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Summit Goechala

Difficult
from 17,000 Per person / 11 days

    ATTRACTIONS IN YOUR TREK

  • 12 Himalayan peaks on the Goechala Trek from Dzongri Top, Thansing and Goechala- Kanchenjunga (8586m), Talung (7349m), Rathong (6679m), Kabru N (7353m), Koktang (6147m), Simvo (6812m), Kabru S (7318m), Kabru Dome (6600m), Kabru Forked (6100m), Pandim (6691m), Tenchenkhang (6010m), Jupono (5650m).
  • Passes you encounter - Goecha La (4950m), Zemu Gap (5878m)
  • Lakes you stop by - Goecha Lake (4775m), Samiti Lake (4301m), Goecha Lake 2 (4795m), Goecha Lake 3 (4699m)
  • Glaciers you get to see - Talung Glacier
  • Rivers you pass by - Prek Chu
  • Rhododrendron forest
  • Kanchenjunga National Park
  • Alpenglow of mountains
Overview

Overview

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.”

Dig into your wallet for a 100 INR note and look closely. Yes, it is the Kanchenjunga view from Goechala. Now, you know how mesmerising it is that it got picked by the Indian government for the most circulated currency note!

On the Goechala trek, Kanchenjunga is constantly looming on horizon; rose coloured at dawn and start white in the sunshine; just 850 metres short of The Everest, seem to float above haze and darkness of dark valleys of Sikkim. This summit beckons every serious trekker to go!

Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas is the state of Sikkim, is a Northeast state of India.. Its is the state with lowest population and is squeezed in between China & Tibet to the North, Nepal to the West, Bhutan to the east and the Indian state of West Bengal to the south. Sikkim’s population is mainly of The Lepchas, original inhabitants of Sikkim; Nepali and the Bhutani. Lepchas call Sikkim - ‘Nye-mae-il”; meaning Paradise. Rightly so.

Locals speak Nepalese, Bhutia and some migrant population speak Hindi. Travellers can get by with English. Rich with Buddhist beliefs, Sikkim is peppered with several monasteries all over. Sikkim has rich in biodiversity with flora and fauna with 36 varieties of Rhododendron, more than 500 species of birds. The star attraction apart from Kanchenjunga is the endangered red panda. You will be lucky to spot it.

If you wish to learn more about Sikkim, we recommend you watch “Sikkim”, a 1971 Indian documentary about the nation of Sikkim, directed by Satyajit Ray. The documentary was commissioned by the Chogyal (King) of Sikkim at a time when he felt the sovereignty of Sikkim was under threat from both China and India. Ray's documentary is about the sovereignty of Sikkim.

And to know more on Goecha La trek and get inspired, watch “Goecha La in Search of Kanchenjunga” a film on trekking in the Himalayas made by the Indian writer George Thengummoottil. The film portraits the high altitude Goecha La trek in Sikkim from Yuksam to Goecha La pass at an altitude of 5200 meters above sea level via Tshoka and Lamuney.

You start your trek from Yuksom; meaning “meeting place of the three learned monks”. Ages ago, three monks chose Yuksom as the state capital and coronation for their first chogyal (king). This charming little village with no more than 2000 population lies amidst majestic snow covered mountain peaks. Yuksom has an aura of peace and tranquility with its Buddhist temple and prayers happening every evening at dusk. You have time to spare, you may visit

  • Dubdi Monastery - 90 mins walk from Yuksom. The monastery was built in 1701, and it is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim.
  • Kartok Monastery - opposite Kartok Lake. This beautiful monastery got its name from a lama who took part in the coronation of the maiden ruler of Sikkim.
  • Ngadak Chorling Monastery.

Mountains have long been a geography for pilgrimage, place where people have been humbled and strengthened, they are symbols of the sacred center. Many have traveled to them in order to find the concentrated energy of Earth and to realize the strength of unimpeded space - Joan Halifax, The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom

  • You see 12 Himalayan peaks on the Goechala Trek from Dzongri Top, Thansing and Goechala- Kanchenjunga ( 8586m ), Talung ( 7349m ), Rathong ( 6679m ), Kabru N ( 7353m ), Koktang ( 6147m ), Simvo ( 6812m ), Kabru S ( 7318m ), Kabru Dome ( 6600m ), Kabru Forked ( 6100m ), Pandim ( 6691m ), Tenchenkhang ( 6010m ), Jupono ( 5650m )
  • Passes you encounter - Goecha La ( 4950m ), Zemu Gap ( 5878m )
  • Lakes you stop by - Goecha Lake ( 4775m ), Samity Lake ( 4301m ), Goecha Lake 2 ( 4795m ), Goecha Lake 3 ( 4699m )
  • Glaciers you get to see - Talung Glacier
  • Rivers you might pass by - Prek Chu

Very soon after you leave Yuksom, you are in Kangchenjunga National Park, an 850 sq. km (330 sq. mile), holding 10% of Sikkim. The park has several glaciers, star amongst them is the 26 km long Zemu glacier. Natural landforms of caves, rivers and lakes form the landscape of this park. The park is home to White Tiger, Red Panda, It is a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India. It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list on July 17, 2016, becoming the first "Mixed Heritage" site of India.

On its western border which it shares with Nepal is Kangchenjunga (Meaning “The Five Treasures of Snow”) at 8586m (28,169ft). “Five treasures of snow” refer to the five saw-tooth summits of Kangchenjunga mountain. It is the thirst highest mountain in the world trailing after Mount Everest and Mount K2. Sikkimese refer to it as Khang-chen-dzonga; regard the mountain as sacred and a guardian deity of Sikkim. They believe that one should not climb the pinnacle of the mountain. To maintain the sanctity, explorers stop short of the actual summit.

Until the mid 19th century, it is believed to be the highest mountain in the world. It is spelled Kanchenjunga as well.

Trail of Goecha La was for ages used by the locals to transfer the produce using Yaks. The track was cut by Tensing Sherpa, a Indian-Nepali mountaineer for the mountaineering students of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Now it is used for Kanchenjunga expeditions and trekking as well.

The trek is by no means easy. It gets challenging at places with steep rise and rocky terrain. The swift climb results in moving yourself to higher altitudes in short period of time which can leave you just more than breathless. We recommend you read our guide to AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness). Acclimatization is a must. On certain days, we need to cover more distance. Don’t worry, it gets easier as the days go by.

Landscape changes as the days progress. It starts with treks through forests of Kanchenjunga National Park with the Himalayan peaks looming at a distance. As you get closer to Kanchenjunga, you get to tackle mountains. All along the way, you get to see the locals with their Yaks carrying the produce from one place to other; mostly to-and-from Yuksom.

The qualifications for trekking are endurance, plain clothes, well worn shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much...

Brief Itinerary

Day 1

New Jalpaiguri (NJP) - Yuksom (5,643FT) (150km drive; 6hours)

Day 2

Yuksom(5,840FT) - Sachen (7,200FT) (6 hours; Moderate to difficult trek; Trail is thru Rhododendron forests of Kanchenjunga National Park). Overnight in tents.

Day 3

Sachen (7,200FT) - Tshoka (9,701FT) (6 hours trek; Moderate trek gradient; A tiny village of Tshoka has some locals in the huts and a small monastery to visit; Trail is thru the breathtaking landscapes of the National Park. Overnight at tents.

Day 4

Tshoka (9,701FT) - Dzongri (13,024FT) via Phedang (12,083FT) (About 5-6 hours trek; A difficult gradient. Varying landscape takes you through the Red Rhododendron trees at their full bloom, steeps hikes on the side of mountains. Dzongri offers you a spectacular view of lush green meadows before). Overnight in tents.

Day 5

Dzongri (13,024FT) - Dzongri Top (13,778FT) Rest day at Dzongri (About 45 minutes climb to Dzongri Top; Rise early to be on the moutain top at 5am to view the famed sunrise on Mount Kanchenjunga). Overnight stay at camp/tent.

Day 6

Dzongri (13,024FT) - Thansing (12,946FT) via Kockchurang (12,152FT) (Takes about 5-6 hours with moderate hike. Peppered with occasional steep climb, the trail is mostly through meadows and at times thru rocky terrain. You get to greet Prek Chu river once more). Overnight in the tents.

Day 7

Thansing (12,946FT) - Lamuney (13,743FT) (2 hour trek; Quite easy with a little steep hike as you close to Lamuney. From the campsite, Samiti lake is a less than hour trek. You may choose to visit). Overnight in the tents.

Day 8

Lamuney (13,743FT) - View Point 1 (15,100FT) - Kockchurang/Thansing (12,152FT) (Longest day with 12-14 hours of trekking; Though a moderate gradient, you need to haul an ascent of 2 hours to reach view point 1. 3 am rise to see Kanchenjunga at its best and from best vantage point. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 9

Kockchurang (12,152FT) - Tshoka (9,701FT) (With a 6-7 hours trek. A difficult gradient most of it a descent though. Views of Mount Pandim through out.. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 10

Tshoka (9,701FT) - Yuksom (5,643FT) via Bhakim(8,654FT) and Sachen (7,200FT) (About 6 hours trek. A moderate gradient. It’s mostly descent to Sachen followed by sinuous trails to Yuksom). Night in hotel.

Day 11

Yuksom (5,643FT) - New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (135km drive; 6hours)

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing…..

We bring …

Brand new trekking equipment – Tents, sleeping bags and every item provided by us is brand new. No leaks, no sleeping in wet/unhygienic bag. All the equipment is of sturdy and military grade.

You bring …

Proper shoes are a must. Waterproof high-ankle hiking boots with proper grips are a necessity because the ice is very slippery. Rubber gum boots are the best. And make sure they are well broken into before the trek.

Thermals shirts, thermal trousers, woollen gloves, woollen socks and woollen caps are a must. Take necessary jackets, and windcheaters. Raincoats or ponchos are another necessity. Remember, layering works.

Pack in antipyretics, analgesics, antiemetics, anti-allergens, medicines for diarrhoea, altitude sickness, oral rehydration pills and other prescription drugs. A pain relief gel and a couple of band-aids can be handy. We always recommend a thorough medical check-up before starting out on the Chadar Trek.

A water bottle is a necessity. Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Carry chocolates, energy bars and dry fruits and snack often. Sunglasses and sunscreen are must. UV rays are more powerful in high altitudes. You may carry a small portable heater to ensure a more comfortable sleep. Carry a small pouch of toiletries, and make sure you carry moisturizers, lip balms, toilet papers and a hand sanitizer. Bring your own micro-polythene garbage disposal bags and tissue wipes. Carry a torch and extra batteries for it. Head light is a good substitute. Also carry extra batteries for your camera, the cold kills the batteries very quickly.

Checklist of things to carry…

  • Rucksack/Day pack
  • Duffel back with personal gear
  • Garbage bag (preferably micro-polythene disposable bags)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Waterproof, high ankle hiking boots or gumboots to wear over hiking/trekking shoes
  • Trekking pole
  • Seven pairs of thermal, thick wool and synthetic socks and seven pairs of liner socks
  • Fleece pants/Inner thermals/Quick-dries/Waterproof outer pants
  • Fleece jacket/Windproof jacket
  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Thermal inners, both lower and upper
  • Good waterproof outers
  • Wool hat that covers the ears
  • Long-sleeved thermal shirts/light fleece shirts for trekking
  • Two pairs of fleece/woolen inner gloves
  • Outer synthetic water-proof gloves
  • Bandanna/Scarf
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Lip protection + Moisturizer with high SPF
  • Two water bottles, preferably with insulated cover
  • Headlamp/flashlight with spare batteries - cold kills batteries
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards - cold kills batteries
  • Lightweight toiletries, including hand sanitizer
  • Thermos
  • Ear plugs
  • Personal first aid kit, including medicines for high altitude sickness
  1. THINKING ABOUT BOOKING Know More
    WHY SHOULD I TRAVEL WITH INDIAN SUMMITS?
    What we offer is specific - unforgettable trekking vacations - but our focus is broad in terms of destinations and trip styles. We have a tour that fits nearly anyone who loves to hike in world-renowned, breathtaking landscapes of Himalayas. For people seeking solitude, wildness and adventure, a backpacking trip is a sure choice.
    Our aim is to remain a friendly organisation that caters to small groups of discerning adventure travellers, who respect local culture and prefer to travel the less travelled path. The Trekking Company is a licensed travel agency to operate in India.
    WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE TREK?

    Will provide hotel accommodation . On the other nights, camping is arranged.

    • Vegetarian meals will be provided while on trek.
    • Generic Trek equipment, sleeping bag, mattress, kitchen tent, toilet tent, sleeping tent will be provided.
    • First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder will be available throughout the trek for emergency.
    • Qualified & experienced trek leader, Assistant guide, helpers and cook will be part of the team.
    • Transport to and fro from trip start and end points will be arranged.
    • Charges for camping are covered.
    • Trek Completion Certificate
    THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS?
    Our Indian Summits tours are designed specifically for passengers aged between 18 to 55.
    IS IT CHEAPER TO TRAVEL INDEPENDENTLY?
    The costs of independent travel can really start to add up. Once you consider everything such as accommodation, food, entrance fees, excursions, road tolls, bus passes and local taxis or car hire and fuel, you'll soon see that travelling Trek style is great value for money. Plus if you do it alone you don't get the experience of a local tour guide who knows those great little tricky-to-find 'secret spots', or the hassle free experience where everything is planned and organised for you. Plus we can negotiate great group rates on optional activities too. Not at all! A great mix of young people with a passion for travel and sense of fun is enough.
    I AM TRAVELLING ON MY OWN. WILL I BE THE ONLY ONE?
    No, far from it. The majority of the people travelling with us join their trips as solo travellers. Our trips are a great way to travel safely and meet other like-minded, adventurous people from all over the world and we do not charge single supplements.
    HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE ON MY TOUR?
    Our Original tours are based on travelling in small groups of up to 15-20 like-minded individuals from around the world to get to know en route, providing the security of group travel while maintaining the flexibility of independent discovery.
    DO COUPLES TRAVEL WITH TREK?
    Yes, every trip is made of a mixture of people travelling alone, as pairs or groups of friends or couples. If you travel as a couple you will be able to share a tent, if your tour includes cabin, hostel, hotel and other budget lodging accommodation then we will try to accommodate we will try to accommodate couples, however twin rooms cannot be guaranteed.
    ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
    No, however we can help you out to book flights.
    HOW FIT SHOULD I BE?
    Anyone in reasonably good health can join our trips. Many activities do not require previous experience and are not fitness related.
    WHAT IS THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF TRAVELLERS ON A TREK?
    The minimum number of travellers can be much lower, however, this is uncommon. The type of vehicle may vary depending on the group size.
  2. BOOKING YOUR TREK Know More
    HOW DO I BOOK MY TREK?
    Indian Summits tours can be booked from anywhere in the world. Bookings can be made online or by contacting our worldwide sales office by phone, email or via our social channels. We can hold you a no-obligation provisional seat (option) for up to 3 days while you decide. Please phone or email us if you need any help or have any questions.
    WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TREK?
    Book early! Many tours fill quickly so you should contact us as soon as possible. We would be happy to help you choose the Trek that is right for you. All of our sales team have first-hand knowledge and information about our tours. Call us anytime to check availability or hold a seat on option for up to three days with no obligation.
    DO YOU CHARGE BOOKING OR CREDIT CARD FEES?
    No, we don’t like credit card charges and we’re pretty sure you don’t either! For that reason, we won’t pass any fees on to you if you choose to pay by credit card. That’s more cash for you to splash on souvenirs!
    WHEN DO THE TRIPS BEGIN AND END?
    Most Treks depart from our gateway hotels at 7:30am on the day of departure and generally end between 5:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day of the tour. Exact start times will be shown on your trip voucher.
    DO I NEED TO BOOK A HOTEL ROOM THE NIGHT BEFORE AND AFTER MY TREK?
    We provide hotel a day before and after the trek, but in certain treks we don't provide (to be checked according to the trek inclusions, we suggest you book the pre night hotel in our gateway hotel. You can also arrange the final night in our gateway hotel where the tour will finish. If you must leave that evening, we recommend that you to book a flight departing no earlier than 9:00pm to allow enough time to transfer to the airport.
    HOW AND WHEN DO I RECEIVE MY CONFIRMATION AND DOCUMENTS?
    If you book directly with us we will email you a confirmation, invoice and Trek Tips within 24 hours of receiving your booking. Final documents are resent around 6 weeks before departure. If you book with a travel agent you should receive all documents and information directly from your agent.
  3. PREPARING FOR YOUR SUMMIT Know More
    HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I BRING?
    One suitcase or rucksack with a maximum weight of 20 KG (plus your sleeping bag on our camping trips). Be sure to check the weight allowance of your luggage with your airline as well.(the lighter you carry the lesser you suffer)
    WHICH IS BEST TO TAKE, A RUCKSACK, SOFT HOLDALL OR SUITCASE?
    For camping trips a soft holdall or rucksack is generally better. There may be a few occasions where you will need to carry your bag short distances and a soft bag would be beneficial. When storing luggage in your tent it also works out better having a soft bag. Suitcases will however suffice. For budget lodging and hotel trips any type of bag would work and certainly not worth going to buy a new bag specially.
    WHERE CAN I CHARGE THINGS DURING MY TRIP?
    On camping tours it is often difficult to find a safe and secure wall outlet to recharge mobile phones, camera batteries and other electrical devices. Although remember you will have to take it in turns to use these so it's always worth bringing a spare camera battery! For nights spent in hotels your room will have an electrical outlet (don't forget your travel plug adaptor).
    WILL MY MOBILE PHONE WORK WHILST I AM AWAY?
    You'll need to check with your network provider as to whether your mobile phone will work in that location you are visiting.
    DO I NEED A PASSPORT & VISA?
    It’s your responsibility to ensure you have a valid passport and any necessary visas for your tour.For India, you’ll need a passport with at least six months validity following the end of your trip. The visa requirements for your trip may vary depending on where you’re going and your nationality. It’s important that you check and apply for each of the visas you need whilst in your home country and you should consult the relevant embassy if you need more information. Please bear in mind that some tours may spend time in more than one country.
    DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
    Yes. Insurance is advisable on all Indian Summits tours.
    WHAT DO I NEED TO PACK?

    You know what the trekkers say... BE PREPARED! Himalayas are huge, and you’re likely to encounter lots of different climates during your trip. Check the weather averages for the time of year you’re travelling and pack accordingly. Here are some of the things that should be in your case as well as your general clothes.

    • Rucksack/Day pack
    • Duffel back with personal gear
    • Garbage bag (preferably micro-polythene disposable bags)
    • Sleeping bag
    • Waterproof, high ankle hiking boots or gumboots to wear over hiking/trekking shoes
    • Trekking pole
    • Seven pairs of thermal, thick wool and synthetic socks and seven pairs of liner socks
    • Fleece pants/Inner thermals/Quick-dries/Waterproof outer pants
    • Fleece jacket/Windproof jacket
    • Raincoat/poncho
    • Thermal inners, both lower and upper
    • Good waterproof outers
    • Wool hat that covers the ears
    • Long-sleeved thermal shirts/light fleece shirts for trekking
    • Two pairs of fleece/woolen inner gloves
    • Outer synthetic water-proof gloves
    • Bandanna/Scarf
    • Sunglasses with UV protection
    • Lip protection + Moisturizer with high SPF
    • Two water bottles, preferably with insulated cover
    • Headlamp/flashlight with spare batteries - cold kills batteries
    • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards - cold kills batteries
    • Lightweight toiletries, including hand sanitizer
    • Thermos
    • Ear plugs
    • Personal first aid kit, including medicines for high altitude sickness
    DO I NEED A SLEEPING BAG? WHAT KIND OF SLEEPING BAG DO I NEED?
    We provide sleeping bag for all our camping based trips. Incase you wish to bring your'e own, we recommend a ‘three season’ bag during the summer months and a ‘four season’ bag the rest of the year, as some nights can be cool to cold, especially in mountainous and desert areas. We supply a foam pad to sleep on, but if you prefer added comfort, you are encouraged to bring your own self-inflating sleeping pad and pillow.
    DO I REALLY NEED WALKING BOOTS OR WILL TRAINERS BE OK?
    Comfortable shoes will make all walking more enjoyable, so we do recommend walking shoes or boots that will provide a more sturdy grip as well as good ankle support. A pair trainers will be ok, but be prepared for these to get dirty and make sure they do offer some grip. A nice, solid and comfortable pair of trainers (sneakers) is best, not your favourite pair of pumps.
    HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED TO BRING ON TOUR?
    Ideally zero! We provide tours from airport to airport, which include hotel charges and food. It is customary tip porters, helpers, cooks, taxi drivers, local guides and any person who provides a service for you. Your tour leader will work long and hard for you during your tour and we recommend tipping, if the leader's performance meets or exceeds your expectations
    HOW SHOULD I TAKE MY SPENDING MONEY?
    Cash machines (ATMs) are usually hard to find throughout the trek. We recommend getting cash from the destination you have started for the whole trip.
    DO I NEED TO TIP?
    Although it may not be customary in your country, it’s normal and expected in India to tip local guides, porters, helpers, cooks, taxi drivers and anyone who provides a service for you.
    WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO CARRY MY RUGSACK?
    Wanna trek hands-free? We got that covered! Our porters will carry the rug-sack at a specific charge according to the trek (check trek exclusions for charges according to the trek). We request you to confirm this option prior to the trek to arrange this service.
  4. ON THE SUMMIT Know More
    WHAT IS THE JOINING POINT OF THE TOUR?
    Our departure hotels are conveniently located and serve as your trek's start and end points, Most of our tours start in the lobby of the departure hotel a day before. If you want to stay at these hotels for the night before and after your trip we can book this for you (for the treks we don't provide). Once you have booked we will email your tour vouchers detailing the joining point and time of your trip, and our Trek Tips with hotel details and transfer advice.
    DO YOU ORGANISE TRANSFERS TO THE TOUR JOINING POINT?
    Yes we do arrange transfers from the airport to our gateway hotels. Usually there are quick, easy and more cost effective transfer options available directly from the airport to the gateway hotels. Although charges apply.
    WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION TO USED ON treks?
    Accommodation will be arranged on a multi share or twin share basis, usually single sex. Where possible we’ll keep the group together but this cannot be guaranteed. We’ll also try to accommodate couples, however double rooms cannot be guaranteed. It may be possible to arrange this locally for an additional cost.
    WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TOUR?
    We bet you'll experience rush, as that is what we stand for. Right from amazing food, travel equipments, trek leaders we assure you that what we provide is the best you can find. We hold a unique way of treating the trekkers, we will ensure the trek is lively and full of energy with assurance of safety. Bonfire's, local cultural dances, music, food will enlighten your'e tiresome day.
    HOW DOES THE FOOD WORK ON trekking TOURS?
    Eat for the trail. We understand that good quality, tasty food is what one waits for after the tiresome trekking and we will ensure that you are not let down in this concern for sure. With our amazing cooks we assure that you'll not be left hungry. Our cooks are professionally trained and will do their best to provide good food.
    LAVATORY ARRANGERMENT
    There are separate bathroom tents provided usually domed shaped. We recommend you to carry sanitary wipes. Pits are made and are to be covered after usage.
    WHAT WILL MY TOUR LEADER BE LIKE?
    It’s our belief that the most important ingredient for the success of any tour is the tour leader and we are extremely proud of the high professional standards of our tour leaders . Our training programme begins with recruiting the right people and developing their natural talents via substantial training in all areas, with special attention paid to group dynamics and leadership. In addition, our tour leaders receive various forms of instruction from our training and operations teams including first-aid and emergency procedures. Once leaders complete their initial training, they receive hands-on education in the field from managers and senior tour leaders who can relay years of experience and knowledge. Your leader will provide you with the best information required to enjoy each trip day safely and to its fullest.
    ITINERARY CHANGES
    We endeavour to run all tours as they are published in this brochure however, it’s sometimes necessary to alter itineraries to adapt to local conditions and regulations. We will notify you in case of any major alterations to your tour. In most cases, your tour leader will provide a more detailed trip outline at the beginning of your particular tour.
  5. ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS (AMS) Know More
    Where does acute mountain sickness happen?
    Most people remain well at altitudes of up to 2500m, the equivalent barometric pressure to which aeroplane cabins are pressurised. However, even at around 1500m above sea level you may notice more breathlessness than normal on exercise and night vision may be impaired. Above 2500m, the symptoms of altitude sickness become more noticeable.
    What are the other names for acute mountain sickness?
    Acute mountain sickness is sometimes colloquially referred to as altitude sickness or mountain sickness.
    How are the symptoms of altitude sickness measured?
    The most prominent symptom is usually headache, and most people also experience nausea and even vomiting, lethargy, dizziness and poor sleep. Symptoms are very similar to a really bad hangover. If you have recently ascended to over 2500m, and experience such problem then you have acute mountain sickness.
    Who gets acute mountain sickness?
    Anyone who travels to altitudes of over 2500m is at risk of acute mountain sickness. Normally it does't become noticeable until you have been at that altitude for a few hours. Part of the mystery of acute mountain sickness is that it is difficult to predict who will be affected. There are many stories of fit and healthy people being badly limited by symptoms of acute mountain sickness, while their older companions have felt fine. There are a number of factors that are linked to a higher risk of developing the condition. The higher the altitude you reach and the faster your rate of ascent, the more likely you are to get acute mountain sickness. If you have a previous history of suffering from acute mountain sickness, then you are probably more likely to get it again. Older people tend to get less acute mountain sickness – but this could be because they have more common sense and ascend less quickly.
    What causes altitude sickness?
    There is so much less oxygen in the high mountains that it is not surprising that travelling to high altitude causes people to feel unwell, but how this shortage of oxygen actually leads to altitude sickness is still not fully understood. Some scientists believe that it is due to swelling of the brain but the evidence for this hypothesis is not conclusive. The theory is that in susceptible individuals, swelling could cause a small increase in the pressure inside the skull and lead to symptoms of acute mountain sickness. The swelling may be due to increased blood flow to the brain or leakiness of blood vessels in the brain.
    What are the treatments for altitude sickness (mountain sickness)?
    The only reliable treatment, and in many cases the only option available, is to descend. Attempts to treat or stabilise the patient but are dangerous unless highly controlled and with good medical facilities. However, the following treatments have been used when the patient's location and circumstances permit.
    • Oxygen may be used for mild to moderate AMS below 3,700 metres (12,000 ft) and is commonly provided by physicians at mountain resorts. Symptoms abate in 12 to 36 hours without the need to descend.
    • For more serious cases of AMS, or where rapid descent is impractical, a Gamow bag, a portable plastic hyperbaric chamber inflated with a foot pump, can be used to reduce the effective altitude by as much as 1,500 m (5,000 ft). A Gamow bag is generally used only as an aid to evacuate severe AMS patients, not to treat them at altitude.
    • Acetazolamide 250 mg twice daily dosing assists in AMS treatment by quickening altitude acclimatisation.
    • Steroids can be used to treat the symptoms of pulmonary or cerebral edema, but do not treat the underlying AMS.
    What are the symptoms of HAPE?
    HAPE usually develops after 2 or 3 days at altitudes above 2500 m. Typically the sufferer will be more breathless compared to those around them, especially on exertion. Most will have symptoms of acute mountain sickness. Often, they will have a cough and this may produce white or pink frothy sputum. The breathlessness will progress and soon they will be breathless even at rest. Heart rate may be fast, the lips may turn blue and body temperature may be elevated. It is easy to confuse symptoms of HAPE with a chest infection, but at altitude HAPE must be suspected and the affected individual must be evacuated to a lower altitude. If you think you have had HAPE, register on the HAPE database.
    Who gets HAPE?
    Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to predict who will get HAPE. This is one of the reasons why we have established the HAPE database. People who have had HAPE before are much more likely to get it again. Therefore, there must be some factor that puts certain individuals at high risk of the condition. However, just like acute mountain sickness, there are some known risk factors. A fast rate of ascent and the altitude attained will make HAPE more likely. Vigorous exercise is also thought to make HAPE more likely and anecdotal evidence suggests that people with chest infections or symptoms of the common cold before ascent may be at higher risk.
    What causes HAPE?
    Despite years of careful research the exact causes of HAPE remain poorly understood. Fluid has been shown to fill up the air pockets in the lungs preventing oxygen getting into the blood and causing the vicious circle of events that can kill people with HAPE. As with many biological processes many factors play a role in the disease and there is good evidence to support a number of theories about how this fluid gets there. Normally, oxygen gets into your blood and is supplied to the body from your lungs. Each time you take a breath in, air rushes into the tiny air pockets at the end of all the airway branches in your lungs. At the same time, blood from your heart is brought close to these thin-walled air pockets, so that oxygen can move into your blood while waste products move out. Oxygen-rich blood then returns to the heart and is supplied to the body. If, by accident, you inhaled a small object into your lungs, it would become stuck in one of the airways branches. Little oxygen would get to the downstream air pockets. To prevent this area of lung supplying blood starved of oxygen back to the heart (and therefore the rest of body), blood vessels in the area closed down or constrict. This is normally a very good thing and is an example of the body protecting itself. At altitude however, this same process is a cause of the disease HAPE. Because the whole lung is starved of oxygen, the whole lung reacts in the same way – blood vessels constricting all over the place and not just in small areas. The blood in these vessels is squeezed and the pressure goes up forcing fluid out of blood and into air pockets. Very dangerous and reactive substances are formed in your blood when you are starved of oxygen and these can directly damage the special membrane between air and blood in your lungs causing further fluid leak and worsening HAPE.
    How is HAPE treated?
    The most important treatment for HAPE is descent. Providing extra oxygen and/or raising the air pressure around a victim with a Gamow bag can reverse the underlying process, lack of oxygen, but these measures are really no substitute however for rapid descent down the mountain. Nifedipine is a drug that helps to open up the blood vessels in the lungs. By doing so, it reduces the high pressure in those vessels that is forcing fluid out into the lungs. Sildenafil, by a different mechanism, also opens up the blood vessels in the lung and may be a useful treatment for HAPE.
    What are the symptoms of HACE?
    HACE is thought to be a severe form of acute mountain sickness. A severe headache, vomiting and lethargy will progress to unsteadiness, confusion, drowsiness and ultimately coma. HACE can kill in only a few hours. A person with HACE will find it difficult to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line – this is a useful test to perform in someone with severe symptoms of acute mountain sickness. HACE should also be suspected if a companion starts to behave irrationally or bizarrely.
    Who gets HACE?
    About 1% of people of ascend to above 3000m get HACE. The lowest altitude at which a case of HACE has been reported was 2100m. HACE can also occur in people with HAPE and vice versa. Factors that increase the risk of HACE are similar to those for acute mountain sickness and HAPE. The faster the rate of ascent and the higher the altitude, the more likely it is that HACE will develop. HACE is thought to occur mainly in trekkers or climbers who have ignored symptoms of acute mountain sickness and climbed higher rather than staying at the same altitude or descending.
    What causes HACE?
    The cause of HACE remains unknown. Several factors may play a role including increased blood flow to the brain. An increase in blood flow is a normal response to low oxygen levels as the body needs to maintain a constant supply of oxygen to the brain. However, if the blood vessels in the brain are damaged, fluid may leak out and result in HACE. Although we know that reactive chemicals are released when oxygen levels are low and that these chemicals can damage blood vessel walls, it still hasn’t been proven that the blood vessels in the brain are actually more leaky.
    How is HACE treated?
    Descent is the most effective treatment of HACE and should not be delayed if HACE is suspected. A Gamow bag, or portable altitude chamber, can be used as a temporary measure and, if available, oxygen and a drug called dexamethasone should be given.
  6. CANCELLATION Know More
    Cancellation 2 months before the start of the trek
    Get 100% refund
    Cancellation before 1 month before the start of the trek
    Get 90% refund
    Cancellation between 1 month and 2 weeks to the start of the trek
    Get 50% refund
    Cancellation less than 10 days to the start of the trek
    Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend. No cash refund.
    Note:-
    Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch. In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should should contact us and share her profile. Indian Summits holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice.

    Cancellation is processed only by email intimation. Please email any cancellation requests to :- requests@indiansummits.com or call us @ 9168475775. Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. Indian Summits reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which Indian Summits or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. Indian Summits reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason.

AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is negative health effect of high altitude, caused by acute exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high altitude.

Although minor symptoms such as breathlessness may occur at altitudes of 1,500 metres (5,000 ft), AMS commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 ft). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without difficulty. It occurs in approximately 40 to 50 percent of people who live at a low altitude and sleep at an altitude above 10,000 feet (3000 meters), and in approximately 25 percent of those sleeping above 8000 feet (2400 meters).

Symptoms usually occur within 6 to 12 hours of arrival at altitudes above 8000 feet (2400 meters). Symptoms can begin as soon as one hour or as long as 24 hours after arriving. AMS does not occur after adjusting to a given altitude for three or more days. Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), both of which are potentially fatal, and can only be cured by immediate descent to lower altitude or oxygen administration. Chronic mountain sickness is a different condition that only occurs after long term exposure to high altitude.

Pre-acclimatisation

Pre-acclimatisation is when the body develops tolerance to low oxygen concentrations before ascending to an altitude. It significantly reduces risk because less time has to be spent at altitude to acclimatise in the traditional way. Additionally, because less time has to be spent on the mountain, less food and supplies have to be taken up.

Altitude acclimatisation

Altitude acclimatisation is the process of adjusting to decreasing oxygen levels at higher elevations, in order to avoid altitude sickness. Once above approximately 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) – a pressure of 70 kilopascal (0.69 atm) – most climbers and high-altitude trekkers take the "climb-high, sleep-low" approach. For high-altitude climbers, a typical acclimatisation regimen might be to stay a few days at Indian Summits base camp, climb up to a higher camp (slowly), and then return to base camp. A subsequent climb to the higher camp then includes an overnight stay. This process is then repeated a few times, each time extending the time spent at higher altitudes to let the body adjust to the oxygen level there, a process that involves the production of additional red blood cells. This process cannot safely be rushed, and this is why climbers need to spend days (or even weeks at times) acclimatising before attempting to climb a high peak. Simulated altitude equipment such as altitude tents provide hypoxic (reduced oxygen) air, and are designed to allow partial pre-acclimation to high altitude, reducing the total time required on the mountain itself.

Medications

The drug acetazolamide (trade name Diamox) may help some people making a rapid ascent to sleeping altitude above 2,700 metres (9,000 ft), and it may also be effective if started early in the course of AMS. Acetazolamide can be taken before symptoms appear as a preventive measure at a dose of 125 mg twice daily. Acetazolamide, a mild diuretic, works by stimulating the kidneys to secrete more bicarbonate in the urine, thereby acidifying the blood. This change in pH stimulates the respiratory centre to increase the depth and frequency of respiration, thus speeding the natural acclimatisation process. An undesirable side-effect of acetazolamide is a reduction in aerobic endurance performance. Other minor side effects include a tingle-sensation in hands and feet. Although a sulfonamide; acetazolamide is a non-antibiotic and has not been shown to cause life-threatening allergic cross-reactivity in those with a self-reported sulfonamide allergy. Dosage of 1000 mg/day will produce a 25% decrease in performance, on top of the reduction due to high-altitude exposure. A single randomised controlled trail found that sumatriptan may help prevent altitude sickness. Despite their popularity, antioxidant treatments have not been found to be effective medications for prevention of AMS. Interest in phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as sildenafil has been limited by the possibility that these drugs might worsen the headache of mountain sickness. A promising possible preventive for altitude sickness is myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP), which increases the amount of oxygen released by hemoglobin. Prior to the onset of altitude sickness, ibuprofen is a suggested non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and painkiller that can help alleviate both the headache and nausea associated with AMS. It has not been studied for the prevention of cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) associated with extreme symptoms of AMS.

Oxygen enrichment

In high-altitude conditions, oxygen enrichment can counteract the hypoxia related effects of altitude sickness. A small amount of supplemental oxygen reduces the equivalent altitude in climate-controlled rooms. At 3,400 metres (11,200 ft) (67 kPa or 0.66 atm), raising the oxygen concentration level by 5% via an oxygen concentrator and an existing ventilation system provides an effective altitude of 3,000 m (10,000 ft) (70 kPa or 0.69 atm), which is more tolerable for those unaccustomed to high altitudes. Oxygen from gas bottles or liquid containers can be applied directly via a nasal cannula or mask. Oxygen concentrators based upon pressure swing adsorption (PSA), VSA, or vacuum-pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) can be used to generate the oxygen if electricity is available.

Other methods

Increased water intake may also help in acclimatisation to replace the fluids lost through heavier breathing in the thin, dry air found at altitude, although consuming excessive quantities ("over-hydration") has no benefits and may cause dangerous hyponatremia.

TREATMENT

The only reliable treatment, and in many cases the only option available, is to descend. Attempts to treat or stabilise the patient but are dangerous unless highly controlled and with good medical facilities. However, the following treatments have been used when the patient's location and circumstances permit.

  • Oxygen may be used for mild to moderate AMS below 3,700 metres (12,000 ft) and is commonly provided by physicians at mountain resorts. Symptoms abate in 12 to 36 hours without the need to descend.
  • For more serious cases of AMS, or where rapid descent is impractical, a Gamow bag, a portable plastic hyperbaric chamber inflated with a foot pump, can be used to reduce the effective altitude by as much as 1,500 m (5,000 ft). A Gamow bag is generally used only as an aid to evacuate severe AMS patients, not to treat them at altitude.
  • Acetazolamide 250 mg twice daily dosing assists in AMS treatment by quickening altitude acclimatisation.
  • Steroids can be used to treat the symptoms of pulmonary or cerebral edema, but do not treat the underlying AMS.

RISK FACTORS

It is not possible to know in advance if you will become ill when traveling to a high altitude. In addition, being physically fit does not decrease your chances of developing a high altitude illness. However, certain groups are at increased risk, including people who:

  • Have a prior history of high altitude illness
  • Exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the change in altitude
  • Ascend rapidly (less than one day to sleeping altitude over 9000 feet, or 2700 meters)
  • Have a medical problem that affects breathing
  • Have not been to altitude in the previous few weeks

PREPARING TO TRAVEL

If you will be sleeping above 8000 feet (2400 meters) and have concerns about developing altitude sickness because of prior episodes or other risk factors, you should make an appointment with a knowledgeable healthcare provider. During this visit, you should discuss your travel plans, availability of medical care at your destination (Feel free to call up Indian Summits for details), and the potential need for medicines to prevent and/or treat high altitude illness.

Traveling with medical conditions — People with certain medical conditions need to take special precautions when traveling at high altitudes:

  • If you have diabetes and you check your blood sugar, be aware that blood glucose meters can give inaccurate results at high altitudes. Consult the manufacturer of the meter for recommendations about high altitude readings.
  • If you have angina or had a heart attack in the past, check with your doctor to be sure that it is safe to travel to high altitudes. If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness while traveling, seek medical help immediately.
  • Asthma does not worsen at high altitudes.
  • If you use oxygen because of lung disease, you will need a higher oxygen flow rate at high altitude. If you do not need oxygen for your lung disease at home, you might need oxygen at high altitude. Check with your doctor before you travel.
  • If you have sickle cell disease, you will probably need oxygen if you travel above 7000 feet (2100 meters). If you have sickle cell trait (some people do not know they do), altitude-related complications (eg, infarction of the spleen) can occur, even at altitudes below 9000 feet (2700 meters).
  • If you have pulmonary hypertension, traveling to high altitude without oxygen can be dangerous; check with your doctor.

ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS PREVENTION

Ascend slowly — Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid AMS. A good idea is to make a graph of planned days versus altitude to see where the ascent profile may be abrupt and then adjust it according to the recommendations below. Some experts recommend the following:

  • If you live below 5000 feet (1500 meters), avoid ascending rapidly. On the first night, avoid sleeping above 9000 feet (2800 meters).
  • If you plan to travel above 9800 feet (3000 meters), do not increase your sleeping altitude more than 1600 feet (500 meters) per day as you go higher. Plan a day of rest for every 3200 feet (1000 meters) you ascend. On this rest day, do not over-exert yourself.
  • Climb high and sleep low. Hike to a higher altitude during the day and return to a lower elevation to sleep at night. This will help you adjust to the altitude.
  • Pacing yourself is very important. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills, especially as you are adjusting to the altitude in the first two days.
  • Staying or hiking at elevations above 4900 feet (1500 meters) in the weeks before you ascend may allow you to ascend faster.
  • If you drink caffeine (coffee, tea, soda) regularly, do not stop drinking it before or during your trip. Caffeine is safe at high altitudes, and stopping it suddenly can cause symptoms similar to AMS.

These suggestions are particularly important if you have had AMS or another high altitude illness previously.

Consider taking a preventive medicine — Preventive treatment with a medicine may be recommended if you have had high altitude illness previously or if you must ascend quickly.

If you have had high altitude illness before, you may be able to avoid taking preventive medicines by ascending slowly. You will need a prescription for these treatments.

  • Prevention usually includes a medicine called acetazolamide, which you start taking the day before you ascend and continue for 48 hours or until you reach the highest point of your trip. Acetazolamide can temporarily cause carbonated drinks to taste unpleasant. Other side effects can include the need to urinate more frequently, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, nausea, drowsiness, or blurry vision. Acetazolamide is not recommended for pregnant women. Acetazolamide is a sulfa medicine, but many people with a sulfa allergy can take acetazolamide without a problem. If you are allergic to sulfa, talk to your doctor or nurse to determine if you should take a test dose before traveling .
  • Dexamethasone is a steroid that may be recommended as a preventive treatment if you are allergic to acetazolamide.
  • Taking aspirin or ibuprofen can help to prevent the headache that often occurs with AMS. If you will be ascending quickly, you can start taking aspirin or ibuprofen before you ascend. Otherwise, take it only if you develop a headache.

AMS symptoms — The symptoms of AMS are similar to a hangover, and include:

  • Headache
  • Feeling tired
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty staying asleep (waking frequently)
  • Nausea, sometimes with vomiting

These symptoms may be mild or severe. AMS symptoms are often the worst after the first night and improve within one day if you do not ascend to a higher altitude. Symptoms may return as you travel higher. However, symptoms can sometimes persist for days, even if you do not climb higher. If you develop signs of AMS, you should NOT climb higher until your symptoms have resolved (usually within 24 hours). You should rest and avoid drinking alcohol and taking sedatives or sleeping pills as you recover. This may mean that you, as well as your fellow climbers, will be delayed or unable to climb as high or as far as you had hoped. However, climbing higher while you have symptoms of AMS can lead to serious complications.

AMS treatment — AMS treatment includes rest, descent, and may also include medicines to relieve symptoms. You should not exercise or climb higher until your symptoms have resolved. You should also know when and if you need to seek help.

  • Headache – You can take non-prescription medicines for headache, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol), or ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin).
  • Nausea or vomiting – If you have nausea or vomiting, a prescription medicine such as promethazine (brand name: Phenergan) or ondansetron (brand name: Zofran) may be helpful, if it is available.
  • Descent – If your symptoms do not improve or worsen over 24 to 48 hours, descend to an altitude where you feel better. Most people feel better after descending 1600 to 3300 feet (500 to 1000 meters).
  • Oxygen – If needed, treatment with inhaled oxygen can reduce the symptoms of AMS. You can use oxygen for a period of time (eg, one hour), only when you have symptoms, or while sleeping. Home oxygen companies are present in most high-altitude resort areas and your doctor should be able to call in a prescription for oxygen in advance.
  • Acetazolamide – Acetazolamide is a prescription medicine that you can take to treat and prevent AMS.
  • Dexamethasone – Dexamethasone is a steroid that can reduce symptoms of AMS. You can take dexamethasone with acetazolamide, if needed. Dexamethasone increases blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

When to seek help — AMS symptoms should improve as you adjust to the altitude, usually within 24 to 48 hours. If your symptoms worsen at any point, you should descend and seek help.

1. HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA

High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is a rare life-threatening altitude disease, and is a severe form of acute mountain sickness (AMS). It is caused by leaky capillaries in the brain, which causes swelling.

HACE prevention — HACE can be prevented with the measures discussed above.

HACE symptoms — HACE usually occurs within one to three days after traveling above 9800 feet (3000 meters). Symptoms may include:

  • Exhaustion, drowsiness, and severe weakness
  • Difficulty walking straight
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Acting drunk

HACE treatment — HACE is a medical emergency and you should descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible. Waiting to descend can be disastrous; symptoms can worsen quickly and you may not be able to walk. Delaying descent increases the risk of life-threatening complications, or even death. Besides descent, other HACE treatments include:

  • Several hours in a portable hyperbaric chamber. This can be a useful and life-saving treatment until descent is possible.
  • Dexamethasone. This is an important medicine to have on hand if you plan to sleep above 9800 feet (3000 meters). You should take it immediately if you develop signs of HACE, with the recommended dose being 8 to 10 mg by mouth. You should take 4 mg every six hours thereafter until you have descended. You should take dexamethasone before entering a hyperbaric chamber.
  • You should use oxygen if it is available. You can use oxygen inside a hyperbaric chamber.

Portable hyperbaric chamber — Portable hyperbaric chambers are inflatable pressure bags that can be used to treat people with AMS, HACE, or high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). You are zipped into the chamber and the device is inflated with a foot pump. When inflated, the air inside the chamber is more like the air you breathe at lower altitudes. This increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, relieving symptoms of high altitude illness quickly. You can remain in the chamber for several hours.

2. HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA

High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a potentially fatal condition in which lung capillaries leak and fluid accumulates in the lungs. HAPE is uncommon, but can occur in people who rapidly ascend to altitudes above 8200 feet (2500 meters).

HAPE prevention — As with other high altitude illnesses, the best way to prevent HAPE is to ascend slowly. This is especially true if you have a previous history of HAPE.

Preventive medicines are not usually recommended unless you have a history of HAPE and you must ascend quickly to altitudes above 8200 feet (2500 meters). Preventive medicines may include nifedipine (commonly used to treat high blood pressure), tadalafil, dexamethasone, or acetazolamide.

HAPE symptoms — Symptoms of HAPE include cough, breathlessness at rest or with activity, and difficulty walking uphill. These symptoms usually begin two to four days after arriving at altitude. You may or may not also have symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS).

Symptoms can worsen, and you may feel more short of breath, even while resting. You may also begin to cough up pink, frothy sputum (spit).

HAPE treatment — HAPE is a medical emergency. You should seek medical care or descend as soon as possible if you develop symptoms. Waiting to descend can be disastrous; symptoms can worsen quickly and you may not be able to walk. Waiting also increases the risk of developing life-threatening complications, or even death.

Treatments for HAPE include:

  • Descend or seek medical care at the first sign of HAPE.
  • Supplemental oxygen; this is the most effective treatment and should be started as soon as possible. It should be continued until symptoms resolve. Oxygen may be life-saving if descent is not possible.
  • Hyperbaric treatment may be used as an alternative to descent, if it is available. You can use oxygen inside a hyperbaric chamber.
  • Nifedipine or other medicines may be helpful if oxygen is not available and descent is not possible.
  • Stay warm and avoid cold temperatures.
  • Rest; this includes not carrying a pack while descending.

Let’s dig in …

  1. Day 1 New Jalpaiguri (NJP) - Yuksom (5,643FT) (150km drive; 6hours)

    Our way is not soft grass, it's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forwards, towards the sun….

    Preparing for the trek - Register at local police station; Final check of your gear.

    All trekkers are must make an entry at the Yuksom Police station prior to the trek. Do not forget to carry 3 photocopies of your photo identity proof.
  2. Day 2 Yuksom(5,840FT) - Sachen (7,200FT) (6 hours; Moderate to difficult trek; Trail is thru Rhododendron forests of Kanchenjunga National Park). Overnight in tents.
    A clear blue sky above my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me… I am all too ready for my dose of serenity

    After a sumptuous breakfast and a detailed instructions and briefing about the trek; regulations; what to expect, etc, the Trek leaders teach you few techniques which includes breathing tricks to combat the effects of high altitude and subsequent low pressure and the extreme cold has on your body. Few exercises that stretch your muscles and relax as well are taught.

    Now all set, you start your trek with high spirits and your sights on the mighty Kanchenjunga dominating the horizon. The path is along the mountain side of Prek Chu river valley. On your way at Pha Khola, you come across a suspension bridge to cross Prek Chu river. Upon crossing the bridge, you officially enter the Kanchenjunga National Park. You make your way to the campsite of the night at Sachen.

    Carry sufficient water to avoid risk of dehydration. You get refill your bottles in the streams along the way. Safe to drink.

    Though most of the path is constant ascent and descent, you get a levelled trail for about 40 minutes for the much needed respite. As you walk mesmerized by the dense forest, you hear the waterfalls and can see few picturesque small water falls falling into Prek Chu river below at Tshushay Khola. Within an hour, you get to cross another bridge at Mentogang Khola; a cement bridge though. Soon after you reach Sachen.

    At an altitude of 7200 ft, you pitch your tents; have a warm dinner prepared by the cook. Share the experience of the day with your mates and doze off to sleep listening to the now familiar Prek Chu river gushing somewhere down below.

  3. Day 3 Sachen (7,200FT) - Tshoka (9,701FT) (6 hours trek; Moderate trek gradient; A tiny village of Tshoka has some locals in the huts and a small monastery to visit; Trail is thru the breathtaking landscapes of the National Park. Overnight at tents.
    Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.

    The day starts with navigating through a series of switchbacks with interesting views demanding your gaze. The steep hikes and zig-zag trail is strenuous but, last only for 45 min or so. There on the trail is quite easy with an easy climb for rest of the day. This walk through sub-tropical forests and pasturelands of grazing yaks and then entering the pristine high alpines of higher altitudes is not just a visual delight but, a sense of healing tranquility.

    Soon after the hike and a leisurely walk on the ridge with gradual rise, you reach Bhakim. Bhakim is interesting with a feel of a highway rest area to it. The views from the Bhakim’s high altitude is pleasant. Yuksom valley below is captivating. Few minutes of rest taking in the sights and meeting others trekkers who chose to camp there, you are ready for the final haul of the day.

    Trekking through rest of the trail scenic meadows is a pure leisure. If you happen to trek in May, you will be delighted to see the wild strawberry fields along the path. Ripe red berries peppered on green fields is a joyful glee to the child in you. By 2 pm, you reach Tshoka and set up your camp for the evening. There is a trekkers hut at Tshoka and a forest guest house a little farther. Or set up the tents right next to the trekkers hut on the meadow.

    Rest of evening can be well spent in Tshoka by visiting the tea houses and cafes a bit uphill to your campsite. There is a monastery just outside Tshoka. You can go to the monastery by crossing the bridge over a small pond. Try the local snacks and local malt beer Tumba and a chance to meet few Tibetan families. A small climb uphill will grant you amazing views of immense eastern flank of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt.Padim.

  4. Day 4 Tshoka (9,701FT) - Dzongri (13,024FT) via Phedang (12,083FT) (About 5-6 hours trek; A difficult gradient. Varying landscape takes you through the Red Rhododendron trees at their full bloom, steeps hikes on the side of mountains. Dzongri offers you a spectacular view of lush green meadows before). Overnight in tents.
    Your trails that are crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, lead to the most amazing view as your mountains rise into and above the clouds

    Another day starts with a relaxed you expecting a new experience. Start the trek crossing the bridge over the little pond leading to the monastery that you must have visited yesterday. There is a trail leading out of Tshoka, the only village on the trek. The first few minutes will be challenging with some steep climbs but, soon develop into a gradual hike.

    The trail is mostly through the now very familiar rhododendron forest which will be at its full bloom if you happen to visit in May. You will find some Magnolias as well along the way. Walking through such a great wilderness, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the trails, bridges, wooden benches and trekking huts to be well built. A small connect with our world as i see. The sunlight streaming through the trees seem to play hide and see with you.

    You reach Phedang for the lunch. A log shack and few benches are inviting as you catch your breath and wonder what the cook is making for you.

    At your feet lie the valleys of Sikkim and as you raise your eyes, you see the beyond several ridges, a series of sharp pyramids, ice-clad and glistening red/orange at a stupendous height. No doubt, this experience has to be captured in a voice recording.

    After lunch, off on your way to Dzongri, you hike to the highest altitude of all your trek at 13,080ft. The altitude change does affect you, be prepared for it. The trail winds around the ridges, favoring you with alternating views of Pandim and Kabru ranges as make your way up. The more zigzag the way, the deeper the scenery. The winding path unravels awesome views all the way. The tall Rhododendron trees that graced your path all morning, suddenly turn dwarf; as if nature wants to present uninterrupted view in all its glory! Enjoy!

    Soon, you reach a little shrine and buddhist flags making the whole landscape more colorful. A small medicative silence and rest will get you energised for the last haul into Dzongri. A short walk to soon after will lead into Dzongri, a pleasant place with plenty of camp site and a large trekkers hut to camp in. Set up a camp to call it a day and relax and share the experience of the day with your buddies on the trek. The sound of the gentle stream running along the campsite is nature’s lullaby.

  5. Day 5 Dzongri (13,024FT) - Dzongri Top (13,778FT) Rest day at Dzongri (About 45 minutes climb to Dzongri Top; Rise early to be on the moutain top at 5am to view the famed sunrise on Mount Kanchenjunga). Overnight stay at camp/tent.
    I haven't got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers

    Today is a treat to your eyes. Rise early to be on the mountain top at 5am to view the famed sunrise on Mount Kanchenjunga and Singalila ranges. Dzongri top at 13778ft is where you get the best views. A 45 minute hike will get you there.

    Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon that appears as a horizontal reddish glow near the horizon opposite of the Sun when the solar disk is just below the horizon. This effect is easily visible when mountains are illuminated, but can also be seen when clouds are lit through backscatter (Courtesy- Wikipedia).

    Now, to experience this Alpenglow, first, you need to be an early riser and second, a bit of serendipity will do the trick. Especially, since a bright sunrise as well as a bit of cloud should bless you the peak with magnificence. Suspended for a moment between darkness and the day, pause to fill your senses with a view of dissolving the mists covering the mountains. Take your time for plenty of photos and videos capturing the moments.

    After basking in the morning glory of the illuminated mountains and your guide pointing to you next days trails and campsite at Thansing, you can reach your campsite in a 20 min trek downhill.

  6. Day 6 Dzongri (13,024FT) - Thansing (12,946FT) via Kockchurang (12,152FT) (Takes about 5-6 hours with moderate hike. Peppered with occasional steep climb, the trail is mostly through meadows and at times thru rocky terrain. You get to greet Prek Chu river once more). Overnight in the tents.
    Our feet are our body's connection to the earth. Rooted, ground.

    You wake up early to see a beautiful sunrise painting the clouds with myraid hues. With a quick breakfast, you start the day with the scenery with every passing hour getting more interesting and grand. Make your way to the ridge top; about 25 min or so and then to make your way down to the other side. The lower ground is mostly meadows peppered with dwarf Rhododendrons. An easy-peasy walk.

    2.5 hours of mostly gradual descent and steep descent at some places, the dwarfs grow taller and you enter into Rhododendron forest. A treat to people with interest in bird watching.

    In half an hour, rhododendron shrubs occupy the slopes again. The gentle to medium descent continues over 2 hours. The rhododendron shrubs suddenly give way to rhododendron forest. The descent becomes steep and you lose more than 500ft. The forest is a good place to spot birds. Walk through silently and spot birds camouflaged in the browns and greens of the forest.

    Towards the end of the descent and upon crossing Kockchurang, a trail leads to Phedang. The terrain in and around Phedang is so suitable to pitch a tent, but there exists a trekkers hut though. Trekkers hut is large enough to shelter 20-25 trekkers with 2 halls and one communal place. Some choose to stay here but, a camping in open at Thansing is more inline with the spirit of the trek. So, we move one for the last 2km.

    You are once again greeted by Prekchu river, by now you constant companion in this trek. Once again, a lovely bridge across the river leads you to the other side of the forest. A clear blue river midst of snow-capped mountains; a bridge to cross; a forest - all the elements of wonderland right there for you to explore. Abruptly, the landscape changes to give way to a barren, rocky ground with a slight ascent. Pitch your tent in vast meadows and call it a day. Since the whole place is a open meadow, it tends to get very cold at night.

  7. Day 7 Thansing (12,946FT) - Lamuney (13,743FT) (2 hour trek; Quite easy with a little steep hike as you close to Lamuney. From the campsite, Samiti lake is a less than hour trek. You may choose to visit). Overnight in the tents.
    There is no such sense of solitude as that which we experience upon the silent and vast elevations of great mountains.

    Wake up to morning witnessing a glorious greeting the sun gives to the mountains. Mountains in return, sparkle as an acknowledgement. The meadows and early morning mist of landscape conceals the vast presence of mountains until the sun chooses to rise and shine!

    The 2 hour trek is nothing to you by day 7. A campsite will be setup and the team gets going with cooking etc. while you can hike a a bit uphill to visit Samiti lake. It is a steep climb of about 50 min. With rocky terrain. Watch your step. End of the climb, the ground flantens in front of you with icy blue lake right in the midst of the crater. You might get luck and spot for mountain goats and birds. A place worth spending some time.

    Spend a leisurely day in the evening taking in the sights with the last gleam of sunshine fading away on the mountains and the long shadows of the mountains thrown across them. Let the peace wash over you as you sit in midst of the mountains awestruck at the enormity of mountains.

    Sleep early as you need to wake up at 3am to view Kanchenjunga in all its morning glory basking in glorious sun. Also, it is going to be the longest day of the trek.

  8. Day 8 Lamuney (13,743FT) - View Point 1 (15,100FT) - Kockchurang/Thansing (12,152FT) (Longest day with 12-14 hours of trekking; Though a moderate gradient, you need to haul an ascent of 2 hours to reach view point 1. 3 am rise to see Kanchenjunga at its best and from best vantage point. Overnight stay in tents.
    I dressed and went for a walk - determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.

    Wake up real early at 3am to start the day. Remember, Alpenglow? This is the day you can find Kanchenjunga in all its Alpenglow. A swift hike up to the summit beating the rhythm of the rising sun is crucial.

    Moderate ascent of 2 hrs will take you to View Point 1 well in time to greet the sun. At this time, the mountains are still cloaked by mist and clouds.

    As the dawn breaks and the streaming first rays of the sun pierce the mist surrounding Kanchenjunga, it glows in changing palette of colors from pale pink to orange to bright red to their all day white glory. Kanchenjunga, peak of high point is a natural focal point in the landscape, something by which both travelers and local orient themselves, spiritually. The experience is profound and sacred for the locals. Mountains have always been places of pilgrimage, place where people have been humbled and strengthened, they are symbols of the sacred center. With Kanchenjunga revealing its perfect form gradually, welcoming the new day, you feel the culmination of your trek then and there.

    Once you have your fill of the magnificent Kanchenjunga at its best, you reach lake Samiti just in time to catch a thick heavy mist rising from the lake as its surface warms up to the sun. Upon clearing of the mist, a mesmerising reflection of its surrounding is quite a sight. It is always very fascinating to see the reflection in water. Spend an hour or so watching the lake offering itself as mirror to its neighbours.

    All the good things come to an end, Alas, it’s time to return. Gather your stuff back at campsite and find your way back to Kockchurang / Thansing.

  9. Day 9 Kockchurang (12,152FT) - Tshoka (9,701FT) (With a 6-7 hours trek. A difficult gradient most of it a descent though. Views of Mount Pandim through out.. Overnight stay in tents.
    Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.

    Rhododendrons and Prekchu river as your constant companions, you take trails leading to Tshoka. With undulating terrain in ascents and descents, 10km trek may not seem hard at all. For a while, you walk along the shadow of Mt.Pandim, commanding the view. The path is mostly narrow and hops from one range to the other mostly at a constant altitude. The constant mist, dense forests, looming mountains add a bit of mystic to the whole trek.

    Today’s trek is not as gruelling as the previous day and take less than 7 hrs. You reach Tshoka for the night and set up the camp. Now that you are nearing the end of the trek, and spent considerable time with the locals in the team, coax them to tell you local fables and beliefs. Few funny, a few un believable.

  10. Day 10 Tshoka (9,701FT) - Yuksom (5,643FT) via Bhakim(8,654FT) and Sachen (7,200FT) (About 6 hours trek. A moderate gradient. It’s mostly descent to Sachen followed by sinuous trails to Yuksom). Night in hotel.
    Moonlight disappears down the hills; mountains vanish into fog; and i vanish into my life.

    Exhausted; yet exhilarated! Yep, that’s you.
    It’s done.

  11. Day 11 Yuksom (5,643FT) - New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (135km drive; 6hours)

Inclusions

  • Vegetarian, Egg meals will be provided while on trek.
  • Generic Trek equipment, sleeping bag, mattress, kitchen tent, toilet tent, sleeping tent will be shared by 2.
  • First aid medical kits will be available throughout the trek.
  • Hotel on first and last day.
  • Qualified & experienced trek leader, Assistant guide, helpers and cook will be part of the team.
  • Charges for camping are covered, Permission charges.
  • Support team of helpers, cooks and porters.
  • Trek Completion Certificate.

Exclusions

  • Transport to and from the base camp
  • Personal expenses.
  • Food during transit.
  • If you don't want to carry your backpack, you can use the services of a porter on Rs. 400/- extra per day per bag.
  • Insurance

Payment

The fee can be paid through secure online payment gateway. All payment modes like credit card, debit card and net banking can be used. When you complete your transfer, please e-mail us confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow-up payment and confirm your reservation.

Cancellation Policy

You must send notification of cancellation through email. Telephonic/text message cancellations are not accepted. Depending on when we receive your written cancellation, refund calculation will be as below -

Cancellation 2 months before the start of the trek
Get 100% refund
Cancellation before 1 month before the start of the trek
Get 90% refund
Cancellation between 1 month and 2 weeks to the start of the trek
Get 50% refund
Cancellation less than 10 days to the start of the trek
Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend. No cash refund.
Note:-
Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch. In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should should contact us and share her profile. Indian Summits holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice.

Cancellation is processed only by email intimation. Please email any cancellation requests to - requests@indiansummits.com or call us @ 9168475775. Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. Indian Summits reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which Indian Summits or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. Indian Summits reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason.

How to reach Yuksom…

By Air
The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 150 km from Yuksom; take about 6hours.
By Rail
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 150 km from Yuksom. Be careful to leave NJP by 11am as it takes around 6-7 hours to reach Yuksom via Jorethang. The road to Yuksom is poorly lit and it is not advisable to travel at night.

It is advised that you keep your plans flexible because of the ever changing and unpredictable weather conditions.


Map

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