Saturday, May 22, 2010

At the foot of Kanchendzonga - Goecha La Trek

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.Continuity gives roots to life. Change gives branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. So the change came on 1st May 2010 as I was desperate to be free from daily boundedness of life for a while, decided to go for trek with my brother and Deep, friend to both of us.

Planned Itinerary was: 



Start From Home and reach to Siliguri


Siliguri To Yuksum.


Yuksum to Tshoka.


Tshoka to Dzongri.


Dzongri to Lamuney.


Lamuney to Tshoka.


Tshoka to Yuksum.


Yuksum to Siliguri.



But God set his own plan. First Supratim (Papai), my brother was stuck in some office works and joined me and Deep on Sunday Morning.

Me on the way to Yuksum.

One can hire a taxi for Siliguri To Yuksum. Obviously going to cost more. Cheaper way to catch a shared taxi to Jorethang. From there share taxi to Yuksum. Costing Maximum Rs 200 per head.

On the way.

We reached Yuksum in the evening. Yuksum is situated at an altitude of 1700 meter. So quite cold even at the hot May. Finding a suitable hotel took another 45 minutes. Finally we stayed at Hotel Demazong. Rs 400 is the charge per day for bed room with attached bath.

We decided to took a yuk. But yuk is to be hired in pair. Rate settled for 200 per yuk per day. Yuk-man food to be supplied separately.

Final Packing Last Night.

Next day morning we had a lot to do. Get permit, reporting at police post. One need to submit his identity in xerox. Voter/PAN/Driving License Card will do. Buy ration, sabji, Kerosene. Stove is to be hired also.

Before leaving the hotel some clicks.

The trail is Kanchendzonga National Park. Hence at check post one need to inform number of batteries, plastic bags he is carrying with.

Fees are as follows

Still Camera - Rs.150/-
Tent - Rs.30/- per man per day.

At check post maps of KNP.

After all formalities just before starting we three.

Finally we started at 10:30 am.The trail starts with gradual ascent. There are four bridges before reaching Bakhim.Each time we gone down then climb steep to higher altitude than before. One can stay at the following places on the trail.

1. Sachen
2. Bhakhim
3. Tshoka
4. Fedang
5. Dzongri
6. Kokchurang
7. Thansing
8. Lamuney

Way to first bridge.

At first bridge.

The Second Bridge.

Me resting on at second bridge.

Some kind of childishness from deep.

On the way to third bridge.

Deep and Supratim at Third bridge.

From third bridge to fourth bridge the ascent is steep. Way to fourth bridge.

The Fourth Bridge. Among the four bridges, before reaching last one, i.e. fourth bridge we came down for 25 minutes.

That day I was fully drenched in swept as my body getting acclimatised, which is quite unusual. I drank 8 liters of water. But no sign of AMS. However we reach Bakhim at 6:30 in the evening. It was almost dark.

Angshuk, the Yukman, made all the arrangements before we reached. We welcome us with hot tea. After 30 mintues he called us for dinner. Undoubtedly he is more cook than yukman. That day khichri was awesome. We got asleep at 8:30.

Next day morning I woke early. Got some snaps. Our tent at Bakhim.

Today our destinition is Dzongri. So we leave early. First stop is Tshoka. Upto Tshoka it was nice landscape with big trees, Rhododendrons.

We reached Tshoka at 11:00. Got rest for 15 minutes. I clicked, a few of them.

Tshoka is a very small village on the trail, with handful of Huts.

This one taken on the way to Fethang, after 30 minutes of walk leaving Tshoka.

Path to Fethang.

Flower on the way to Fethang.

Pink Bell Rhododendron

I reached Fethang at 2:45. Deep & Supratim reached 15 minutes ago. Tshoka to Fethang is just the tailor of path we need to climb to reach Dzongri. It starts with very gradual ascent. after some time it is steep. Then every step you need to climb almost a foot for at least one hour.

Here I got fully exhausted. Some how managed. Got rest for 20 minutes and we started for Dzongri.

It was marely half an hour path we came from Fethang, Deep started vomit. Me & Supratim both was afraid as Deep got AMS previously. We decided not to climb. But there was a very big problem as our food, tent, sleeping bags already reached Dzongri. Supratim left his sack and run to Dzongri.

He came back at 7:00 with tent and two sleeping bags. Yuk-man expressed his ineblity to came down in dark with yuks.

By the time weather getting bad. As we started to lay the tent, rain came. We was drenched with bone-chilling water. We just managed to make the tent.

We ended up at Fethang with no water, no food, one sort sleeping bag. Supratim managed with double clothing. Deep managed some food from another team. I got four spoon of food, Supratim nothing except some dry food. That night it was raining heavily. I felt the stream of icy cold water at my back even I was in sleeping bag.

Next day morning.

We started from Fethang at 10:30. We just need to walk for 3 or 4 hours to reach Dzongri. On the way to Dzongri

We reached Dzongri at 2:45.

Reaching Dzongri we ran to kitchen hut. After 17 hrs we got food and water. Took some rest .In the evening we went out. Have some snaps, near by sites, though it was very cloudy.

White Bell Rhododendron

That night it was cloudy. Though we, me and deep went out for Dzongri Top at 2:00 am.
Dzongri top has an altitude of 4200 meter. Which is quite steep climb from the camp site. Alas, we went up there only to find lot of cloud.

Breakfast menu.

We decided to stay Dzongri for the day. Rain started from after noon. I woke up at 3:20 A.M. Open the tent to find the clear sky. Immediately give a call to my brother and deep and ran for the top as I was almost ready. I took almost an hour to reach the top. And then, I still do not have the words to explain the nature. May the pictures says itself.

We came down at 7:30. Prepared to go forward for Thansing. My brother on the way ...

We again climbed almost Dzonri top height to the way to Thansing. Upto Kokchurang it's steady descent for and hour to Prekchu River. We cross the river then again we start climbing steep ascent.

Thansing (the plain green spot)is visible while descending.

Steep way to Thansing.

We reached Thansing at 2:30 P.M. Suddenly weather got tremendously bad. It started raining. Wind got some speed. We decided not to go forward as Lamuney is more windy than Thansing.

In the evening rain stopped. So we went for an evening walk and for some snaps also.

In the evening, suddenly, the rear side sky of our tent got cleared. Mount Jupono and Tinchengkhan is visible with last rays of sun on them.

I ran at least 700 meter to get the full view and got this.

Next day the weather god has no intention to make it good. We waited till 2:00 pm. but it was continuously raining. So we decided to go in the bad weather. It took two and half hour to reach to Lameney.

By night the weather became good. It was a clear sky. We start for Goecha La at 3:30 A.M.

Starting from Lamuney there is a steep ascent before Samati Lake. Then its a gradual decsent. after Samiti again very steep ascent to Jemathang. We stopped at Jemathng as the weather geetting bad. Supratim desparate to go forward for pass. So he went alone. Me and deep send some time there then came down and having snaps.

Kabru Range

On the way from Lamuney to Thansing we saw these animals.

We came down on the very same day to Tshoka. Staggering 32 km. On the way back, from Kokchurang, instead of climb to Dzongri the path goes to dense forest. This forest has some reputation having Clouded Leopard, Bear etc. This 9 km forest path was more than worst. Many time we put a step and it went down in mud till knee. Some how we managed to make it to Fethang by 6:30 in the evening. Fethan and Kokchurang almost same altitude. The forest bypass Dzongri. We was running against of time and sun light. Soon it was dark, and we were in the forest. Face a bear may have been end of our life. Thanks to God. We ware alive. We reached Tshoka at 8:45 P.M. Angshuk was waiting for us with two porter. He came almost 30 minutes path from Tshoka in the dark.

Next day morning he prepared this.

We starts early in the morning. And reached Yuksum in the evening.

I promised to my self to go once again in the month of October. October weather remains good in the region.

Some more