Kanchenjunga mountain is a structure that is the pride of not just Nepal and India, but the whole wide world. There are so many interesting stories and legends that surround the peak, which makes exploring this great white giant quite a bit of fun. Two of the best ways of exploring this mountain is trekking and expedition. Needless to say, that expedition is a better way because a successful one takes you to the top of it.
Trekking allows you to enjoy the views of the mountain. The closest one that you can get is from the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, whether Kanchenjunga North Base Camp or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. You could also go for a helicopter tour and mountain flight, but these activities aren’t quite as popular as trekking and expedition.
Where is Kanchenjunga Located?
Kanchenjunga Massif is located on the border of the Indian State of Sikkim and the Nepalese District of Taplejung. There are altogether five peaks on the massif. Two of the peaks, namely Kanchenjunga West, also known as Yalung Kang, and Kangbachen, happens to be located in the Nepalese district of Taplejung completely. However, the remaining three peaks, namely Kanchenjunga Main, Kanchenjunga South, and Kanchenjunga Central happen to be located on the border of the Indian State of Sikkim and the Nepalese District of Taplejung.
Kanchenjunga has five peaks altogether, and all these peaks have different heights. Kanchenjunga Main’s height is 8586 m. It is because of this peak that Kanchenjunga is considered as the third highest mountain in the world. Even the Kanchenjunga elevation is determined using the height of this peak. Kanchenjunga is less crowded compared to Everest Base Camp. In the same way, the height of the remaining peaks of Kanchenjunga mountain, namely Kanchenjunga South, Kanchenjunga West, Kanchenjunga Central, and Kangbachen are 8494 m, 8505 m, 8482 m, and 7903 m respectively.
As mentioned above Mount Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world, with a height of 8586 m. As a matter of fact, Kanchenjunga mountain is actually a massif, with five different peaks. These Kanchenjunga peaks are all above the height of 7900 m. Throughout history, the climbers from different parts of the world haven’t just tried climbing the Kanchenjunga Main, which is the tallest Kanchenjunga Peak, but others as well.
Kanchenjunga mountain is considered as a highly technical mountain, quite tough to climb, and it is because of the same reason that there have been so many Kanchenjunga deaths. Because of all the Kanchenjunga deaths that have occurred since 1990, it’s death rate has been calculated to be 20%. The expedition on Mt. Kanchenjunga is something that not many climbers try. There could be other reasons, but the main one is the difficulty. Climbing Kanchenjunga mountain isn’t quite as popular as climbing Everest or any other peak like Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. It has decent popularity whatsoever.
For a long time, the Kanchenjunga mountain was regarded as the highest mountain in the world. In the year 1849, the calculations suggested that Mt. Everest was, in fact, the highest peak in the world. Finally, in 1856, it was announced that Kanchenjunga was actually the third highest peak in the world. It was done probably after the discovery of K2. All the research and calculations were performed by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India. There are numerous legends that surround Kanchenjunga mountain. The word Kanchenjunga in Tibetan means ‘five treasures of the snow’.
The name comes from a legend that suggests that five treasures are hidden inside the mountain. These are gold, turquoise, and precious stones, sacred scriptures, medicine, salt and grain, and armor and ammunition. It is believed that after the global apocalypse, these treasures would reveal themselves to help the surviving humankind. In the same way, in the local cultures, Kanchenjunga mountain is believed to be the abode of the omnipotent Goddess Yuma Samman. Now, even when you disassociate Kanchenjunga mountain from all these stories, you realize that there is something unique and beautiful about this giant structure.
Kanchenjunga Main is the highest mountain in the massif. This is the very peak that the climbers refer to when it comes to reaching the top of the massif. Its height is 8586 m, and it is located on the border of the Indian State of Sikkim and the Nepalese District of Taplejung. The first ascent to the top was made in 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band who represented the British Expedition team. Five other members of the team were also able to reach the top.
Kanchenjunga West is also known as Yalung Kang, and it is the second-highest peak in the massif. Its height is 8505 m, and it is situated in the Nepalese district of Taplejung. Yalung Kang was ascended for the first time in the year 1973 by Yutaka Agata and Takeo Matsuda, who belonged to a Japanese Expedition team.
Kanchenjunga Central is the fourth highest mountain in the Kanchenjunga massif. Its height is 8482 m, and it is situated on the border of the Indian District of Sikkim and Nepalese district of Taplejung. The first ascent to the top of the peak was made in the year 1978. The climbers included Wojciech Brański, Zygmunt Andrzej Heinrich, and Kazimierz Olech and they belonged to the Polish expedition team.
Kanchenjunga South is the third highest peak on the massif. Its height is 8494 m, and it is located on the border of the Indian State of Sikkim and Nepalese District of Taplejung. The peak was climbed for the first time in 1978 by Wojciech Wróż and Eugeniusz Chrobak, who belonged to the Polish Expedition team.
Kangbachen is the shortest peak on the Kanchenjunga massif. It is located in the Nepalese district of Taplejung, and it has a height of 7903 m. Despite being the shortest, it appears as prominent as the other taller peaks on the massif. Kangbachen is also one of the most beautiful peaks on the massif.
Kanchenjunga Climb, also known as Kanchenjunga Expedition takes the climbers to the top of Kanchenjunga Mountain, mainly to Kanchenjunga Main, to be specific. Every year hundreds of tourists come to Nepal with a hope to climb this great white giant and ascend it successfully. There is nothing that compares to the amazing view that one gets to enjoy after reaching the top of this mountain.
You’re offered the views of mountains around Kanchenjunga mountain, and also of the neighboring mountain ranges like that around Everest and Makalu. Altogether, Kanchenjunga climb is a 52 days long journey, however, the core climbing lasts only for a duration of around 30 days. The rest of the time has spent either trekking on the Kanchenjunga trek route or acclimatizing on the route. Kanchenjunga expedition is a popular trip to Nepal.
Best Time To Visit Kanchenjunga
The best time to visit Kanchenjunga as a trekker is between the months of September and November. You could also trek between the months of March and May. This one is considered the second-best time to visit Kanchenjunga as a trekker. The weather during both the seasons is excellent, neither too hot nor too cold, and you’re also able to enjoy the most amazing views of Kanchenjunga mountain and other peaks in the region.
From the perspective of the expedition, generally, there is only one season that the climbers prefer to climb on the peak, which is Spring. To be specific, the climbing season for not just Kanchenjunga mountain but also other mountains in Nepal is between the months of March and June. It is very important to carefully consider the time of the year while planning the expedition. A few days too early or too late can cause the climbers to face extreme environments while on the mountain.
Kanchenjunga Expedition Difficulty
Kanchenjunga Expedition Difficulty is marked at the extreme. With a death rate of around 20% since the last 30 years, Kanchenjunga mountain is considered as one of the most technical mountains to climb in the world. It is for the same reason why this one isn’t quite as popular as other mountains in Nepal like Everest. On top of that, the climbers attempting the expedition are usually the most experienced ones in the field.
There are so many factors that make an expedition difficult. Some of them are the route, the overall weather, the level of support, and so on. More than all of these, there is one factor that plays a significant role in making a climbing trip tough, and that is the kind of skill and experience the alpinist possesses. It is recommended that they think twice before signing up for the Kanchenjunga Expedition.
Packing List for Kanchenjunga Expedition
The two main things that differentiate an expedition packing list from a trekking packing list. They are the equipment, which the trekker or the climber uses during their respective journeys and the clothing items. The equipment and the clothing items used during a climb is far more different than the ones used during trekking. A lot of times, you can trek by using the normal gears and clothes that you wear on a general basis, but that’s quite not the case with the expedition.
When you prepare the packing list for Kanchenjunga Expedition, you should keep in mind all these things. Remember, in the packing list for Kanchenjunga Expedition, the organization is the main component. Your packing list gets reflected on your luggage, so you don’t want to carry any unnecessary items, and at the same time, you don’t want to miss out on anything significant. Take the help of the travel agency if you’re not quite sure about the list.
Kanchenjunga Trek is a significant part of the Kanchenjunga mountain expedition. Mountaineers spend a significant amount of time trekking on the Kanchenjunga trek route. The trek doesn’t just take them to their desired base camp, whether Kanchenjunga North Base Camp or Kanchenjunga South Base Camp, but also, it allows their bodies to properly adjust to the high altitude, which is quite crucial for the climbers, as the next few weeks the climbers spend climbing the mountain. The trek isn’t just meant for the climbers, but also the people who are looking simply to trek in the region, and enjoy the view of Kanchenjunga mountain from a distance.
Overall, Kanchenjunga trek is a 25 days long journey, and during this time, the trekkers walk for a duration of 18 days. The rest of the days are spent acclimatizing on the route. During the journey, the trekkers get to explore numerous settlement areas. Some of them are Tseram, Ramche, Ghunsa, Kambachen, and Lhonak. All of these are high altitude places, and they tend to keep the trekkers at an altitude above 3000 m most of the time during the trek. If you’re a lover of the mountains, then it becomes an obligation for you to explore Kanchenjunga mountain.
Depending on the level of your interest and expertise, you could go for either the trekking or expedition option. It is an absolute pleasure to experience the Kanchenjunga, whether you do it from a distance or up close. The stories that you’d get to hear about the mountain during your journey will leave you astounded. The views, both from the Kanchenjunga Base Camp or from the top of the mountain will leave you spellbound. It’s a sure thing for you to want to come to the Kanchenjunga region time and again.
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