GHT| KANCHENJUNGA BASE CAMP TREK

March 20, 2012
BLOG, GREAT HIMALAYA TRAIL

Day 01:Kathmandu to Charaali

 

I was very excited not because it’s my birthday but I was putting my dream into action. Dream to trek solo across Himalayas of Nepal. In the morning I had small birthday celebration and family and relative get-together. Everyone wished all the best for my trip singing cultural songs. Some more or less 20 people came to drop me at Tribhuvan Domestic Airport in Kathmandu. After being half an hour flight delay, I caught flight at 1:30 pm and finally after about 35 minutes of flying, I arrived to Biratnagar airport and introduced myself to completely new world; a warm and plain Terai region in south of Nepal. I had to pull off my GORE-TEX jacket due to extreme warmth. I collected my trekking bag weighed 38 kilos and took cab to Charali (5km away from Birtamod)After about 3 hours drive I met my college mate,Samrakshya and decided to camp in front of her house.Her family members were very thrilled and excited to discover about my journey into Himayas.Thanks her family for their kindness and hospitality.

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Day 02:Charali to Taplejung

 

You might be surprised if I say I woke up at 2am today. But it’s the truth,the reason was I had to catch bus to Taplejung at 3:30am.After an hour packing I was ready to go. Samrakshya`s father walked with me till bus station and I took bus to Taplejung and this was my longest bus trip so far. It was 15 hours road life. But I loved paved road drive till Illam and view was beautiful with tea farming over the hills. When I was at Taplejung it was dark and freezing cold. As I was guest for first time to Phungling, Taplejung, I didn`t know where should I set my tent and even I wanted to find place, it was already dark. There I saw military camp so I requested Nepal Army to provide me small place to camp. After few minutes talk they agreed to provide me place and also offered dinner together with them. We had short conversation about my trip and some others. I was really tired due long bus drive on a bumpy-dumpy and dusty road. So, I went early to bed.

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Day 03: Taplejung to Suketar


It was good night sleep in my tent in military area which was absolutely safe.I woke up at 6:30 and packed my gears.Then I bought  a litre of kerosene which I thought I will need when I walk to place where there will be no locals. I had a cup of tea and puris (bread cooked in oil). Then I waved my hand towards military camp and started walking.

It was my first walk for the trip.After few minutes walk,one girl caught me.She started to talk with me and after few minutes conversation on the way I came to know she was reporter for Radio Taplejung and we both reached to radio office, she introduced me to other crews  and we had short interview and I took my way ahead to Suketar . After climbing about 100m uphill I encountered a Gurung monastery and I visited and made short pray.I started walking uphill to reach Suketar.Generally people take 2hours to reach suketar from Taplejung.But for me with heavy bag,it was impossible to make it within 2 hrs instead I took 3 hrs.Here I found camping site  and finally I was in Kanchenjunga Base Camp(South) Trail.

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Day 04: In Suketar

 

I decided to rest in Suketar for one more day.I wanted to know more about Kanchenjunga region before I start further steps in this area.It snowed early in the morning which made Suketar much more beautiful because I love snow.I went to look around under-construction Suketar airport covered with snow. I took some photoes of children playing snow at the airport area.

 

Day 05: Suketar to Simbhu

 

I woke up around 7am and had Rara noodle soup. Around 9am,I started walking to next destination. I met old man who

was heading towards Yamphudin.We decided to go together till Yamphudin.It was three days walk to reach Yamphudin.I walked slowly as I was not used to trek carrying big loads on my backpack.After two and half hours walk I made my way to Lalikharka where I decided to have lunch.It was nothing more than regular Dhal Bhat(typical Nepali food).It took an hour to make lunch.After having lunch,we headed towards Shimbu which is one and half hour far away.On the way I could see few houses. The trail was steep downhill from Lalikharka.When I reached to Shimbu,I was caught by one trekking group with one Chinese client.They were also heading towards same trail as mine.They stayed in first house of village where I decided to descend down and stayed local Chetri guest house. Room was hell, smelling of socks oh lalala……As there was no campsite, I had to adapt in that room.

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Day 06: Simbhu to Phumphe Danda


I wanted to start my trip exactly at 7am but due to late cooking of so-called breakfast, I had to delay my walk by 45 minutes. I made descent about 20 minutes to encounter bridge over Phawa Khola(river).Then It was hard climb to Kunjari Danda(hill) for 3 hours.Then finally reached to Sinchewa Bhanjyang. From there I could see KaandeBhanjyang and I thought I could make there within 15 minutes but my steps with hungry stomach made there taking 15 more minutes.There I ordered Dhal Bhat again for lunch.Dhal Bhat is common food in Nepal for both lunch and dinner. Dhal Bhat was my option most of the time as people here were not really familiar with touristic food items. After Dhal Bhat with fried egg,I got some energy to continue the trail.From Kande Bhanjyang it was almost straight way with some ups and downs to reach Phumphe Danda.We crossed some Limbu villages to reach Phumphe Danda.There were no tea houses between these places.It was long walk and  Chinese trekking group was ahead of me. They were walking really fast. When I reached to Phumphe Danda,it was already dark,it must be around 6pm.There were two local guest houses.

Thats me and Andy

Thats me and Andy

 

Day 07: Phumphe Danda to Yamphudin

 

Surprisingly I saw Thuraya China network at my Satellite phone and I told myself whaaaat…………??? China???I made satire to Chinese tourist Lau chi Kuen, look only land is ours(Nepal),you have taken our sky.”oh…!! Then I wont charge you money”he replied (laughs). Then after having Chapati with Jam and black tea,we headed towards Mamankhe.After half an hour descent,it was again about 1:45 minutes ascend to reach Mamankhe.There we went to Limbu house for lunch. We ordered as usual, Dhal Bhat but this time we had meat on our food item. You might say I am so excited about meat, if you are vegetarian. Lau and I went to visit Limbu cultural museum but it was not effective as I expected. I gave some advice to them to make museum more informative and attractive to tourists and upcoming youth. Mamankhe is last village before Yamphudin so make sure you take big lunch because for sure you don`t want to starve at 4.5 hours of walk to reach Yamphudin.We reached to Kanchenjunga Guest House at Yamphudin.Yamphudin was at the altitude of around 2000s mt. When I reached to Yamphudin finally I felt,some people here have known something about mountain tourism as few of them were involved in trekking business. Yamphudin is small Sherpa village.

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Day 08: Yamphudin to Torongden

 

It was hard climb to Chitre Danda, which took about 2 hours. Fortunately, we had two pieces of Tibetan bread and boiled egg for each of us to retain energy to climb for 2 more hours to reach Lasyatham Bhanjyang.To reach Chitre Danda,we had to climb about  80 degree plus steep uphill.Then from Chitre you will encounter gradual uphill steep till Lasyatham.I was so happy to see Mt.Janu but when I saw big  landslide nearby,it made me feel sorry.I wondered for while.This landslide made us to climb 20 minutes more to take alternative route.Now we were on the top of landslide and then from here we descended down to reach Torongden.It took us about  2:45 hours.Usually you won`t find any people after Yamphudin during  off season but fortunately we were lucky to encounter hotel owner there.He was building kitchen for his guest house. He made food for us but we had to depend on plane floor to sleep. As we were approaching to Himalayas, coldness was increasing each second. It was not really good night sleep due to coldness.

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Day 09: Torongden to Ramche

 

After having breakfast, with little ups and down but overall straight walk lead to Andaphedi.It took around two hours then we headed towards Tseram and to Ramche.From Andaphedi to Ramche it was around six hours walk in total.When I was approaching to Ramche,my happiness knew no bounds.I found myself surrounded by Himalayas.I thought;” My  family and friends have never thought I would be in such a beatiful place.”I felt like I was in heaven.I was speechless and it was amazing.my finger clicked so many photoes and soon my memory card was full. Can you imagine I made more than 300 photoes by my Nikon D90 on that single day?But the evening was very cold. The temperature was almost -15 degree celcius.I couldn’t sleep very well. Air was getting thinner and thinner.

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Day 10: Rest day in Ramche

 

I was tired but very happy to be on the lap of Himalayas.I could see Mt.Rothang just in front of me. I walked towards Kanchenjunga Base Camp(south) but the trail was icy. In the morning I didn’t have breakfast so I was hungry after walking for  an hour so I decide to stop further walk. I took some cool picture and photo of Kabru glacier.I came to my camp and eat lunch and rest of the day was rest day for me.I listen to some songs from my cell phone then read spiritual book from OSHO for while. In the evening I recalled coldness of last night. This time I wore all my jacket and GORE-TEX trouser to make my body warm. I felt better than last night but still not the best.

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Day 11: Ramche-Mirgin La-Selele Pass-Gunsa

 

It was big day. I was crossing two high Bhanjyang (pass) i.e Mirgin La (4645m) and Selele Pass (4710m).Fortunately, there was no snow except in some corners but that was not that big deal.The problem was food. Its early February and it’s off-season for trekking. Though you find tea-shop after Selele pass, there was no owner so we had to depend on cold fried rice we packed early morning. It didn’t taste good but my hungry stomach couldn’t resist eating it. Usually Ramche to Gunsa is almost three days camp but we were daring to do in one day. We did it in 12 hours of walk from Ramche to Gunsa.When I reached to Gunsa I was hell………………..tirrrrrrrrrrrrrrred. Fortunately some inhabitants of Gunsa arrived same day from their winter village;Gyabla and thanks for warm tea and good place to sleep.

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Day 12: Gunsa to Gyabla

 

It was almost 8am when my eyes opened. Then I went to dinning cum kitchen of guesthouse to have breakfast. I decided to Gyabla that is 4 hours walk away. After having lunch I came out and at the same time guest house owner came out and he pointed to huge hill and said;” This was spot for 2006 Chopper crash.” I mean chopper crash in 2006 that killed 25 high officials of WWF.He was ex-staff of WWF.I bid farewell to him and left towards my next destination. After half an hour walk I reached to Conservation Memorial Chautara built in memory of people who died in Heli-crash in 2006.I offered Khata and made short pray for their souls. Then I reached to Phole, a place for Tibetan refugees. I saw big Tibetan camp there and went to house of one Tibetan asking her to make Dhal Bhat. After an hour food was ready and ate it. Then finally after two more hour walk lead to Gyabla.Here you find one teashop on the way and to visit village you need to walk uphill for around 15 minute. Its Sherpa village.

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Day 13: Gyabla to Lelep

 

Walking along Gunsa Khola (river), my target destination was Lelep. Most of the time I was walking across narrow trail of hillside or just by riverside. Some places were very thrilling, mind if you miss single step, you could be in river instead of Lelep.“Though the region is touristic place and has huge potential in mountain tourism, the government and concern official never cared about us”; a man I met on the way expressed. “The region is beautiful but problems are many. Solutions are not impossible if we all are to put our individual effort together to develop this region.”; he added. I came to Lelep crossing village Amjisala.It took almost six hours to reach Lelep.

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Day 14:Lelep to Mitlung

 

Alike day before,I was walking through similar trail either across hillside or riverside. Some places were scary too but better comparing to last trail. Crossing Limbu villages Tapethok, Chirwa, Sinwa, I reached to Mitlung where I spent one night. It was around 10 hours walk. Carrying big load on my backpack was getting easier day-by-day. I think I was getting habituated of carrying it. But as I was lowering with the altitude, it was getting warmer and warmer which made me difficult to walk. Sweat was showering my body each second. I thought I felt better when I was in mountains, because I felt like home up there.

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Day 15: Mitlung to Hangdewa

 

Moti dai(brother) requested me to go to his house and take few days rest in his house before I continue my trail to Makalu region. I agreed as I was tired and couldn’t say no since he supported me along the trail in Kanchenjunga region. Staying in his house was not a bad idea for me, as I didn’t have to pay for foods and lodging. After 3 hours very slow walk I reached to his house. Usually its 1:30 hours walk for local people. Moti dai was very impreesed with my thinking and way I am working and managing all my stuffs. He is tour operator and right now he is working for a project to build technical school in his home village, Taplejung.I felt like my home here.

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About nomadic

" Sunil is an avid traveler who loves to engage in long distance hiking and exploratory trips. As Environment Management student, he likes to study Socio-cultural, economic, environmental relation between nature and community." View all posts by nomadic

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