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Wonderland Kangchenjunga Base Camp >>
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The Wonderland Kangchenjunga Base Camp -
Duration - 10 Days
The main peak and its immediate
satellites take the form of a giant cross which straddles the borders of three
countries - Nepal, Tibet and the once independent kingdom but now Indian state
of Sikkim. By virtue of the massif’s almost total isolation from any other
mountain group, precise definition of its boundaries is quite unnecessary. Until
1849 Kangchenjunga was thought to be the world’s highest mountain, but today’s
accepted height of 8,586m ranks it third, after Everest and K2.For a hiking
enthusiast setting foot in the eastern Himalaya for the first time, it is but
natural to choose the "Kangchenjunga Base Camp Trek." Not taking this trek
is like missing out on the Taj while Sightseeing in Agra. It plods along,
faithful to the tempo of that era: the ninety kilometer journey takes eight
hours. After reaching Ghoom, the highest point on the trek, the train begins a
hurried descent to Darjeeling town.
Trekking Season :
April to end May; October to Mid December.
Arrive Delhi and fly from Delhi to Kathmandu-Paro (Bhutan)
We will arrange the camp at Prek Chu bridge a five and a half hour walk from
Yoksum. If living in a tourist hut, then walk another steep one and a half
hours to reach Bakhim. Considering that Bakhim is at 8,800feet/2,682m, you
would have gained 3,000ft/915 m on the first day itself, which could be a
The first half is hard to trekking. You reach the Bakhim hut after a steep
climb. Another ninety-minute walk through a thick oak and rhododendron
forest brings you to the Tibetan settlement of Tsoka (9,860ft/3,005m). It
has a camping site and gives a tantalizing glimpses of the conical top of the
Pandim Peak. You can look out for photo opportunities.
Climb steeply through a thick forest till you reach the little meadow at
Phedang halfway to Dzongri (13,100ft/3,993m). Witness the transition from
the temperate to the alpine zone. You can also see at least two dozen different
varieties of wild roses. Rhododendrons would, of course, be in full bloom
in late March or April. The flowers to look out for, however, are the
orchids. Pitch camp next to the tourist hut at Dzongri. Though there is a
better site with great views, a twenty-minute walk up on the Dzongri meadow,
staying below is a more discrete option. As you soak in the view of the summits
of the Kabru Complex, Gocha, Rathong, and the Padim Peak, from behind them all
emerges the Kangchenjunga, shimmering majestically. Back in the camp for
breakfast, spend the day sauntering around. Those feeling active can go
for a hike to a side ridge top to a get a view of the Rhatong glacier.
Well into the trek, you are back in the forest after climbing the Dzongri
Pass (13,450ft/41,00m) and descending steeply. You meet the Prek Chu river
again to cross over to the left bank. On a side stream is the Khangsar
hut, great to relex in and have lunch. While crossing over, you would see
that all the rock next to the river are pink because of the lichens growing on
them. After a slow, two-hour climb, you reach the wide expanse of the
Morning climb towards Onglaktang Glacier. Foury five minutes of
steep climbing brings you to the serene waters of Lake Samiti (or Sungmoteng Cho).
Stark and windswept, the lake is classic high altitude Himalayan Wildleness. At
a height of nearly 14,000ft/4,267m, a world of gurgling streams flows behind
you. Somewhere on a rocky ledge a snow leopard contemplates the world as
prayer flags flutter wildly in the cold, ceaseless wind - a magical and somber
moment to be preserved.
Early morning, catch the sun hitting the peaks of the Kabru complex and the
Gocha PeaK, and also get a great view of the Onglaktang Glacier. After this
reach the Gocha La at 16,208ft/4,940m, the highest point on this trek, where you
nearly touch the Kangchenjunga's regal spendor. Now, it's all the way down
to Yoksum, Darjeeling, or wherever you came from.
Day 08, 9
After a day's rest at Thangsing, from where a three-hour walk could take you
to Lam Pokhri, take a detour at the Khangsar hut on a narrow trail to Phedang to
rejoin the main trail and reach Tsoka in the evening. Porters and yaks,
however, have to follow the mainroute to Dzongri because the trail is too
narrow. A brisk seven-hour walk on what is now a familiar trail, and you
are back at Yoksum. The trail has ended; the metal road begins.
Important Travel Tips
Direct regular flights from Delhi and Kolkata to
Bagdogra (near Siliguri); a five-hour drive from Darjeeling, and a ten-hour
drive from Yoksum, the road head. Trains also run to New Jalpiguri.
The highest altitude reached is atop the Gocha La,
What can be see
Spectacular views from Dzongri ridge and Gocha La
pass of the Kangchenjunga massif.
Porters and mules available at the road head at
Yoksum but it takes time to arrange for them; food not available- only basic
rations can be used for sleeping, but carry your own camping equipment.
communication facilities or medical services anywhere on the trek.
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