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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Trip report for Kanchenjunga Circuit (Nepal) led by Almas Khan (Aus) and Raj Tamang (Nepal) in April 2018

Photo: view from Lhonak on Kanchenjunga Circuit 
In April 2018, The Mountain Company (UK) organised our eighth trek around Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in eastern Nepal, you can read our Trip Reports from previous Kanchenjunga Circuit treks.

Our April trek was led by Almas Khan and this was his fourth time leading this classic trek around the world’s third highest mountain however his first time in Spring season. The Nepali sirdar for this group was Raj Tamang who knows Kanchenjunga region very well as he grew up near Taplejung and his family still live in this region.

For our April 2018 Kanchenjunga Circuit group we had seven trekkers coming from UK, New Zealand and Australia. The first day of the trip was April 10th and next morning Almas gave his trek briefing on the roof top restaurant at Hotel Tibet and I also attended as I was in Kathmandu supporting our Spring groups. As planned on April 12th they flew to Bhadrapur in east of Nepal and in the afternoon drove up to Ilam for the night.

During the trek they followed the scheduled itinerary walking up as planned to Pangpema at Kanchenjunga northside Base Camp on April 23rd and then returned to Ghunsa on the next day. The group head up to High Camp before Mirgin La on April 25th then successfully crossed over Mirgin La on the next day to arrive in Tseram village in late afternoon.

Almas sums up his experience of leading our Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in April in his own words:

“The weather was good for walking. It did rain at nights but we were lucky to get good weather in day time. Mirgin La and Selela had enough snow on it and we walked all day in snow. The micro spikes came into good use. We also got a heavy snowfall in Tseram at night ... not enough to stop us from going to Ramche and onto Oktang the next day. Cloudy skies in the morning towards the end of the trek made the days which can be hot a lot easier. 

All enjoyed the trek and the group got along very well. The rhododendron and flowers in full bloom made the trek even more special and beautiful. It was the first time I did this trek in spring. The condition of the roads on our drives were very good and made the drives comfortable and took less time when compared to the last time I did this trek in November.”

Photo: on the trail to Lhonak
One of the trekkers in this group wrote a review on the AITO website and I have copied extracts below:

“The Mountain Company is extremely professional, both in their very informative website, and also in the very detailed and relevant information which they provide to participants on any of their treks. The trek leader Almas is a person of great leading experience. He has been guiding treks for 24 years, the past 14 years with The Mountain Company. I found him to be very approachable and helpful over the 3 week trek duration. This also applied to the Sirdar, trekking guides, kitchen staff and the porters. The staff were ever aware of our safety and welfare, and did everything to ensure that we had an enjoyable holiday experience in their country. All in all The Mountain Company is an extremely professional and well run organisation. I had a wonderful trekking holiday, and would have no hesitation in joining them for another trek if the opportunity arose.” You can read his full AITO review here

Throughout the course of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek we received bespoke weather forecasts from Michael Fagin at and this information was sent through to Almas on his satellite phone for days before approaching Kanchenjunga northside Base Camp and before crossing the Mirgin La. Having professional weather forecasts is essential for safety in crossing high passes and for decision making in the field.

As with all of TMC western led treks we track their progress while in the field through SPOT gps check ins, you can see the map of this trek and follow their route on SPOT Adventure website

This group picked up 11kg of rubbish found at the campsites left by other groups and this a good contribution towards our AITO Project Protect pledge to for all of groups to pick up 200kg of rubbish during 2018.

Thanks very much to Almas and Raj and the rest of the team for their hard work leading and organising this trek.

Our next departure for Kanchenjunga Circuit is in late October 2018, this trek is now guaranteed to run and the leader will be Natalie Wilson. There is currently availability if you are interested in joining this group, please get in touch with us soon.

Roland Hunter

The Mountain Company