Kanshung Glacier Trek
Everest from the campsite. (Photo: Sam Insalaco)
Kanshung Glacier Trek (25 days, 24 nights)
Of the three treks that allow up-close views of Mt. Everest (South face from Everest Base Camp in Nepal, North Face from Rongbuk near Everest Base Camp in Tibet and the East face from Kharta Valley area below Kanshung glcaier), the trek to the Kharta Valley and Kanshung Glacier is considered by many to be the finest. Because of logistics and strenuous trekking involved in getting to the region, the Kanshung region receives the least number of trekking groups. But once in this desolate but beautiful area, trekkers soon realize that there are few places in the world that can match the alpine beauty of this region.
Our trip begins with a flight to Lhasa. After a few days of exploring in Lhasa, we head south on land cruisers. We are met by our Nepali camping crew in Xegar from where we trek across Kharta valley to Rongbuk sharing the trail with Tibetan nomads who during these months take their cattle to high pastures. We have extra days to explore the Kanshung Glacier Base Camp and the North Base Camp. We then rejoin the Friendship Highway and drive back to Kathmandu.
This trek is non-technical and suitable for anyone in good shape who likes to hike. This is not a backpacking trip: pack-animals will carry your gear. It is a camping trek: you will be sleeping and eating in campsites in tents along the trail.
Day 01 - Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu. Met on arrival and transfer to Hotel. Day free. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Dinner)
Day 02 - Kathmandu
Full day sightseeing of Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Day 03 - Lhasa (11,900 ft.)
Fly from Kathmandu or Beijing to Gonggar Airport (Tibet). Met on arrival and transfer to Lhasa. Day free. Overnight Hotel. (No meals)
Day 04 - Lhasa (11,900 ft.)
Visit the Jokhang temple at the Barkhor Square. The Jokhang is the most sacred temple for many Tibetans and was built by King Trsong Tsang Gampo. A not to miss experience is to circumbulate the temple along with thousands of Tibetans. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 05 - Lhasa (11,900 ft.)
Visit Potala Palace, the official residence of the Dalai Lama until he fled to India after the Chinese invasion. The palace has over a 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. Continue to Sera Monastery, one of the three major Gelukpa temples along with Drepung monastery and Ganden monastery. A highlight is watching the monks practicing their debating skills in the monastery courtyard. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 06 - Lhasa to Gyantse (13,000 ft.)
Gyantse is located 159 miles south-west of Lhasa. The drive to Gyantse can take upwards of 8 hours. Traveling on a land-cruiser, cross the Khamba la (15,700 ft.) from where there are stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-Tsho. Continue over Karo La (16,600 ft.) driving past a road which is within a few hundred meters of a huge glacier. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 07 - Gyantse to Shigatse (12,600 ft.)
In the morning, explore the sites of Gyantse. Gyantse is famous for Kumbum, the largest stupa in Tibet. The Kumbum stupa and the Pelkor Chode Monastery are housed within the monastery compound. The chorten is packed with exquisite Tibetan sculpture and painting and rises 35m over four main symmetrical floors. A clockwise route leads pilgrims and visitors through the six floors.
Continue to Shigatse; a short 56 mile drive on the paved Friendship Highway. After lunch visit Tashilunpo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama and the largest functioning monastery in Tibet. The monastery is essentially a walled town in its own right with busy cobbled lanes twisting around the ancient buildings. Overnight Hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 08 - Shigatse to Xegar (13,300 ft.)
We continue on the Friendship Highway to Shegar. Here we meet with our Nepali staff who will be helping us with setting up camp and preparing nutritious meals for our hike to the Kanshung base camp and back. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 09 - Xegar to Kharta (12,100 ft.)
Today, leaving the friendship highway, we head south-east towards Kharta Qu. Camp is in a pasture past Kharta by the Kharta Tsangpo. Overnight Camp (All meals)
Day 10 - Kharta (13,300 ft.)
Today is an acclimatization day. You have the option to do a 4-hour hike up to Zamchung La (14,300ft/4,360m). Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 11 to Day 15 - Kharta to Pethang Ringmo
The trek to the Kanshung Face Base Camp is strenuous because you will be trekking at fairly high altitude but there are only a couple of days where you will be required to trek for more than six hours.
Trek along the road for an hour to Yulok. Further up, take the left trail towards Shau-la. The other trail leads to Landrubling which we will pass through on our return. We continue up for another hour to a meadow camp (13,650ft/4,160m).
Past the meadow camp, trek three hours to the next camp (14,950ft/4,560m) beside the lake. Views of Makalu (27,805ft/8,457m) on a clear day are simply unrivaled from camp.
Wake up early for the pass crossing at Shau La (15,700ft/4,790m) which you should reach after two hours of walking from camp. From the pass, descend three and a half hours to a meadow camp (13,100ft/3,990m).
From the meadow camp, we trek three hours to our next camp at Shalung Tsho (14,500ft/4,420m). Here we climb a ridge to get views of Everest and Lhotse.
The hike from Shalung Tsho to Pethang Ringmo (15,800ft/4,820m), the base camp of the 1921 Everest Reconnaissance team, can take up to 7 hours. We camp two nights at Pethang Ringmo taking day hikes to the Kanshung Face base camp. Overnight Camp (All meals)
Day 16 - Pethang Ringmo
Explore. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 17 to Day 19 - Pethang Ringmo to Kharta Qu
We will take three days for our return to Kharta Qu trekking over the Lamga La (17,200ft/5,240m).
From Pethang Ringmo, we back-track two hours to Rabka Chu. Then we begin the big climb to the moraine ridge (14,450ft/4,430m) on our way to Thangsham meadows. We climb two hours to camp in the pasture by the lake at Tsho Melongme (15,900ft/4,850m) below the Langma La pass.
We wake up early for our trek over Langma La. From camp, we should arrive at the summit in about 2 hours. Views of Makalu are simply magnificent from the pass along with Lhotse and Everest. We descend three hours to Troshay meadow camp (14,500ft/4,160m).
Trekking an hour through rhododendrons and juniper we arrive at Shomale (13,650ft/4,160m). Look out for marmots and varieties of birds. Soon terraced fields of Kharta become visible. We camp near the town of Landrubling (13,100ft/3,990,).
Day 20 - Landrubling to Rongbuk
Today, we trek about an hour to Kharta Tsangpo where we will be met by our land-cruisers for the our ride to Rongbuk monastery (16,100ft/4,900m). We will camp outside the monastery. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 21 - Rongbuk to Everest Base Camp
Explore Everest Base Camp. Overnight Camp. (All meals)
Day 22 to Day 23 - Rongbuk to Kathmandu
Rejoin the Friendship Highway and descend towards the Nepal-Tibet border at Zhangmu. Met at the border by your Nepali representatives. Continue drive to Kathmandu. Overnight camp. (All meals)
Day 24 - Kathmandu
Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Tibet. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Day 25 - Final departure
Final departure. (Breakfast)
- All airport transfers; 2 full day sightseeing in Kathmandu with guide, vehicle and entry fees
- 4 nights twin-sharing accommodation in Kathmandu on bed-breakfast basis
- Airfare: Kathmandu - Lhasa
- Camping trek as per itinerary with camp equipment, food, and camp staff; High altitude pressurized chamber; Staff insurance while on trek
- Tibet Permit
- Everest National Park fee
- All transfers in Tibet as indicated
- All meals as indicated in the itinerary
Price does not include:
- Your international airfare, visa fee for Nepal, and international airport tax
- Personal insurance and emergency/rescue evacuation (required)
- Personal trekking gear including sleeping bag and down jacket
- Meals not indicated on itinerary
- Bottled/canned beverages including soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and mineral water
- Tips and gratuities, and expenses of personal nature
TO BOOK THIS TRIP:
A completed reservation form must be either faxed to us or scanned and emailed as an attachment.
Fax: 977 – 1- 4412647
You must also send us a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person and an additional $450 for domestic airfare. The deposit must be wired to us. We will refund up to $30 to cover your wire expenses. Wire details will be provided.
The balance of the amount must be paid on arrival, either in traveler’s checks, cash or by credit card (VISA only).
If you cancel at anytime prior to the beginning of the trip, you forfeit your deposit. No refunds will be made for unused services on the trip.
Foreign travel can be tiring, so you will need to have patience and a sense of humor. Also keep an open mind that is receptive to the richness and paradoxes of Himalayan cultures.
This trek is rated challenging. We will be trekking and camping at altitudes over 16,000 ft. The trek requires physical fitness and involves walking through rocky terrain and landslides. No technical climbing experience is required nor do you have to be a very experienced hiker.
This trek does involve sleeping and hiking at high altitude. We will, as we do for all high-altitude treks, provide a GAMOW bag for this trip. A GAMOW bag is a portable hyperbaric chamber that looks like an inflatable extra-large sleeping bag. The effective altitude inside the inflated GAMOW bag is about 5000 feet lower than the altitude you are at; it has been very effective in the past in relieving headaches and other symptoms of altitude sickness.
We plan and organize journeys for hundreds of travelers every year. Please ask us for references from clients who have previously trekked with us.
Land Line: + 977 1 4416813
Mobile: + 977 98410-00724