The trek to Green Lake, the Base Camp of Mount Khangchendzonga on the Zemu glacier, is one of the most beautiful trekking trails in Sikkim. Green Lake is not an actual lake, but an unbelievable stretch of green frozen glacier, which is known by the name Zemu Glacier. The view of Mount Siniolchu (6,887m) there is no other mountain that can equal Siniolchu in beauty, as mentioned by Douglas Freshfield, who had seen many mountains on earth. The Green Lake trek starts from Zema 60km ahead of Lachen, a beautiful village where we set our base for this trek. Gangtok to Lachen is a day’s journey of five to six hours by car.
- Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu: Drive to Hotel.
- Day 02: Free day in Kathmandu.
- Day 03: Fly to Bharatpur: Drive to Bagdogra in Sikkim.
Day 04: Bagdogra-Gangtok: Leave for Gangtok about 124 km or approx 4 hrs drive. This is a scenic and winding drive, takes you along the River Teesta which leads to “Gangtok” the capital of Sikkim.
While half way you arrive at a place called Rangpo, this is the entry point to Sikkim. You will have to fulfill the entry formalities against your special permit to tour around Sikkim,While we fulfill the formalities you refresh yourself with Tea and Snacks, then continue the drive to Gangtok.Arrive Gangtok by evening check-in to hotel.
Day 05: Gangtok Sight Seeing. (While we process final documentation.)
After breakfast visit to the World famous Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centers Monastery, situated 24kms from Gangtok. This is the headquarter of the present seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyud Sect. This Monastery is said to be replica of the monastery at Tsurphu, Tibet with its traditional architecture, exquisite paintings, intricate wood work, housing treasures of manuscripts and icons. Rumtek is a splendid example of Tibetan monastic art. ON the way back visit Do-Drul Chorten Stupa: An awe inspiring stupa, encircled by prayer wheels which you may spin while walking around, clockwise only, to offer the prayer “ Om Mane Padme Hum Re”. Nearby, simple housed are two giant statues of the Lord Buddha and Guru Padmasambhava. Tibetology: A unique institution, devoted to Tibet logy the only of its kind in the world where is displayed perhaps the largest collection to Tibetan artifacts outside Tibet.
After lunch visit Govt. Institute of Handicrafts Cottage Industries: this place you can buy local handicrafts such as carpets, woodcarvings or nick-knacks. You may also see the artisans at work.Flower Show at White Hall: Specimens of Sikkim’s famous Orchids and other flora.Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Gangtok to Lachen. The journey takes about 5-6 hours drive with all the stoppages, including lunch break on the way. The drive passes through very interesting Sikkimese villages. Numerous waterfalls should not be missed. Night will be in a hotel in Lachen. Lachen is quite a huge village 280 families from the Bhutia stock. The people here are semi nomadic, moving with their cattles to the high pastures in the north in the summer. From tonight you will get the taste of food from your trekking cook.
Day 07: Lachen to Zema , 2848 m, (27°46’09N,88 32’22E) (drive 2 Kms) to Tallem 3312m, (27° 47’ 01N, 88° 29’ 48E) Since the original trail was washed away by a flash flood in 2007, it is quite tiring walking on boulder strewn trail along the Zemu Chu in the beginning. There are few climbs and have to cross landslides. The walk from Zema to the first camp takes about four hours. The trail is through beautiful forest of Rhododendron, Magnolia and fir. At few places you will have to walk over fallen trees. The first camp is at a beautiful place, with view of the Lamo Angdang Range, Khangchendzonga and the Simvo. So the first night is in a forest of fir trees, with a small stream running close by.
Day 08: Tallem to Jackchen, 3462m, (27° 46’28N,88° 27’38E) Today the trail is through forest and meadows of marshes. Few climbs. As you start from the first camp there is a very interesting bridge to cross over the river which flows from Muguthang valley. The walk is about 4 hours, it is quite tiring as you have to wade through forest and cross many of the obstacles created by fallen trees. The camp will be beside the Zemu River, and the melodious sound of it will lull you to sleep. The sun comes bit late in the morning. There is a newly constructed hut here. From Jackchen there is trail across the Zemu River Tholung which goes to the Kishong La and into the Tholung valley and finally into the Lepcha Reserve of Dzongu.
Day 09: Poki Cave Camp to Marco polo Rest Camp, 4332m,(27° 46’06N, 88° 22’33E) The walk takes about 4 hours. It is a straight and gentle walk through the forest until the start of climb towards Yabuk. The climb takes about 40 minutes and of course the altitude kicks in. Yabuk is on a flat meadow with a two storeyed wooden hut and a watch tower constructed by the Wildlife Department. Now from here you can see the distant snout of the Zemu glacier and the white trail on the moraine. Since the trail is seldom used we have to move through bushes of thorn which have overgrown into the trail. From here the tree line finishes and plenty of Rhododendron bushes. From Yabuk the trail goes down to the river and then climb to the to the start of the Zemu Glacier. From here the Giants of Sikkim look very close. The camp is located beside a small stream and Zemu glacier.
Day 10: Marco polo Rest Camp to Camp Masuda, 4641m, (27°46’09N, 88° 19’46E) The walk is about 4 hours, it’s a gradual climb, but you will begin to feel the thin air. The trail is through boulders brought down by ancient glaciers and it is quite tiring, negotiating the bends and climbs. The camp is located in one of the most beautiful spot. You can have a great view of all the great peaks from your tent, without having to get out of your tent. Khangchendzonga, The Twins, Siniolchu, Simvo, Nepal Peak, Tent Peak, Nepal Col, Nepal Gap. If you look to the distant East Jhomolhari stands before you in the grandest form far away in Bhutan. From the camp just walk for a minute and you will come face to face with the mighty Zemu glacier, considered to be the biggest glacier in the Himalaya at 17 miles long. Sun rise is a wonderful experience here. The slow lighting of the peaks in the morning is just magical.
Day 11: Camp Masuda to Green Lake Excursion,4930m, (27° 45’51N, 88° 17’49E) to Rest Camp. Its about three and half hours walk to Green Lake. Have to start latest by 7am. The walk is through huge glacial plain which never seems to end. As you walk towards Green Lake the mighty peaks get closer and closer and then the view changes with every turn. Then you can see the routes taken by the brave mountaineers on the massif wall of the Khangchendzonga. If you are lucky and you are there at the right season, you will know why it’s a challenge to climb the mountain from the Sikkim side. Numerous avalanche roars down the sheer faces. The Germans, 1929,1931, the British, The Indian army and the last expedition in 2000 by the Austrians had there base camp in Green Lake. So, this is the Real Khangchendzonga base Camp. After, we have a good stay in Green Lake we return to Camp Masuda have lunch and then pack, rest for a while and move towards Rest Camp. Today the walk is about 7 hours in total.
Day 12: Rest Camp 4592m (27° 46’08N, 88° 21’20E) to Poki Cave Camp. The walk takes about 5 hours and it is all down hill. We will be following the same trail.
Day 13: Poki Cave Camp to Tallem. Today the distant is bit long, about 6 hours, with few rests in between.
Day 14: Tallem to Zema to Lachen. The walk from Tallem to Zema takes about 3 hours. Following the same boulder trail along the Zemu River. The Jeep will be waiting for us at Zema to drive us back to Lachen. Overnight in Hotel. (Hot shower).
Day 15: Lachen to Gangtok Will head for Gangtok around 8am. On the way if Khangchendzonga group is visible from Singhik stop for a while to admire the wonderful view. Visit Phodong and Labrang Monasteries. Lunch on the way. Evening back in hotel in Gangtok.Then in the morning by bus siligudi to Kankadvitta and Kankadvitta to Biratnagar airport then flight to Kathmandu.
- The trekking will be in expedition style. There are no tea house facilities on the Green Lake Trek.
- Basic clean lodging with hot shower will be provided for two nights in Lachen.
- Cost will be provided on request and also depending on number of Pax
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