Day 1 Delhi - Bagdogra - Gangtok
Take morning flight from Delhi to Bagdogra. Meet our representative and drive towards Gangtok. On arrival transfer into hotel. Evening sightseeing and acclamitisation. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 Gangtok - Yuksam
We drive in easy stages through the beautiful forested countryside of Sikkim, arriving at our Swiss alpine style hotel at Yuksam, the site of the Kanchenjunga park headquarters and the roadhead. Here we meet our crew, and after dinner an early night; breakfast at six!
Day 3 Yuksam -Tshoka
Time to get the kinks out after all that sitting in planes and jeeps! Our trail leads through dense, and normally misty forest and Rhododendron. The trail winds up for three hours before crossing the Prek Chu to begin what the locals call the real climb, another three to the small Lepcha settlement of Tshoka, passing the alpine huts at Bakhim en route. Evenings are almost always misty and damp here, but our crew are waiting with hot tea, and our tents will be up.
Day 4 Rest at Tshoka or trek Phodung
We made a lot of elevation, so we may spend this day resting at Tshoka, or moving up a gentle 300m to the forested hillside at Phodung. Whichever we chose to do, the mornings at Tshoka are always a contrast with the night; the forested foothills and the peak of Pandim (6720m) giving us a taste of things to come.
Day 5 Tshoka - Dzongri
An early start is the norm on this trek, tea at six, then a steep climb through forest - the trail at times is paved with tree trunks to assist us up, through Phodung, where the temperate forest gives way to more rhododendron and magnolia. After two hours climbing we emerge onto a narrow ridge with excellent views of Pandim, Nar Singh (6010m) and Jopunu (6000m). We follow the ridge to the wide pastures known as Dzongri.
Day 6 Climb Dzongri top and trek Thangshing
Up at four for the climb to Dzongri top, and worth the lost sleep! After half an hours steep climbing we attain the ridge, with the ghostly images of the peaks that separate India from Nepal visible in the starlight, and the multihued horizon south colored by the approaching sun. After an hour we reach the prayer flags that mark the top, and have hot tea and coffee as we watch Kanchenjunga and the summits around turn pink in the first rays of the sun. With full light the massed ranges are revealed, summit beyond summit. Then down to a huge breakfast...we still have trekking to do! Eating done, we climb briefly away from camp to contour around hillsides of heather and juniper against snowy peaks, before dropping to the rest house at Kochu and another crossing of the Prek Chu. In all, three hours walking from Dzongri to our camp in the wide pastures of Thangshing.
Day 7 Acclimatization trek
This is a day to get our bodies used to the higher elevations we are heading to soon, we contour slowly up and away from camp through forests of moss draped rhododendrons. An hour out we see Kanchenjunga, easily identified by the silvery grey summit pyramid. As we climb even higher, Pandim, Tenzin Khan and Jopunu, all 6000m plus, greet us. Looking west, we can pick out the Kabru range and Ratong peak. The trail crosses wide pastures watered by streams that resemble nothing so much as Scottish glens, with the mist and low cloud so typical of Sikkim adding to the illusion, soon dispelled as the mist clears and 6000m peaks appear. Two hours walking brings us to a forest rest house, and three to a view across Lam Pokhari lakes, where we lunch - and drink in the views. Then we race back down to enjoy the last of the spring sunshine at camp
Day 8 Thangshing - Lamoni
Today is an easy walk, just four hours, after an hour with the Kanchenjunga massif revealed, across open hillsides with juniper and heather scenting the air. The views get ever more spectacular as we approach the old moraines and glacial rubble, and we arrive and make camp by the old herders hut at Lamoni for lunch. After lunch relax and take in the views, or take a walk up valley to the beautiful Samiti Lake.
Day 9 Lamoni - Goecha la and Thangshing
3.30 in the morning is the time, with those extra layers, gloves, and headtorch laid out ready the night before. Hot drinks, then we move. We follow the flickering torches of those ahead, gently rising at first and then steeply up glacial rubble. After two hours we see the same shadowy peaks as from Dzongri top, but much closer; after three a viewpoint a lot of trekkers - but not us - seem happy with, from where we see the first light catching the peaks. Steeply down across the bed of what was
once a lake, then up along a ridge, and there is the pass with the full mass of Kanchenjunga behind. And here we have time to take it in...snacks, hot drinks, and of course, cameras. Sinochuli, Kabru dome, this viewpoint is one of the best in the Himalaya. When we do leave, another lovely surprise, as we passed in the dark through some of the loveliest high pastures in the Himalaya...and now we see them with their sublime backdrop. By noon we are at Samiti lake, and an hour later, still high on all the beauty, a huge meal before heading down to Thangshing.
Day 10 Thangshing - Tshoka
A different route, contouring around hillsides and walking on air after our high points. By Late afternoon we are back at Tshoka, unbelievable that we have packed so much into just one week..
Day 11 Tshoka - Yuksam
Down! over 1000m of it, through forest, the temperature rising as we descend...by three we are back at our hotel, hot showers and cold beers, and a special goodbye for our crew.
Day 12 Yuksam - Darjeeling
A beautiful drive through tea plantations and forest against a stunning Himalayan backdrop.
Day 13 Darjeeling to Bagdogra - Delhi
An early morning drive through the lush green scenery and hills to the airfield at Bagdogra, and our flight to Delhi
Day 14 Delhi Depart
We take you to the airport for your flight home.
• Accommodation: Hotel/Guest House in Delhi, Gangtok, Yuksam & Darjeeling on bed and breakfast basis. While on trek we will provide you Dome/Alpine trekking tents. Camping mattresses, kitchen tent, camping stool, camping table etc would be provided.
• Transport: Tata Sumo/Mahindra Max car according to Itinerary. Also sightseeing.
• Meals: At Hotels only breakfast will serve. While on trek, all meal. Meals will be freshly prepared and will be a mix of Indian, Chinese & Continental.
• Yaks/Porters: For carrying camping equipment, rations, vegetables and some amount of personal gear of the clients (one bag not weighing more than 14 kgs).
• Professional local trekking guide and kitchen staff would accompany the group
• Entry fee and Inner Line permit (ILP) etc
• Trekking permit fees
• Air Ticket
• Any charges for carrying still/video cameras etc.
• Alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, beverages, etc.
• Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
• Any meals/services not mentioned above
• Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
• Travel insurance