We had five members signed up for Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in November 2011. As our minimum group size for a western led trek is six people we decided to ran this group with Jhire Rai as Nepalese Sirdar.
For two members of this group, Neil and Roger, this was their third trek with The Mountain Company as they had also trekked Manaslu Circuit in October 2007 and again with Jhire on Dhaulagiri Circuit in October 2009. We are very grateful to get repeat bookings from people and really appreciate their loyalty in coming back for another trek, at least it shows we are doing something right! I would like to thank Neil very much for allowing us to use his beautiful photos of his trek around Kanchenjunga on TMC blog and website.
The group arrived to Kathmandu on November 2nd and on 3rd flew to Bhadrapur in east Nepal. Normally for Kanchenjunga Circuit one flies to Biratnagar and then onto Suketar however this year the mountain airstrip at Suketar is being reconstructed so instead the group had to fly to Bhadrapur then had a long bus ride to Taplejung (near Suketar). I gather Suketar airstrip should be open by Spring 2012 trekking season.
This November the weather was rather unsettled in Nepal as my group had experienced on Mera Peak, I gather our Kanchenjunga Circuit group had some days with rain in the afternoon for first week. Higher up above Ghunsa the mornings were clear and fine then by afternoon some clouds would bubble up. However overall the conditions were pretty good and this group were lucky to get superb views of both north and south face of Mount Kanchenjunga.
I met our Kanchenjunga Circuit group on their return to Kathmandu after the trek at end of November, we went for a meal together at K Too steakhouse to hear more about how the trek went for them. The feedback I received was overall they had a very good trek and enjoyed the wide variety of landscape and seeing the culture of the villages they passed along the way. Compared to Neil and Roger's two previous treks with us (Manaslu Circuit and Dhaulagiri Circuit) they found Kanchenjunga Circuit physically more demanding with longer walking days and also thought that the trail was rougher in places. In fact some of the paths had been damaged by the earthquake that hit this area in mid September however these were passable with some extra care and attention!
I have uploaded several of Neil's photographs below to give you an idea of the landscape and scenery of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek.
Photo: terraced fields near Chirwa
Photo: Local woman at water tap
Photo: Jhire Rai (Sirdar) with school children
Photo: Lhonak camp
Photo: walking near Lhonak
Photo: glacier near Pangpema
Photo; north face of Mount Kanchenjunga
Photo: TMC group at Oktang
Photo: south face of Mount Kanchenjunga
Photo: Ramche camp with Mount Jannu left
Photo: farmhouses near Yamphudin village
Photo: looking south to middle hills
I would like to thank the trek crew for looking after everyone so well on our Kanchenjunga Circuit trek especially thanks to Sirdar Jhire Rai and Sherpa guide Prem as well as Sangram their cook.
The Mountain Company is planning to organise Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in November 2012 and 2013 so please get in touch with us if you are interested in joining one of these groups.