TREK TO GOECHA LA
Duration: 10 Nights and 11 Days
Highest Altitude: 4,940m
Best Time To Trek: June To September & October To Mid November
Day 01): Start – Darjeeling
Day 02): Darjeeling – Yuksom (123 kms – 6-7 hrs)
Today we will drive to Yuksom. The base of our trek. Dinner and overnight stay in guesthouse/tents.
Day 03): Yuksom – Tshokh (3000 mts – 9840 ft) (14 kms – 5-6 hrs)
The trail from Yuksom starts at the local market and follows main road towards the north. The trail climbs gently out of the valley and hugs the right bank of the Ratong Chu River, which can be heard thundering through the gorge below. The trail crosses over four bridges to climb steeply towards north-west to the small settlement of Bakhim. Continue for another 3 kms through forest of magnolia and rhododendron to reach Tshokh. On arrival set campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 04): Tshokh – Dzongri (4030 mts – 13218 ft) (10 kms – 5-6 hrs)
On this day the trail passes through the village of Tshokh and continues to climb north through the forest of rhododendron to the alp of Phidang (3650 m) taking around 3 hrs to complete the ascent. Continue further towards Dzongri. On arrival set campsite for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 05): Rest day & Acclimatise at Dzongri
The day is for rest and acclimatization. On this day one can savour views of the mountain peaks by climbing up to Dzongri Top. From here you get a panoramic view of Kabru (7353 m), Ratong (6678 m), Kanchenjunga (8534 m), Koktang (6147 m), Pandim (6691 m) and Narsing (5825 m). Towards the west, the Singalila Ridge, which separates Sikkim from Nepal, can be seen. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 06): Dzongri – Tangsing (3800 mts – 12464 ft) (10 kms – 4-5 hrs)
The trail from Dzongri continues along the right bank of the river towards east. After cresting the hill the path drops into the valley and then crosses the bridge over the Prek Chu river. Its an hour climb from the bridge to Tangsiing (3800 m) located on the slopes of Mt Pandim. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 07): Tangsing – Samiti Lake (4500 mts – 14760 ft) (7 kms – 3-4 hrs)
The trail from Tangsiing climbs gently north and follows a stream and alpine meadows. About an hour above Tangsiing we reach Onglathang from where the superb view of the south face of Kanchenjunga can be seen. In order to capture clear views one has to reach Onglathang early. The trail then skirts through a series of glacial moraines before crossing over meadows again, and arrives at the emerald lake at Samiti. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 08): Samiti Lake – Goecha La (5002 mts – 16406 ft)- Samiti Lake (12 kms – 6-7 hrs)
The climb to Goecha La begins with a gentle gradient eastwards for about half an hour and then later the steep ascent starts. The trail follows the glacial moraine north-east and then drops to a dry lake at Zemathang. A tough scramble over rocks and boulders with a rise of 400 meters will bring us on the top of the pass. The pass is formed due to the depression between Pandim and the Kabru spurs. It over looks the Talung Valley and commands a very impressive view of the south face of Kanchejunga. Afternoon return to the Samiti lake. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 09): Samiti Lake – Tshokh (14 kms – 6-7 hrs)
Start retracing steps towards Tangsiing will take about couple of hours or so. From Tangsiing follow the trail to Kokchorung(3800 m) which is a good camping site. Continue descending towards Tsokha by going through a bypass route directly to Tsokha. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 10): Tshokh – Yuksom (14 kms – 5-6 hrs) – Darjeeling (123 kms 6-7 hrs)
Retrace steps towards Yuksom on the final day of the trek. The going is easier as the path is mainly downhill. From here drive to Darjeeling. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel.
This is the plan for the trek. I spoke to a lot of people and they altered it to make it better. Feel free to add days or change the path if you want to.. Please try and invite those people who are used to walking and exercising as we will also have to get used to the climate there.Reply