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3 Summits Pathibhara Trek

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Duration: 17 days, 16 nights
Minimum Age: Min Age : 12+
Max People : 12
Grade: 4
Max Elevation: 12,000ft.
Accomodation: Tents

3 Summits for Nepal has rebuilt 3 schools in the Kanchenjunga region. We are rebuilding a fourth one this Winter. And then a boarding facility for students from far-off villages next year. We invite you to join a trek with us this year to visit our schools and the Kanchenjunga region. $500 per person will be donated to the project and is included in the price.

There are two options for the Kanchenjunga trek. For those who have enough time, trek all the way to the Kanchenjunga North base camp. Then cross the Selela pass to Yamphudin. Return is via the Pathibhara ridge. This would be a 29 day expedition. If you are interested in this trek, refer to our Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek itinerary.

For those who cannot afford 29 days, join us on this Kanchenjunga – Pathibhara trek. On this trek, you will visit the site of our new school at Solima and return via the Pathibhara ridge for a total of 17 days in Nepal. The Pathibhara ridge is remote and beautiful, offering jaw dropping views of the Kanchenjunga massif and of Makalu.

Kangchenjunga literally translates to “Five Great Treasures in the Snow.” There are five peaks within the Kangchenjunga range, and local people believe that each of the five peaks is a repository of different treasures: gold, silver, gems, grains and sacred texts. Kangchenjunga is a sacred mountain. In due reverence, the first summiteers stopped a few meters short of the summit in 1955. (This practice is no longer followed by today’s climbers!). Kangchenjunga is situated in the Beyul Demazong [beyuls are sacred valleys that were hidden by Padmasambhava, a much revered Indian saint who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century]. The purpose of beyuls was to provide sanctuaries for people seeking refuge from social and religious persecution. During our trip, Beyul Demazong will also allow us to experience its purpose as we seek refuge from the daily grind of our hectic social lives.

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Trip at a glance

Brief Itinerary

Day Description Overnight Altitude
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 2 Exploring Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 3 Kathmandu to Ilam Ilam
Day 4 Ilam to Taplejung Taplejung 1,441m/4,730ft
Day 5 Taplejung to Mitlung
Mitlung 920m/3,000ft
Day 6 Mitlung to Tapethok
Tapethok 1,270m/4,100ft
Day 7 Tapethok to Solima
Solima 1,600m/5,400ft
Day 8 Extra day in Solima
Solima 1,600m/5,400ft
Day 9 Solima to Margem
Day 10 Margem to Hellok
Hellok 2,730m/8,950ft
Day 12 Trek to Deorali Deorali 3,100m/10,200ft
Day 13 Pasture camp I
Pasture camp I
Day 14 Pasture camp II
Pasture camp II
Day 15 Trek end at Pathibhara. Jeep to Phidim.
Day 16 Drive to Bhadrapur. Fly to Kathmandu.
Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 17 Final Departure
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu

Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport. Transfer to Hotel Tibet or similar. Day Free. Enjoy welcome dinner. Briefing during dinner. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Dinner)

Day 2Exploring Kathmandu

Visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Here, you’ll probably witness a Hindu cremation along the banks of the Bagmati River.

Then drive to Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees, for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square. Bhaktapur is a medieval city in the Kathmandu valley and is least disturbed by modern life. Here, you can absorb the architectural splendor of the five-storied Nyatapola temple, or the sculptural delight of the Peacock Window. Overnight Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Day 3Kathmandu - Ilam

Fly about 50 minutes east of Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. It’s best to sit on the left side of the plane because on a clear day Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga are visible. After exiting the Bhadrapur airport, board a chartered vehicle for a 5 hour drive to Ilam. The drive first starts in the plains of Nepal slowly ascending the winding roads through rice terraces and large tea plantations to Ilam.

Overnight local lodge (All meals)

Day 4Ilam to Taplejung

We start early as it is another long drive to Taplejung (7 – 8 hours). At first, we ascend steadily to deurali from where the Kanchenjunga massif comes into view. Soon we arrive at Phidim, the district headquarters. Just past the river, we stop for lunch.
After lunch, it is 3 hours of slow and windy ascent to Taplejung – which basically a jumble of houses along the hill.

Overnight lodge. (All meals)

Day 5 to Day 8Taplejung to Solima

Chartered Jeep to Mitlung. Begin trek. Trek through relatively low altitude (between 3,000 and 6,000 ft.) Limbu villages through Chirwa to Solima. The forests are lush and the trails are typical of those in Nepal – you ascend steeply only to descend to the river later. All along, there are cardamom plantations which are watered by sprinklers as cardamom grows in a damp environment. Cardamom is one of the most profitable cash crop in Nepal. In between Tapethok and Hellok, at Margem, is one of the schools we’ve helped build. We will spend an additional day in Solima to check out the progress of the building of the school.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 09 and Day 12Trek to Hellok and onward to Deurali

Retrace trail to Margem and cut to Hellok and Yasang. And then make a steep ascent to Deorali through thick bamboo forests. A villager will join us to clear the trail with overgrown bamboo.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 13 and Day 14Deorali to Pathibhara

Over the next two days, trek along the Pathibhara ridge to the base of the Pathibhara temple. The views of the Kanchenjunga massif and Makalu are outstanding.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 15Pathibhara to Phidim

Ascend to the Pathibhara temple. Continue to the base of the temple. Board a chartered vehicle for a 5 hour drive to the town of Phidim.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

Day 16Fly to Kathmandu

Wake up early for the drive to Bhadrapur. Fly to Kathmandu. Free day in Kathmandu.

Overnight Camp. (All meals)

DAY 17Final departure

Transfer to the airport for final departure. (B)

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Detailed Cost Information

Per person price (valid until 31 Dec, 2019)

2 persons: $ 3,900 USD per person

3 persons: $ 3,510 USD per person

4 or more persons: $ 3,315 USD per person

Single Supplement: $300 

Payment policy:

  • A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking.
  • Balance is payable a week prior to departure.
  • Contact us for coupon code if you are eligible for a US$150 low season discount or a US$150 alumni discount. Only one discount is applicable.

Cancellation policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • No refunds for unused services once trek begins.




Price Includes

Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information | Motivated, well-cared-for staff | All airport transfers | Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments | 4 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu | Airfare: Kathmandu to Bhadrapur and Bhadrapur to Kathmandu | Chartered vehicle: Bhadrapur to Taplejung and Sinam to Bhadrapur | Meals as indicated in the itinerary | Camping trekking as indicated in the itinerary | Three meals a day | Boiled water for your bottles three times a day | Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals | Guide and staff insurance | Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Fee and trekking permit | Gamow Bag (High altitude pressure chamber) | Satellite phone.



Price Excludes

Your international airfare | Nepal Visa | Meals not indicated in the itinerary | Tips and gratuities | Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you) | Travel insurance (Required| Other expenses of a personal nature.

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Trip Gallery


The short-er Pathibhara circuit trek is a good option for those who do not have the time to go all the way to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. But if you do have the time, look up the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.

We can also customize this trek in other ways. Contact us for options.

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Frequently Asked Questions


When is the best time to trek in the Kanchenjunga region?

The Kanchenjunga region is one of the wettest areas of Nepal. There are two preferred seasons for the Kanchenjunga Trek: Spring (April through May ) and Fall (October through November). It is still possible to do the trek even in December if you are in good shape and don’t mind walking on snow. In the Spring, because this trek involves crossing a high pass, we wouldn’t recommend this trek in March as it may be too early and there may excessive snow in the pass.

Day time temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s (10 to 15 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s (0 to 5 Centigrade). Expect night time temperatures of below Freezing near the Base Camp. Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is the season for rhododendrons, orchids and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains. The temperature is around 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder in the Fall season. If you plan to do this trek in the Winter, expect temperatures around -5F (-20 Centigrade) at night.

How fit do I need to be to do the Kanchenjunga - Pathibhara trek?

We would recommend the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek to all hikers. It is a moderate trek. The trail does involve a lot of ascents and descents. Regardless, you must be able to hike up to 8-10 miles a day carrying a small pack. This trek does not involve and does not require any technical climbing.

It is advised that anyone with a pre-existing condition consult their doctor before signing up for a trek. We rate the Kanchenjunga Pathibhara Trek a 4 on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).

How should I prepare for this Kanchenjunga trek?

The more physically fit you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. There are three aspects to training for any trek. 1) Cardiovascular Training will make your body more efficient in using oxygen. Running, walking, swimming or biking, or any combination of these are great for cardiovascular conditioning. 2) Strength Training by either using free weights or machines at the gym will build hiking strength. Walking stairs, especially with a pack will simulate the hiking environment. We also recommend practicing squats. Trekkers will encounter low hanging obstacles to duck under, and many toilets are at ground level, which requires a low squat.
3) Endurance Training is where you build endurance in the months leading up to your trek, slowly increase your length of training sessions. By the time you are 2 weeks from the scheduled trek date you should be able to ascend 3,000 ft. in a 3-4 hour period.

In the end, the more your training simulates a trek, the better off you will be. So hiking 4-5 hours outdoors, uphill and downhill, about once or twice a week in addition to other cardio vascular training at the gym or at home will greatly benefit and prepare you for the trek.

What kind of food should I expect on this trek?

All cooking gear and food have to be carried in from Kathmandu. The cook will purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and rice/lentils from the villagers en route. You will be surprised as to what the cook can make on a small gas stove. In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (various style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables or Daal Bhaat (Rice with lentils) etc for lunch and dinner.

Will you provide tents and mats?

Yes, we will provide good quality Mountain Hardwear Trango or North Face VE 25 tents for this trek. We will also provide a 2 inch foam mattress and an insulation pad. You can bring an additional pad if you wish. We will also provide all the kitchen gear.

What kind of gear do you provide for the staff?

This is a challenging trek. Even for the hardy Nepali staff. Make sure your staff and porters have good gear and enough food to complete this trek. Ask your operator what they provide for the staff. Are they provided meals or are they responsible for their own meals?

We provide snow goggles, mittens, gore-tex parka, water-proof pants and good water-proof hiking boots (mostly Lowa’s) to the staff. Also, the staff and porters will be provided all meals on the trek. We’d be glad to provide references who can allude to our claims.

Is there mobile signal on the trek? Wi-fi?

There is mobile signal only at some of the villages at the beginning of the trek. Wi-fi is only available at Taplejung. We will provide a satellite phone for this trek.

What are the toilets like on this trek? Will I be able to take a shower?

On camping treks, toilets are a hole in the ground in a small tent to allow for privacy. Showers are available during rest days and involve scooping out water with a mug from a bucket of hot water. On most days you can clean yourself with wet wipes. We will provide a small bowl of warm water with which you can wipe yourself with a towel.

What gear would I need for the trek? Will I be able to rent in Kathmandu?

Layering is key. And it’s always recommended to trek with good branded gear. A good pair of hiking boots that’s been broken in is very important. Good top and bottom base layers, a mid layer (fleece or capilene), and an outer layer (Gore-tex or other material). If you tend to get cold quickly, bring a down parka especially for the evening at the lodge. On most days, you’d be hiking in a convertible hiking pant that can be converted into shorts and one or two top layers.

if you’re trekking with Crystal Mountain Treks, we provide a sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F or -17 degree C), duffel bags, down jacket and Steripen for water purification to our clients for no charge.

It is possible to buy cheap and relatively functional gear in Kathmandu – convertible pants, down jackets, fleece, Gore-tex jackets. But remember, you get what you pay for. Wool gloves, hats, socks are available too.

There are quite a few branded stores too. North Face, Moutain Hardwear, Marmot and Sherpa. If you’re coming from Australia or Europe, items in these shops are probably cheaper than back home. But if you’re coming from the US, it’s better to buy branded gear at home.