Singalila Ridge to Kangchenjunga
Key information: Singalila Ridge to Kangchenjunga
- A superb 20 day trek ascending through the magnificent forests of the lower Singalila Ridge, out above the treeline along the upper ridge with its outstanding views of the high Himalayas, including Everest in the distance.
- Then cross successive ridges with ever closer views of the high peaks of the Singalila Ridge, rising to the vast, snowy bulk of Kangchenjunga (8,586m) itself. End up at the Goecha La pass, with stunning views of the heart of the massif.
- The key middle section of this route is currently closed, so the hike cannot at present (2012) be made in its entirety.
- This is a high, remote and very tough walk in mountains, on which you will have to be self sufficient: be prepared.
ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating87
- Natural interest16
- Human interest4
- Negative points3
- Total rating87
- Note: Negs: altitude
- Length: 20 days
- Maximum Altitude: 4,800m
- Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
See also expedition planning, including our universal expedition checklist.
Walkopedia encourages responsible travel.
Books and Maps
Books on this walk
Chapter in Trekking Atlas of the World – Ed. Jack Jackson;
Kangchenjunga – a Trekkers’ Guide – Kev Reynolds (Cicerone)
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
Spring (April – June): you won’t get the finest views, but you will wind through whole hillsides of flowering rhododendron and azelea.
Autumn (October – mid-November): cold nights, superb views.
Even in the best season, cloud comes down by late morning on most days. Start early and be prepared for long, cold afternoons in clouded campsites. Come prepared for unpredictable mountain weather and cold nights.
Those on organised expeditions are likely to be transported to/from Yukson.
Permits are required, and can be difficult to get at the best of times: access to the upper Singalila Ridge is not ( as at 2012) permitted.
See Walk Summary above.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
· Altitude: can affect some; potentially fatal. Acclimatize appropriately, come prepared to cope, be ready to evacuate people in extreme cases.
· Mountain weather: cloud and cold are likely, and snow, rain, severe cold and wind are possible at any time of year and the weather can change rapidly. Come prepared.
· Heat and strong sun. Carry enough water and protect yourself.
· Heights: can be dangerous; not for those who have difficulties with heights.
· Harmful animals, including boar, bear and stinging/biting insects. Take all appropriate precautions.
· This is remote country: you will have to carry all your food and other supplies and help will be hard to get if things go wrong.
· Health risks: this is a relatively undeveloped country, and you will not get prompt medical help of a standard available elsewhere if you become ill. Come prepared, including getting all appropriate inoculations/medications.
· Be sensitive about photographing people: don’t without permission. Ask permission if in doubt about whether they would mind.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and problems can arise on any walk. Many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks and possible problems. This website cannot, does not purport to, identify all actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to a walk or a country. 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.
Make sure you have appropriate insurance.
Guided or independent?
You can do this walk independently (in theory), but you will need to be self-sufficient, so come fully prepared.
Almost everyone will form or join organised/supported expeditions. As the route is currently (as at 2012) inaccessible, you will be unable to find organisers for such an expedition.
Classic Journeys (www.classicjourneys.co.uk) do this trek, in two separate parts, i.e. Lower Singalila and the Goecha La. Various other organisers probably do so.
There are huts at strategic points along the Lower Singalila Ridge, but you may prefer to camp – and have to, in high season. You will have to camp elsewhere
Other information and tips
Useful websites and information
There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
· www.wikipedia.org – As usual, a good starting place.
· Try www.flickr.com for pictures of this walk.
Other things to do in the area
Kangchenjunga from the west
Shopping, if you must
We are not a shopping website. But, there are beautiful and interesting things to be found, and anything bought from local people must be of some help to this desperately poor area. So, wallets out! (And don’t try to extract the very last cent when bargaining).
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.
Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more