This is perhaps the best option to do the Kanchendzonga Trek in Sikkim, since it avoids walking down the same uphill path, as is the case with the “normal” route (In the case you cannot do the Uttarey circuit). This route that goes up through the Dzongri valley, an interesting village with yak pastures, and ends at the important monastery of Tashiding, reaching, naturally, the Goecha-La pass, the balcony in front of the Kanchendzonga.
13 days / 12 nights full trip (minimum recommended)
11 days’ trek
Medium. With no technical difficulties
Highest altitude 4985m
Highest altitude overnight 4300m
Local mountain guide English speaking
Meals and overnight in tents during the trek
Accommodation in hotel in Yuksom
Transfers in private vehicle
Taking in care that the Kanchendzonga trek you walk almost the same way up and down, here you have an option that, adding only two days, avoids repeating the same way up from Thangshing, making it more varied and interesting, especially at the end in the important Monastery of Thashiding, the holiest of Sikkim.
The Kanchenjunga, the “Nepalese” name as we more commonly know it, is called Kanchendzonga in Sikkim. It is the third highest mountain in the world and is a large massif with five main peaks, hence its name, which can be roughly translated as “the five snow treasures”.
The tour travels north from Yuksom, which is considered the heart of ancient Sikkim. You will walk throughout a spectacular and practically unaltered nature, from the dense forests of the first stages to soon reach the alpine areas that here are located above 4000 meters of altitude, ending up surrounded by glaciers in the Goecha-La pass, from where the view of the Kanchendzonga is impressive. Small temporary settlements and villages will welcome us as we advance through an area of clear Buddhist influence, as in fact all of Sikkim is, with some small isolated monasteries and temples.
On the way down, we take the detour from Thangshing that goes to the beautiful lakes of Lam Pokhari and the Kasturi valley, gradually losing height and returning to the tropical forests to reach the village of Labdang, the first in several days, and finally to the Tashiding monastery. From there, we will return by road, in a short way, back to Yuksom, where a well-deserved rest awaits us.
Here there are practically no lodges to accommodate hikers, so this trek is done in full camping, although there may be a cabin, or a small Bhati that can give us shelter at some point.
As always, we put here what we consider to be the minimum days for the trek, both in the itinerary on foot, as well as the days that are needed to reach the starting point and return. But, naturally, we recommend that you add some more days if you can, to rest back from the trek and take the opportunity to visit Sikkim a bit, even if it is only going to its capital, Gangtok.
Located, along with Darjeeling, on this small wedge between Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, Sikkim was the last state to be part of the Indian confederation and still maintains a strong personality. It is considered part of what is known as “Greater Tibet”, that is, those territories that share the same Tibetan culture, with Buddhism being its main religion. The oldest population group is the Lepchas, followed by the Tibetan Bhutias, but from the 19th century, there were migratory movements from Nepal, becoming the majority population group and Nepali is the main and official language of Sikkim.
The populations are at a certain height, often in steps between two valleys, far from the mighty and unpredictable rivers, so that all of them have impressive views. Winding roads but in good condition make their way through these valleys and mountains, where sometimes you have to go down to the bottom of the valley to cross to the other side of the river and ascend again until you find this destination that we saw so close in the other side of the valley. And as you have guessed, the orography of Sikkim and Darjeeling is complicated, marked by two large rivers, the Teesta and the Rangit, the latter also marking the border with West Bengal before joining the Teesta and Rongpu.
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