This new trek route falls entirely within Sikkim. We begin in the small village of Uttareyand trek to Chiwabhanjang on the Singalila ridge to continue on to Goechala. Opened as recently as the year 2000, this trail is not much frequented by trekkers. There are sections of narrow paths, ups and downs and some scree walking but for the most part, the trek follows a good path used mainly by yak herders in Sikkim.
On this wilderness trail, we walk up towards what is actually the border between Nepal, Sikkim and West Bengal. Dotted with beautiful high altitude lakes and passing several passes, this trek gives the opportunity of viewing Mount Everest – Kanchenjunganot and many more.. Only once at a specific high point but several times over the days as you cross the passes. This trail finally joins with the main west Sikkim trekking trail at Dzongri where the option is to continue to Goechala - the final view point where the left shoulder of Kanchenjunga stands just 9km away as the crow flies OR descend to Yuksom for those with time limitations. The advantage of this trek is that it is a round trip. Still a relatively new trek, the Sikkim Ridge trek promises to be among the best with its crowning glory of Kanchenjunga seen from several vantage points along this trek.
Welcome Arrival at Bagdogra airport our assistant will meet you at airport and transport to Darjeeling about 3-4 hours journey, through Assam tea plantations and tiny villages takes us to Darjeeling. Built on top of a ridge, Darjeeling faces the Himalaya and is a popular destination for Westerners and Napali culture alike. Overnight in Darjeeling comfortable stay your hotel in Darjeeling (2134m - 7001ft)
An early departure from Darjeeling by jeep to the trekking area in West Sikkim. Six exciting hours through winding roads across valleys and over hills clad with a variety of vegetation. We swoop down to cross the wild Rangeet River before climbing steeply up to Pemayangtse (2,100 m.), perched dramatically on an airy ridge with a panorama of Himalayan peaks ahead. After crossing some spectacular bridges to the road-head at Uttarey (2,100 m.), we spend our first night in a trekking lodge and meet the local people who will accompany us on our trek.
we thread our way up and over the highest reaches of the Singalila Ridge, which forms the border between Sikkim and Nepal. We may meet the occasional yak herder but we are well beyond permanent settlements. The names given to places around here however exotic it may sound to your ear, are basically associated with their purpose, such as high pastures, passes and ridge points. We pass through a rich forest cover, swathes of rhododendrons, open ridges, sacred lakes and remote passes. Our first day takes us to Chiwa Bhanjyang (3,200 m). An easy trail rises gently through rainforest until a final steep ascent for the last couple of hours bring us to the Nepalese border and our first camp.
This is an attractive setting to acquire some essential early acclimatization. A hike to the nearby Singalila Peak at 3500m will give us valuable acclimatization and some excellent views
Trek from Chiwa Bhanjyang to ghairi 10km 3600m - 11811ft. Overnight Camping.
A gentle uphill traverse through forest and then over a more exposed hillside brings us to prayer flags adorning our first pass and views of distant mountains - a taste of what is to come. As we gradually gain height we will appreciate the previous day's acclimatization. The occasional yak herder's hut is the only sign of habitation as we look down far below to the rice fields and cardamom plantations. Our camp is in a remote and sheltered hollow below the ridge.
Rising just before dawn, a five-minute walk onto the ridge may reveal the spectacular sight of sunrise on both Everest and Khangchendzonga. Throughout the day we descend and climb, maintaining a steady height, spiraling from one side of the ridge to the other until a rough steep ascent takes us across a pass. Beyond, the trail wends its way steadily through rhododendrons and past several Hindu shrines where a second easier pass drops down to our camp close to a shepherd's summer settlement. Look out for the Blue Sheep on the high craggy mountainside.
We walk easily on a good trail through woods until we begin a steady rise up a broad valley where we catch our first closer view of the entire Kabru range dominated by Mount Pandim (6,691m). A further 2 hours of ascent will get us to our camp with Everest and a host of other Khumbu giants dominating the distant skyline. An afternoon of rest and acclimatization for the following day's foot slogging.
Now we are in high mountain country and the forests lie far below. For the past two days we have been walking in Nepal and today we pass the sacred lake of Lam Pokhari, which marks our entry back into Sikkim. A little snow underfoot can be expected as we climb to our first pass, the Danphe Bhir La at 4,530 meters, the Pass of the Pheasant. From here it is possible to see the whole of Sikkim with the view stretching out well into Tibet and Bhutan. A further hour's contouring and a small ascent reveals the Kag Bhir La (the Pass of the Crow) where we may be lucky enough to view a panorama of Himalayan peaks including Khangchendzonga. Reluctantly, we then must head downhill making a steep descent to our riverside camp.
We leave our lovely meadow camp to climb through forests of sweet smelling silver fir and rhododendrons. Soon we are in high mountain terrain again. Look out for the brightly colored Danphe birds (Impeyan Pheasant), which nest in the high crags around the Kamsey La, 4,200 m. As we drop down into the meadows of Kokling, we are already looking up at our next pass of 4,300 m. that we reach with a steady ascent up a steep crag to a skyline dominated by the dizzying pinnacles and icy cliffs of Kanchenjunga. Once again we end the day's hike with a steep descent to our campsite by the Tikip Chu, which has its source high on the Rathong mountains (6,679 m.).
Today our route joins the regular trail up to the Goecha La. A steady climb through ancient fir forest, juniper and rhododendrons gradually opens out to the summer pastures of Dzongri. Another high camp, but we should be well acclimatized by now probably in contrast to some of the trekkers we meet who could be on day 3 of their Dzongri Trek at 4,000 m., 'the headache zone'!
Down the hill to Kokchulang where we are likely to accost other trekkers making us look back in retrospect towards really appreciating the peace and solitude of our last few days. We move easily up the valley passing the busy trekkers campsite of Thangsing to our own riverside camp a short distance below the Samiti Lake.
Today we ascend gradually over open hillside for a mile or so to a low ridge visible from the campsite (13,500 ft/4,115m). From here, chortens and prayer flags overlooking fabulous views of Khangchendzonga and Pandim make ideal photocompositions. You then descend, at first traversing down towards Pandim on the far side of the valley, and then dropping steeply down on a good path through rhododendron forest to the Prek Chu River at 12,300 ft/3,749 m. for lunch (3 hours). There is a new trekking lodge here that the crew may use for cooking. We cross the river and ascend gradually for one and-a-half-hour, through pinewoods to reach a grassy campsite, beneath the shapely unclimbed peak of Pandim. A new hut has been built here which may be available for cooking and even sleeping.
Today's walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow's big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Sacred Samiti on the opposite side is a beautiful emerald green lake nestled in the midst of brightly colored wind-torn prayer flags.
An early start today to beat the inclement weather conditions that is common during the latter part of the day. Set off in the early morning climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. The whole area above Samiti Lake is called the Zemathang Plateau. You cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to a height of about 15,700 feet where you rest above a glaciated lake mottled with snow and icy pinnacles. The Goecha La Pass is another hour away. We traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly colored prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning. We then return to our campsite at Samiti Lake.
Trek from lamuney 4,298 to Choakchrung . overnight at camping 10km
It's worth getting up early to take a short hike to the ridge behind the camp. From here there are fantastic views of Khangchendzonga and one can look back up to the Goecha La. Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you contour around jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent. This will save us a day on the return march, but does involve quite a long day.
Our final day, and freewheeling downhill almost all of the time. We descend through rainforest rich with bird-life and flowers, across spectacular bridges spanning cascading rivers whose sources are high in the mountains we have so recently left behind. Tired and elated we arrive in Yuksam and our charming traditional hilltop hotel. This will be our last evening with the trekking crew so we will be celebrating our achievements, and a final thank you to the local staff. Overnight Hotel.
after breakfast departure Transfer to Bagdogra Airport or NJP Train Station onward your destination.
During the trekking
Equpment we provided during trek
Yaks/Porters carry for
We made the Sikkim singalila goechala round trek organized by Ashmita Trek and Tours and with Sangay as guide and Tenzing as cook, and it was a really amazing experience. Would definitely recommend !
Pascal Briod, Swaziland
We have had a wonderful 14 days tent trekking trip to Sikkim Singalila uttery Goecha La round - with incredible views to Mt. Kangchenjunga. After that we continued our tour to walk along the Singalia Ridge. The entire Trekking Tour was perfect organised and the personal was highly motivated, competent and very friendly. It was a pleasure to travel with such wonderful people. On the tour we could spot blue sheeps, eagles, a lot of colorful birds and pheasants. It was an unforgettable journey.
Thank you so much to Ahsmita Tours and the entire Team.
Visited April 2016
Rudi Doppelberger, Germany