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ST/13: 09 Days Goecha-la Trek

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TOUR DETAILS

  • Max Elevation: 5000 m
  • Max Elevation: 5000 m

Period: Apr-May and Oct to Nov

The 8596 Meters elevated summit of Mt Khangchendzonga is the third highest in the world. It has always been a difficult mountain to climb, because of unpredictable weather and winds. The sikkimese, however believe that it is not meant to be climbed, but only worshipped; as it is the abode of five treasures of the snows. In deference to local sentiments, no expedition has set foot on the summit- but remained a few meters below.

Sikkim has lately, banned all climbing expeditions to Khangchendzonga. The Goecha la Trek offers trekkers a chance to reach a vantage point for a close look at the Eastern face of the great mountain.

The route traverses through forests and alpine meadows, to reach the 5000 Meters high view point, at Gochela (the lock pass). A depression, between Mount Pandim, and a spur of the Kabru Peak, form the pass. It looks down into the Talung Valley, with the Talung Glacier, winding its way down below. One is surrounded by great white peaks- Khangchendzonga, 8596 M, Simvo, 6811 M, Sinolchu, 6888 M, Pandim, 669I, Kabru, 7338 M, and Rathang, 6087 M.

The awe inspiring sight, instills a feeling of standing in the very lap of Khangchendzonga, and gazing up at its face.

The first part of the trek starts from Yoksom – the cradle of Buddhism, in Sikkim, at an altitude of 1780 Meters. The climb up to Dzongri, 4320 meters is steep over a distance of 25 Kilometers. We shall take three days, with two overnight halts. It is an an amazing trekking experience from the subtropical to the Alpine uplands passing through forests of rhododendron and magnolia teeming with Himalayan flora, and birds, to reach the Alpine Yak meadows of Dzongri.

Here we will walk upto Dzongri top for Incredible sunrise views of 6000 to 8000 m high peaks of the Khangchendzonga group. It is a 180 degrees grandstand view like no other.

The second part of the trek from Dzongri to the base of Goecha la, is an enchanting experience, walking through the Himalayan uplands of the Praig Chuu Valley, with the great white peaks dominating the skyline on either side. The final ascent to Goche la, 5000 m is challanging. However the views are indeed rewarding.

Version 1: 08 days trek : for experienced trekkers in a hurry.

All trek tours starts and ends at Yoksom.

On request pick up or drop will be arranged from Bagdogra / Kalimpong/ Darjeeling/ Gangtok or any other location in Sikkim, with transit overnights at Yoksom.Trek Itinerary

ADVICE:

Entry permit for Sikkim and trekking permit is mandatory. Ask for our document detailing requirements and application forms for these permits.

ITENERIES

Day Minus 01: Arrive Yoksom, 1700 m

You can choose to arrive at Yoksom on your own or take our full package which starts at Bagdogra Airport / NJP rail station or Darjeeling or Gangtok or Kalimpong or any other destination in Sikkim and Darjeeling hills.

Driving time is given below:-

  • Bagdogra Airport to Yoksom: 06 hrs
  • Gangtok to Yoksom: 06 hrs
  • Darjeeling- Yoksom via Naya Bazar: 4.30 hrs
  • Darjeeling Yoksom via Melli: 6.30 hrs
  • Kalimpong- Yoksom via Melli: 4.30 hrs

Upon arrival check in at Hotel . Your trekking guide will meet you and brief you. Overnight at your hotel.

TREKKING STARTS

Day 01: Trek Yoksom, 1700 m – Sachin 2200 m ( 4.30 hrs)

The usual trek stage is from Yuksom, 1700 m, either to Bakhim, 3000 m or Tshoka, 3050 . This is a distance of 12/16 kms with an altitude gain of 1500/1550 m. It takes 7-8 hrs of hard going. No wonder most trekkers are hard pressed because it does not allow enough time for acclimatization. On this trek, our first stage is only upto Sachin about 8 kms from Yoksom.

The first day trek starts at Yoksum. The trail undulates through moss laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, firs, magnolia and rhododendron. It is really a botanist‘s paradise. Here in this forest hundreds of varieties of wild orchids vie for attention with similar number of different kinds of birds and butterflies. The trail crosses 2 side streams over sturdy wooden bridges and then finally to the campsite at Sachen. Overnight in camp.

Day 02: Trek Sachin, 2200m – Tshoka, 3050 m 8 kms ( 4-5 hrs)

A steep descent takes us to a suspension bridge over the green coloured Praig Chuu River. This is followed by a sharp tiring climb of 600 m up the , forest trail which snakes up through a series of hairpins through mixed oak forests to Bakhim (2750m). The kilometer long climb takes about one hour

Bakhim offers fine views down the the Rathong valley. Another 40 minutes of climbing through more hairpins, brings us to an altitude of 3000 m. Rhododenderon trees abound everywhere. The meandering trail is dark with overhanging branches , till it reaches Tshoka – A small settlement in a clearing on a plateau.

There is time to explore the small Gompa, and look at the breathtaking views of the snow clad Mt Pandim. Overnight in camp.

Day 03: Tshokha, 3050 m – Phedang, 3760 m- Dzongri , 4320 m ( 5-6 hrs)

    

From Tsoka, we climb steeply through some of the densest Rhododendron forest. The trail is paved with wooden logs. Rhododendrons which form a canopy over the trail give it a park like look. Puffs of mist waft in and out of the trees. Even as you marvel at the magical setting, you will feel the altitude, and the cold. Soon you are out of the forest, trekking along the Himalayan uplands with only dwarf vegetation. We are now in open country climbing to reach Phedang, 3760 m – a large clearing with superb views of the snow clad mountains.

From Phedang, the trail starts to climb immediately along the dwarf rhododendrons that line the slope. The views start getting better with every step. There are brilliant peaks and views on all sides. Yaks pass you at many a turn, and pheasants are occasionally surprised. An hour later the climb tops at a shrine marked by many prayer flags. This is the highest point of the day. Thereafter the trail gently descends towards Dzongri, 4320 m, which is a lovely undulating plateau, used as a yak pasture, extending nearly to the Kabru and Pandim glaciers on either side. The first view as you step on to the meadows is indeed breathtaking, as you suddenly come face to face with the great peaks.

“Suddenly you are in the presence of the snow mountains – unless they are indeed as they seem, in the first awe stuck moment of beholding, embodied spirits of overwhelming power and malignity. Below you is the Praig chuu valley; before you, on the other side, a long line of mountains- a succession of terrible granite spires, running down, one and all so steep and jagged that it seems as if no snow could ever cling to their sides. They have been fearfully searched by winds that mark their course in the sweep of the wrinkled drifts, and all the scars and lines run downwards, giving the mountains an infinitely cheerless and depreciating expression, like a sad, worn face”

Freshfield : in 1899

From Dzongri, the views of the mountains along the Singalila Ridge towards the West, include Kokthang, 6147 m Rathong, 6678 m and Kabru South, 7317 m. To the East can be seen Pandim, 6691 m, and Jubonu , 5936 m.

Overnight in camp at Dzongri.

Day 04: Dzongri, 4320 m – Thansing, 3800

      

Rise early, to walk up to the top of Dabla Khang, ( Dzongri top) a mountain-top from where the Sikkimese worship Mt Khangchendzonga.

Dzongri Top offers the best grandstand views. It has a 180 degree panaromic view of the mighty peaks of the Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges. The walk up takes about 30-45 mins. Start early at 0400 hrs to be in position to watch the sunrise by 0500 hrs. Take in the spectacular sunrise view on the great panorama of the snow peaks, as the first sunrays hit Khangchendzonga, Kabru, Siniolchu, Pandim and other peaks. Return to the camp in 25 minutes for breakfast.

After a breakfast, set off on the trail to Thangsing. We walk along the meadow ridge till we crest the hill. From the ridge top you get to see Kanchenjunga, Pandim and the other peaks towering over the meadows. Descend through the Rhododendron shrubs along the gently sloping meadows to the Prek Chhu Valley. This is a memorable walk in the lap of the mighty mountains. After cossing the prek chhu bridge., an hours climb brings us to Thansing, located below the slopes of Mt Pandim.

Overnight in Camp

Day 05: Trek Thansing – Lamune, 4000 m (3hrs 4kms)

The trail from Thansing climbs gently north, up the valley, and follows a stream and alpine meadows. The trail along the valley has a superb view of the south face of Kanchendzonga and the peaks of Pandim , Tingchinkhang and Juponu hover above the valley. We camp a little below the Samiti Lake at
Lamune ( 4000m) After reaching camp, walk upto the Samiti Lake. The trail skirts a series of glacial moraines before crossing meadows to arrive at the emerald green lake at Samiti (4,150 m).

Overnight in camp at Lamune.

Day 06 : Trek Lamune – Goecha La Pass – Thangsing (8 to 9 hrs) ( 13kms)

  

After an very early start trek to Goecha la. The trail begins with a gentle upward gradient for about half an hour across glacial moraine and then drops to a dry lake at Zemathang. Thereafter it is a steady climb over rocks and boulders with a rise of about 400 m to reach the sunrise view point. The walk to the pass takes about half an hour more. The climb from Samiti to Goecha La (5,002 m) would take between 4 and 5 hours.

The Goecha La pass is formed by a depression between Pandim and the Kabru spurs. It overlooks the Talung Valley and commands a very impressive view of the south face of Kangchendzonga.

Trek down back to Thansing . Overnight in Tents.

Day 07: Trek Thangsing- Lampokhri- Kochchuring ( 6 hrs)


From Thangsing, walk upto the Lam Pokhri, a lake high up in the mountains . It takes about 3 hours. Later walk back to Thangsing and further downhill for about 40 mins to the riverside camp at Kochchuring. Overnigh in camp.

Day 08 : Trek Kochchuring- Tsoka. ( 6 hours)

After breakfast, walk to the village of Tsoka either via Dzongri or
directly through the trail leading via Phedang.
Overnight in camp.

Day 09: Trek Tsoka- Yuksom ( 16 kms / 5-6 hrs)

After breakfast head back to Yuksom via Bakhim. It takes about 5/6 hours to get to Yuksom.

TREK ENDS.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Depart Yoksom for next destination

Depart for destinations in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong or Bagdogra.

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