Kangchenjunga / Singalila

Key information: Kangchenjunga / Singalila

    • The vast, snowy beauty of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, dominates the border between Nepal and India's Sikkim, which are divided by the high Singalila ridge. Unsurprisingly the Kangchenjunga/Singalila area has some of the world's finest trekking.
      • The most exceptional route - if you have time - is to approach Kangchenjunga from Nepal along the Ghunsa Khola valley, although linking up the Lower Singalila Ridge with the trek to Goecha La is also outstanding for its combination of forests, gorges, hillsides, high pastures and mountain people, and panoramic views of some of the world's highest peaks.
        • Tough, high walks in remote mountains. Come prepared.
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          ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty37
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest6
  • Charisma35
  • Negative points5
  • Total rating90
  • Note: Neg: high altitude

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 5,150m
  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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WALK SUMMARY

The vast, snowy beauty of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, dominates the border between Nepal and India's Sikkim, which are divided by the high Singalila Ridge. Kangchenjunga is one of the world's most beautiful - and magnificent - mountains, and, unsurprisingly, the Kangchenjunga / Singalila area has some of the world's finest trekking, with  several iconic treks and a multitude of shorter walks.
 
Approaching from Nepal: Nepal's western approaches to Kangchenjunga's North Base Camp, and the more southerly one via the Kable Khola valley to Tseram, make for some of the world's finest (some would claim its most beautiful) high mountain trekking. Enjoy truly incredible scenery, with lovely flora and fauna and Tibetan villages lower down. The North Base Camp (at 5,150m), with its astounding position under vast snowy peaks and glaciers, is unforgetable.
 
An alternative is to cross the grain of the ridges to ascend the Kabelia and Simbua river valleys to the south east, up beyond Tseram, to view the great Yalung glacier and Kangchenjunga's south face - and then cross a high ridge (extraordinary panoramic views again) to Ghunsa, to follow the Ghunsa valley to North Base Camp.
 
People with less time can turn back from the Tseram area, for a shorter round trip. 
 
The direct route takes days upward, the longer alternative 25 or so. The trek to the Tseram area and back should be around 2 weeks.
 
Singalila Ridge: This is a delightful walk through wonderful forests, gaining superb views of the high Himalayas. Wonderful flowers in spring, but the best views are in Autumn. The Singalila Ridge rises steadily from the steamy lowlans of the Indian plains to the majestic, icy vastness of Kangchenjunga. Climb up forested ridges to the lower end of the long Singalila Ridge, which you follow for a few days, then drop back to the road-head in the valleys below. You will pass teahouses and villages, but are usually above inhabited land here, while passing through high, summer grazing meadows. You can stay in simple mountain huts on this walk, or camp.
 
Goecha La/Zongri: The Goecha La is perched on a high ridge a mere 5km from Kangchenjunga's east face, a miraculous place of huge views and prayer flags. The 7 to 9 day trek there and back is tough, rising (steeply in places) to 4,940m.You can stop to Zongri, at around 4,000m, making for 90% of the excitement for less altitude struggle and less time (5-6 days).
 
Singalila to Kangchenjunga: Linking up the Lower Singalila Ridge with the trek to Goecha La by road connection is outstanding for its combination of forests, gorges, hillsides, high pastures and mountain people, panoramic views of some of the world's highest peaks and their glaciers and snowfields, and views straight into the heart of Kangchenjunga itself. The alternative option is this long, tough, marvellous but currently unavailable connecting trek, which follows the Singalila Ridge for several days before cutting across the grain of the land to meet the extraordinary views into the heart of Kangchenjunga, at Goecha La.
 
To Green Lake: is also a superb trek into the heart of the Kangchenjunga massif.

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: Hightower
Posted on: 01/05/2008
I just adored the walk to Goecha la. It was my most favourite walk whilst visiting India.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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