Standing at an extreme elevation of 8586 meters from the sea level, Mt. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. The name “Kanchenjunga”, translates to “Five Treasures of the Snows” after the five massifs of the mountain itself. As such, the base camp of the esteemed mountain is at a staggering height of 5143 meters. Kanchenjunga Base Camp is a natural paradise and has been serving trekkers and mountaineers alike since its discovery. The mountain is located at the North-East border of Nepal and India. Situated within the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, the base camp is the ultimate destination for travelers. En route to the base camp, travelers can experience the Himalayan lifestyle, exotic bio-diversity whilst enjoying the majestic views of the great Himalayas of Northern Nepal.
Kanchenjunga and Great Himalayan Trail
Kanchenjunga has a very special place in the trekking route of The Great Himalayan Trail. Among the ten sections of the GHT, Kanchenjunga Base Camp lies in the easternmost section of Kanchenjunga itself. The Kanchenjunga Base Camp is the starting point of the High Route of the Great Himalayan Trails that stretches out all the way to Hilsa in Far-western Nepal.
Kanchenjunga and Pang Pema Basecamp
Kanchenjunga, being the third highest mountain in the world, has arduous journeys to both its base camps and, successively, to the summit. Out of the two major base camps of Kanchenjunga, the northern base camp is more popular for its location and gorgeous setting. The base camp, also known as Pang Pema Base Camp, sits just past the Kanchenjunga Glacier and the Januu Glacier. This base camp can be taken as the Kalapatthar of Kanchenjunga. Located at an altitude of 5143 meters, this viewpoint opens the window offering the enthralling views of the Kanchenjunga Himalayan range. The peaks seen from there include Everest (8848m), Makalu (8463m), Kanbachen (7802m), Januu (7711m), Kirat Chuli/Tent Peak (7362m), and lots of other mountains.
Special Features of Kanchenjunga base camp
Given the height and the location of the base camp, the best way to experience this is a 26-day long trek, which is rated as strenuous for an average trekker. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek gives the trekkers the experience of a lifetime.
- The journey to the base camp of Kanchenjunga goes through the majestic Kanchenjunga Conservation Area spanning over an area of 2,035 sq.km. As such, the conservation area is naturally prosperous and flaunts its beauty along the trail.
- On the way to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, the trekkers trek through a thick rainforest comprised of Birch, Pine, and Rhododendron. These forests are also the home to a variety of wildlife species like musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, pheasant, red-billed blue magpie, shy dragon, Himalayan black bear, and lots of other exotic Himalayan animals and birds.
- The trek to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp goes across many strong and faint rivers like Arun River, Ghunsa Khola, and Simbuwa Khola. The mountain and the glaciers that you witness along the trek are the sources to many river systems in Eastern Nepal.
- Likewise, the high valleys like Arun, Tamor, and Tinjure Phedi offer magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga and Makalu mountain ranges together, which is a mesmerizing sight in itself.
- The lesser known fact about the place is that unlike most of the other Himalayan Ranges, Kanchenjunga has a wide variety of climates. It can get very hot and humid in the summer, has heavy rain during monsoon days, and very thick snow during the winter.
- Located near three distinctive countries of Nepal, India, and China, there is a lot of social and cultural diversity in the trek to the base camp. The villages and settlements along the journey are blessed with harmony among pleasant mixture ethnicities. People of Indian origin, Rai, Limbu, Tibetan Buddhists, and Chhetri reside along the trails. People of these cultures are found in different villages scattered around the lower regions of the Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m).
- Finally, the base camp and the Kanchenjunga Himalayas are shrouded in mystery for the sightings of the Himalayan Yeti. Yeti is also a prominent subject of the local folklore and stories.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp is one of the stand-out base camps in Nepal. Scenes that are not possible to see and experiences not possible to live in any other Himalayan Range in Nepal can be found here. From lush forest paths to cold chilling walkways on the snow, the diversity in flora and fauna, climate, and culture create a perfect atmosphere to travel. Kanchenjunga Base Camp is heaven and its glorious features offer compelling reasons to make it one of the best trek destinations in Nepal.