Friday, 23 August 2019

Peak Climbing in Sikkim a new Chapter begins

Sikkim Peak Climbing

Peak Climbing albeit Mountaineering in Sikkim Himalayas was restricted to just Four Peaks, the tallest being Mt.Thinchenkhang at just 6010m. Permission was granted only in the Year 1991. But now as of the order of Home Ministry dated 13th.August 2019, 23 more peaks have been opened to Foreign and as well Domestic Climbers.

The Tallest being Mt.Kanchenjunga (8598m), the third highest mountain in the world.  There are eight seven thousand metre peaks to choose from, while in the past it was restricted to four peaks.
At the moment the royalty to be paid is US$500 for foreign groups, which in the near future might change. We will have to wait for the Governmant order to be passed.

Kanchenjunga area was first explored by a european Mr. Douglas w Freshfield who reached the green lake basin in the year 1899. It was only in the year 1929 a German Expedition Team
led by Paul Baeur attempted to reach the summit. In 1955 Charles Evans conquered Kanchenjunga a few feet below the summit from the Nepal side. Major Prem Chand reached a few feet below the
summit in the Year 1977. An Indo Japanese expedition led by Hukam Singh and Yoshio Ogata conquered the peak in the Year 1991.  Mt. Kabru was first conquered by Mr. C.R. Cooke in the Year 1935. To summarize it all the newly opened peaks are almost virgin peaks waiting to be conquered.

As of order :
No.25022/33/2014-F,1
Govt. of India.
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Foreigners Division,
(F-1 Secton)
Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Statidium,
India Gate Circle,
New Delhi-110002
Dated - 13th.August 2019

The Following Peaks have been declared open for Foreign and as well Domestic Expeditions.

S.No.
     Name of the Peak
               
          Area
  Height
  1
Mt. Kanchenjunga
Mountaineering

8598m
  2
Kanchenjunga South
Mountaineering

8474m
  3
Talung South II
Mountaineering

7388m
  4
Tent Peak
Mountaineering

7365m
  5
Talung
Mountaineering

7349m
  6
Kabru  North
Mountaineering
Rathong Valley
7338m
  7
Kabru  South  
Mountaineering
Rathong Valley
7317m
  8
Nepal Peak     
Mountaineering
Green Lake Basin
7168m
  9
Pyramid Peak
Mountaineering
Green Lake Basin
7123m
 10
Zemu Peak
Mountaineering
Zemu Glacier
7038m
 11
Talung South I
Mountaineering
Green Lake Basin
6970m
 12
Mt.Sinioulchu
Mountaineering
Green Lake Basin
6888m
 13
Mt.Simvo II
Mountaineering

6812m
 14
Mt.Simvo
Mountaineering

6811m
 15
Mt. Pandim
Mountaineering
Thansing Valley
6691m
 16
Kabru Dome
Mountaineering
Rathong Valley
6640m
 17
Simvo North
Mountaineering

6587m
 18
Simvo North East
Mountaineering

6540m
 19
Kokthang
Mountaineering
Rathong Valley
6540m
 20
Goecha Peak
Mountaineering
Green Lake Basin
6118m
 21
Forked Peak
Mountaineering
Green lake Basin
6108m
 22
Mt.Thinchenkhang
Mountaineering
Thansing Valley
6010m
 23
Jopuno
Trekking Peak
Thansing Valley
5936m
 24
Mt.Narsing
Trekking Peak
Thansing Valley
5825m

                                               




Wednesday, 9 May 2018

"Difference between Possible & Impossible lies in a persons Determination " Group Departures for 14Days  Everest Base Camp Trek Starting 24th.May 2018 to 6th.May 2018. Cost : US$1120 / person. Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu Airfare : US$328 / person & Extra as applicable.     https://https://www.farouttrek.com/product-category/everest-base-camp-treks/

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal.


Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal is one of the most sought after Himalayan Trekking Trails. Trekkers take this Everest Trail every season with a dream to reach the Everest Base Camp if not the summit of the world's highest peakEverest Base Camp Trek is a high altitude trek and one needs to plan properly as well as be fit to do this trek.It is highly recomended that one prepares atleast two months before embarking on this himalayan journey. One can do the Tea house Trek or can also opt for camping trek. Lodges with clean rooms & good food are available at every destination.One needs to get the Trekkers Information Monitering System (TIMS) from Kathmandu. It is best to do the 15 Days Everest Base Camp. This allows trekkers to get acclimitized before reaching Everest Base Camp.

Lukla Airport
Everest Base Camp Trek starts with a 30minutes flight to Lukla from Kathmandu.Lukla at an altitude of 2840m has a 600m runway Airport & is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Porters throng the Airport perimeter with a hope that they get the porters job. Money earned from this Everest Trail is important for them as this is the only means of livlihood for these Porters. These porters come from the solu region of Nepal and are mostly from the Rai community.
These are hardy and strong people & make up the work force of the Khumbu region.Lukla itself is a small town perched on the Himalayan hillside sorrounded by the majestic HimalayasEverest Trail starts with a gentle downhill trek on a wide path through small villages. Phakding 8Km from Lukla is the next big village on this Trail. Trekkers usually halt for the night here. We decided to go further on to Jorsalle as we had enough time on our hands. Sagarmatha National Park office is
at Monjo where we paid our Park fees. Further on we trekked through small farming villages and over suspension bridges untill Jorsallee. Jorsallee is a small village with a couple of  Lodges and tea houses.

Namchee Bazaar(3440m) is three hours Trek from Jorsallee. First two kilometre of the trekking trail
Namchee Bazaar
follows the river bed and is fairly easy. After crossing the long suspesion bridge the uphill begins. The uphill is till Namchee Bazaar and will test the stamina of the Trekkers. Namchee Bazaar is the Sherpa capital of Khumbu Region. It is the hub of all Trekking and Mountaineering activities.This is where trekkers take a break to get acclimitized before proceeding on to higher altitude and also to refill their supplies. Namchee Bazaar is a fairly big village with a number of hotels & with a sizable population who run this place. Came across a number of Bakeries,Coffee shops and Shops selling good quality trekking gears. One can buy La Sportiva or salomon shoes and sherpa trekking gears in Namchee Bazaar at a reasonable price. On approaching Namchee Bazaar one can prominetly see Kongdae Peak on the left,Thamserku and Kangteka on the right. On the rest day one can Trek to the Everest View Hotel to get acclimitized or Trek to Thame Village. It takes about 6-7 Hours for a good Trekker to go to Thame Village and Back. This an interesting side Trek where one goes towards the tibet border.This route used to be the Trading route between Nepal,India and Tibet. At the moment the trading post is closed.

Tengboche

The 11Km trail from Tengboche Monastery to Dingboche is gentle except for a few uphills at places.The Trekking trail gently snakes down almost to the river bed and then climbs up to Pangboche.From Pangboche the trekking trail gently leads up to Dingboche(4410m). Dingboche is situated in a valley & is sizably bigger than other villages after Tenboche.As is in the Everest Region, Dingboche is sorrounded by Amadablam,Thamserku and Kangtega on the right.Everest,Lhotse,Nuptse,Island Peak and
Dingboche

other unknow peaks to the North.Taboche,Lobuche and Pumori on the left. Rest day at Dingboche is important as the trail leads to higher altitude and is advisable to get acclimitized before preceeding to Lobuche.One can take a side trek to Chukung(4710m) and Island Peak Base Camp. This is a gentle 4Hours/8Km Trek(Round Trip). When in Dingboche climb upto the view point above Dingboche for a 360 Degree splendid views of the Everest Range. Makalu can also be seen from here. There are a number of Lodges and Bakeries offering Trekkers value for money. Climbing equipments can also be hired here in Dingboche. This also the main gateway to Island Peak and Lhotse.

Lobuche seen from the rim of  Lobuche Glacier
9Km distance to Lobuche from Dingboche can be covered in 3Hours for a good Trekker. Trail passes through valleys and meadows under the glare of Taboche and Lobuche until Thukla(4730m). Thukla is a small settlemnt with Three lodges and a cafeteria. 30minutes uphill leads to Chyan Dara or burial ground at the top. This place is dotted with memorials built in the memories of the climbers and Trekkers who have perished in the Everest Region. From Chyan Dara the Trail is gentle besides the Lobuche glacier until the Village of Lobuche at 4910m.Climb upto the rim of the Lobuche glacier to get the views of Lobuche Peak and Khumbu Glacier.

The 3.7Km trek to Gorakshep traverses through moraine laden paths and it takes about 3hours for an
Gorakshep
average Trekker to cover this distance. One can easily trek further on to Everest Base Camp and return back to Gorakshep for the night. Trekking trail goes through glaciers untill the Everest Base Camp & Khumbu Glacier. Any given day one will find Mountaineers waiting to summit the World's Highest Peak at the Everest Base Camp.Mountaineers of various Nationalities were camped on the Khumbu Glacier at the time we visited the EBC. Everest Base Camp becomes a hub of activities with Sherpa's and their Helpers going about their Chores of transporting equipments to various levels of Camp sites in Khumbu Glacier.

View of Everest, EBC & Khumbu Glacier from Kalapathar
Morning saw us at Kalapathar(5550m). Highest point on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Distance is just 2Km but for the altitude it becomes harder to reach the top. Views of the south flank of Everest Nuptse and the entire range is incredibly beautiful. It gets windy at the top so keep your Goretex jacket handy. Return Trek of 10Km from Gorakshep to Perishe was less interesting as it was the same route back.Instead of trekking to Dingboche the route to Perishe goes down hill from Thukla and ends on the other side of the valley.Perishe at 4240m is much warmer and less windy than Dingboche. There is a small Hospital manned by a few Foreign Volunteers. Charges were about US$150 per person or so.

Trekking from Perishe to Phortse village on the return Trek was also interesting. Trek route all the
Perishe
way seems to have been carved on a hillside with Thamserku and Amadablam looking down upon us all the way to Phortse Village. Returned to Namchee Bazaar via the twin villages of Khundae & Khumjung. Visited the Monastery at Khumjung where it is being said,skull of the Yeti is being kept.Did not get to see the Yeti Skull as the monk in charge of the monastery was not there.Took our time for lunch at Khumjung and Trekked slowly downhill towards Namchee Bazaar. Saw the dusty landing strip at Syangboche with building materials scattered on both sides of the runway, wondering how these planes land and take off from such an airport. Trekking from Namche Bazaar to Lukla was on the same Trail.One can opt to fly out of Lukla or can also trek all the way to Phaplu and drive back to Kathmandu. It is two days trek to Phaplu from Namchee Bazaar & 8Hours drive to Kathmandu from Phaplu.One can also relax at the beer pub in Phakding.

The Everest Base Camp trek is a very scenic Trek in terms of  Himalayan Beauty. Mountain views are stunning. Every destination and Trek route is always accompanied by the majestic Himalayan Peaks. Accommodation at the lodges are Basic but clean with common & Hygenic Restroom and washroom. Food in these lodges are Good but a little expensive in local terms. Bottled mineral water is available and can be bought at an inflated price. Higher one goes expensive it becomes. In Gorakshep a bottle of mineral water can cost around NRs.400/US$4. Where as the same Bottle will cost NRs.80 in Lukla.

Flights from Lukla to Kathmandu can get delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. It is advisable to have an extra day or two when planning to do this Trek. Bakeries on this Everest Base Camp Trek Route is incredible.Bakery at the Gumba Lodge serves some tasty bakery products.Mobile Phone coverage is incredible.

One can make international calls from all these places.Internet services are available for a small sum. One can purchase coupons (NRs350) for 15Hours high speed internet services. Internet is available right upto the Everest Base Camp.

Contact for more details & to Book this Trek :
info@farouttrek.com / farouttrek@gmail.com
Visit : http://www.farouttrek.com


 

  

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek

                                   Kanchenjunga Ramnge as seen from Phalut Top

Sandakphu Phalut Trekking in Darjeeling Himalayas 

Sandakphu Phalut Trek Route in Darjeeling is moderate to easy trek & is popular with first  time trekkers.The Trek route falls in the Singalila National Park in the Darjeeling Hills.Sandakphu at 3636m  is the highest point in the Singalila Ridge.The High lights of the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling is the unobstructed view of the Himalayan Range from  the highest  points in the singalila Ridge.During autumn One can get unobstructed views of Everest ,Makalu,Lhotse,three sisters,Kanchenjunga to the Jhomolari in Bhutan from Sandakphu and Phalut.Trekkers take to the Sandakphu Phalut Trekking trail in numbers to witness the view of the Himalayan Range from these two vantage points.Singalila Ridge in the Darjeeling Himalayas is the only place in the world from where one can view the four highest peaks in the world.Hence,It’s an Honor to stand on the highest point in the singalila Ridge and feast at the sight of the four highest mountains  in the world. Singalila National Park is also home to 58 Variety of Rhododendrons.Witness the riot of colors blanketing the entire hill sides during spring.

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling starts with a short drive of 45 minutes to Manebhanjyang from Darjeeling & ends in Rimbik.On arriving at Manebhanjyang foreign trekkers will need to register with the 
Starting from Maneybhanjyang
Foreigners Registration office.Registration takes only about 30minutes.It is cumpolsary to hire trained & registered Guide from the Guides association.All visitors are required to register with the Park authorities and as well get the Trek Permit and pay the Park fees at the Park office. The Singalila National Park office is located at the far end of the town at the entrance of the National Park.

The 13Km Trek from Maneybhanjyang to Tongloo(3078m) starts with a uphill climb of 3Km till Chitray.Chitray is a small settlement on the Nepal side of the Trek route with a Buddhist  monastery and a school for the monks. A brief halt for a cup of tea after a steep climb seems to rejuvenate the
Tongloo Trekkers Hut
 sences.The 4Km  easy  trek takes us to Lameydhura the lunch spot for the day.Lameydhura is a collection of a couple of houses and three tea houses. Lamedhura to Megma is a gentle 4Km trek over rough jeepable Track frequented by the aged Land Rovers from the British Era.At megma Foreign Nationals will have to register with the Defense Post.The steep 3Km uphill Takes us to Tongloo(3078m).Tongloo is on a hill top and the Mountain scenery is worth the climb.The Trekkers hut at Tongloo provides Basic accommodation and Basic Food.

The days trek of 15Km. from  Tongloo to Kalipokhari(3001m) starts with a gentle downhill trek of 2Km  to Tumling.Tumling is on the Nepal side & has a number of lodges run by local families.A Kilometre further on is the National Park Check Post & Permits are checked here.There are two paths leading to Gairibas.One on the Indian Side and the other on the Nepal side.The Trek route on the Nepal side is shorter and more interesting.The Route passes through small HillSide village of Jaubari  and finally a 
Arriving at Kalipokhari
rough downhill 2Km  trek to Gairibas.A short rest for a cup of tea seems to help in easing the pain of the downhill trek.Foreign trekkers will have to register here too at the defence post.2Km of uphill and a kilometre of level ground leads us to Kayakatta our lunch spot of the day.Kayakatta is a collection of four or five houses where every household caters to the needs of the Trekkers.Gentle 4Km trek on a jeepable Track takes us to Kalipokhari.This place is named after a lake which is situated at the entrance of this small village.Kalipokhari  is a slightly bigger place with a number of lodges on the Nepal side of the border.There are no lodges or Trekkers huts on the Indian Side.Only a lone Defence post is  on the Indian Side and here too like in all other defence posts foreign trekkers will have to register their passport details.


It takes about 3Hours for an average trekker moving at their own pace to cover the distance of 6Km to Sandakphu(3636m) from Kalipokhari.First 2Km  till Bikhaybhanjyang is on level ground then the remaining 4Km
Sandakphu
is uphill till Sandakphu.Sandakphu has three Trekkers huts run by the Gorkha Territorial Administration,three private lodges run by local families & three Government Guest houses.There is a fairly big concentration of defence post here in Sandakphu.Of the three private lodges two are on the Nepal side of the Trek route and one is on the Indian Side.Climb a small hill for the spectacular view of Sunset & sunrise on  the Himalayan Range.Sandakphu at 3636m is the highest point on the Singalila Ridge.Hence one can get unobstructed views of Everest,Lhotse,Makalu  to Kanchenjunga Range to the Jhomolari in Bhutan.The months of October,November & December are the best time to view these Majestic Himalayas.Sandakphu is the only place in the world from where one can view the four Highest Mountains in the world.

The 21Km  long trek to Phalut(3582m) is gentle and passes through meadows.On a clear day this an interesting day for a trek as one gets 180Degree panaromic views of the snow clad Himalayan Range as one lumbers along the trek route till Phalut.After  every bend and turn one can expect  picture perfect  Himalayan vista for your eyes to feast on.It is advisable to start the trek after an early breakfast.First because the distance is long and secondly,It can
get a bit windy.The trek route from Sandakphu to Phalut is bereft of any tea houses. There is a Park office at Sabargram ,14Km from Sandakphu this works as an office and a Tea house for Trekkers.There is a lone trekkers hut 2Km below  Sabargram at Molley.One can even break the trek here and stay at molley for the night.On a clear autumn evening make it a point to climb the 30minutes uphill to the Phalut top.The colors of the setting sun painted on the Himalayan Range is spectacular.Likewise climb to the Phalut view point during sunrise you will not regret having taken up the trouble to trek up in the cold.Be prepared with a Goretex Jacket as it gets very windy at the top.

The 15Km trek to Gorkhay Village is all the way downhill through Rhododendron,Silver fur and Bamboo grove Forest.Gorkhay is a small agricultural village comprising of a collection of few houses on the fringes of the
Gorkhay Village
National Park at the border with Sikkim.Gorkhay is a warm place after the windy stay at Phalut.The warm food and a dip in the river nearby  rejuvenates the sences after the cold night at Phalut coupled with thelong trek downhill. There is Government Trekkers Hut and three lodges run by local families.The Rooms in the lodges are small but clean with attached washroom and restroom.Eden lodge is particularly friendly and clean.This lodge even has it’s own electricity by means of a small generator.

The Days Trek of about 14Km to Timburey from Gorkhay passes through small villages of Samamdin and Ramam.These are all agricultural villages on the fringes of the Singalila National Park.First 2Km of uphill through pine forest  leads us to Samamdin meaning “Lost Valley”.This place has been aptly named the “Lost Valley” as it lies in the middle of Jungle on a flat land of 2Acres only.There is a Government primary School and a lodge belonging to the forest Department.The National Park authorities have been encouraging sustainable tourism for the livelihood of the local people here.Hence,you will find a couple of homestays and a camping ground for the adventurous.
Next 2Km downhill till the riverbed and a gentle 4Km uphill trek through oak and walnut forest to Ramam.Ramam is basically a big village as compared to other villages on this Sandakphu Phalut Trek route.Lunch and a short rest at Ramam and then a gentle 8Km trek through Ramam village to Tumburey for the night.Timburey also on the fringes of the Singalila National Park is a small village comprising of a couple of house holds.The Park authorities have been encouraging sustainable eco tourism to these house hold.Therefore there are a couple of Homestays that caters to the needs of the Trekkers who happen to trek by.

The short 10Km/3Hours or so of trek to Rimbik with a 3Hours jeep drive back to Darjeeling ends the Sandakphu Phalut Singalila Ridge Trek in Darjeeling.The Drive back to Darjeeling leads us to Manebhanjyang and further on to Darjeeling.

To sum it all up.The Sandakphu Phalut Trekking in Darjeeling is an easy to moderate Trekking in the Eastern Himalayas.Views of the Majestic Himalayas are a treat to the eyes,especially from Sandakphu and Phalut.Accommodation in the lodges are basic (considering the circumstances) but clean with common restroom and washroom.Food is simple and only vegetarinian food is available on the entire trek route.There is no electricity in all the places of stay. Lodges have solar lightning. Camera batteries should be fully charged from the hotel in Darjeeling. The Trekkers hut in Sandakphu have provision for Charging the Phone and camera batteries for a sum of money.


Singalila National Park is home to the endangered Red Pandas. Red Pandas are bred in captivity in the Zooligical Park in Darjeeling.These furry and docile animals are then brought & rehabilated in the Jungles of Singalila National Park. Other animals are also protected in this Park.There are common Leopards,Himalayan sloth Bear,wild dogs and number of Deer living in the Singalila National Park. There is rehabilation centre for Red Pandas at Gairibas. Infact the rehabilation of the Red Pandas have been quite successfull in this National Park.

The Best time to Trek in the Sandakphu Phalut Region is from October to December.This is immediately after the three months of monsoons.Hence the skies are clear all day long and the Mountain views are splendid.Trekking can also be done from March to May.During this period one can see the profusion of colors from the flowering Rhododendrons all over the hill sides.The Singalila National Park is closed to visitors from 15th.June to  15th.September.This is because of the breeding season of the Red Pandas. 

Sikkim Darjeeling Day Hikes

Tongloo 

There are a couple short treks that one can take in Darjeeling and Sikkim. While in Darjeeling there are a couple of options. Either one can walk around the Tea Gardens which lies within few square kilometres of Darjeeling Town or one can opt to do the Dhottrey -Tongloo-Maneybhanjyang Circuit.
Dhottrey-Tongloo-Maneybhanjyang is a good options because of the Mountain views and a good walk in the Singalila National Park. Dhottrey lies about 40Km from Darjeeling. One will need to drive to Dhottrey from Darjeeling. There are no share taxis or regular Jeep/Bus service to Dhottrey.
One can drive to Maneybhanjyang in a share Taxi and then reserve a taxi to dhottrey. This way the cost will come down. Dhottrey is on a hilltop at an altitude of about 2300m. Dhottrey to Tongloo is Gentle 7 Km trek through Pine forests. The mountain views of the Kanchenjunga Range is beautiful from here. Trek 2Km further down   to Tumling, a small village on the India - Nepal Border. It is better to take a guide from Dhottrey and If you tell him than he will arrange for the food in Tumling, especially at the Shikhar Lodge. Food supplied at the Shikhar Lodge is simple but very good. I would recommend the food there. After Tumling it is a 13Km gentle Trek down Hill to Megma, Lameydhura, Chitray and then to Manebhanjyang. From Manebhanjyang one can drive back to Darjeeling. This Dhottrey-Tongloo-Maneybhanjyang-Darjeeling short one day Trekking can be done in a Day.
Baaggora Home Stay
Darjeeling - Tiger Hill - Chatakpur -  Bagaura Route is also a good option. Drive to Tiger Hill in the early morning for the wonderful view of the Everest and Kanchenjunga Range. The Day Trek from Tiger Hill is on the old military Road. A gentle Trek through the Pine and oak forests to Chatakpur. A small Hamlet promoted by the Wild life Department, Govt. of west Bengal for Homestays. There is even a small lodge operated by the Forest Department. Order lunch here and
Legendry Landrover which Plys on this Route.
then walk along the gentle road to Baaggaora. This is a small Hamlet on a Hilltop overlooking the Plains and the Mountains from a high Ridge. There is a Home stay in Baaggora. This Home stay is clean with private rooms overlooking the mountains. Prepare before hand to call a taxi to pick you up and drive you to Darjeeling(30Km) or one can stay at the Homestay and drive back the next Day.


Sikkim is a small Himalayan State in India. This small State is sorrounded by Tibet to the North, Bhutan and Nepal to the west and the Indian State of west Bengal to the South. Most of the land falls in the Himalayas. 47% of the land mass in Sikkim is covered in forest.
Therefore Sikkim has a lot of routes for day walks or Short Treks from a day to two or three days.
In and around Gangtok a day can be well spent visiting enchey monastery and the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, first of it's kind in India. If one is fond of walking than a walk around Gangtok will enable you to feel the life of the local people. A leisurely walk of 6hours will suffice you for the day of local sight seeing. Out of Gangtok a little Adventure walk can take you to Tinjure or the Jhandi Dara. Tinjure is the highest point on the Rumtek Hill opposite Gangtok Inside the Fambongla wildlife Sanctuary. Drive a little further to Tashi View Point on the North Sikkim Highway and start trekking. This is a 5Km trek to Tinjure, the highest Point at an altitude of 2433m. This Sikkim Day Trek takes one on a moderate gradient through dense forests of the Fambongla Sanctuary. One gets to have company of various birds chirping around in the forests. Once at the highest point in Tinjure climb atop the wodden structure and gaze at the Himalayan scenery. On a clear day one can even see the plains of west Bengal. One can either walk back to Tashi view point or walk to Sang, near Rumtek and drive back to Gangtok. The walk to Sang from Tinjure will take about 4Hours for a good walker
 and 2Hours back to Tinjure.