If you're looking for adventure eastern Nepal is the place to find it. It's a remote area that is difficult to get in and out of and without the comfortable amenities that are common in the more popular trekking regions. If you are going make sure to plan in advance and be prepared for a self sufficient camping style trek. Get ready to be amazed by some of the world's tallest peaks as you hike through ancient villages and see firsthand the cultures of the Sherpas, Rais, Walungs and Limbus. The trekker has two primary options the base camp of either Makalu (8463m) the world's fifth highest peak or that of Kanchenjunga (8586m) the world's third tallest peak.
Makalu (8463m) was first climbed in 1955 by a French expedition after Edmund Hillary failed to climb it two times. The 18 day route to Makalu (8463m) starts at the tiny airstrip of Tumlingtar where it's possible to find decent rooms and make phone calls from the Hotel Arun before setting out. It's a camping trek that starts just under 500m at Tumlingtar and reaches 5000m at the base camp of Makalu. The wide range of elevation makes it challenging as you need to be prepared for the hot weather in the low land valleys and the much colder conditions above. The actual base camp is much like that of Everest in that its strewn out on the Barun Glacier. The base camp and the view of Makalu is often referenced as the "throne of the gods" other peaks visible include Chhamlang (7319m), Jalijale Himal (7319m), Lhotse Sar, Everest, Lhotse, and Hongku Chuli.
Kanchenjunga at 8586 meters is the world's third highest peak (only Everest and K2 are higher). It was first climbed in 1955 by a British expedition. The mountain straddles the Indian and Nepal border making it impossible to do a complete circuit but for the most adventurous a 4 week trek combing the North and South Base Camps is possible. The trek to the North base camp (Pang Pema (5140m)) brings you to the north face of Kanchenjunga. The trek to the south base camp is a tough one as over 15000m of vertical elevation are climbed in a space of just 14 days as one goes up and down a series of ridges. The views on both treks are amazing and the trekker is rewarded with solitude and a sense of how the Everest region must have felt 50 years ago.
Image From Flickr: Sebastian Werner, Jeff Ashton, Great Himalaya Trail, Vishnu V, Joachim Meyer, Frank Kehren, Davide Zanchettin, Aris Gionis
The massive and captivating Kanchenjunga 8,586 m (28,169 ft) situated on the border between Nepal and India is the world's third tallest mountain.
Ready to take you're trekking to the next level? The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has designated 33 trekking peaks that can be tackled without an expedition permit.
Everest Base Camp, the Annapurna Circuit, Markha Valley and more. Looking for the best trekking options in the Himalayas?