Kangchenjunga means: “five treasuries of the large snow”.
The “Kangch” is the home mountain of many of our sherpas.
Technically demanding, but the objective dangers are within reason.
Fascinating trekking: From subtropical lowland up the the eternal ice of the Yalung Glacier.
Good acclimatisation thanks the trekking at the beginning, spectacular helicopter flight back to Kathmandu.
The border of Nepal to Sikkim directly goes along the summit thus the Kangchenjunga is also considered to be the tallest mountain of India.
The name Kangchenjunga comes from Tibetan and it contains four words: kang (snow), chen (large), dzö (treasury) and nga (five). Thus roughly translated the name of this impressive mountain means “the Five Treasuries of the large Snow”. This possibly refers to the five glaciers that originate from the mountain and flow into all cardinal directions: the Yalung Glacier to the southwest, the Ramthang glacier and the Kangchendzönga Glacier to the northeast , the Zemu Glacier to the east and the Talung Glacier to the south-east.
When looking at the history of ascents on this mountain we encounter Aleister Crowley the British occultist and mountaineer. After a failed attempt on the K2 in the years 1901/02, Crowley journeyed with the Swiss Jule Jacot-Guillarmod and Alexis A. Pache on the Himalayas in 1904. However, the expedition on the Kangchendzönga ended in disaster: Pache and three sherpas lost their lives in an avalanche at 6,400 metres, after which Crowley had enough of mountaineering for a while and went big-game hunting in Orissa with the Maharajah of Mohabanj.
Two German expeditions under Paul Bauer and Günther Dyhrenfurth attempted an ascent from the north and failed. It took until 25 May 1955 when the Brits Joe Brown and George Band successfully ascended the third tallest mountain on earth for the first time. They did it via the south-western flank. However, the two Brits did not ascend the highest point: they had promised to the Maharajah of Sikkim to leave the summit, which is the holy seat of the gods,untouched.
Day 1: Flight to Kathmandu
Day 2: Arrival at Kathmandu
After our arrival in Kathmandu and a first discussion in the beautiful garden of the hotel Shangri La, we visit Bodnah, the religious centre of the Tibetans who live in Nepal. Here stands the largest stupa of the country and we pilgrimage on its terrace clockwise. The area around the 40 metres tall stupa with its many Buddha statues, prayer mills and monastery installations has an incredibly impressive atmosphere. We take a look inside the decorated Gompa to the west of the stupa. We do that, because inside the Gompa is a larger than life-sized statue of the “Buddha of the Future”. We spend the night at a hotel.
Day 3: Kathmandu
On this day the mountain guide is busy with taking care of the administrative odds and ends of various ministries. We also use this day for our personal preparations and for visiting the many sights that the Kathmandu Valley has to offer. We spend the night at a hotel.
Day 4: Kathmandu - Bhatrapur
Very early in the morning we fly along the southern edge of the Himalayas in order to get to Bhatrapur. After our arrival at Bhatrapur we drive to Khamdeme. Overnight stay at lodge.
Day 5 - Day 12: Trekking to the Kangchenjunga Base Camp
The 8 days long trekking to the Kangchenjunga Base Camp is not without reason considered to be one of the most beautiful trekkings there is.
Via Dhoban and Khebang we get to Yamphudim, the place where the two rivers Amji Khola and Kabeli Khola converge. Here our path continues over the two passes Dhupi Bhanjyang and Lasiya Bhanjyang. We hike through untouched bamboo- and rhododendron forets for one long day in order to reach Tortong. The continuation of the journey to Yakalp Tseram, a village located at 3,870 m, takes us along the powerful river Simbuwa Khola. In Ramche at about 4,610 metres we’ll have a resting day, which is also quite important for our acclimatisation.
Before we reach the Kangchenjunga Base Camp on the 12th day, we spend a night in Guna.
The beautiful Base Camp that is located at the edge of the Yalung Glacier at 5,300 m will be our home for the coming month.
Day 13 - Day 43: Ascent of the Kangchenjunga (8,586 m)
The ascent via the south-western flank on the summit of the 8,586 m tall Kangchenjunga, paired with the long approach and the remoteness of the mountain, is an expedition in the truest sense of the word.
The Kangchenjunga belongs, together with the Makalu and the K2, to the most impressive 8,000ers overall. Next to the main summit three more of the total 4 subsidiary summits cross the magical 8,000er border. These summits are the 8,505 m tall western summit (or Yalung Kang), the 8,473 m tall Kangchenjunga Middle Summit as we ll as the Kangchenjunga Southern Summit with its height of 8,476 m.
For the summit ascent we plan four high camps.
The route up to Camp I follows along a rock column until about at a height of 6,000 m. Then the path crosses steep slopes and after that it crosses a serac zone that is about 100 m tall. Afterwards, on an ice ridge we establish Camp I at about 6,200 metres. From there we cover 50 altimeters in order to descend to a relatively flat plateau. At the end of this plateau we establish Camp II at a height of around 6,400 m. While the continuing path to Camp III is not steep it can be very difficult to overcome and it can be very demanding due to seracs and crevasses. On a plateau at about 7,200 m we establish the tents of Camp III. In order reach our last high camp, Camp IV, we first cross a massive crevasse zone. Afterwards, we travel through a couloir and at a suitable location between 7,500 m and 7,700 m we establish Camp IV. On the summit day we first ascend the couloir up until about 8,250 m. Then we climb over a rock step to a rock tower in order to then cross a snow ridge that brings us to an abseil location. Via a final snow slope we then reach the highest point. The knowledge of having reached the peak of one of the seldomly ascended 8,000ers makes us forget our exhaustion and lets a deep satisfaction arise in our hearts.
Day 44: Kangchenjunga Base Camp - Kathmandu
Today we tear down our tents at the Base Camp and say good-bye to our sherpa crew. Afterwards we board a helicopter that will bring us back to Kathmandu, where surely will enjoy the amenities of our hotel after around one month in tents.
Day 45: Flight Kathmandu - Back Home
Depending on the flight schedule we have time in the morning to visit the centre of Kathmandu and go sightseeing in the markest and the temples. Or the male participants visit the barbershop in order to trim their beards to civilised standards. Afterwards follows the flight back home.
Day 46: Arrival Back Home
The Profilcheck is a fixed part of the detailed travel programme. Please read through it thoroughly and assess yourselves. Due to the required point score for this travel you can from your self-assessment unmistakably read if your skills, your fitness and your mountain experience meet the requirements. With your registration you confirm to us that you meet the requirements for this expedition.
Please note the following points concerning the expedition procedure:
- The expedition is demanding and exhausting. The height alone has certain risks associated with it.
- The participants don’t have to be “super mountaineers”, but they should possess a solid amount of experience in high altitude mountaineering. The participants have to be able to independently and confidently move over combined terrain (snow, ice, rock). The participants form independent roped parties. Active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance are quite important to us.
- Everybody has to be able to recognise their limits on the mountain themselves and everybody also has to be ready to possibly admit defeat and retreat. The expedition is undertaken on your own responsibility.
- The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group but not for the personal support of individuals. Nonetheless, everybody has to be ready to listen to the advice and follow the decisions made by the leader of the expedition. After all, these decisions are made in the interest of the entire group.
- Depending on the existing circumstances improvisations and changes to the travel programme might become necessary.
- Kobler & Partner denies any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
Organisation of the entire expedition
Domestic flights: Kathmandu - Bhatrabur - Kathmandu
Group helicopter flight Base Camp - Kathmandu after the expedition
Flight luggage (minimally 30 kg, detailed information is in the finalised documents)
All transfers, bus- and jeep rides
Pre-Expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport, including a 10% voucher for equipment purchase
Half-board in Kathmandu
Full-board from/to Bhatrapur
Beverages during the trekking and the ascent during group meals (except for alcoholic beverages)
Number of hotel nights in double rooms (look at the travel programme)
Luggage transport to the Base Camp and back (pack animals / porters)
Entire Base Camp equipment (good group tent, toilet tent, shower tent, ...)
1 tent per participant at the Base Camp
1 tent per 2 participants at during the approach and at the high camps
Foam iso-mat in Base Camp
Light mats for the high camps
Fixed ropes, mountain ropes, firn anchors, ice screws, etc.
High altitude cooker (gas) and cookware
Communication (radio) at the Base Camp (12 volts)
Radios: 1 radio (9 volts) per 2 participants
Satellite phone, exclusive call charges
Internet and e-mail at the Base Camp (exclusive fees)
Weather forecast from a meteorological station in Switzerland
Solar installation with lighting in the group tent
Electricity at the Base Camp for the charging of the batteries of electronic devices (only limited availability!)
Rescue sledge for emergency cases
Medicinal oxygen for emergency cases
Large pharmacy at the Base Camp with pulse oximeter
Pharmacy at the high camps
Pharmacy for the way to the summit
kitchen: cook and kitchen helpers
1 porter per participant including insurances, rations, salary and good equipment by Kobler & Partner
Costs for the obligatory escort officer
Local tourist guide in Kathmandu
Nationally certified experienced expedition mountain guide
- International flights to/from Kathmandu
- Individual beverages
- Individual, performance based tips
- In case no roommate can be found for a booked double room, we charge half of the the single room surcharge (look at Additional Costs)
- Visa for Nepal
- Personal medication
- Surcharges that may arise due to changes being made to the planned travel programme
Kobler & Partner with more than 100 ascents of the Mt. Everest have a lot of experience with bottled oxygen and we want to share our knowledge. The use of bottled oxygen massively decreases the risks of frostbites, lacking concentration and performance losses. Furthermore the chances of ascending a summit within an adequate timeframe.
Thus we recommend to ascend 8,000ers with the use of bottled oxygen. The use of bottled oxygen stays optional and the required amount of oxygen varies heavily from individual to individual. Thus the bottled oxygen is not covered by the flat fee of a travel offer.
Tested and filled oxygen bottles have to be bought early before the beginning of the travel. Thus the costs for the oxygen bottles have to be paid in advance. The rental costs (look at Additional Costs) cover 1 bottle of O2 including mask, regulators, the transport to the high camps and naturally also the transport back.
In case of damages to the rented equipment the renters have to pay for the repairs themselves, these costs are billed. In case a participant does not use the rented equipment the costs cannot be refunded.
Personal Porter Support
For this travel offer there is the option to hire a personal porter. This individual support makes the expedition experience much more comfortable. A personal porter carries the personal luggage (around 10 kg) to the high camps and accompanies you. Furthermore, the additional manpower increases the security of the entire expedition.
1 porter per 1 participant.
At the Himalayas two special climate types encounter each other: The southern slopes are shaped by a subtropical monsoon climate with a precipitation maximum during the summer, the northern slopes toward the Tibetan highlands are shaped by an arid continental climate with warm summers and bitter cold winters. For expeditions on the Himalayas there are generally two time windows that are available for expeditions: one is during springtime (before the monsoon), and the second window during autumn (post monsoon). Both time windows have advantages and disadvantages that, depending on the chosen expedition target, might be a deciding factor. Generally speaking, the pre-monsoon time (spring) brings with it more comfortable (warmer) temperatures, but this timeframe also has bigger problems with humidity. Regular precipitation are very likely. There is often a lot of snow, which can become a problem during crossing of high passes or during crossings of rivers that are filled with melt water. On the other hand during autumn the temperatures on the mountain are tendentially lower, but thanks to modern equipment one can protect oneself from the cold relatively well. However, it often is the case that the ending monsoon accompanies one during the approach. On the mountain there are often extensive good weather windows, before the stormy upper wind jet streams start. Since every mountain has its own regularity, Kobler & Partner rely on many years of expedition experience.
Our crew consist out of Nepalese sherpas and a Nepalese kitchen team. Through a lot of effort Kobler & Partner have established an excellent sherpa crew over the years. In order to optimise the communication between the locals and our customers, sherpas are required to visit an English language course during the winter months. The preparations and the recruitment of the local crew for the expeditions takes place during autumn the year before the respective expedition.
In Kathmandu we spend the nights in the Shangri-La Hotel (on double room basis).
The flat fee covers international flights. The planned point of departure is in Switzerland and during the early evening hours (flight schedule changes are possible). We happily check other points of departure for you.
In case your preferred point of departure might result in additional costs, we inform you in due time.
Journey to the airport via the SBB. SBB Fahrplan
We recommend organising the visa for Nepal upon arrival. The costs are not covered by the price for the travel offer. Your passport has to be valid until 6 months after the return date.
Equipment List Expedition Kangchenjunga
- 2 duffle bags, 110l (water-proof, available from K&P at a
discount for members)
- Down jacket or down suit for expeditions
- Primaloft jacket or light down jacket
- Goretex Jacket
- Softshell Jacket
- Midlayer (fleece sweater or jacket)
- Trekking pants, light and long
- Softshell pants for mountaineering
- Goretex pants
- Expedition down pants or down suit
Baselayers / T-shirts
- Long-sleeved thermal top
- Thermal tights
- Insolated shell gloves
- Expedition down mittens
- Liner gloves, thin, silk or fleece
- Camp boots (non-technical winter boots or trainers)
- Trekking boots
- High-altitude all in-one boots for 8000m
- Trekking Socks
- Heavyweight socks, thick and warm
- -30°C down sleeping bag for base camp (available for rent from K&P)
- -40°C down sleeping bag for high camps
- Insulated inflatable sleeping pad
- Down booties (nice to have!)
- Pillow case (stuffed with your down jacket, it makes a nice
Headgear, face and eye protection
- Glacier goggles (with nose guard, if possible)
- Ski goggles, high UV-protection (also protects from the wind)
- Baseball cap
- Beanie, warm
- Balaclava or face mask (wind-stopper or neoprene)
- Sunscreen, SPF 50
- Lipscreen, SPF 50
- Backpack approximately 60 l
- Raincover for backpack
- Climbing harness, light
- Ice axe, light
- Walking poles
- Crampons with anti-balling plates (customised to fit expedition boots)
- 2 Carabiners (light, wiregate)
- 3 HMS carabiners (light, screwgate)
- Ascender (Jumar)
- Belay device (figure 8 recommended)
- Cord, 5m, 7 mm (for the Jumar system)
- Cord, 5m, 5 mm
- Sling 120 cm / Dyneema
- 1 Ice screw (19 cm)
- Compression bags for down equipment
- Food utensils, light, for high camps (bowl including cutlery)
- Water bottle with large opening (Nalgene)
- Pee bottle / Plastic bags
- Headlamp (including spare batteries) and a small spare headlamp
- Pocket knife or multi-tool/Leatherman
- Hand and toe warmers
- Departure letter from K&P (contains the final information)
- Cash for personal use and tips
- Credit card (MasterCard or Visa)
- Passport copy
- 2 Passport photographs
- Small personal first-aid kit (personal medication / compeed)
- Writing utensils
- Toiletry bag
- Microfibre travel towel
- Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
- Ear plugs
- Tissues, wet wipes
- Photographic equipment
Your K&P mountain guide will provide well-stocked medical kits for base and high camps, radios, GPS, travel books and maps.
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