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Kanchenjunga trek difficulty

How Difficult is the Kanchenjunga Trek?

Kanchenjunga region is a hidden wonderland in the far-eastern Himalayas of Nepal. The beautiful foothills of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m), the third highest mountain in the world, offers thrilling adventures to avid trekkers worldwide. Here we are sharing that How Difficult is the Kanchenjunga Trek?

Kanchenjunga trek is a spectacular long-duration journey. This tremendous Himalayan trail takes you through off-the-beaten, virgin territories in remote landscapes. Moreover, the trekkers can also immerse themselves in the beautiful Himalayan vista of the region.

However, this exciting trek also ranks high in terms of difficulty. Although the trek is quite stunning, the difficulty level of the trek is significantly higher than other treks in the region. The numerous challenges during this extended trek are primarily due to the high altitude and tough terrain.

The off-the-beaten trails of the Kanchenjunga (8,586m) region will take you through the serene natural landscapes. These include high mountain passes, alpine forests, pristine waterfalls, icy glaciers, white water rivers, turquoise lakes, and others.

The Kanchenjunga trek is considered more difficult than your regular mainstream treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. Moreover, the difficulty of the walk also depends upon the individual. Hence, a basic fitness level is a must if you want to go on this Kanchenjunga trek.

Altitude is another factor that can lead to various challenges like altitude sickness and freezing weather. The trek also requires you to be mentally fit and have a positive attitude. There is unpredictable weather as it can change quickly in a few hours.

Moreover, some other difficulties along the trail include meals, accommodations, and other facilities. We have compiled a list of difficulties and ways to minimize these challenges in this article. You will get complete insights about the Kanchenjunga trek difficulty. Contact us for more information and bookings for the trip. Happy traveling!

kanchenjunga trek

Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty Factors

Acute mountain sickness

One top challenge in the Kanchenjunga trek is the high-altitude mountain sickness. Acute mountain sickness, most common at an altitude above 3000m, will challenge you along the trail. Trekkers can get nausea, insomnia, headache, appetite loss, etc., during the high-altitude trek.

To tackle these altitude sickness symptoms, you must trek gradually and rest regularly. You must perform acclimatization throughout the trek. The trek itinerary will remain spread out so that you can travel relaxed.

Since, at a high altitude, the atmosphere has less oxygen and air pressure, acclimatization is essential. One cautionary thing you must do is avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated products. You can also take the Diamox tablets as a precautionary measure to tackle altitude sickness.

Remote landscapes

The Kanchenjunga Trek is a remote landscapes trek in the North East corner of Nepal. The Himalayan foothills of the walk take you through a remote region which adds difficulty to the tour. The trail includes the untraversed, virgin territories of the Kanchenjunga region.

You will trek through the narrow cliffs, crossing rivers and water streams. Exceptional strength gets required to traverse through these terrains. Moreover, basic fitness, stamina, and proper training are essential for the trek.

Food and accommodation facilities

The facilities of meals and accommodations are also a difficult factor along the trail of the Kanchenjunga trek. The beautiful tour has accommodation facilities in lodges, teahouses, and even camps along the route. Since you will not get the facilities like in hotels in the city, you will need to manage.

There are just basic rooms in these teahouses. There are no high-end facilities like the EBC trail, including hot showers, electronic charging, Wi-Fi, attached bathrooms, etc. The meal facilities in the tea houses include the Nepalese dish of “Dal Bhat.” It is a balanced diet with many pretty nutritious side dishes.

There are also hot beverages like tea, coffee, hot lemon, hot chocolate, etc. While trekking, you can also carry snacks for the trek, including chocolate bars, protein bars, etc. There are also other cuisines in the teahouses in the region, including momo, chaumein, pasta, noodles, etc.

You can carry extra sleeping bags as the region can get quite cold. You will have to manage toiletries on your own. Hence, this factor can cause significant difficulties in the Kanchenjunga trek.

Long duration trek

The Kanchenjunga trek is a long-duration trek that takes more than two weeks to complete. The trekking journey leads you to a beautiful destination in the most remote landscapes. However, this factor takes a long time to arrive there.

Trekking in the region takes around 6-7 hours each day while covering 8-12 km. Trekking in the area each day for more than three weeks can be pretty tiring for the most experienced trekkers. Hence, it is quite a difficulty along the trail.

Heavy backpacks are another factor that does increase the difficulty along the trail. The trekkers will have to trek in the rugged up and down terrains with a heavy backpack. You can also hire porters along the path so that you can travel with ease.

Unpredictable weather

The weather in the region remains quite unpredictable due to the high-altitude location. It can change significantly in a quick span of time. The beautiful trek also has many weather challenges.

Heavy rainfalls in the region can lead to slippery trails. There are also leech-infested trails due to heavy rainfalls. There are landslides, avalanches, and others in the off-season. Hence, you should trek in the peak season as far as possible.

tented camp at kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty in Different Seasons

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is the peak season for travel in the Kanchenjunga region. There are fewer weather-related challenges this season. Trekkers can experience stable weather in the region. There are perfect weather conditions in the Kanchenjunga region in the Autumn season. Although there are stable weather conditions, you will still need to prepare well for the trek.

The trails become beautiful as there are scenic and comfortable trails. There are temperatures at moderate levels which makes it easier for you to travel in the daytime. The skies are clear blue with majestic views of the snow-clad mountains. There are lesser weather-related challenges like landslides, avalanches, soil erosion, etc., in autumn.

Spring (March to May)

The Spring season is another peak season for the trek. There are scenic landscapes, beautiful trails, and flowers bloom all over the tracks. There are natural terrains with moderate temperatures. Trekkers can observe the snow-clad mountains in clear blue skies from various points. The difficulty of the trek is significantly reduced in these peak seasons. Hence, you should travel in Spring as far as possible.

Off-Season treks

The off-season is quite challenging for the trek in the Kanchenjunga region. The winters and the summer-monsoon season are the two main off-seasons in the area. The winter season in the region is from December-February.

There are extreme cold weather conditions in the high-altitude Kanchenjunga region. The cold weather makes the trek quite challenging, especially during the night. Heavy snowfall can make the trails challenging with thick snow along the trails. Hence, it gets pretty difficult to traverse in the winter season.

The summer-monsoon season from June to August is another off-season for the trek. The weather in the summer monsoon is quite hot and humid. Therefore, making it quite challenging to tour the region. The area has heavy precipitations, making the trails slippery, muddy, and leech-infested.

Moreover, it can lead to various weather-related challenges, including landslides, avalanches, and soil erosion. There are hot temperatures that can reach the upper 30 degrees celsius. Hence, you must prepare well for the trek with all the waterproof gear for the monsoon and warm clothes for the winters.

Since the off-season makes the Kanchenjunga trek quite challenging, you should choose Spring and Autumn as far as possible.

How to Tackle Altitude Sickness in the Kanchenjunga Trek?

Trek at a gradual pace

The Kanchenjunga trekking journey is an extended trek. Hence, you should not treat this trek as a race but rather as a marathon. You should trek at a gradual pace and gently at a high altitude. The trail also gets quite scenic and more enjoyable if you trek at a slow pace. You will explore more leisurely at a steady pace.

Do not gain more than 500m in elevation.

Trekkers taking this incredible trek should not gain more than 500 m daily. This is to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness in the high-altitude terrains of the Kanchenjunga region. Moreover, you should also sleep at a lower altitude than the highest elevation reached during the trek.

Diamox tablets

As a precaution, you can also have a Diamox tablet during the high-altitude trek. This measure will help you tackle altitude sickness along the trail. “Diamox” tablets are anti-nausea medication that significantly reduces altitude sickness symptoms.

Nutritious meal

One overlooked aspect of trekking in the high-altitude Kanchenjunga region is proper nutrition. You can have a nutritious “Dal bhat” meal during the trek in the teahouses. A balanced diet boosts the energy required for the trek.

There are various other food items as well. In the high-altitude region, you will burn more calories due to the cold weather and the rigorous trekking adventure. Hence, you should increase your food intake as well. A nutritious diet with snacks along the trail is essential during the trekking journey. It is an energy boost while trekking at a challenging high altitude.

Proper Hydration

The proper hydration in the trek will help you tackle altitude sickness along the trails. Moreover, you should drink around 3-4 liters of water which will allow you to tackle trekking in low oxygen and air pressure conditions. It will stop you from dehydration. Besides that, you should also avoid caffeinated products and alcoholic beverages.

tea houses of kanchenjunga trek

How to Reduce the Kanchenjunga Trek Difficulty?

Acclimatization and regular hydration

The acclimatization process is one of the best ways to tackle altitude sickness in the high-altitude Kanchenjunga Trek. The beautiful trek will provide you with the best of adventures. However, the beautiful trail requires you to acclimatize along the route. Acclimatization has various requirements, as it will help you tackle altitude sickness along the trail.

This process will help you adapt to the changing altitude and accommodate the changing conditions. During this process, you will also explore the area and get insights into the place. However, you will not gain much altitude during the journey. The height and conditions make the trek difficult.

The acclimatization process reduces the difficulty level of the trek significantly. There are low oxygen levels which make the trek quite challenging. Hence, altitude sickness, including various symptoms including headaches, insomnia, nausea, lack of appetite, loss of sleep, etc., are quite common. Acclimatization and regular hydration will help you with altitude sickness quite well. Hence, it is the primary measure of tackling altitude sickness along the trail.

Hiring professional guides and porters

Trekkers taking this trek should also hire professional guides and porters along the trail. The guides will help you with navigating along the remote terrains. They will keep you safe and comfortable along the trails. They are also well equipped in first aid facilities and can handle any emergency conditions.

The guides know the region and the trails like the back of their hands. They will protect you from any injuries and accidents along the trail. The guides will also provide you with a cultural exploration of the region. You will get important cultural insights about the place and also help in translation from the local language.

You will interact with the locals and experience the local rural lifestyle. Porters will also help you with carrying the luggage. They will carry around 20 to 25 kgs so that you can also easily trek the region. There are also some porter guides in the area.

Best time for the trek

The trek’s difficulty in the Kanchenjunga region also depends upon the time of the trek. The best time of the trek or the peak season of Spring and Autumn makes the region’s trails quite easier.

These seasons provide you with favorable weather conditions, which makes the trek quite ideal. In these seasons, you can get the best views of the snow-clad mountains of the region. The region’s diverse wildlife comes out of its hibernation during these seasons.

Various challenges include avalanches, floods, landslides, soil erosion, and others in the off-season. There is heavy rainfall with hot and humid conditions in the summer monsoon season. There are various frigid conditions and heavy snowfall in the winter. Hence, choosing the best time for the trek is essential for the Kanchenjunga trek.

Training for the trek

The Kanchenjunga trek passes through the challenging, rugged terrains of the region, including the uphill and downhill trails. This training regime will give you the strength, stamina, and endurance for the trek.

You can perform physical exercises to build strength and muscles for the trek. You can either train in the gym with the help of the gym trainer or train on your own. Moreover, you can also perform cardiovascular activities which will help you with flexibility in the challenging trail.

It will help you pass through the challenging terrain and remain injury and cramps-free. The beautiful Kanchenjunga trek requires mental training and preparation. You must have a positive attitude in the region and remain motivated during the walk.

Customizing the trek itinerary

The Kanchenjunga trek is customizable according to your preference. There are various rugged terrains where you might face various challenges. Therefore, you can acclimate to the itinerary and get the best out of your trekking journey. You can also add buffer days in unfavorable weather conditions, injuries, and other challenges.

Hence, these factors minimize the difficulty of the Kanchenjunga trek significantly.

high altitude village

Training Regime for the Kanchenjunga Trek

The training regime in the Kanchenjunga Trek plays an important part in the difficulty levels of the trek. The trail of the hike requires you to traverse through the rugged terrains. Hence, you must be in your best physical shape, stamina, and condition. The various training exercise you can perform ahead of the trek are as follows:

Physical Exercises

Physical training is essential for the Kanchenjunga trek. The trail of this trek will pass through challenging terrains. You can perform various training exercises to build your strength and muscles around your body.

You will gain stamina and endurance to be able to trek through any terrain. This will also increase your overall fitness, and you will have a comfortable trekking journey. You can take training from the gym trainers or do it on your own. Practice hikes also help you immensely in the region.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular exercises are also crucial for the trek as they will increase your flexibility. It will also help you with your breathing ability in the region. You will significantly benefit from these aerobic exercises. Various activities will help you train, including hiking, swimming, jogging, cycling, etc. These activities also prevent you from cramps and injuries along the trail.

Mental preparation

Mental preparation for the trek is essential as it will lead you to a successful journey. There are various ways to prepare yourself, including learning about the hike from veteran trekkers and the internet. You should also motivate yourself for the walk and keep a positive attitude. Hence, these training sessions will give you the best and most comfortable trekking adventure.

Packing List – Kanchenjunga Trek

Clothing

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Trekking shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Fleece jackets
  • Down jacket
  • Trekking boots
  • Thermal wears
  • Warm woolen cap
  • Woolen trekking socks
  • Woolen gloves
  • Windproof jacket
  • Raincoat

First Aid

  • Anti-nauseant medication
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Rehydration salts
  • Mosquito and insect repellent

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Sanitizer
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen

Others

  • Phone
  • Power Banks
  • Solar Charges
  • Extra Batteries
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Local SIM card
  • Kanchenjunga Trekking Map
  • Camera

Important documents

  • Passport
  • Kanchenjunga Trekking Permits
  • Travel Insurance

Final Say

Kanchenjunga Trek is an incredible trekking journey in the beautiful terrains of North Eastern Nepal. You will travel through the remote landscapes along the scenic trails. Since it is an off-the-beaten trek, you will need to prepare well. It is generally considered a relatively challenging trek in the region.

The Kanchenjunga trek leads you to a beautiful destination filled with the snow-clad Himalayas. There are numerous terrains that you will traverse during the trail. The professional guides will help you in this regard during the beautiful trek.

We need to tackle various difficulties, including high altitude and extreme weather. Besides, there are other difficulties with logistics, meals, and accommodations. We hope you gained essential insights about the Kanchenjunga Trek difficulty through this article. Contact us for more information and bookings.

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Subash KC

Managing Director

Mr. Subash K.C ventured into the tourism industry after completing his studies in Management Stream in 2001 at Tribhuvan University. Mr. K.C, born and brought up in the Lalitpur district, is keenly interested in exploring the different trekking routes. Getting the opportunity to work in the tourism industry helped him gather insights about trekking across Nepal. In addition, he also learned about customer care and group management.
By leading solo and group trekkers himself, he started collecting data about many trekking destinations in Nepal. He creates an enriching experience for national and international travelers through exceptional hospitality.

Apart from managing trekking and tours, Mr K.C also handles client inquiries, accommodation reservations, arrangements of transportation and flights, and other logistics. Recognizing the importance of personalized service, he proactively takes care of clients' needs and requirements. He is fluent in English and excels in organizing treks, tours, and adventure sports in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.

He is highly committed to promoting responsible tourism and prioritizes client satisfaction by providing top-notch service through his well-organized company. He believes that through responsible traveling, we can protect the natural environment and promote sustainability. He has expanded his knowledge by traveling to various countries worldwide, such as India, Bhutan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Thailand, China, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, USA, Japan, UK, Canada etc and is passionate about exploring more destinations.

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