Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek might not be familiar to people around the globe. Just by looking at the low google search volume, you can have an idea about the popularity of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. But whoever has known this trek or has been to the trails of this trek, for them it is one of the most adventurous treks in Nepal. In fact, more than trekking it is an experience to reminisce about for a lifetime.
Trekking to this region was only possible after the year 1987. In the year 1988, the government of Nepal granted permission for trekkers to trek this region. The unexplored and untouched remote trails and settlements offer trekkers the pristine raw beauty of eastern Nepal. Further, there is everything serving trekkers to make the journey lot more memorable and exciting. The mountainous nature and culture of Kanchenjunga are the reason for drawing visitors to this region while enhancing the popularity of the Kanchenjunga Base camp Trek.
Before you put on your hiking boots on the Kanchenjunga region's pristine land, have a glimpse at these top 10 facts of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is located in the eastern section of Nepal. To be precise, the trek takes you to the border between Province 1, Taplejung district of Nepal, and the Indian state of Sikkim. The region is most famous for its rich water resources and rare flora and fauna. Protected as the restricted region of Nepal, the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area gives you the perfect sight of Nepal’s rare plants and animals. The soaring world’s third-largest Mt Kanchenjunga located in the region gives the region as well as trek its name.
The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Map shows you the diverse route options to explore the Kanchenjunga region. Commencing the trek from Taplejung, the Kanchenjunga trek map gives you the option to choose between the trek to Kanchenjunga North Base camp and the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. Where the route to KBC North is diverse towards Chiruwa from Taplejung, the trail of KBC South heads towards Lalikharka. With an elevation of 5143m, Pangpema is the maximum point you reach in Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek whereas a journey of the Kanchenjunga South reaches up to a maximum of 4730m.
Relying on your own wish you can go for any. Further, if you are keen to explore the whole Kanchenjunga region, the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is your best match. The circuit trek includes both south and north Kanchenjunga base camp on its itinerary. This round trek joins Kanchenjunga South and North route by crossing the pass of Sinion La and Sele La. This pass connects the route from Gunsa in Noth KBC to the Tseram in South KBC.
While the above-mentioned variations fit well for adventure enthusiasts, for cultural explorers who wish to escape the high-altitude trek of long days, there is another option. As this option is new so the fact of the presence of Kanchenjunga Limbu Cultural trekking is not known to many. This cultural trekking doesn’t take the trekkers to the sheer height but makes sure to astonish trekkers with its cultural wonders. The Limbu Cultural trekking in Kanchenjunga takes you from Suketar up to Telok while passing through the beautiful Limbu settlements of Lali Kharka, Kande Bhanjyang, Phumpe Danda, and Mamangkhen.
Now that you are well known about the top interesting route variation facts of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, choose the best match of yours and tie your shoelace for the epic journey.
Camping or Teahouse Trek?
On the starting days of the trek to the Kanchenjunga, camping was the only option to explore the region. However, today it has cumulated to offer the teahouse stay at different stop points. The teahouses are run by locals of the region. Though the number of teahouses is few but can accommodate the number of trekkers entering the region. Even today, if you wish, a camping trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp is absolutely possible.
Best time to probe around the remote trail of the Kanchenjunga Region:
The high season to do the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek spans from spring (march-may) to autumn (Sep-Oct). Unlike EBC and Annapurna Circuit Trek, no complaints regarding the route being overcrowded are heard in these peak seasons. Choosing this remote trek during the peak trekking season of Nepal, no problems are there for you to face brought by crowds.
Moreover, the festivals of Ubhauli and Udhauli celebrated at the end of spring and autumn give you a rejuvenating vibe. In addition, alpine blossoms and diverse rhododendron blossoms inside the forest of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area during spring leave you awe-struck. The moss growing on the trees and the new life of faunas make you feel more grateful for choosing this trek. With proper rain gear, the summer Kanchenjunga trek is still possible but risks are more awaiting you on the road. Likewise, warm accessories and wears make the winter Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek doable.
If you are willing to increase your Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek difficulty level go for winter or summer Kanchenjunga treks. Else it is better to skip the off-season Kanchenjunga Base Camp trekking.
Porter and Guide or Alone?
The thought of doing the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek solo should be eradicated immediately if you have any issues. This is because the Kanchenjunga region is the restricted region of Nepal as already mentioned. To enter or trek the restricted region of Nepal has its own requirements. To get the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek permit, you have to be in a group of a minimum of two-person. Further, without a licensed Nepal trekking guide your entry to the region is impossible.
Considering the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek difficulty and distance, it's highly recommended to trek the region with a porter. However, if you think yourself strong enough to carry your loads while gaining the altitudes, you can think of skipping the hiring of a porter.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Difficulty:
Acquiring knowledge about trekking is not only getting to know the interesting facts about the trek. Along with the positive sides, it is equally crucial to know about the dark sides of the trek. It is more than important to find out the hidden facts of the trek which contribute to making the trek quite difficult. Thus continue reading the paragraph below to put in light the facts of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek difficulty factor.
It is obvious that the difficulty factor of any trek depends highly on the person's experience, budget, trekking days, and luxury needs. In the case of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, your budget doesn’t matter much on the trekking route. Even if you are high on the budget you can’t get whatever luxury you wish. Whether you wish for luxury or basic, you will only get the basic service on the trek trail resulting in not much difference in Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Cost.
The major factors affecting Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Difficulty are:
1. Long Trekking Distance
Covering a distance of around 220km, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek distance is one of the longest distance covering treks in Nepal. To cover this distance one should be able to walk for around 6-8 hours. Further, don’t expect the trail to be well maintained.
2. Unpredictable weather till the altitude of 5143m
The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek’s maximum altitude is 5143m at the Pangpema. Unpredictable weather conditions and the risk of High altitude sickness over the altitude of 2500m make it difficult to complete the Kanchenjunga base camp trek.
3. Limited food and accommodation
Kanchenjunga region is thinly populated with only a few teahouses on the trekking trail. Also, the route is not developed enough for the goods to get transported through vehicles. Thus before stepping on the Kanchenjunga trekking route prepare yourself to stay in congested accommodation with a limited basic food menu. As your trek begins the food that you get for your dinner is basically plain Dhal Bhat and Sabji. If you are not habitual of using the squat toilet, then prepare your mind accordingly as it is the only option in this remote eastern region trekking route. In addition, expecting the attached toilet and bathroom is most heart-wrenching. Be grateful for whatever you have and return with great memories.
4. Root narrow and risky-in riverside
The trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp demands your proper attention. As the trekking routes are narrow, it cannot afford your carelessness.
5. No bridges over streams in many places
It is the most basic fact of the remote Kanchenjunga region that the region is not well developed. There are some places where bridges are present but there are many streams where there is the absence of bridges. In some places, there are old wood-bedded bridges that are riskier to cross. These all aids in increasing the difficulty level of the trek.
6. Difficult or Impossible to manage permits for solo trekkers
Solo trekkers are not allowed for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. Thus, even solo trekkers have to traverse this region with a licensed Trekking guide. Further, he/she should be in a group of two. Without fulfilling all the mentioned requirements one can’t manage the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek permit.
7. Poor communication facility
The communication facility is very poor in the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. Around 80% of the places have no network coverage. Further, even those 20% of places that have network coverage don’t provide a good network. So, staying away from the family without being connected for a long time might be troublesome for many trekkers.
Having an idea of the above mention difficulty factor, you can prepare your mindset likewise. As a result of which you will find yourself mentally prepared for the difficulties.
Exploration of diverse climatic zones and wildlife in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area:
Its neighbors are Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet and Kahngchendzonga National park in Sikkim. The area of Kanchenjunga National park is formed of forests, pastures, fertile land, rivers, stream, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes. Further, the walk inside the KCA during the KBC trek showcases the rare flora, fauna, and bird species. If luck favors you, you can have the sight of the red panda, snow leopard, Asian black bear, snowcock, and blood pheasant.
Traversing the forest here during the spring season grants you the majestic sight of around 23 varieties of Rhododendrons. While gaining altitude inside the conservation area, the view of grazing yaks, along with the alpine spring blossoms gives your eyes a heavenly feel.
Kanchenjunga South Base Camp opens up a flexible route for the Kanchenjunga expedition:
It is the great fact of the Kanchenjunga region that the eminent Mt Kanchenjunga expedition passes through the less sought-after route, of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The expedition to the Kanchenjunga mountains is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Popular with the tag of Killer mountain, the climb to this mountain is more complicated than that of Mt Everest. By establishing the first camping night stay at Ramche, the expedition of Kanchenjunga continues further for around 34 days until the return to Ramche. The journey from the first Kanchenjunga Base Camp to the summit is much demanding and tricky.
Unlike the expeditors of the Kanchenjunga Mountain, trekkers of the Kanchenjunga Region make their return to Ramche the same day just after completing their Oktang exploration.
Eat Organic, Drink Organic:
With few trekkers on the way to Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek the speckless trail of Nepal. Making their living through traditional farming, locals of the Kanchenjunga region are highly dependent on their cultivating lands.
Further, most of the eateries here are organic. From tea spices to liquors everything is homegrown and homemade. They even produce the popular spice cardamon on their lands and make their living from whatever earnings they earn by selling those products. In recent days with the arrival of trekkers in the region, locals here are somehow getting dependent on the homestay of teahouse business.
Get Familiar with Kirati Limbu Culture:
The villages you will visit during the trek are rich in customs and rituals, and their modest isolated lifestyle will show you the true rustic lifestyle of Nepal.
Lower elevated villages of Chiruwa, Sekathum, Mamangkhe, Phumpe Danda, Telok and likewise introduces you to the best of Limbu Culture and lifestyle. Above Sekathmum and Tortong in the North and South KBC route respectively, the sparse settlements of Sherpa greet you.
To experience the remoteness of the region and the great hospitality of the Limbu and Sherpa people, make sure to take a sip of Tongba, an organic beverage. Served in the beautiful Tongba Jar, the beverage is made out of fermented millet.
Also don’t miss the opportunity to learn the special greeting word “Sewaro” which is used by Limbu locals. Literally, Sewaro translates to Namaste. Limbu people often used this word to greet their guests and respected ones. As the local Limbus of the Kanchenjunga region is of Tibetan origin, most of them follow Tibetan Buddhism. Due to this reason, the visit to the settlements of Kanchenjunga sometimes gives the essence of being in the Tibetan land.
Additional fun facts about Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek :
Multiple Names of Mount Kanchenjunga
Among the mentioned top 10 facts of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek, this one is the fun fact of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek. It may sound astonishing to hear that the name of the mountain which is located in the very region and from which the trek got its name doesn't have a fixed single name. It is genuine fact that the Mountain Kanchenjunga is known worldwide as Kanchenjunga. However, it is also true that the name Kanchenjunga has various alternatives. Some spell it as Kangchenjunga or Kinchinjunga whereas others hail it as Kang Chen Zod Nga, Kanchenjunga, Kachendzonga or Kangchanfanga. The Tibetan name of Kanchenjunga literally translates to ‘Five Treasures of Snow’. In addition, Limbu of eastern Nepal calls Kanchenjunga by the name Senjelungama or Seseylungma. They believe it to be the home of goddess Yuma Sammang. For mountaineers throughout the world, Kanchenjunga is the synonym for adventure and daring.
Base Camp with Summit which is still intact and untouched
Mt Kanchenjunga is considered holy by the locals who settled around this mountain. Thus, respecting the belief of those locals since the first expedition by the British team in 1955, no one has touched the summit of this holy mountain.
Home of Yeti- Most Hillarious facts of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
You might be unaware of this hidden fact of the Kanchenjunga region but it is true that many people consider it to be the residence of the mountain deity yeti, “The Abdominal Snowman”.
The above-mentioned fun facts and 10 facts of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek don't completely justify the wilderness and visage of the Kanchenjunga region. To experience the unfeigned essence of the trek, wallow in the placid trail of Kanchenjunga Base Camp.