Goecha La Trek, Sikkim - Instagrammed!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sikkim is one of the most beautiful states of India. I had fallen in love with its wild mountains the first time I visited (Monsoons of Sikkim) and harboured the dream to return ever since. Two weeks ago, I went back to trek in the West this time. We trekked along the trail to Goecha La, a high altitude pass at 4940m with amazingly clear views of the 3rd highest mountain in the whole world, Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m). Not surprisingly, I fell in love with this tiny state all over again.

Do you see the colorful tents? That's the campsite we had to skip due to overcrowding! We started from the previous campsite covering more than 30 kms including gruelling climbs of Day 5, in the name of adventure!
But before I begin with the thousands of pictures hiding in the memory card sitting inside the DSLR, here's a quick glimpse of the trek through my phone. 

And while you are it, do follow me on instagram :) - http://instagram.com/neelimav
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Little girl running across the bridge on the way to Yuksom. We crossed many such bridges on River Teesta and other rivers all along the trek and the journey.


Beautiful rhododendron flowers along the misty jungle trail, it was magical to say the least!


The 2011 Sikkim Earthquake caused this damage to the trekkers hut in Bakhim. We spent the night in this almost broken rest house, it was surprisingly comfortable.


It was a cloudy day all along and the views were obscured all through the killer climb from Bakhim to Dzongri. But the view opened up at Devrali top and we got to see Mt. Pandim and the rest of the mountains up close.


Mt Kanchendzonga(8,586m) and the rest of the gang, as seen from the very cold Dzongri Top on Day 3. We started the climb at 3AM in the morning to get here by sunrise. Worth it!


On the rest day at Dzongri, I went up a hill top and watched the crazy clouds rising from the valley incessantly, all day long!


Finally, high altitude scenery on Day 4! Today we hiked from Dzongri to Thansing, another long walk descending all the way down to tree line from high altitude.


Pretty wildflowers as we descended down to the treeline on Day 4, at Kokchurung campsite.


An obscured view from viewpoint 1 on our way back, tired beyond belief. Started the climb at midnight. Day 5. On a clear day you can see the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range from here. We got clear views at sunrise.


My fellow trek mate walking towards the blue Samiti Lake nestled in the mountains on Day 5.


More the sun shines, the bluer it looks, Samiti Lake.


The many colors of Sikkim Highlands. Dead tired and walking like a zombie by this time. Day 5, the longest!


Camping at 15000ft with Mt Pandim looming large. A rare sunny day in #Sikkim.


Yet another long walk through misty forests along a narrow trail on Day 6! The trek's ending but the climb's not.

So how did you enjoy this quick virtual tour of the trek? DSLR pictures and clear views of Mt. Kanchendzonga coming soon. Meanwhile, tell me where have you trekked/planning to trek this year? :)

A group of us organized this trek ourselves as part of the voluntary adventure group called Bangalore ASCENDers.

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26 comments

  1. Fantastic pics, Neelima! Can't believe they are from ur mobile. Really looking forward to the DSLR pics :-)

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    1. Thanks Anu, mobile cameras have become so good these days, it's a delight to use them for quick social media sharing. :)

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  2. Wonderful inputs :)

    basic images even works well if u know how to represent with words :)

    and this is the example !

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  3. Lovely pics! I just fell in love with the blue placid lake :)

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    1. That's a lovely lake Aarthy! Just for 5 minutes the lake sparkled under a sunny sky before clouds took away the color but 5 minutes in heaven is enough, isn't it? ;)

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  4. Lovely pics Neelima. Am inspired to travel to Sikkim.

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    1. You should Mona, Sikkim is one of the prettiest states of India!

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  5. Awesome post .....love the photographs ...Your photographs force me go to sikkim..my neighbouring state

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    1. Oh lovely, you should visit and then make multiple visits. :)

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  6. wow looks great, I'm hoping to go in the next 6 months! I haven't been to NE India yet.

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    1. NE is special, nothing like the rest of India. You must plan, Rachel. :)

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  7. Fabulous captures, Neelima. Would love to read your experiences.

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  8. We have heard so many tales about this trek from people from Kolkata, we almost went there last year. Looks like you had a great time.

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    1. Yeah, I did! I think it is one of the best trails in India.

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  9. Pictures are all so beautiful Neelima...love them all! I might also travel there sometime soon...

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    1. Cool Sid, it'll be a delight to see your pictures from Sikkim! :)

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  10. Striking images !! The foreground in the first photo is amazing !

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    1. That's how it was for us for most of the time, cloudy and overcast! Thanks Puru.

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  11. Hi Neelima, after getting introduced to your blog just a week before, I have been reading it voraciously. There is so much of backlog to read from 2009 and every travel story unfolds something more interesting than the other one. I am really happy that I found you and btw yours is the first ever travel blog I have been reading so far and then I got to know there are others too who have been active on such travel blogging, I find yours very adventurous... :)

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    1. Yes Shilpa, there are a lot of good travel bloggers out there, with lot of interesting tales to tell. So, yeah, lot of reading to catch up on for you I guess. Glad you are enjoying reading about my adventures. :)

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  12. the pics are amazing // what are the chances of getting mobile network up there?

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