Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Goecha La Trek - Kangchenjunga park

The mighty Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world standing at 8,586m above sea level. The Goecha La trek puts you at the foot of this sacred mountain, at an altitude of about 4940m.

On the first day of the 7 day trek we walked for 6h hours in the dense Sikkim forest. We set our tents in Thuka, 3000m. The morning of the second day brought us the first glimpse of the Kangchenjunga range.

On the third day, after 5h walking under a cloudy sky, sometimes descending upon us in the form of a cold, thick fog, we arrived to our camping, at 4000m. A freezing night would ensue. The reward came with the morning sun. Spirits were high. We played football and posed for a silly walk photo.

On the fourth day, camp at Thanzing, in the glacial valley leading to Goecha La. Temperatures reached -10ºC during the night, -6ºC inside our tents.

The ascent to Goecha La from Lamune (4200m) takes about 6h return. We were lucky to wake up to a starry sky. As we walked up the valley, sunrise came to gave the cold some respite. The sun stayed with us until noon, later giving place to a thick, sticky fog. Another freezing night followed.

On the return to Thoka, rhododendron and pines made most of the landscape. Fog again. More cold. We would only feel warm again at the lower grounds around Yuksom.