Join Alpine Club of Himalaya for an extraordinary trekking expedition to Mt. Kanchendzonga in the Sikkim State of India in the Eastern-Himalayan foothills bordering with Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. The trek takes us from less than 4,000 ft to 16, 400 ft height within about 40km’s drive. One the the most popular short high altitude treks, it has been designed for those who wish to experience a truly spectacular alpine trek in short period,
Along with the majestic Mt. Kanchendzonga at 8585m, the third highest mountain in the world, you will be able to view the following mountains as well: Mt. Pandim (6691m), Mt. Kabur (7338m), Mt. Kumbhakarna (7710m), Mt. Simvo (6811m), Mt. Kabru Forked (6108m), Mt, Frey Peak (5830m), Mt. Rathong (6679m), Mt. Kokthang (6147m) and Mt. Goecha Peak (5127m).
We trek to Khangchendzonga mountain through the Khangchendzonga National Park, centered in Yuksom town as the base camp. You will be exposed to truly spectacular alpine treks with forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron, snow covered mountains and lush green valleys.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount importance to us at Alpine Club of Himalaya. We have the absolute authority to cancel the trip or change the itinerary, when deemed necessary or when we have reason to believe your safety is at stake. Weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, natural disasters, and such, can contribute to changes in the itinerary when traveling in remote mountainous regions. In these extreme situations, we kindly request that you offer your full co-operation to the trusted leader of the group appointed by Alpine Club of Himalaya. However, we assure you that we will make every effort to keep to the above itinerary.
Day 01: Arrival at Gangtok, Sikkim (1437m)
A representative of Alpine Club of Himalaya will pick you up at Phuntsholing (Bhutan Border), the Bhadrapur Airport (Nepal Border) or the Bagdogra Airport (flights connect from Delhi and Kolkata). We drive to Gangktok, the largest town in Sikkim. The drive can take up to 5 hours depending where you arrive. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Gangtok
We rise very early and drive to the Tashi View point, about 8 km from Gangtok, to witness the magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, the highest peak in Sikkim and third highest in the world, and Siniolchu, an aesthetically attractive mountain, having been described by Douglas Freshfield as “the most superb triumph of mountain architecture and the most beautiful snow mountain in the world”. The distant north Sikkim monasteries are also visible from this point.
Back to the hotel for breakfast. We then visit the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms, the Government Institute of Cottage Industries, the Enchey Monastery, Research Institute of Tibetology, and Rumtek Monastery. Overnight in Gangtok.
Day 03: Gangtok to Yuksom (1740m); 135 km, 5 hrs
We drive about 135 km to Yuksom, which is situated at an average altitude of 1,780 metres (5,840 ft) in a basin-like valley surrounded by mountain ranges, at the head of the Khangchendzonga National Park, and is the gateway to Mt. Khangchendzonga. Yuksom literally means the “meeting place of the three learned monks”, who came from Tibet and selected Phuntsog Namgyal as the first King of Sikkim and gave him the title Chogyal (Religious King). You may stroll around Yuksom and visit the oldest monastery in Sikkim, the Dubdi Monastery, also known as the Hermit’s Cell after its reclusive founder Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, which is located at the top of a hill about an hour’s walk from Yuksom. In the evening, our representatives will brief you on the trekking activity for the next day at the Mt Kanchendzonga National Park.
Day 04: Trekking from Yuksom to Bakhim (2700m): 6 hrs
We begin our trekking expedition with a six-hour hike through beautiful landscapes of forests with oak, birch, spruce, maple, chestnut, giant magnolias, ash, and rhododendrons. We break for lunch, and continue up the Ratong Valley, and then down a steep hill to the Prek Chu river. Overnight in a forest hut or camp.
Day 05: Trekking from Bakhim to Phedang (3400m): 5 hrs
We start today with a steep climb through yak and sheep grazing meadows to Tshoka, a tiny village ideal for watching the sunrise over Mt Pandim (6,693m). From there we continue up the terrain through rhododendron forests to Phedang (3,689m). Overnight in Phedang.
Day 06: Trekking from Phedang to Dzongri (4031m): 3 hrs
We walk for about an hour across flat ground followed by half an hour of relatively steep climb and then another hour’s climb down an undulating and winding trail through rhododendron and fir forests giving us panoramic views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim snow capped mountain peaks. The Dzongri peak, at an altitude of 4,200 m, offers a spectacular view of the Kanchendzonga. The vegetation is thinner here and you would find only small bushes and shrubs around. Overnight in a tourist hut/camp.
Day 07: Hiking to Gingay Dara (4329m) for acclimatization
We rise early at dawn to view the beautiful sunrise, and the mesmerizing changing colors of the first sunrays across Mt. Kangchenjunga and the mountains above Onglakhang Valley. After breakfast, we take a short hike to Gingay Dara, which offers not only stunning views of the Rathong Valley, Rathong glacier, and the row of peaks that stand around Kanchenjunga. Overnight camp in Dzongri.
Day 08: Trekking from Dzongri to Tshoka
Today, we trek back from Dzongri to Tshoka along the same route taken earlier, stopping for lunch in Phedang. Overnight in Tshoka.
Day 09: Trekking from Tshoka to Yuksom Village (1780m)
We trek back from Tshoka to Yuksom village via Bakhim, stopping for lunch in Shachen. We meet the camping crew for a farewell, in the evening. Overnight in Yuksom.
Day 10: Drive from Yuksom to Darjeeling (2050m): 126km, 5 hrs
Drive to Darjeeling. En-route we visit the Khecheopalri Lake, a lake sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus, sit
uated amidst pristine forests at an altitude of 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) near the Tsozo village. An interesting feature of the lake is that the birds immediately pick up any leaf that floats on to it, leaving the lake pristinely clear, and is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake. The tranquility of the lake is amazing.
Day 11: Sightseeing in Darjeeling
We rise very early to watch the exquisite sunrise over a spectacular 250km stretch of Himalayan horizon, including Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8501m), Makalu (8475m) to the far west, and the great five-peaked snow fortress, Khangchendzonga, at Tiger Hill (2590m), 11km south of Darjeeling, above Ghum.
Next, we tour the Ghum Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery built in 1875 by Lama Sherub Gyatsho, a monk from Mongolia and has a 15-feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha. Then we visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, established to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India, the gleaming white Japanese Peace Pagoda, perched on a hillside, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train.
We can also visit one of the 78 tea estates or tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills that cover over 17,500 hectares of land, producing over 9 million kg of tea per year.
Day 12: Departure
A representative of Alpine Club of Himalaya will transport you back to your place of pickup; Phuntsholing (280km/7hours), Bhadrapur Airport (130km/5hours), or Bagdogra Airport (95 km/4hours).
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