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Thread: Kangchenjunga - 2008

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Kangchenjunga - 2008

    I completed the Kangchenjunga Trek to both north and south sides from Oct 25th to Nov 19th, inclusive of air travel days.

    Going out I flew to Biratnagar and took local buses to Basantapur. Coming back I flew Suketar to Biratnager and than KTM. I took a guide and two porters. The load included a tent for me, tent for them and food and some cooking gear for 10 days. The plan being to cook for ourselves above Ghunsa and over the passes and above Tseram, in reality we did a little more for ourselves. My route went (overnight stops) – some names will be different depending on your information source.
    Basantapur – tea house
    Chauki - tea house
    Gupa Pokhari – tent but ate at the teahouse
    Guya – teahouse
    Dobhan – teahouse
    Mitlung – teahouse
    Tapethok - tent but ate at the teahouse
    Amjilasha - tent but ate at the teahouse
    Gyapha - tent but ate at the teahouse
    Ghunsa – Lodge two nights
    Khambachen – stayed in teahouse room but cooked ourselves
    Lhonak – two nights – tent and own food
    Ghunsa – Lodge
    Sele La - tent and own food
    Yalung (near by) - tent and own food
    Ramche - tent and own food
    AndhaPhedi - tent and own food
    Lassi Than - tent and own food
    Mamangkhe – teahouse
    Khesewa - tent but ate at the teahouse
    Lali Kharka – teahouse
    Suketar – Lodge 2 nights

    Accommodation wise I had a few more nights in the tent than planned. Some places the teahouse were very plain indeed and at others I clashed with big camping groups and their porters took all reasonable spaces in the teahouses. Teahouse food was Daal Bhat and breakfast noodles and boiled eggs. Chickens included for free. After a while my guide started to make a better breakfast using the teahouse kitchen and our supplies. At many villages you can restock on a few biscuits, noodles and drinks. At Ghunsa we bought many items and they were about 3-4 times KTM prices.

    The trail was difficult and strenuous with long up and down sections on many days. I did both Pamperma and Oktang as day walks from Lhonak and Ramche respectively. The trail from Dobhan to Milung was very difficult to find and very eroded possibly from the recent floods.

    Views and scenery were very varied and spectacular – from almost tropical to arid and cold. I was blessed with great weather, one night of light snow in Ghunsa and some low cloud the next day that burnt off by noon.

    Information along the way was difficult to get – I did not interact with the locals as much as I would have liked. They did have more English then I expected but were very reluctant to engage with a tourist except when they had a great idea on how to get a few bucks for the “school”, “club” or mother’s group.

    There are a number of police checks and a permit checks at Ghunsa and Tapethok but no one cared that I was a single trekker (you have to have two names for the permit, my ghost friend went missing). I did see other single trekkers and one group with no porters or guide but they did not do the passes, just North side.

    The bridges in particular have been upgraded from the guide book and other information I had gathered before the trek. The trail was easy to find apart from the Mitlung section but don’t ask a local they will give offhand and confusing directions, generally ending in ‘you can go both ways only one will take a week longer’.

    I will leave it at that and happily take any questions from those interested in this trek.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Any interesting birds? That Eastern area must have some interesting ones. Its really good to read about a trek that is less walked and ( one without clashing beer mugs..I am so sick of them)

    How was it flying back? Was that airport used much? What does it look like around there? I wonder about flying there and going for a few days scouting for birds.

    Glad you had a good trip

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    wow, you are testing me now. Sorry I don't recall a lot of bird life but did see a few eagles and others with those very long tail feathers. Flights from Suketar are one only NA twin otter on Wednesday's and Saturdays. Two Germans couldn't confirm a seat and opted for the jeep drive to Biratnagar .. 17 hours later for them we made the departure gate for KTM together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Great report Boulia. Thanks very much for the info and it certainly has got my imaginative juices going. Definitely on the list...

    Interesting to hear that the locals weren't so friendly, that must have taken you aback a bit.

    Seconded Sugi - nice to hear some new information that is not readily found in a guidebook if one was to look.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Oh and are we going to see some pics?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Welcome back Boulia, I trust you enjoyed your trek.

    No direct Suketar/KTM flights? I had one but maybe I was lucky.

    You were better prepared with tents and food than I was, so maybe best to make use of them and camp more often. I didn't get up to Oktang as we were under equipped. Which lodge did you stay at in Ghunsa? I was at the "Top of the World"

    Isn't Jannu an awesome mountain.....


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Hi Oli

    We stayed at Ghunsa GH, pretty OK, and a hot shower too. There seems about 3-4 better lodges in Ghunsa now. The village now has a little hydro plant servcing the power needs and a line is already down to Pooley (if thats the right spelling). Yes, many photos of Janu and but still trying to sort names for the rest of the photos.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    hello,

    we(me and my 8 friends) made the Kangchenjunga trek in similar time, 18.10 -1.11. (maybe we met somewhere on the route?). Unfortunately, after coming back from Pangpema to Ghunsa, there was a snowfall and a little weather breakdown for few days and that is why we didnt do the passes (we planned to go through Selele pass). We didnt have time to wait few days for better weather so we had to go back the same way through Amjilasa, Tapethok and Chiruwa.

    Boulia or Oli - which route You find better - south or north basecamp? Do we missed much?

    This was my first time in Nepal so probably we paid much more than we could have paid for this trek. We wanted to do this trek only on ourselfs without any support, but the agency arranging permits convinced us to take a guide. Now I think it was not necessery - luckily he was just a nice guy, but we really paid a lot for taking him with us.

    I find the trek interesting - many various landscapes, jungle and villages which look like from Stoneage are situated lower and higher there is a high-mountain scenery. We didnt meet many torists, only many locals just running with some products between the villages.

    We slept in tents and we ate our own food for a half of trek. The rest was sleeping and eating with locals.

    As regards the route, the distance in jungle was interesting mostly on the first day, than it was a little bit monotonous and boring mainly because of lack of high-mountain views. The route was quite tiring - all the time up and down but there was no problem with finding it.

    Generally if anybody wants to go for adventurous trek, I would not recommend Kangchenjunga North Basecamp (maybe it is more adveturous when You do the passes). The way is visible, there are no difficult moments, the only problem can be high altitude (over 4000 some of us did not feel very well).

    Here are some pictures:



    www.skompek.prv.pl


    greetings

    Ania Skompska
    Last edited by Skompek; 3rd December 2008 at 05:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Maybe we passed, did you by chance stay in Mitlung on 30th Oct ?

    I enjoyed going over the passes, great views as I had excellent weather and after the few hours steep up out of Ghunsa its relatively similar height till the steep drop to the next valley. Views from the lookout at OKtang are similar to Pangperma but less of Kangchenjunga to view. The walk out to Suketar from the south side isn't any easier. The trail dips many times to the river valley only to immediately climb back up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Kangchenjunga - 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Skompek
    Here are some pictures:


    www.skompek.prv.pl

    greetings

    Ania Skompska
    Some really nice pics there Ania, they have a National Geographic feel about them. It looks like you had some decent size packs, did you just have the guide and no porters?

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