Kanchenjunga, derived from the Tibetan word ‘Kanchen’ &' Dzonga’ meaning ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snow’, has five peaks, including the third highest peak in the world at 8586m. Because of its remote location the trails that lead to the foothills of these mighty mountains has remained largely unexplored. The trekking trails skirt the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area which covers an area of 2035 sq. km. in Taplejung district, in the northeast corner of Nepal. The conservation area has a unique mountain ecosystem. Tucked within these hidden valleys, one can encounter rich forests that support more than 250 species of birds and endangered wildlife, including snow leopards and red pandas. A few days of walking will lead you to high elevation pastures where yaks graze languidly and colorful alpine flowers bloom. Trekking in this remote area, you encounter a mixture of ethnicities that continue to practice traditional subsistence lifestyles, their cultural and religious practices adding to the area's ricjh cultural heritage. Because of its remote location in Nepal and difficult access from India, the Kangchenjunga region is not much explored by trekkers. It has, therefore, retained much of its pristine beauty.
Read BBC travel writer Nick Eason's account of his trek to this remote region: "Give me a home where the snow leopards roam"
Trek to Kanchenjunga Base camp with Explore Himalaya
A three day tourism fair was organized recently in Biratnagar to promote places of tourist interest and home stay in eastern Nepal. Promoted as Eastern Regional Tourism Fair 2012 , the fair was inaugurated by Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Lokendra Bista Magar on 22nd March, 2012. Eastern Nepal is made up of high mountains : Kanchenjunga and Everest, tea growing belt and the low lying Terai area. Though the high mountain villages in Everest Region have largely benefitted from tourism, the same cannot be said about the other areas. The fair sought to promote those hidden places having potential to become popular tourism destinations.
Commercial trekking on the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) has begun. Two private companies- Nepalese and Australian- are jointly marketing this product. Nepal government had introduced GHT as a new product to during the inauguration of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 on Jan. 14. GHT is 4,500 km long and passes through Pakistan, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Nepali section of the GHT extends from Darchula and Humla in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east, and takes some 157 days to trek.The trek in Nepal is divided into seven sections of 18-34 days each. As most people won’t have sufficient time to complete this adventure at one go, the company has devised seven treks that can be linked to make up the full traverse. The trip will be offered each year so that adventurers may choose to undertake the entire GHT over a number of years.
Nepal Tourism Year 2011’s Main Organizing Committee introduced four different tourism products on 14th January, during the inaugural ceremony of NTY 2011. The four products are The Great Himalayan Trail (GHT), Mighty East, Wild West Triangle and Terai Tourism.
As the name suggests, The Great Himalayan Trail is the world’s longest and highest trekking trail. It stretches from Humla in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. To complete the Great Himalayan Trail one needs to take an ardous 150 days trek. Mighty East offers packages related to adventure tourism – trekking, mountaineering and travel along the ridges of the mighty Himalayan peaks located in Eastern Nepal.
Wild West Triangle has been launched to promote tourism in the mid and far-western regions of Nepal. It incorporates tours to three protected areas – Bardiya National Park in Bardiya district, Rara National Park in Mugu and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur. Terai Tourism promotes religious, historical and archaeological sites in the southern Terai plains.
“That we have returned safely is the most important thing!” – Oscar Cadiach
Oscar Cadiach Puig returned safely to Kathmandu after being rescued from the Kanchenjunga base camp by Fishtail Air’s helicopter. He was caught after a failed summit attempt in C3 by a storm last week. He needed two days to descend – a Sherpa team was sent from BC in order to break trail until they met Oscar.
Oscar and two other team members visited Explore Himalaya’s office before departing for Spain. He spoke briefly about his experience.
Oscar: “The expedition was a good experience. Our camp was in the middle of the glacier. We met many international expeditions..there were around 6-7 groups. We had our chance to make a summit bid.From the nine members, three people successfully reached the summit. I tried to summit alone but it was very difficult.The weather condition worsened. Though I was not able to summit, I enjoyed the expedition. It was a great experience. There were difficult rescues with the Nepali team working to make way for my safe descent. I am thankful to them.
I am happy that we all were able to return safely. From Kathmandu we send our great regards to our friends and families back in Spain.That we have returned safely is the most important thing!”
Oscar Cadiach Puig, expedition leader