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Kanchenjunga North

Start of the Trip: Kathmandu
End of the Trip: Kathmandu
Duration: 20 Days
Difficulty: Hard
Seasons: October – November, March – May
Maximum Elevation: 5140m

About Mt. Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga (8586m) is world’s 3rd largest peak after Everest and K2. It is located in between the borders of Nepal and Sikkim. Kanchenjunga is also commonly referred to as the peak of terror because; it is one of the hardest to climb, after several failed mountain expeditions it was only conquered in 1962. The mountain is sacred to both the Hindus and Buddhists, and mountaineers are no longer permitted to climb the mountain. You are permitted to only trek along the foothills of Kanchenjunga. The area is also a major settlement for Limbus (local inhabitants), who follows a mixed religion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animist beliefs. Trekking through the peaceful Kanchenjunga circuit is a real bliss for trekkers. For those willing to explore the entire Kanchenjunga region, plan a four weeklong trek from North to South Base Camps. It is not possible to circumnavigate around the mountain since it is location in between Nepal and India border. The gateways to this region are Taplejung and Basantapur. You can book a 30-minute flight from Biratnagar to reach Taplejung. Or you can board on a bus from Hile and set out on 37km ride to Basantapur for 1½ hour

About the Trek

Trek through the valleys of rushing river to the snow – packed mountains. The major attraction of this trek is Pang Pema (5140m), set amongst the high glaciers below North face of Kanchenjunga. This trek stands as a test for even the experienced trekkers. Along the trail, enjoy breath-taking views of Ghunsa, and surrounding mountains. Most overnight stops are at pastures; and there are plenty of tea shops and camp sites along the way. You may choose either to reach Pang Pema by setting off from Basantapur or by taking a flight to Suketar (Taplejung), and begin trek from Chirwa.
Along the trail to Sakathum, visit the fascinating village of Walunchung Gola, which is filled with chortens, stupas and mani walls. Most of the inhabitants of the village are Walung people, whose cultures resemble to that of the Tibetans. The Walunchung Gola village which was once a restricted area is gaining so much popularity that separate tours are being organized to this village. The overwhelming sights of the mountains can be seen while approaching Lhonak. Trekkers camp at Pang Pema and spend overnight, in order to catch a beautiful sunrise early in the morning and to enjoy a spectacular view of the majestic Himalayas.

Peaks at Sight

Khabur (6332), Phole (6645m), Junnu, Merra Peak (6344m), Chang Himal (6750m), Kanchenjunga, Table Shikhar (6510m), and Ghimmigela Chuli (7350m), Pathibhara Khas/ Pyramid Peak (7165m), and Kirat Chuli (7365m).


Walunchung Gola, Ghunsa, Lhonak Glacier, Pang Pema, and Kanchenjunga Glacier.

Supplies & Equipment

  • Tents
  • Stoves 
  • Porters
  • Clothing for extreme cold weather
  • Four season sleeping Bag
  • Ice axes & Crampons (especially while crossing Lapsang La) 
  • Eye- footwear

Photos of Kanchenjunga North

Tour Itinerary

Day Section and Altitude Hours

Kathmandu Arrival-Transfer to Basantapur

Basantapur – Door Pani (2780m) – Chauki (2680m),
580m ascent, 100m descent


5 – 6.00


Chauki – Lamo Pokhari (2940m) - Gupa Pokhari (2890m),
320m ascent, 110m descent

 4 – 5.00

Gupa Pokhari – Akhar Deorali (3200m) – Gurja (2000m) – Chatrapati – Nesum (1620m),
370m ascent,

 6 – 7.00

Nesum – Dobhan (640m) – Thumma (760m),
120m ascent, 980m descent

Side Trip: To Taplejung/ Suketar,
1200- 1700m ascent

 5 – 5.30



Thumma – Mitlung (880m) – Sinwa (980m) – Chirwa (1190m), 430m ascent

6 – 8.00
6 Chirwa – Tapethok (1320m) – Lelep – Walunchung Gola (3220m) – Sakathum (1640m), Trek Duration: 5 – 51/2 hours, 450m ascent  5 – 5.30

Sakathum – Ghaiyabari (2150m) – Amjilosa (2490m),
890m ascent

 4 – 5.00

Amjilosa – Gyabla (2730m),
240m ascent

 4 – 4.30

Gyabla – Phole (3210m) – Ghunsa (3410m),
680m ascend

 6 – 7.00
10 Acclimatization day at Ghunsa  
11 Ghunsa – Rambuk Kharka (3720m) – Khambachen (4150m), 740m ascent  5 – 6.00
12 Acclimatization day at Khambachen  

Khambachen – Ramtang (4350m) – Lhonak (4790m),
640m ascent

  4 – 5.00

Lhonak – Pang Pema,
360m ascent

3 – 4.00

Pang Pema – Khambachen,
1000m descent

  6 – 7.00

Khambachen – Ghunsa,
740m descent

4 – 4.30

Ghunsa – Amjilosa,
920m descent

6 – 7.00


Amjilosa – Chirwa,
1350m descent

  7 – 8.00

Chirwa – Linkhim,
330m ascent

 6 - 7.00

Linkhim – Suketar,
900m ascent, 120m descent

Suketar to Kathmandu-Kathmandu Departure

6 - 7.00

*** Form Suketar you can board a flight back to Bharatpur.

Side Trips

Day 4: Dhoban to Taplejung/ Suketar

  • Trail from Nesum to Dhoban, descending to the Tamur Kosi and cross the small Maiwa Khola. From Dhoban ascent to Taplejung or Suketar.

Alternative Routes

Kanchenjunga North to Kanchenjunga South

Duration: 23 Days
Difficulty: Hard
Seasons: October – November, March – May
Maximum Elevation: 5140m

It is possible to link the Kanchenjunga North to Kanchenjunga South treks by crossing the Mirgin La (4663m) or the Lapsan La (5160m). The two trails split just South of Ghunsa, near the bridge over the Yamatari Khola. The trail to Mirgin La crosses the stream and climbs the ridge to the South. This is the safest and easiest route but you must still haul yourselves over five passes. The trail climbs the Tamo La (3900m), the Sele La (4115m), the Sinion La (4600m), the Mirgin La and finally Sinelapche La (472m).  

Click here to read more

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