Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trek from Yuksom (1500 m) to Goechala (5000 m ) Oct 2009

Raj and team – Trekking trip from Yuksom to Geachala Sept-Oct 2009

In the past I have trekked in North India say Kedarnath, neat Rishikeh, some place in very high altitude including Lahul , Spiti on the way to Leh, in South like Muthati, Bababulandgiri, Coorg etc, in the North east famous Shangri-La Trek and the latest one last year 2008, from Yuksom (1780 meter ) to Goechala ( 5000 meters) covering almost 80 km on foot in high mountains in 7 days. We were 6 people in group. We 4 from Microsoft. Me (Rajens), Dheeraj HN (dhirajh ) GTSC , Sayak Rana (sayakr) IDC - HYD, Krishnan Rengasamy (krishnar) IPG- BLR. Dheeraj knows me from our other south India Trek 2006, Sayak was my team member in Leh trek in 2006 and some south India trek. We had Harsha, friend of Dheeraj. Neeraj from Canada , who responded to my posting on the net same with Krishnan. We exchanged couple of mails and calls ready to go. Surprisingly Neeraj was so excited , that he left the job and came with us for long vacation. It was a perfect team, very accommodating, with high energy, zeal & confidence, sharing our experiences, life, helping each other on the way to destination, within few days we were as if we know each other for ages. During our trip of 16 days , based on our observation we had given nick names to each other. Some funny, like , Sayak a “Discovery channel”, as you can ask him anything under the sun and will get the answer, Krishnan was called as “PCO” , as during the starting days till Yuksom most of the time, whereever was the network, he was on phone only, Harsha as Jolly boy as he was always smiling and jolly , Dheeraj , I won’t call it here it was too funny , there was interesting and funny story , which I can’t write here :), name given to me was given serious a “Monk” , certainly not the one who sold his Ferrari :)

It took few months with my contacts in North east for bookings in Yuksom and checking for weather, best route, arranging for cook, porter, Yaks to carry loads , taking tent , sleeping bags and other stuffs on rent. By August we all were set. Return Tickets for Air, Train tickets were booked. List for shopping was ready to cover are meals for 10 days and other logistics.

Journey started from Bangalore to Kolkata on 27th Sep 2008, we did essential stuff shopping during the day. In night we boarded train to NJP - New Jalpaiguri. We reached NJP in the morning , our guide and porter were waiting , we negotiated with Sumo driver and headed for Yuksom our last stop of motorable destination. In between we stopped at NJP city market and purchased our ration , vegetables , kerosene and other stuff for next 10 days. Reached Yuksum by late evening 7pm. We had dinner and slept. Next day was suppose to be busy day as we needed to take permit for trekking from the local govt agencies and pack our stuff for next 10 days. When we got up, it was raining cat and dog. We had no option but to make changes in the schedule, one more day stopover in Yuksom after taking permit. We started our trek on 30th Sep. Told our family members that we be contactable only after 8 days in “ideal condition”. Emergency and rescue, incase, will be taken care by designated people I left behind with contact details. It was exciting journey, a very amazing, adventurous and spiritual experience. You are so near to the nature you just not adapt, it is funny but we don’t have habit of such silence. On day one you forget that electric switches can turn the lights or appliances on, cause now you are dependent with match sticks, candle or torches. Second day you will have nice morning tea in the shadow on snow peak mountain with early sun rise but you will forget that new paper exist. Third day you will reach your milestone in the evening after covering around 8 to 12 km high up in mountain and while having dinner sitting on cold grass/mat you will forget that electronic device name TV exist. By fifth day you will miss your family members but less than first day and you would forget that communication device such as cell phone exist, without which you used to think that world will stop and hell will break loose if you do not check SMS or mail in every next 5 min or not respond to them. Life is certainly different at 5000 meter away from civilization. You are much near to god and its creation. When you walk for 6-7 hours in those dense forest most of the time you will praise god for this beautiful creation called Earth or you will talk to team or most of the time discover yourself when you walk on that tough terrene. On 5th or 6th day trekking in very cold, weather, on muddy trek in rain, your body may push your brain “what the hell”, but you mind would have achieved the eternity and power to control the impulse the tell the body “hold on I am going through once in a life time exclusive experience , let us enjoy”.
Needless to say caution is key , as if you hurt yourself or fall sick, first of all medical help, consider nil or as bad as 5 days wait time, next the entire plan and schedule for entire trip will go haywire.
Drop a note on my id I have loads of amazing pictures this and other trips also, I would be happy to share with you.

Let me share our route and travel details:-

Day 01 :: Bangalore to Kolkata - Morning flight Arrival Kolkata – 7:55am
Arrive Kokata Airport and Go to hotel freshen up, hire a texi for a Day
Day visit Kolkata, Return to Station in the evening catch a train to New Jalpaiguri
Day 02 :: New Jalpai Guri – Yuksom Reach New JalpaiGuri in the Morning freshen up and after breakfast , take a shared taxi drive to Yuksum (1780 M) by covering approx. 123 kms in 7 hrs. Yuksum is the oldest capital of Sikkim where the first king was consecrated at 1642 A.D. It also has the oldest existing Monastery built during 1700 A.D. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 03 :: Stop over at Yuksom due to rain
Day 04 :: Yuksom (1780m) - Bakhim (3035m) (Trek)Morning after breakfast start the first leg of trekking to reach Bhakim (3035 m) by covering approx. 13 kms in 9 hrs. The track is a Gradual Ascent and descent through the dense Verdant semi-tropical forest following the Pairag Chu. Overnight stay in tent, You would have never seen sky so clear and so many stars.Day 05 :: Bakhim (3035 m)- Dzongri (4030 m) (Trek)Morning start trekking to reach Dzongri (4030 m) along a well marked track by covering approx. 12 kms in 8 hrs. Initially the track climbs steeply. But as the track is through fascinating Rhododendron bushes running riot with color. Arrive at Dzongri. Last two days were killing in ascend. We covered 2250 meters roughly 7500 feet in just two days. Due such a heavy, trek and sweat last two days , in the nigh , I decide to take bath in chilling water coming from melted snow river. Everyone in team got shock with idea , my guide and cook said “ Mat nahao, saab aap mar jayega “ (don’t take bath sir you will die ) , but I was determined that would not sleep tonight without bath and change of clothes, which I did. Yes I am alive to write the experience but at that time bath was really a very very painful process, what is called numbness and uncontrolled shivering, I experienced that day. , which drive a shiver in my spine even today. Day 06 :: Dzongri (4030 m) – Thangsing (3800 m) (Trek) Early morning you have to trek to have a great view of Kanchenjunga snow peak with sun rise. Takes 2 hours to go up and come down.
Have breakfast and start trekking to reach Thangsing (3800 m) by covering approx. 8 kms in 6 hrs. One can have Fantastic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabri etc. From the Dzongri pass. Continue to reach Thangsing. Overnight stay in wooden hut.
Day 07 :: Thangsing (3800 m) - Lumini (Trek) Trekking to reach Lumini l (4000 m) by covering approx. 8 kms in 5 hrs. Almost flat. Near to Simiti lake , is one of the high altitude fresh water lakes found in the Bosom of mighty Himalayan ranges. This is also considered a very sacred lake. Arrive and camp by the side of the lake. Camp next to river relax , prepare for early morning 3am ascend.
Day 08 :: Lumini - Simiti Lake (4200 m) - Gochala (5000 m) –to Kokchrung (Trek) Trekking to reach Gochala (5000 m) by covering approx. 14 kms in 8 hrs. From the pass one can see the lofty and majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Kabru and Kabru Dome etc. Retrace the route back to Kokchrung passing through Thanmsing. It is decend so you can cover more. Overnight stay in trekkers hut.Day 09 :: Kokchrung - Tsoka (Trek) Trekking to reach Tsoka (3710 m) in about 5 - 6 hrs. The trek winds its way down upto Phedong, the start of the Rhododendron trail. Overnight stay in trekkers hut.
Day 10:: Tsoka - Yuksom (Trek) Covering approx. 7kms in 4 hrs. relax in Hotel, in the nigh we sent o town had some snacks and back to civilization again.Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 11 :: Yuksom - Gangtok (Jeep)Morning after breakfast drive to Pemayangste (2085 m) by covering approx. 30 kms in 1 hr. Pemayangtse is one of the oldest and important Monasteries in Sikkim. Visit the Monastery, proceed to reach Gangtok (1810 m) by covering approx. 110 kms in 5 hrs. Arrive Gangtok and check into hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12 ,13 and 14 :: Gangtok (Local site seeing ) Excursion to Rumtek monastery, enroute visit the Institute of Tibetology and discover other place. Team did river rafting also.Day 15 :: Gangtok – New Jalpai Guri Shared Taxi. Early morning, transfer to New Jalpai Guri reach Jalpai guri in the evening catch a train to Kalkata
Day 16 (12th Oct ) :: Kolkata – Bangalore by Air
Arrive Kolkata in the morning and take a flight to Bangalore in the afternoon.

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