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Old 22nd October 2015, 14:34   #1
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Default In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

We were walking in the dark. The end was nowhere in sight. No sign of the kids and not sure where exactly we were. It was day-1 of our trek, we were on the mountain trail hiking for over 8 hours and at an altitude of over 9000 feet, having hiked up from 6500 feet, somewhere near the Himalayas. Temperatures were dipping to single digits.

Luckily we had head torches and we could watch our step.

We had almost given up. We were blaming the world, the planners and ourselves for putting ourselves through this trouble after paying a ton of money. This was an illusion. There was light at the end of the tunnel.
After all, the end goal was to see Mt. Khangchendzonga and we weren’t disappointed.

At the end of day -1, these were the thoughts of me and my wife, the last of the soldiers marching into the pitched tents at Bakhim, West Sikkim, en-route to Dzongri to watch the mighty Khangchendzonga (yes, that’s how its spelt in the official sign boards in Sikkim).

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-sikkim001.jpg

A few months back, we saw this nice note on a trekking trip through Rhododendron forests, in Sikkim, and we were excited. As we read blog after blog, we were not so enthused, it appeared to be a tough trek. With the go, no-go battle ongoing, we went through our special shopping checklists:

Lightweight quick drying trousers, multiple pairs of gloves, woolen socks, head torches, light-weight height adjustable walking sticks, rain coat ponchos, special shoes for hiking (and they seem to have a separate one now-a-days to walk, skip, jump, jog, run and separate ones if its sand, road, snow, rock, grass – not completely accurate but that’s how I feel anyways). Shopping lists done, we went through the weekly regimen of training.
Pushups, squats, jog, et-al. What were we upto? No decisions made on go, no-go. We land up on the day before the departure and then the day of the departure. We depart-

And what we did over the next 8 days was mesmerizing. Just back half a week back and feel not too thrilled at the prospect of long work days and the big city!! Photographs!! Of-course, am sorting those. Great learning in that space as well.

I am still gathering my thoughts!!


Flashback a couple of months back. We as a family of 4 are preparing for the trek. Kids are super-enthusiastic. They are checking up Sikkim on the map. I am worried whether they are too young. Weekly training rituals include a 6:30 AM conducted drill by Madhuji (organizer) - Jog, squats, push-ups, a variety of stretches and then information on the trip. About the food, the water, the sleeping bags, past experiences.

We are told each one of us is permitted a 40kg rucksack and a backpack. The rucksack would be carried separately and we would not see it during the day. The backpack is to contain essentials like water, woollens for the day, sunglasses, necessary medicines and the like. What about the ton of camera equipment ! I later realized, I should carry only the bare essentials if I were to lug the equipment myself. So in goes the camera body, the 10-24mm, the 55-300mm, the 35mm prime, 2 spare Nikon batteries, high speed card and my previous card as the spare.
Camera battery charger is no good here as we would be without power through he trek, so we dumped it in a 3rd category of luggage that was eventually left at the last village with power and our stay on the first and last day post the trek.


I wonder why different shoes are required for hiking, however we go with the recommendation and head multiple times to Decathlon to pick up stuff. In hindsight, I realize, each of the purchases turned out good.
The shoes withstood the wear & tear of the terrain, the slush, the rocks, the slide of the footstep on descent, every time I hurl my 80 kg body from over a feet high.
The trousers, with pockets at the knees are a boon. With rain wear covering, retrieving anything is an ordeal unless the pockets are low. And they are zippered, absolutely critical.
head torches are a god send at sub-zero temperatures out in the wilderness. With multiple gloves on, how else would one see ahead!

Medical checks done, adjustments done, add on dosage of green leafy vegetables done, online shopping for additional camera batteries, power-banks, altimeter, lightweight (850g) camera bag done, lets fast forward to the trek.

We land up at Bagdogra airport.

Sunday (Day-1): We are enroute to Yuksom (pronounced Yaksum) and its turned evening.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-enroutetoyuksom_02.jpg

Bridges are narrow and only 1 vehicle can pass.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-narrowbridge_01.jpg

IN fact, on many bridges, only 1 vehicle is permitted on the bridge at any point of time, here the next vehicle is seen waiting for the vehicle on bridge to cross.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-jeepwaits_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-lowspeed_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-beautyfulghats_01.jpg

As we reach the homestay, realize that homestays are at times so much better than hotels. Very beautiful place and a chance to interact with the locals and learn about the place. we are told about the ground rules, and the need to segregate stuff we would not require over the next 5 days until we return back to the village.


In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-ejresidency_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-ejmorning_01.jpg



Monday(Day-2): We head out on the trek. Here is where I realize and recollect a few things: (1) Drinking 3-4 litres of water is a must. To carry it on your backpack is a pain. (2) The decision to get a lightweight camera bag was awesome, each gram matters now. (3) 3 lens is a bit too many to carry along for 15 km for the day !


In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-headedforthetrek.jpg


As we tread along, discussions come up about how clean Sikkim is. I gather that there is an extremely high degree of awareness about preservation, that Sikkim is fully organic and the fact that I do not recollect seeing plastic yet. As we tread along, a bit of the write-up as well.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-welcomekhanchengdzonga.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-conservation.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-writeup.jpg

Soon we are spell-bound by what the nature has to offer...

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-waterfall_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-watertrickle_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-watertwirl2_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-waterwhirl_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-cloudplay_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-waterbodies_01.jpg

The first of the many bridges where we cross deep and fast flowing water bodies.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-thebridge_01.jpg

Soon it gets dark, its only 5 PM. We are away from our night halt. With a lot of effort, we make it to the camp. Its refreshing to get hot drinks and to see the hustle and bustle. This is the stage we were contemplating on pulling back. Glad we decided to go ahead. Next day was to be a shorter trek of about 7 hours to Phedang.



Tuesday (Day-3): We head from Bakhim (9000 ft) to Phedang (about 11500 ft).

Its a steep incline to Tshokha (about 2 km), however with fresh legs, we make it in an hour and a half.

We camp here.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-campingatphedang_01.jpg

At nightfall, we get to see stars and more...
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-milkyway_01.jpg

Morning leaves us spellbound.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-cloudmountain-2_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-mountainviews_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-cloudy_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-upclose_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-mountainviews5_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-mountainviews2.jpg

The rays of the sun cast a spell on the surroundings.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-sunrise_01.jpg


Wednesday (Day-4): We head from Phedang to Dzongri (13500 ft) -
The path is tougher but the terrain has changed and its very beautiful.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-trekkingpath_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-rhododendrontrail_01.jpg

Last edited by subbarp : 24th October 2015 at 11:19. Reason: Adding more content
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Old 24th October 2015, 11:41   #2
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Default Re: In the 'abode of the Gods' - Himalayas: hiking upto Dzongri (4000m)

Phedang (11500 ft.) to Dzongri (13500 ft.) was very beautiful. The terrain changes completely. If day-1 was about waterfalls, waterbodies, bridges, greenery and the 2nd day about higher altitudes, this day was about being on top of clouds - literally. There were periods of time you felt it was raining and it wasn't. It was the clouds brushing against you and the visibility dropped to almost nothing.

Before we move on, a revisit :
Monday (Day-2/ Day-1 of trek) was about waterfalls, waterbodies, crossing bridges and the beautiful interplay between sun, clouds and lush green mountains:
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-thebridges_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-scenery_01.jpg

Tuesday (Day-3/Day-2 of trek) was about interesting experiences. Lots of trees that resemble animals, one such example.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-treeanimal_01.jpg


Wednesday(Day-4/Day-3 of trek) was magical. With one of my favorites. The violence within the snowflakes, the clouds rushing in and the color closer to you was mesmerizing.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-upclose-2_01.jpg

The rays of the sun hitting the surrounding mountains at Phedang.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-sunraysphedang.jpg

The beautiful Rhododendron tree and the icy mountains in the backdrop.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-treeandmountain_01.jpg

For the first time, I felt ears pop - outside of an aircraft. You could feel something flowing through your cheeks and something trying to force its way - not sure how to explain but that is the closest. This was my first brush with 8000 feet or over outside of an airplane.

In the pic - Malik and the guide interning with the group Budha.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-rhododendrontrailmalik-2.jpg

While you find ponies in the picture, one would find Yaks and ponies on the trail.

Soon (i.e. in 5 hours time), we reach Dzongri meadows. The hide-&-seek with the clouds is beautiful here. The trail that is visible in the picture is in fact a very steep descent.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dzongrimeadows.jpg

Another view with clouds coming in, and at a lower altitude than the trail.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dzongrimeadowsclouds.jpg

We march on and soon reach out camp at Dzongri @ 13500 ft.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dzongricamp.jpg

It is raining. Hey! hold on, its snowing. Even before we make it to our tents, its started to snow and we are held up in the mess tent - the common tent where we congregate.



Day-5 (Thursday):
The day when we watch the mightly mountains from up close has arrived.
Our camp from a small hillock we climb.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-ourdzongricamp_01.jpg

The views are simply amazing.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-vistas_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-somemorevistas_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-morevistas_01.jpg


A little earlier (around 4:30AM), we clicked black Kabru (18000m) in darkness.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-blackkabru_01.jpg


Where is Kanchengdzonga - did you just ask ? The sunrays turn it from dark hazy white to red to golden to white and then it disappears in a stream of cloud that gathers soon after. Notice the snow flakes near the top also colored throught he sunrays!
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-sunrisekcj_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-partlightkcj_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-partlightmountains_01.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-whitemountains_01.jpg



Around 9AM, we start our descent. The plan for the day is to head back right till Bakhim, we go down from 13500ft. (Dzongri camp) to about 9000 ft. (Bakhim camp). I get descent sickness .



Day-6: Friday
We head from Bakhim to Yuksom village.


Day-7:Saturday
We head down from Yuksom and visit Tashiding monastry en-route.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashiding.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashidingdoors-1.jpg


From Tashiding, we head via Jorethang, exit Sikkim near Melli and head to Kalimpong.



Recollections:
Was the hike all about mountains and nature? Absolutely not. The flowers from across the trip were mesmerizing and very very colorful. A small collection:

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-flora4_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-flowerwater_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-flora_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-flora2_01.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-flora3_01.jpg


Did I miss the fauna?
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-birding1.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-birding2.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-birdinthebushes.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8578.jpg

Are these all the colors? No- some are to follow.

Last edited by subbarp : 24th October 2015 at 13:49. Reason: Adding more content
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Old 24th October 2015, 15:29   #3
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Default re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Riot of colors to follow.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-violetflower.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-clusterviolet.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-marigold.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-purple.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-violet.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-mushrooms.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tuliplike.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tuliplikeupclose.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-blueflowers.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-clusterorange.jpg


Oops! I am on team-bhp, where are the roads? A brief on the road-conditions.


At the start of the trip, we landed up at Bagdogra airport and from there, went in a Xylo to Yuksom, a Mahindra Max from Yuksom to Kalimpong and a Tata Sumo from Kalimpong to the airport. The first 2 stretches were covered by Sikkim registered vehicles.

The roads in Sikkim are good in parts, landslides pose a huge challenge. Nonetheless its very beautiful, with interesting bridges, crossings and rivers and streams to keep you company throughout. Needless to stay, its through and through ghat sections and curvy roads. 4x4 is not essential for these stretches (we traveled in taxis, none of which were 4x4).



Did you know that car washes in Sikkim are free?
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-freecarwash.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-caratwaterfall.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-jeepthroughwater.jpg



And that bridges are beautiful !!
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-jeepthroughbridge-2.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-jeepthroughbridge.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-jeepthroughbridgewithbridgeroof.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-narrowbridges.jpg


En-route Tashiding monastry
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8667.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashidingflags.jpg


Roads can get dusty due to landslides and construction, particularly between Jorethang and Melli.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dustyroad.jpg



Tricky crossings with landslides, narrow roads and opposite traffic.
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-approachlandslidearea.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-crossinglandslidearea.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-trickingcrossingofvehicles.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-trickypasstruck.jpg

Interesting public transport
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8623.jpg

Ghat sections
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8918.jpg


Finally, we cross some streams, waterbodies that've kept us company throughout and depart Sikkim !!

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-waterfallroadside.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-waterflowroadside.jpg
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-welcometosikkim.jpg

We've now descended many thousands of feet and back to the daily drill.

Last edited by subbarp : 24th October 2015 at 16:04.
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Old 24th October 2015, 23:26   #4
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Default re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 26th October 2015 at 09:17.
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Old 25th October 2015, 13:25   #5
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Default re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Post Travelogue Notes:

Putting up a few details I missed earlier.

Trekkers hut at Phedang
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-trekkers-hutphedang.jpg

The trail and the landscape

Waterfall at a distance
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8189.jpg

Waterbodies keeping company
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8115.jpg


The trail
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8104.jpg


Yaks:

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8087.jpg

Do notice that Yaks prefer to walk away from the stones and on the soft mud. They are also able to watch out for steep steps.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8086.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8084.jpg


Prayers flags just before Bakhim.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8074.jpg


Slight climb up from Dzongri (On the way to Dzongri-top)
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_7983.jpg

Another view of the trail (the easier part).
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_7632.jpg


Few more photographs from outside Tashiding monastery

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashiding.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashiding-3.jpg


Prayer flags just before Tashiding. These flags have holy scriptures written out on them.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-tashiding-2.jpg


Some more fauna:

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8391.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-dsc_8387.jpg


The Group
: Our group consisted of 20 trekkers (most of us first timers). In addition, we had a the the representative from the organizers - Mr. Malik (from Kipepeo). Interestingly, Mr Malik is from one of the premier technology schools in the country. He has left that to focus on a career closer to nature and to be with nature. He is one of the founding members of the travel group that focuses on North-east.

From the local team, we had Mr. N.B (Narendra Bhandari) who take care of all the logistics and required document submissions, 3 assistant guides, the chief cook, an assistant cook, 4 kitchen porters, 5 Yaks men (16 supporting staff for 20 of us - ). This is not counting the 19 Yaks supporting us.


Cuisine and health care: Heavy duty garlic was the one recommended medicine prescribed to us, to be taken pro-actively (Garlic, apart from the anti-inflammatory properties is believed to be a blood thinner and hence good at higher altitudes). Of the 20 of us, 5 dropped of at different stages and stayed put at Tshoka till the rest of the group returned.

Learning: Take it slow. Slow and steady climb is better. Gaining altitude too fast is not a good idea. Drink lots of water (4 liters+). The general recommendation is to not ascend more than 300 meters/day at very high altitudes and not more than 500 meters/day at high altitudes.

On this trip, Phedang (11500 ft.) and beyond (to Dzongri - 13500 ft.) would classify as very high altitude.

(Scale: High altitude = 1,500–3,500 metres (4,900–11,500 ft); Very high altitude = 3,500–5,500 metres (11,500–18,000 ft); Extreme altitude = above 5,500 metres )


Temperature & Clothing: At this time of the year, we observed it hovers from 10-12 down to few degrees below zero. However it is different from city life as there is no electricity and one is out in the open. Layering is the key for non-trekking time. 6-7 layers is recommended (inner-wear, thermals, top (1/2 layers), multiple pull-overs/ jackets). Single pair of gloves would do for most part beyond Phedang, Down feather gloves/ 2nd pair may be required for Dzongri/ Dzongri top.

While trekking, keep clothing light as sweat will build up and cause a chill (no thermals). A single jacket may be worn and taken off as the body warms up pretty quickly on a trek.


Travel to Bagdogra: From Bengaluru, direct (with 1 hop) flights exist, so Bagdogra is about 4.5 hours away (excluding the equivalent time in Bengaluru to reach the airport and check-in)


Trek Grading: Dzongri trek is classified as a moderate trek as per trek classification guidelines.

The longer Goecha-La trek is a more difficult one (but one which takes you closer to the mountains) - this one is classified under the top 10 treks in India.

With these experiences, looking forward to the next one.

Last edited by subbarp : 25th October 2015 at 13:33. Reason: Detailing
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Old 26th October 2015, 18:22   #6
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

wonderful thread subbarp, getting goosebumps seeing the marvellous nature through photos. Thrilled to imagine what you would have experienced first-hand during the entire trek.

Thanks for motivating us to take the plunge and kick the bucket.

Regards,
Manish
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Old 26th October 2015, 20:28   #7
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbarp View Post
(1) Drinking 3-4 litres of water is a must. To carry it on your backpack is a pain. (2) The decision to get a lightweight camera bag was awesome, each gram matters now. (3) 3 lens is a bit too many to carry along for 15 km for the day !
true that! as you gain altitude and the body struggles for O2 every extra gram is a pain. remembered my time at NIM in uttarkashi last year. Ever the optimist, I'd taken along 3 lenses and 2 camera bodies and was shooting on film to boot! Had it not been for my mates i would never've been able to lug that stuff up to base camp.
thanks for the nice write up and photographs subbarp, Im sure you must ve shed some weight as well
and i hope you make that trip to Goecha-La soon
cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbilung View Post
wonderful thread subbarp, getting goosebumps seeing the marvellous nature through photos. Thrilled to imagine what you would have experienced first-hand during the entire trek.

Thanks for motivating us to take the plunge and kick the bucket.
manish you should probably edit that last line a little. The phrase means something that you defenitely do not intend
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Old 26th October 2015, 21:31   #8
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbilung View Post
wonderful thread subbarp, getting goosebumps seeing the marvellous nature through photos. Thrilled to imagine what you would have experienced first-hand during the entire trek.
thanks a lot Manish. It was amazing and very different to what I have seen before (in-spite of having traveled around a bit).

It is indeed a challenge to do justice and capture the beautiful setting into a picture, its difficult. You cannot capture 360 degree view into a lens. Consider a waterfall next to you, with the spray of cold water, the sound of water gushing, the sight and the smell, difficult to capture into a device.

Few in the group (I heard) were emotional at Dzongri Top seeing the rays of the sun hitting the mountain range- its that kind of a feeling (and I hear from people, its perfectly normal to do so). Absolutely thrilling and would love to be on another trek of this kind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by famousshoes View Post
true that! as you gain altitude and the body struggles for O2 every extra gram is a pain. remembered my time at NIM in uttarkashi last year. Ever the optimist, I'd taken along 3 lenses and 2 camera bodies and was shooting on film to boot! Had it not been for my mates i would never've been able to lug that stuff up to base camp.
thanks for the nice write up and photographs subbarp, Im sure you must ve shed some weight as well
and i hope you make that trip to Goecha-La soon
Famousshoes, as we cannot cut down on carrying water, we need to look at anything else to leave behind. What I found was my wife's advice on chucking the 2 kg camera bag in favour of a new one weighing under a kg was key. Prior to the trip, I chucked the stock 18-55mm. Post day-1, I carried just the wide angle on the camera, with the rest being carried separately.

By the way, towards the end of day-1, post Sachen and just before Bakhim, my backpack (light one at that) was carried by Malik (our lead) all the way to the camp at Bakhim (that we reached at 6:30PM) as I had got too slow and was taking too many breaks (and it was getting late and was dark).

On weight, I would want to remain in the illusion that I've lost some.
Goecha-La would be amazing, have heard you see Mt. Pandim right next to you as you trek on that one.


Would also like to take this opportunity to thank Samurai for general advise (+physical fitness advise) ahead of the trip.

Last edited by subbarp : 26th October 2015 at 21:50. Reason: Respond to all in 1 post
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Old 27th October 2015, 12:11   #9
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

Hi Subbarp,

Thanks for sharing this adventurous travelogue.
Amazing Photographs, courtesy Mother Nature I would say.

Please share the details of Home stay. Are there any Resort or Hotel nearby for people wanting to travel to this place.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Wanderers : 27th October 2015 at 12:12.
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Old 28th October 2015, 08:15   #10
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

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Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi Subbarp,

Thanks for sharing this adventurous travelogue.
Amazing Photographs, courtesy Mother Nature I would say.

Please share the details of Home stay. Are there any Resort or Hotel nearby for people wanting to travel to this place.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Wanderers,

Yuksom is a village and is the last motorable point for the trek. It has limited options for accommodation. There are a few hotels that are basic. There are no resorts at this place.

Pelling (about 40km away) has many more accommodation options and one can choose to stay there if trekking is not the primary purpose.

The home-stay where we were put up by the organizing group is called Ejam Residency (We hadn't researched it). It is pretty good (and has got great reviews on travel portals). Food was good, but please bear in mind that given its a home-stay and not a hotel, food options would be limited. Please use keywords 'Ejam Residency, Yuksom' if you are looking it up on google.

Hope this information was useful.

Adding a few photographs of the garden.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-gardenanotherview.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-homestaygarden.jpg


The surroundings from the village

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-village2.jpg


There is a shrine nearby but it happened to be closed when we went there early in the morning, so could not check it out.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-shrine.jpg

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-shrineupclose.jpg


Views from Yuksom.

In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-viewfromhotel.jpg


Rounding up with one of my favorite pictures of the mighty Kanchengdzonga (with the early morning glow).
In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri-kanchenjungaupclose.jpg

Last edited by subbarp : 28th October 2015 at 08:22. Reason: Editing text
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Old 28th October 2015, 11:01   #11
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Default Re: In the abode of the Himalayas - Hiking 4000 meters up to Dzongri

OMG, what an experience and I could not refrain myself from appreciating this thread. Great write up and very good photographs.

One thing that I wanted to know was, you had mentioned about your kids in one line, were they able to make it for the entire stretch? If so how would it be for them? (very tough or manageable)

I did a 8km stretch of The Chembra Peak in Wayanad and I was exited after reaching the top. If I try what you have achieved I would be at the top of this world. Hope that dream comes true sometimes in the future.
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Old 29th October 2015, 08:58   #12
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OMG, what an experience and I could not refrain myself from appreciating this thread. Great write up and very good photographs.

One thing that I wanted to know was, you had mentioned about your kids in one line, were they able to make it for the entire stretch? If so how would it be for them? (very tough or manageable)

I did a 8km stretch of The Chembra Peak in Wayanad and I was exited after reaching the top. If I try what you have achieved I would be at the top of this world. Hope that dream comes true sometimes in the future.

Hi Informmaha,

Its very interesting you mentioned about how kids do on these stretches. We had 8 kids between ages 8 and 12 in a group of 20. 3 of them were 8 year old (whom we called the chatterbox trio as they were the most enjoyable company with their jokes and chatter through the walk).

All of them managed the trip well, a few kids ran up too fast and fell unwell. Gaining altitude slowly is important.

How well do kids manage? Some background gathered prior to the trip:
Even I had the same doubt prior to the trip and was concerned. There were 2 data points I gathered prior to the trip. I will then provide my experiences.

1. Samurai's thread on Dzongri -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ri-trek-5.html (Few days close to Heaven: The Dzongri Trek)

The youngest on that trek was a 7 year old. Moreover he mentions a bunch of school kids made it - that was inspiring and was glad to note that.

2. Our Organizer - I asked him whether 8 year olds can manage? His reply was - I am more worried about you .


How well do kids manage? Some information gathered through experience
:

1. Kids usually manage well on these walks - they are more adaptable, more flexible. Of course, they should be enthusiastic about the trip, generally fit and it is essential they've followed some kind of physical activity (active sports, karate etc.).

2. They forget to drink water, we need to keep reminding them to be hydrated sufficiently and we would require to monitor this.

3. On the trek, they may not focus enough on breakfast/ lunch, important to make sure they've had sufficient solids to eat. There isn't much on the way other than add on snacks like dry fruits/ chocolates that we should carry.

4. Trek guides look for certain signs (this is true for adults as well) -
a. if one is not eating enough
b. if one is not speaking and is silent
c. slurring
These are viewed as initial signs of altitude sickness. For these reasons, they do not allow folks to be in their individual tents, everybody is supposed to congregate in mess tents.

As long as these are adhered to, things should be fine.

thanks,
Subbarp
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Old 29th October 2015, 12:14   #13
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Originally Posted by subbarp View Post
Hi Informmaha,


2. Our Organizer - I asked him whether 8 year olds can manage? His reply was - I am more worried about you .


How well do kids manage? Some information gathered through experience
:

1. Kids usually manage well on these walks - they are more adaptable, more flexible. Of course, they should be enthusiastic about the trip, generally fit and it is essential they've followed some kind of physical activity (active sports, karate etc.).

2. They forget to drink water, we need to keep reminding them to be hydrated sufficiently and we would require to monitor this.

3. On the trek, they may not focus enough on breakfast/ lunch, important to make sure they've had sufficient solids to eat. There isn't much on the way other than add on snacks like dry fruits/ chocolates that we should carry.

4. Trek guides look for certain signs (this is true for adults as well) -
a. if one is not eating enough
b. if one is not speaking and is silent
c. slurring
These are viewed as initial signs of altitude sickness. For these reasons, they do not allow folks to be in their individual tents, everybody is supposed to congregate in mess tents.

As long as these are adhered to, things should be fine.

thanks,
Subbarp
Hey Subbarp,

Those first 2 lines sum up the answers for my query and after thinking agree that, yeah they can easily make it compared to teenagers/ older people than them

The other points are good to know as well and thanks much for clarifying with explanations.

Regards,
Rajan

Last edited by informmaha : 29th October 2015 at 12:19.
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