17 Days Khangchendzonga Round Trek

 

The Golden Peak! The first rays of sun illuminating Khangchendzonga(8586m), the 3rd highest Mountain in the World.

Lam Pokhari at 4200m . The surrounding area has many holy lakes

Campsite next to Lam Pokhari - one of the best campsites on the trek.

Porters descending from Dafeybir

Samiti Lake above Lamunae

Lamunae Camp. The Base Camp for Goechala

White Dzo

KHANGCHENDZONGA ROUND TREK

Region India, Sikkim & Darjeeling
Days 17
Max Alitude 4984m
Grade Moderate

Opened as recently as the year 2000, this trail is not much frequented by trekkers and is easily one of the finest treks in the Indian Himalaya. The complete isolation we experience between Chiwabhanjang and Dzongri with magnificent high mountain views all along makes this trek an absolute classic. We also get to interact with Yak herders with their huge herds who spend the months between April and Oct in these grazing grounds. Most of the walk is on the ridge or close to it, the ridge forming the border between India and Nepal. We camp some days in Nepal in the beginning and most days in India. There are sections of narrow paths, ups and downs and some scree walking but for the most part, the trail is good used mainly by yak herders in Sikkim and Nepal. We start from a small, picturesque village of Uttarey and walk through dense forests for 2 days passing some Indian Army Posts till we reach Chiwabhanjang. After that we are mostly above the tree line, walking on the ridge with fantastic views on both sides and the snow mountains towering in the distance. Beyond Parey Megu we pass several pristine high altitude lakes which are revered by the locals. We cross unnamed passes regularly with one of note- DafeyBir which is normally very misty and has a steep descent all the way to the river after it. We hit the most popular trail of West Sikkim, the Yuksom-Dzongri-Goechala trail at Dzongri from where we trek on to Goecha-la (4960m), the highest point on this trail from where we actually have to crane our head to look at Khangchendzonga which is just 9km away as the crow flies. Over the next two days we descend to Yuksom, the erstwhile capital of Sikkim where the first king of Sikkim was enthroned and also has a stone Coronation throne. Easily a classic trek due to the variety in terrain, isolation and for absolutely lovely views of Khangchendzonga, its crowning glory!

 

Day 01: Arrive Bagdogra. Drive to Darjeeling

Day 02: Drive to Pemayangtse (2250m) 4 hrs

Day 03: Drive 3hrs to Uttarey & trek to Chitre (2680m) 4-5 hrs

Day 04: Trek to Chiwabhanjang (3150m) 2-3 hrs. Acclimatisation day

Day 05: Trek to Dhor (3700m) 7-8hrs

Day 06: Trek to Pharey Megu (3920m) 5-6hrs

Day 07: Trek to Lam Pokhari (4200m) 3-4hrs

Day 08: Trek to Yangseb (4300m) 6-7hrs

Day 09: Trek to Pangding (4275m) 5 hrs

Day 10: Trek to Dzongri (4000m) 4-5hrs

Day 11:  Rest day in Dzongri

Day 12: Trek to Lamuney (4150m) 5-6hrs

Day 13: Trek to Goecha La (4800m) & return to Thangsing (3930m) 8-10 hrs

Day 14: Trek to Tshoka (2900m) 5 hrs

Day 15: Trek to Yuksom (1750m) 5 hrs

Day 16: Drive to Kalimpong 6hrs

Day 17: Drive to Bagdogra (4hrs) & Depart

KHANGCHENDZONGA ROUND TREK

 

Day 01: Arrive Bagdogra. Drive to Darjeeling

Arrive Bagdogra Airport and drive for about 3 to 4 hours to tea estates and small hamlets to reach Darjeeling (2134m). Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station which is most famous for its unique tea which has got geographical recognition and the colonial toy-trains, apart from the Khangchendzonga itself.

Overnight Hotel.

 

Day 02: Drive to Pelling (2250m) 5-6 hrs

After an early breakfast, we set off by jeep for the 5½ hour drive to Pemayangste (2250m). We have lunch at Jorethang, a big town and then drive for another 2 hrs to reach Pelling. We spend the night at a basic comfortable hotel. In the evening you can visit Pemayangtse, the 2nd oldest monastery of Sikkim.

Overnight Hotel.

 

Day 03: Drive 3hrs to Uttarey & trek to Chitre (2680m) 4-5 hrs

After breakfast, we take a scenic 3 hour drive, through the tea plantations to Uttarey. The road follows the River Rangeet, passing through a beautiful steep sided valley en route. Here we need to show our trek permits. Our first walking day of the trip is on a good trail, through abundant rhododendron forest and cardamom plantations, to a campsite clearing in the forest above the army camp at Chitre (2680m). 4 to 5 hours trekking

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 04: Trek to Chiwabhanjang (3150m) 2-3 hrs.

Acclimatisation day. Today is a short walk to our camp below Chiwabhanjang (3130m) – 2 hrs. There is also an Army post here and pretty crowded with many campers who just come to this point and return. We can walk to a high point called Phoktey Dara in the afternoon where you get fantastic views of the Khangchendzonga range if the weather is clear.

Overnight Camp.

Day 05: Trek to Dhor (3700m) 7-8hrs

After breakfast we start climbing through the forests till a high point with prayer flags from where the views are amazing and we get our first views of the high snowy peaks. We stick to the ridge and continue walking passing a small lake on the right in the beginning and then many yak herder’s huts. The scenery on both sides of the ridge is spectacular and we can see a Yak herder’s hut on any flat piece of land on the Nepalese side. We stop for lunch midway and continue climbing in phases and walking straight till we reach our campsite at Dhor, next to a Yak herder’s hut. The water source here is very far and it is a big effort for the kitchen team to fetch water. Please consume water sparingly and do not waste. Dhor campsite is in Nepal and from a high point we can see mountains in Nepal to the left and Khangchendzonga to the right. – 7 to 8 hours

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 06: Trek to Parey Megu (3920m) 5-6hrs

Great place to catch the sunrise as it illuminates the high peaks. We stick mostly to the Nepalese side of the ridge and ascend and descend a few times. We cross a place called Tarun Pani, an enclosure of stone for spring water originating from inside the rocks. From here the campsite of Parey Megu is just 45 mins away. Parey Megu is one of the finest camping places on the trail. It has a huge meadow where the yaks graze and has 3 yak herder’s huts. We camp on the flat piece of land just above the hut.5 to 6 hours.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 07: Trek to Lam Pokhari (4200m) 3-4hrs

The terrain becomes more open and the views of the mountains get larger. We follow a wide valley passing many holy lakes to camp at Lam Pokhari (4200m). We are in camp very early. We can either trek upto the high point a little ahead or go exploring the various lakes around. The campsite is quite chilly. 3 to 4 hrs

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 08: Trek to Yangseb (4300m) 6-7hrs

A long walk lies ahead and one of the tougher days in this whole trail. Today we ascend all the way to a high point called Dafey Bir at 4500m with prayer flags. This section till Dafey bir and a little beyond experiences the worst weather. It can get very windy and cold and there might be snowfall or sleet if the weather goes bad. After we cross the pass we walk through huge meadows till we hit a steep and ugly descent to Gomuthang by the river. Gomuthang has a beautiful campsite and is often used by Yak Herders to camp for a few days before moving on. This is normally where we have lunch before proceeding further 2 hrs to Yangseb another fine camping ground next to a rivulet.6 / 7 hrs.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 09: Trek to Pangding (4275m) 5 hrs

We contour the hillside on an up and down trail and cross a small river and then one final climb to a small pass at 4310m and offering views looking back to the mountains. We then descend again and cross one more stream at Kokling and ascend to the high point with huge meadows called Pangding (4275m) which is reached in 5 hrs. Another excellent campsite with superb views of the mountains on your left and all the smaller hills right upto Yuksom.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 10: Trek to Dzongri (4000m) 4-5hrs

We descend to the Bikbari stream taking about 2 hrs. As you descend the rhododendrons forest gets denser. After crossing the stream, we climb gently to a small pass from where you reach the expansive meadows of Chaurikhang( 4120m) and Dzongri . 4½ to 5 hrs.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 11: Rest day in Dzongri

We wake up early in the morning about 4am and walk for an hour to the highest point called Dzongri top to see the sun illuminate the snow giants one by one. An absolutely fantastic vantage point to see the whole range. Most of the trekkers who don’t have enough time just trek upto this place and return to Yuksom.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 12: Trek to Lamuney (4150m) 5-6hrs

A short walk, all mostly on the meadows along the Prek Chu with a gradual gradient. The steepness increases and terrain becomes rocky as we reach Lamuney. The emerald green Samiti Lake is a little ahead with coloured prayer flags fluttering around.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 13: Trek to Goecha La (4800m) & return to Thangsing (3930m) 8-10 hrs

The Big Day we have been waiting for! We make a very early start (about 3am) and walk around the samiti Lake with Pandim always on our right up the moraine and descending to a sandy bed of a dried lake called the Zemathang Plateau. We cross this and ascend for about 2 hours to reach Goecha La.

The view from here is absolutely stunning as we look directly into the eastern wall of Khangchendzonga and the smaller peaks of Rathong and Kabru. We enjoy the sunrise and the views before descending to Thangsing and further down to Lamuney. A long day of about 8-9 hours.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 14: Trek to Tshoka (2900m) 5 hrs

We backtrack and take a slightly altered route missing Dzongri and enter the forest path from Kokchurang which gets out at Phedang. The whole trail is filled with Rhododendron blossoms. From Phedang we retrace or way back to Tsokha, our first campsite.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 15: Trek to Yuksom (1750m)  5 hrs

We descend to the bridge across the Prek Chu and follow the up and down trail all the while losing altitude till we reach Yuksom.

Overnight Camp.

 

Day 16: Drive to Kalimpong 6hrs

Drive to Kalimpong, a town famous for its orchid nurseries. We spend the evening loafing around the small town and have dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Hotel.

 

Day 17: Drive to Bagdogra (4hrs) & Depart

After an early breakfast we drive for 4 hrs to reach the airport at Bagdogra. Fly Out. Trip Ends!

 

LAND Price per person in SGD:   $ 2680

Tour Code: IND-KRT-17

Price is subjected to changes without prior notice
Airfare:
SIN-Kolkata-SIN: From S$ 650 including taxes
Kolkata–Bagdogra-Kolkata: about S$ 150 including taxes

LAND Price includes

  • All travel from Bagdogra airport and back to Bagdogra airport by road (by non AC car)
  • 01 night hotel accommodation in Darjeeling on MAP basis (breakfast & one meal – dinner or lunch)
  • 03 nights hotel accommodation on full board (one each in Pelling, Yuksom & Kalimpong)
  • All arrangements for staying while on the trip, accommodation on twin share basis in lodges/tea-houses
  • Sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable
  • All trekking arrangements – experienced guiding team, camp staff, cook, etc
  • Includes local Service tax &  Clean India Cess
  • Briefing prior departure
  • 15% discount for gears at X-Boundaries

Price excludes

  • All airfare & taxes
  • Personal gears such as sleeping bag
  • Expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, beverages, cigarettes, camera fee
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
  • Tips
  • Visa and Visa application fees

Khangchendzonga trek in Sikkim during November was challenging with steep slippery icy slopes during the night climb with a guide assigned to each climber. Some days were wet and foggy, especially in the morning and going into the tent right after dinner. However, when clear weather, we could see the whole mountain ranges. Remember to bring heat packs especially during the end of the year.

Chew Kia Hui - 31 Oct ­ 16 Nov 2015