Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu, Nepal. You'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Remainder of day at leisure. Group dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 In Kathmandu. Half-day tour of the best historic and cultural World Heritage Sites. A close-up look at the destruction and rebuilding following the earthquake. Lunch on your own. Group dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 After breakfast transfer to the airport for our 1-hour helicopter flight to the village of Gunsa at 11,400' at the foot of Mt Kangchenjunga. We'll meet our trekking guides there and hike 2-3 hours down the valley to the village of Phale at 10,300', for proper acclimatization. Phale is a lovely traditional Tibetan town with an old monastery. Our camp will be set up before we arrive.
Day 4 Today we'll trek back up to Gunsa as our important acclimatization continues. Gunsa is a busy town, the regional center with a hospital, a post office and an old Buddhist monastery.
Day 5 The trail stays near the valley floor as it ascends along the Gunsa Khola (river). Camp at 13,900' in Kambachen, named for the 25,950' peak of that name which is one of the highest outliers of Kanchenjunga. Just across the valley is the terminus of the great Jannu Glacier.
Day 6 Today we'll take a side-trip up the narrow gorge of the Khumbakarna Glacier to visit Jannu Base Camp. Return to Kambachen for camp.
Day 7 Continuing up the Gunsa Khola to its source in the Kanchenjunga Glacier, we'll wend our way among gigantic boulders left behind by receding glaciers. After making our way across the Lhonak Glacier, we'll camp at the settlement of Lhonak, at 15,800'. Yaks graze on the hillsides above.
Day 8 A gradual ascent along the Kangchenjunga Glacier takes us to Kangchenjunga Base Camp at Pangpema, 16,900', at the confluence of glaciers draining in from the north, east and south. The main summits of Kanchenjunga are spread out in front of us.
Day 9 A layover day at KBC to explore further up the glaciers, or to hike the mountainside behind us for even grander views of the high peaks all around. This is one of the most spectacular settings in the world.
Day 10 Trek back down-valley to Kambachen, taking time to explore up the Lhonak Glacier en route.
Day 11 Trek down-valley to Gunsa, enjoying the forested valley as we go. A relatively easy day.
Day 12 Today we'll climb 3000' through juniper and larch forests and cross the first of four passes, the Sele La, that traverse subsidiary mountain ranges, spending the next two days and nights exposed at over 14,000'. Camp just over the Sele La.
Day 13 Continuing to traverse the high country, we'll cross three more passes, each higher than 14,700', snaking around steep mountainsides and crossing high meadows, hiking past remote alpine tarns, always on the lookout for blue sheep and snow leopards. Descend to camp at 14,500, next to a lovely tarn called Chhuchung Pokri, in a basin beneath a towering mountain wall.
Day 14 We'll drop 2000', then hike up the increasingly rugged Simbuwa Valley, reaching the toe of the sprawling Yalung Glacier for lunch. This glacier drains the entire west and south faces of Kangchenjunga, which slowly come into view as we make our way up. Continue hiking along the lateral moraines on the north side of the glacier to the settlement of Ramche, at 15,100'. Blue sheep are often seen in this area.
Day 15 It's a relatively short distance to camp at Oktang, at 15,500', but the trail is tough along the huge moraines and beneath the immense mountain-sides. Along the way we cross the toe of the Tso Glacier, just where it enters the Yalung Glacier, a confluence of epic proportion. Magnificent panoramic views of all the summits of Kanchenjunga from camp.
Day 16 We'll arise early to hike up to spectacular South Kangchenjunga Base Camp at 17,700, at the foot of the East Kumbhakharna Glacier, with unrivaled views of the Kangchenjunga Massif, as well as the shark's fin of Jannu, one of the most dramatic peaks in the Himalayas. SKBC (also known as Yalung Base Camp) is completely surrounded by tall peaks, and the ice walls on the glaciers are constantly calving. Return to Ramche for camp.
Day 17 Trek down to camp at Tseram at 12,700, our final camp.
Day 18-19 Extra days for weather delays, acclimatization, or other unforeseen circumstances . Possible side trip up the dramatic Yamgachha Khola (river).
Day 20 We'll be up early, again, to pack up and get ready for our helicopter, which will arrive this morning to return us to Kathmandu. We'll check into our hotel, clean up, and prepare for our farewell dinner at a fine restaurant in town.
Day 21 Flights home.
 Nepal Details