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Kangchenjunga Expedition: An Overview

Elevation: 8,586m  |  First ascent: 1955 |  Province: Himalaya, Nepal

Season: SPRING-AUTUMN  |  Group size: Minimum 1-10 |  Price: ASK via Email or Contact form!

Kanchenjunga (8586m/28,169ft) is one of the coolest 8000m mountain expeditions in the Himalaya. The expedition has elements of remoteness and challenging technical climbing on a huge massif. Mt. Kanchenjunga is located on the very remote border between Nepal and Sikkim and attracts relatively few trekkers because of this it retains much of its pristine beauty, mystery and charm. For most mountains above 8500m we advise clients to climb them in the spring season.However,they can also be climbed in autumn, albeit in somewhat difficult snow conditions. There are two famous climbing routes in Kanchenjunga for the main summit. Normal climbing route is along the South east side of the mountain from the Yalung glacier which was the climbing route to the summit. The name “Kanchenjunga” is delivered from the Tibetan word  ‘Kanchen’ and ‘Dzonga’ which when translated means „The Five Treasures of the Great Snows” as Kanchenjunga Mountain has 5 summits and there are 4 summits above 8000m. The main summit of Kanchenjunga I (8586m) Kanchenjunga West (8505m), Kanchenjunga South (8494m) and Khambachen (7903m). The treasures represent the five repositories of God, which are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. Joe Brown and George Band made the first ascent on May 25, followed by Norman Hardin and Tony Streather on May 26. The full team also included John Clegg (team doctor), Charles Evans (team leader), John Angelo Jackson, Neil Mather, and Tom Mackinnon. The first ascent expedition made six camps above their base camp, two below the shelf, two on it, and two above it. They started on April 18, and everyone was back to base camp by May 28, 1955 after a successful ascent.

Extreme Expeditions offers a safe and stimulating climbing experience with Sherpa climbing guides that have been trained in mountaineering skills,first aid and crevasse rescue. Extreme Expeditions always focuses on professionalism, our climbing Sherpa guides are safety oriented in all aspects relating to the climb. The Mt. Kanchenjunga expedition is accessed from Suketar, a long trek brings you to the Base camp.

There are two Base Camps to climb Kangchenjunga, Kangchenjunga North Base Camp on the Kangchenjunga Glacier and the South Base Camp on Yalung Glacier. The access to both camps is from Suketar (2400m), the town with the closest airport to the mountain with flights to Kathmandu. Suketar is also the last town accessible from Kathmandu by the road. The route from North Base Camp via the North Col is the Normal route. It is not the easiest by it is the safest route with the least of objective hazard. Three of the five peaks (main, central, and south) in Kanchenjunga are on the border of North Sikkim district of Sikkim, India and Taplejung District of Nepal While the other two are completely in Taplejung District. Kanchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world until 1852, and only after the British Great Trigonometric Survey in 1849 was Mt. Everest (known as Peak XV) at the time was crowned the highest and Kanchenjunga the third-highest. Kanchenjunga was first climbed on May 25, 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band of a British expedition team.

Mt. Kanchenjungha is graded at alpine PD+/AD. Climbers need around a 2 month climbing period for the expedition. It will definitely not be recommended for an inexperienced climber or first 8000m expedition but it is a delight for experienced technical climbers. The scenery is phenomenal all the way from the base camp overlooking the Kanchenjunga glacier. The most difficult section is to the South Col of about 500m of mixed ice and rock, climbing Sherpas guide will fix ropes for your safety.

Kanchenjunga Expedition is lead by professional climbers and who have reached the summit previously. Our staff climbs year round, worldwide and have the necessary experience needed to make the expedition successful and safe. All our climbing Sherpa guide have extensive experience in the effects and medical treatment of high altitude ailments. Extreme Expeditions always offers reasonable costs but never compete with the lowest prices for our respective expeditions, we don’t jam pack our expeditions with twenty or more climbers to gain profits for. We prefer and accept a maximum of 7-8 climbers during the expeditions to allow for more care and safety. The quality of our food and services is considered to be one of the premier operations in the Himalayas. Not having western guides means that our expeditions are more affordable than most for qualified climbers.

Kanchenjunga South Face Route Camps:

Kanchenjunga Advanced Base Camp (5400M/17,717ft):

Kanchenjungha Yalung base camp is located on a rocky moraine with amazing views of the Kanchenjunga massive. Extreme Expeditions advanced base camp will be setup for almost 35-40 days. On an 8000m expedition climbers spend most of their time at base camp, so naturally on any long expedition, base camp becomes a home away from home. We establish our camp at a walking distance between meeting points with different groups and strategic viewing positions of the Makalu massif. We provide a personal tent which becomes your own private retreat, a dining tent that is the common area, a shower tent and toilet tent. When you arrive at the base camp it will already be fully established with hot beverages and snacks available immediately. Waiting for you there will be your base camp staff and high altitude climbing Sherpa. Prior to your climbing period you will have a Puja ceremony at the base camp for good luck. This is one Nepalese tradition not to miss, it represents safe climbing passage for everyone involved in the expedition.

Kanchenjunga Camp 1 6200m/20,341ft) 4hrs:

Once you have reviewed basic and advanced mountaineering training by your climbing Sherpa guide at Yalung Glacier, you will be ready for your attempt to climb to camp I 6200m/20,341ft. In this section of the climb you will encounter mixed terrain including a few rock and ice sections.On the first section of rock you will encounter grassy slopes, rock slabs and moraine. Above the BC, the route follows a rocky spur up to 6000m. Then it climbs steep slopes and a serac up to a snow ridge at 6200m where camp I is established. The first section of climbing on the moraine takes about two hours, then you reach the crampon point at the short glacier bottom, the glacier portion takes about 2 hours. Camp one is considered a very safe camp. For average climbers it takes about 4 hours.

Kanchenjunga Camp 2 (6400m/20,997ft) 2½hrs:

The climbing from camp I to camp II is the moderate technical section on Mt. Kanchenjunga from south face or Yalung glacier. From camp I, the route follows a short horizontal ridge, and then descends on a plateau and then cross this plateau. CampII is located at the end of the plateau at the bottom of the face. During this section you encounter the heart of ice and snow. The first section is just slogging over snow for about 20 minutes to get down on the glacier, and then you encounter several steep sections of ice.There are small sections of ice fall they do not require ladders. They can be crossed with the use of fixed ropes and big steps. Most of the route is fixed climbing Sherpa guides on a 30-35ºslope. For most people this is the crux of the route. Camp 2 is situated above the snowy terrace in middle bottom of the ridge. This is shortest camp between two. Expect that this section will take you about 2½ to maximum 3 hours for slow climbers

Kanchenjunga Camp 3(7100m/23,294ft) 5hrs:

Camp II to camp III is the longest distance on the route, you encounter an elevation gain of 700m/2,297ft. At 6800m you encounter the base of the large serac which is roughly 20m high and overhanging at the end. It does not require any ladder crossings, but there are a few crevasses that are roughly a half meter that need to be jumped. This section for most climbers feels easier, but still it is not to be taken lightly, the climbing is still on sustained slopes and there is exposure to cold and wind. The trail is good and the route to pass the first serac is easy. The view from the C3 is amazing although in spring there has been reports of direct sun hitting this section making it feel very warm. This is the camp from where almost 10% climbers plan for summit push. However we will always fixed camp IV before summit so that clients can get a half nights rest. The main ropes are fixed by our climbing Sherpa team.

Kanchenjunga Camp 4 (7550m/24,770ft) 3½hrs:

Climbing from camp III to camp IV feels like a short distance. From camp III continue on the plateau where there are crevasses and seracs. Continue to the base of a spur, at the base of the big couloir. Camp IV can be set around 7550m. Oxygen levels are very low at this altitude so it is expected that any effort no matter how minimum or trivial will feel arduous. In this section you have to climb for 3 hours on steep snow that is 50-55º. This section is little dangerous in autumn season because the snow slope is covering a layer of ice which makes the section avalanche prone. Our team makes an easy traverse to Camp Four at 7550m which allows you to make a shorter summit day.

Kanchenjunga Summit (8586m/28,169ft) 16-17 hrs:

Summit day is the main goal during the climbing period. Most climbers begin their summit bid at 11:00 Pm. If all goes well they reach the summit between 7-9am. From the camp 4, climb the Couloir up to 8,250 m. The Couloir splits in two, take the right side and traverse Diagonal to the base of a steep wall around 8,400m, Climb the wall which is graded IV, continue to a rocky tower at around 8,450m. Climb a short snowy ridge then traverse to the right to a Chimney at around 8,500 m. Rappel down the Chimney, traverse to the right on mixed terrain to join a snow slope leading to the main summit at 8,586 m. The climb passes the false summit and finishes on an exposed ridge to the true summit for a spectacular view of the mighty Himalaya. Sherpa guides will fix ropes break trail and make every effort to assist the group to reach the summit of the 03rd highest mountain in the world.


   Is the third tallest summit in the world.

   It is one of the most challenging mountains of our world.

✓   Because is one of the 8,000 m peaks that can be climbed in autumn season.


Your hometown-Nepal-Return


  • Arrival and departure transfer services to and from both domestic and international flight as per itinerary.
  • Assistance at the International airport by our local partners while arriving and departing in Kathmandu.
  • 4 Nights Yak and Yeti or similar hotels accommodation in Kathmandu on B/B basis.
  • Experienced and government licensed high altitude trekking guide during the trekking and climbing period.
  • Private Bus or Jeep Transportation from Kathmandu-Teplejung (Khamdani)-Kathmandu sector to all climbing member, Sherpa guide, liaison officer and kitchen staff.
  • All trekking and mountaineering equipment:Kitchen tent, stores tent, dining tent, toilet tents, tables, chairs, and cooking utensils for advance Base Camp and camp two.
  • Common climbing equipment (necessary fixed and main rope, ice bars, ice screws, snow bar etc)
  • Services of chef and kitchen assistant at base camp.
  • 3 meals a day: Breakfasts, lunch and dinner with tea/coffee)available at the tea house/hotel/lodge during the trekking period.
  • 3 fresh meals a day: Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at advanced base camp.
  • All food and fuel for base camp and higher camps during the expedition for both clients and staff.
  • 50kg baggage allowance per person during trekking period. This will be carried by porters.
  • Daily weather report services from Seattle, Washington  based company.
  • Trekking Permit (Kanchenjunga National Park entry fee)
  • TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System).
  • Expedition Royalty and climbing permit of Nepal Government to climb Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586M).
  • Nepalese Government Royalty and fees.
  • One experienced, trained, government licensed and 3x Kanchenjunga Submitter climbing/expedition Guide (Sherpa) per client.
  • All wages, equipment, medical and accidental Insurances for all involved staff during the trekking and expedition period.
  • Equipment allowances and wages for climbing Sherpa’s, chefs, kitchen assistants.
  • Equipment allowances and wages for government liaison officer.
  • First aid medical kits for the group and the staff.
  • Satellite phone carrying by guide for communication and available for members with the cost of $3USD per minute.
  • Appropriate food for high altitude and all climbing crew at base camp and above as required.
  • Required fixed and dynamic rope during the climbing period.
  • Heater will be provided at base camp for heating the dining room.
  • Emergency oxygen, mask and regulator provided on requirement of guest with appropriate charge.
  • Each expedition member will have an individual tent available in the ABC.
  • Solar panel for light and battery charging.
  • All tents for camp 1, 2, 3 and 4 for members and staff.
  •  Ice fall charges by SPCC.
  • Gamow Bags (Portable Altitude Chamber).
  • 5 Bottles (28L) of Poisk Oxygen will be provided each members (we use Poisk brands of the Oxygen).
  • Latest model of Summit or Top out system mask and regulators.
  • Sherpas tents, food for climbing, and insurance for staff.
  • Helicopter rescue insurance for high altitude climbing Sherpa guide, cook and staff.
  • Free assistance service for cargo clearance and duties.
  • Fresh cooked food and kitchen will be provided at camp II.
  • Trekking and climbing map of the Mount Kanchenjunga region.
  • EPI Cooking gas, stove will be provided in camp one, three and south col for cooking food, boiling water.
  • Generator will be providing for back-up lighting power and charging electronic equipment.
  • Transportation of food supply to base camp from Kathmandu (Cargo to Lukla and then by porter/Yaks to base camp).
  • Our service charge and government taxes levied in Nepal.
  • Complete Pre-departure information.
  • Flight ticket reconfirmation
  • Visa extension procedure services (if necessary).
  • Farewell dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant with domestic culture show in Kathmandu.


  • Lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu (except for the farewell dinner).
  • Any packed food/snacks, aerated drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, or any other food consumed beyond the prescribed breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Expenses incurred towards usage of landlines, mobiles, walkie-talkies, satellite phones and internet expenses.
  • Clothing, packing items or bags, personal medical kit, personal trekking gear.
  • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, changes in Government regulations, etc.
  • Transportation services includes only what is listed on the itinerary. Any extra distance travelled will be appropriately charged.
  • Any additional staff other than specified.
  • Rescue, repatriation, medicines, medical tests and hospitalization expenses.
  • Medical insurance and emergency rescue evacuation if required.
  • Travel insurance and helicopter rescue.
  • Walkie-talkies & Filming permit (if you have a special camera).
  • Personal climbing gear.
  • Nepal custom duty for import of expedition equipment.
  • Items of personal nature, laundry expenses, tips.
  • Tips, gifts, souvenirs.
  • Airfare of international flights.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (Visa insurance is easy upon arrival).
  • Any extra services, products, offers or activities which are not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Any other item not included in “THE PACKAGE COST INCLUDES” section.


Day 01:Arrival in Kathmandu Airport and transfer to hotel Yak and Yeti or similar hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (1350M/4,430ft).

Day 2-3:Preparation, briefings, last minute shopping and formalities.

Day 04: Drive from Kathmandu to Phidim(1200m/3,937ft) 12hrs.Overnight hotel accommodation.

Day 05:Drive from Phidim to Khamdani via Dahalgaonby a local Jeep (1650m/5,413ft) 4hrs. Overnight at tea house/camping accommodation.

Day 06: Trek from Khamdani to Khebang(1910m/6,267ft) 5 hrs.Tea house/camping accommodation.

Day 07:Trek from Khebang to Yamphudin(2080m/6,824ft) 7hrs.Tea house/ camping accommodation.

Day 08:Trek from Yamphudin to Tortong(2995m/9,826ft) 8 hrs.Tea house/camping accommodation.

Day 09: Trek from Tortong to Cheram(Tseram)(3870m/12,697ft) 7hrs.Teahouse/camping accommodation.

Day 10: Trek from Tseram to Ramche call as Ramchaur (4530m/14,862ft) 5hrs.Teahouse/camping accommodation.

Day 11:Rest and acclimatization day before reaching Tso Glassier camp.

Day 12:Trek from Ramche to glacier camp (5176m/16,981ft) 6hrs. Camping accommodation.

Day 13:Trek from Tso glacier camp to Kanchenjunga Advance base camp (5400m/17,717ft) 6hrs.

Day 14-53: Kanchenjunga climbing period (8586m/28,169ft)Summit.

Day 54: Preparation and clean the camp for return

Day 55:Trek from Yalung Base camp to Ramche(4530m/14,862ft) 7hrs.

Day 52: Trek from Ramche to Tortang (2995m/9,826ft) 8hrs.

Day 53: Trek from Tortang to Yamphudin(2080m/6,824ft) 5hrs.Tea house/camping accommodation.

Day 54: Trek from Yamphudin to Khebang(1910m/6,267ft) 5 hrs. Tea house/ camping accommodation.

Day 55:Trek from Khebang to Khamdanivia Dahalgaon(1650m/5,413ft) 6hrs.Tea house/camping accommodation.

Day 56: Drive from Khamdani to Ilam(3636m/11,930ft) 7 hrs.Lodge accommodation.

02 June/Day 57: Drive from Ilam to Kathmandu (1350m/4,429ft) 10 hrs.Lodge accommodation.

03 June/Day 58:Leisure and shopping,.Farewell-celebration dinner in the evening.

04 June/Day 59:Transfer to the airport for final departure