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Monday, 25 November 2019

Trip report for Kanchenjunga Circuit in Nepal led by Natalie Wilson (UK) and Bishwo Rai (Nepal) in late October 2019

Photo: Pangpema with view of north face of Kanchenjunga (credit Natalie Wilson)
In late October 2019, The Mountain Company (UK) organised our tenth trek around Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in eastern Nepal and our international leader was Natalie Wilson (UK) and this was her fifth time leading this classic trek around the world’s third highest mountain.

The Nepali sirdar for this group was Bishwo Rai, he also worked as sirdar for our April 2019 trek around Kanchenjunga Circuit. The assistant guides were Dorje and Jon. The cook was Sangram Lama and his team (Jaguar, Santos and Dalai) worked hard to produce tasty food to keep the group and crew going on this long trek.

Photo: the group at Oktang viewpoint of SW Face of Kanchenjunga (credit Natalie Wilson)
Natalie has summarised her experience leading this trek as follows:

“This long trek went really well. We had great weather, with only a few hours of rain throughout the whole 21 days and that was overnight once we were tucked up at camp. We were blessed with fabulous views, especially at Pang Pema, Oktang and across the three high passes. As well as the views, highlights of the trip were several close up sightings of blue sheep, many impressive birds of prey and lots of encounters with yaks. 

Travelling on foot through beautiful villages and lush plantations of black cardamom and crops of millet, rice and vegetables enabled us to see what life is like in this region for local people. Gaining height we enjoyed blue skies, sunshine and big mountain views. We saw very few other trekkers and had many camping areas and trails totally to ourselves. 

As usual we had brilliant support and service from our crew of guides, cooks and porters. The bread and cakes made by Jagat were fabulous. Lovely chicken dishes, yak burgers, lots of veggies, etc. Absolutely no gastro issues at all on this trek."

The key point from Natalie's comments above that is worth highlighting is how few other trekkers they saw along the way. These days the lodge based treks in Nepal like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp are getting busier however as soon as one enters regions like Kanchenjunga with no lodge network then it is possible to escape the crowds. Often one sees reports in the media about the busy trails in Nepal and giving this destination a bad reputation for trekking however it is refreshing to know that it is certainly possible to have a quieter experience by selecting camping treks like Kanchenjunga Circuit.

Photo: view from trail to Khambachen with Mt Jannu (credit Natalie Wilson)
Have you ever wondering what a camping trek is like with us in the Himalaya or Karakoram? If you have only done a lodge based trek in Nepal such as to Everest Base Camp then I suggest you take a look at this video below that we have recently uploaded to our YouTube Channel to find out more about a life on a camping trek. If you are prepared to join a camping trek then this means you can access many more regions of Nepal and Bhutan to get away from busier lodge based treks.


Throughout the course of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek we received bespoke weather forecasts from Michael Fagin at www.everestweather.com and this information was sent through to Nat on her 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.

You can read all of our AITO reviews received over the years for Kanchenjunga Circuit

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

Our next departure for Kanchenjunga Circuit is in April 2020 and followed by late October 2020. There is currently availability if you are interested in joining one of these groups, please get in touch with us soon.

Roland Hunter

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