation policy as described above and the money would be accordingly refunded to the person who has made the payment to us. Please note that the refund process may take 2 – 4 weeks due to banking procedures. If the refund is made to the credit card account OR to Bank account, the bank charges would be debited from the refund amount.