GHT (Kanchen Gola) Wild Exploratory
Tumlingtar - Milke Danda - Topke Gola - Thudam - Lumbasamba - Olangchung
Gola - Tumlingtar
The golden age of exploration dead? Never! This is a exploratory trek
that would warm Tilman's heart. There is nobody else on the planet who organizes
adventures quite like this.
A positive, can-do attitude and smile required.
This is our seventh 42 day special - I'm already salivating. The
previous treks have been just the best, adventurous and real exploration. However one wild trail
rebuffed us twice, each time later in the season so this time we will start with it.
The first half
of the trek to Olangchung Gola is on trails that few foreigners have ever used. The second half
an exploration to a 6000m pass into Sikkim (not Tibet), the Jongsang La or Jhingsang La, and we have
an additional chance to scramble to 6000m without climbing gear near Pangpema. I
am considering other plans too.
As always on these 42 day specials we remain somewhat flexible, not adverse to changing the
itinerary as conditions demand. Our plan is to both start and finish at Tumlingtar, rather than the
more usual Suketar, as Suketar flights are now unreliable and the bus journey dangerous for the
crew. It is a tough last few days over the ridge to Tumlingtar and if for any reason we end up
flying from Suketar on a scheduled flight there will be an extra $200 charge.
I hope you appreciate the trek price is definitely good value, and we have pared things down
(lots of dal bhaat!) but will provide a great experience.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1350m
2 - Kathmandu
Note that today is a public holiday, the end of Tihar, the festival of light. If we can arrange
trekking permits today (unlikely) then we will fly to Tumlingtar today and start a day early.
3 - fly Tumlingtar 285m, stay Khandbari
We fly to Tumlingtar then take the rough bus to Khandbari, the district headquarters, where we
meet the crew who have had a grueling overland trip to here.
4-5-6 - middle hills trekking
At the first camp we hope for an Everest and Makalu sunrise, the next camp or two are likely to be
in villages as we climb out of the Arun River valley.
7-8-9 - Milke Danda
Soon we reach the 4000m crest of the Milke Danda, a remote, high ridge dotted with lakes and with
awesome views of Everest, Makalu and other huge mountains. It is a also a biologically diverse area
and while parts of it are sometimes used for grazing, it is isolated.
10 - trek Topke Gola 3760m
We reach this very remote village today (or perhaps a day later)?
11 - rest Topke Gola 3760m
A well deserved day for cleaning and eating while the crew restock.
12-13 - trek Lasa or near
We head over to near that ultra-remote village, Thudam, but will probably take the high trail
that avoids the village.
14-15-16 - trek Olangchung Gola 3200m
Crossing the Lumbasamba 5155m, we
reach the wonderful village of Olangchung Gola.
17 - rest Olangchung Gola 3200m
18 - Kharka ~3800m
We trek up to a kharka, perhaps with yaks.
19 - Nango La high camp ~4700m
It will be a tougher day as we climb over the 4820m pass. We camp just over the other side, so
20 - trek Ghunsa 3420m
This is the main village of the region and the usual stopping point for trekking groups but
instead we will have a rest day at Khambachen, a day further up, which gets more sunshine.
21 - trek Khambachen 4100m
22 - rest Khambachen 4100m
We can explore towards striking Jannu.
23 - trek Lhonak 4760m
24 - trek Pangpema ~5150m
25-26-27-28 - Jongsang La exploration
The pass is listed as 6164m on one map, lets see if that is true!
29 - trek Pangpema/Lhonak
If we trek futher down Pangpema today then we give ourselves a little extra time later.
30 - trek Lhonak 4760m
31 - trek Khambachen 4100m
We can trek from Lhonak to Ghunsa in one tough day, so we can save a day if not too tired.
32 - trek Ghunsa 3420m
33 - trek Yangswa (Gyabla/Kyapra) 2800m
34 - Amjilosa 2400m
35 - Sekathum 1660m
36 - Sinwa
37 - Doban or beyond
38 - up to Nesum or Gupha Pokhari (~3000m)
39 - trek/drive Basantpur then drive Tumlingtar
We can also go via Chainpur but the above route may be quicker.
40 - Tumlingtar, fly Kathmandu
Beautiful middle hills, hot too, even in winter but the lodges have fridges for cold beer! We
might fly today but it is also possible on day 41; flights from Tumlingtar are almost never
41 - Kathmandu
Day 42 - depart
Kanchenjunga north base camp
stunning views of Jannu
remote, virtually untrekked route
no departure, 42 days
Mobile: (+977) 98021 49789
on trek satellite SMS: +88216 21273393
Hotel Shakti, Thamel
tel: 441 0121, 442 9508
Local office contact
Tel: +9771 400 1066
Nabin Trital: +977 98510 04278
Pasang Nuru: +977 98130 91051
Our service includes
2 star hotel in Kathmandu, single with breakfast
domestic flights as needed, local departure tax
group transportation by private vehicle
entrance fees and permits as needed
all meals and hot drinks on trek
roomy single tent on trek
Our service excludes
insurance, Nepal visa, meals in Kathmandu
international flights, equipment rental, alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, laundry,
tipping and other items of a personal nature
2011 update: on our 9 previous 42 day exploratory trips we have many firsts or major achievements that we haven't
previously publicized. Previously we thoroughly explored the Kanchenjunga-Olangchung Gola region, currently we are
helping map the Great Himalaya Trail - the GHT.
2012 GHT - very first trekkers ever cross between Darchula
and Simikot, staying completely in Nepal...
2011 GHT - first commercial trek team across the Lakyap/Kekyap passes (thanks, Paulo Grobel). We
rerouted the GHT near Bhijer, saving a 5368m pass crossing. Crossed the high route between Dolpo and Mugu without
incident (it is a TOUGH route!).
2010 GHT - climbed Saribung, 6328m, with 100% team success
(on our Upper Mustang, Nar-Phu and around Manaslu trek)
2009 GHT - first commercial trek team to trek Chyangtang to
Makalu Base Camp the direct way (Robin Boustead was the first)
2008 Jamie discovered the crucial pass near Saipal for the
2012 trek after guiding James Vlahos writing for Nat Geo; thanks Nepal Trust
(2007 Manaslu Wild 35 days - explored Tsum to the Tibet border)
2006 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers ever to the top the Umbak
La to Tibet
2005 Kanchen Gola Wild - first commercial trek to cross Lumbasamba,
Kanchenjunga to the Makalu region, crucial for the GHT
2003 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top of Tipta La (after Joseph Hooker in 1848)
2002 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the Ghari La
2001 Kanchenjunga Wild - first trekkers to the Chabuk La, first peak ascent, saw snow leopard
(2000 Manaslu High 32 days - trekked the Tsum valley prior to it being opened)
1999 Kanchenjunga-Makalu 42/75 day trek (!)
(1998 - Wild Kanchenjunga 38 days - the trek that started the Kanch series; we didn't meet another
all rights reserved --
frozen in time July 2013