Stories and Myths related to Kanchenjunga
The term “Kanchenjunga'' means “five treasures of Snow”. The locals residing in the Kanchenjunga region believe that precious stones, gold, turquoise holy scriptures, salt/ grain/ medicine, and invincible armor are among these treasures. These mountains are partly situated in Sikkim (India) and are also an essential and meaningful aspect of their culture.
The Lepcha people of Sikkim call Mount Kanchenjunga Kong-Lo-Chu. They consider Kanchenjunga mountain as their god and believe that upon prayer, it can bless them with health and economic prosperity. They make an imitation of the mountain by placing nine stones and worship it every third full moon of each year.
How difficult is Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek?
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is a moderate-strenuous categorized trek. This, however, doesn’t mean that only professional mountaineers can go through with Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. There are certain factors like weather, total distance, altitude, season, altitude sickness, trekking experience, a health condition that highly affect how Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is going to turn out for you.
If you are a fledgling trekker completely new in the field of trekking, you might want to try some easier and shorter treks (Ghorepani Poon Hill trek, etc.) first.
Let’s discuss them, shall we?
The highest point of Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is 5143 meters. As the height increases, the climate gets harsher and more unpredictable. As a part of this trek, you will be gaining an average altitude of 700 meters for around 7 days. As you trek higher, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) also called Altitude sickness might hit you hard. This can very quickly escalate things thus soaring the difficulty of Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking. So, if you show any Altitude sickness symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sleep and appetite loss, nausea, trivial respiratory problems, etc., take extra care and act soon. You need to start on some cardio and aerobic exercise sometime prior to this trek.
Some tips to protect yourself from Acute Mountain sickness are-
1. Be hydrated (Drink at least 2 liters of water a day)
2. Don’t miss acclimatization; gain altitude gradually.
3. Eat High-calorie and nutritious meals- Carry protein and carb bars
4. Avoid tranquilizing medications like alcohol and cigars during the trek.
5. Be mentally prepared- maintain your composure
6. Have your body examined before setting on this trek
You will be covering a distance of about 200 kilometers in a round trip that begins and ends in Taplejung during Kanchenjunga Circuit Trekking which is no child’s play. Besides gaining altitude, you will be trekking for an estimated average of 11-12 kilometers a day for about 20 days in an uneven/rugged topography. For making the distance problem easier, you can go on jogging and shorter treks prior to this trek.
Weather and climatic condition
The weather and climatic condition directly influence how difficult or easy Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is going to be for you. For example, if one chooses a time of the year with a lower probability of rainfalls, harsh breezes, and snowfalls this trek might be comparatively easier for them. Picking a season with less favorable weather and climatic conditions can result in slippery trekking trails, landslides, bitingly cold weather etcetera thus surging the difficulty of Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Also, picking seasons like winter and Summer will require you to plan this trek even more and carry some more and authentic trekking gear (more on this later).
If you are someone with little to none trekking experience, Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek difficulty is going to increase for you. Even if you need not be a professional or a seasoned trekker for taking this trek, you definitely need some trekking experience if you want this trek to be pleasant for you.
Best time for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek is at its best during the Spring season (March, April, May) and Autumn Season (September, October, and November). Below attached is the complete overview of how the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek looks like during different times of the year. After this, you can pick the time that suits you the most for the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek.
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek during Spring season
Spring season is one of the most happening and acknowledged times for trekking in Nepal and it is no different for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. March, April, and May are characterized by the right climate and temperature for trekking to high altitude.
The clean and dry weather makes the scenery spellbindingly beautiful. Plus, the rivers aren’t extended much during the Spring season and the trekking trails will also be safer. Due to the great offerings of this season, the trekking trails, tea houses, and lodges might be crowded given Spring is the peak time for Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek.
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek during Autumn season
Autumn season is another peak trekking season in Nepal. Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek is glorious during Autumn.
September, October, and November are the Autumn months that bestow the trekkers with vivid views of mountains, forests, streams, rivers, and of course, clear blue skies. The weather is predictable with very little to no chances of rainfalls making Autumn further appealing. The trekking trails and night stays might be occupied due to the status and suitability of the Autumn months.
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek in November is ideal for the trekkers who want to trek in solitude and solace. The weather is cold but bearable and you shall be greeted with fine sight.
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek during Winter season
The temperature can drop extremely low in the winter season thus making it very challenging. Some of the lodges and trekking routes of Kanchenjunga Circle Trek might be closed during the winter months. The views are spectacular during the winter season plus the lodges also offer decent discounts during the winter season. So, with proper trekking gears and extra precautions on altitude sickness you can take this trek in winter as well.
However, we highly recommend you to avoid January since the temperature is extremely low (around -30 degrees). Plus, snow and ice create further obstacles making January one of the worst month for trekking to Kanchenjunga.
Kanchenjunga Circuit trek during Summer season
The summer season is not a good time for the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek. The views and panoramas might be clouded thus resulting in poor mountain visibility during the summer season. Unfortunate events like Landslide might end up sabotaging some trekking routes thus making this tour quite even more challenging. The rainfall during the summer season not only causes slippery trails but it can also result in flight cancellation. If you are going to go trekking in the Kanchenjunga region, be sure to carry nice trekking boots with great grasp or clutch. However, the fresh aroma of the trekking route and the greenery of the sights after rainfall is quite delightful during the Summer season.
We highly recommend you to avoid July and August since these months receive the most rainfall and are considered some of the worst times for the Kanchenjunga Circuit trek.
Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek preparations
As we have mentioned again and again till now, the Kanchenjunga trek is not an easy thing. So, this is going to be further taxing if you don’t prepare accordingly. To avoid this, we highly suggest you to prepare thoroughly for this trek rather than taking It casually. You can go through with this trek without you being a professional athlete or mountaineer but your health and physical fitness should live up to a certain mark. Otherwise, this trek is going to be way tougher for you. Following are some training and preparations that can help you with this trek.
1. Do exercise and physical activities (trekking, jogging, swimming) so that trekking in uneven terrains in the Kanchenjunga Conservation area won’t be a completely new set-up or a bizarre thing for your body.
2. Try to surge your muscular strength and stamina by various forms of workout like- Push-ups, walking on uneven surfaces, squats etcetera.
3. Follow several cardio exercises like running, swimming, cycling for your legs and arms.
4. Try to go on short hikes before Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
5. Have your body checked beforehand so that you can know from a professional if you are fit enough for such a challenging trek at high altitude.
Trekking gears for the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
A lot of items in the trekking gear list of Kanchenjunga Circuit trek depends upon the season you are taking this trek. In general, the following are some trekking equipment and gear you need to prepare for this trek.
1. Trekking poles
2. Trekking boots with a nice grip
3. Woolen and normal gloves and socks
4. Waterproof jacket and trousers
5. Toiletries (towels, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet papers, moisturizers, lip balms, and others as you see fit for you)
6. Woolen and normal hat
9. Extra pairs of socks and underwear
11. Water purification tablets
12. Woolen trekking thermals, jackets, and trousers.
13. Sleeping bag
14. First aid kit
15. Extra batteries, camera, books as you see fit
16. Plastic bags