Goecha La 1/117 by Tripoto

Goecha La

Susan Halfhide
It was 5 am , the sky was getting light, and we were still a good 45 minutes away from our summit. We weren't going to make it in time.Ghosh da, ever pragmatic, stomped his foot and insisted we break formation, giving the faster of us a chance to witness the sunrise. I increased my pace too, eager to cover the distance. Yet I was aware of my pulse accelerating. When I looked up some minutes laters, I saw the first glimpse of the mountains ahead - and with it the first of the golden peaks. I grew agitated, realising I wouldn't be in time to witness the golden peaks from the view point. Predictably, I had a bout of wheezing, part from the exertion & part from a bitter sense of failure I felt in that moment.Most of the group had moved on by then, and our rear guide, Dominic seemed to be panicking at the sight of me gasping for air. Ghosh da, again, always bringing up the rear, appeared at my side . He comforted me, and administered his personal medicine to me, which helped me catch my breath and calm down. Vikas too, who had been calmly guiding Astha up ahead, had turned back to keep a check on me.I was quite distraught by then. I could see the sun's rays touching one peak after the other , and felt the futility of moving ahead. It was then that Ghosh da pointed out, that we didn't really miss the sunrise, just viewed it from where we were. This thought steadied me, and we decided to move ahead anyway.It took me another 10-15 minutes to get to the view point. And even though I had missed the actual sunrise, the view in front of me was astounding. I shakily sat down in a spot, just gazing around me, taking in the sheer brilliance of what I saw.The Kanchenjunga range was spread out before me, it seemed, just across a narrow valley. It was as if I could reach out and touch it, if I tried. In the few treks I've done, nothing has come close to the feeling of awe that I felt in that moment.Soon, we decided to head down, with our toes beginning to freeze inside our boots and woollen socks. I hung back, walking slowly, constantly looking back, trying to imprint as much of what I saw onto my mind forever. I was fortunate to share this part of the journey with Ghosh da, who was equally, if not more, overwhelmed by what we had witnessed.
Lamuney (13,743 ft) to Goecha La (15,100 ft) & back to Kokchurang (12,000 ft)We started in the dawn to begin our 18+ km long journey. We crossed Samhiti lake, when it started to snow, and reached View point 1 to get a panoramic view of the Goecha La. However, within seconds a dense fog whitewashed the view. Because of snow leopards in the vicinity of View point 2, we were not allowed any further by the forest officials.
Hemant Khandagale
Valley leading to KBC (Mt, Kanchenjunga Base Camp) from Goechala Peak.
Madhuree
7. Goecha La, West Sikkim
Ayan Das
Goecha la being my first high altitude trek will always be a special one in my life. I still remember how I ended up on this trek in the month of October, 2014. After coming back from Singapore that year, I was desperately looking for a trip to the Himalayas and I told myself being from Kolkata, Sikkim would be the best option to explore. That was the time I came to know about this most romantic trek of India and what can be a better way to experience Sikkim than doing a high altitude trek on its mountains. I knew that Goecha la trek is not going to be easy one but I was determined to do it.The trek starts from a small, quiet village in West Sikkim, called Yuksom (5670 ft above sea level) and ends at Goecha la pass (16,207 ft above sea level).Day 1 goes up to Sachen, Day 2 up to Tshoka, Day 3 to Dzongri, Day 4 to Thansing, Day 5 to Lamunay, Day 6 takes us to the final destination at Goeacha la pass and then back to Lamunay and continue down to Kokchurang, Day 7 down to Tshoka and finally Day 8 back to Yuksom.You can easily get the detailed itinerary online.Unfortunately, I lost half of my photos I took on the trek, but I am quite sure that the ones I still have with me, will be enough to prove my point that it is definitely not one of the most romantic treks in India but 'the most romantic trek' in India.
Kshitij Guglani
27.10.2016 (SUMMIT DAY)Today we woke up at 2:00hrs since it was going to be a long trek today.I woke up, freshen up and had breakfast and was ready to roll. I looked up to the sky and I realised that it was literally a five billion star hotel I was  staying at.The night sky was lit with unlimited stars and I was trying to find constellations and I did find some.Now at 3:30am we started the trek in -6℃ with torches in our hand or on head, trekking in a line and crossing the frozen waterfalls and frozen muddy waters. Most tricky were the rocks with frozen ice on them.In one hour we reached the samiti lake. We didn't have time to stop, we had to reach VP1 before sunrise to witness the awesome sunrise of Mt kanchenjunga. We continued our trek and suddenly my stomach felt funny and then I realized I had to take a dumb.😐😐 it was really awkward. I couldn't continue this way. So I told my friend about it. Now on the way to Vp1 which was a steep incline of 1 hr I took a dumb. Thank god I had toilet paper with me in my backpack. My friends said that I polluted the holy lake 😂😝Go figure!Now I am empty and ready to rock.After a trek of 1hr45min we reach vp1 at 6:00hrs, the view of Mt kanchenjunga with the sun shining and rising was just unimaginable. I couldn't believe my eyes.Anyways we couldn't stay for long on view point 1 since it was another 2 and half hr trek to VP2 from here.Now I should mention here that the trail from VP1 to VP2 is the most beautiful and challenging thing I have ever experienced in my life. I'll explain it in detail.The path to VP2 was a combination of different type of trails. We continued our trek from VP1.The path was really narrow. It was like one wrong step and you fall to death.It was a rocky and narrow path on a steep incline.⊙Now came this 85degrees decline from vp1.It was rocky and steep, it was really tough to get down from it. But somehow I did it.⊙Now we are in a valley and we have to climb up again. In front  of me were these huge 7ft tall range of rocks on which we have to climb and jump from one rock to other to cross it. It was beautiful and adventurous.⊙ Now to my surprise in a valley between two mountains came a desert. It was covered with white sand. I was trekking with my friend dj.I thought it would be nice to make a vid of this dessert. As I started filming it suddenly strong winds came it was like a sand storm at 16000ft. It was so freaking thrilling. I felt like one of the discovery channel guys. This valley was between Mt kanchenjunga and Mt Pandim(2nd highest peak of India). As we crossed this desert in the valley we saw a stream of river which was frozen. Afterall it was -4℃. This frozen stream looked so beautiful. See it yourself in the pics.⊙ Now came these meadows, the beautiful green,yellow and orange meadows. They were beautiful but long. Most of them were plains. ⊙ Now we go around a mountain peak which was the final climb to reach VP2. That means this very mountain was the GOECHALA PASS.I was exhausted and literally about to faint. But I kept going. Now I caught up with others, rested for a while, and ate some of my lunch which had a boiled potato which was frozen now but I ate it. ⊙ Now came the final climb. The most tough also, it was so risky and difficult. I was walking on a straight path which was on a 75° incline. I had to walk really carefully, I slipped in between but somehow maintained balance and managed not to die. I couldn't see the top yet. All saw was a non ending narrow path which I didn't know was right or not.⊙ I started asking myself wether I can make it or not. Then I started chanting Hanuman Chalisa. Whenever I am in a tense situation I chant Hanuman Chalisa to get through it. And it worked this time also. I don't know how but my veins were once again rushing with adrenaline. The power came back in my arms and legs and I picked up the pace..Soon I could see the top. I was so happy I have reached it. It was like I could see myself happy at this time. I could laugh and dance. I was once again filled with energy at VP2. The Mt kanchenjunga was right in front of me and as I saw down, there it was, the GOECHALA lake it's awesomeness was over 9000. ⊙ stayed at the top for couple of hrs and then headed back to Lamuney. Going through that same beautiful trail was amazing. Reached VP1 in another 3 hrs and then on my way to Samiti lake I saw the sun was just above my head. The time was around 11:30 am and the temperature was a cozy 10℃. Now I felt really tired I lied down on lush and green grass and before I know it I slept on that incline. The warm sun rays were so comfortable and it was like they were hugging me. I woke up after half an hour and this was the best nap I ever had.Now reached lamuney at 2:30 and then our trek leader says we are going to kokchurang where there was a cottage in which we were supposed to spend the night.I was tired as hell and he said we have to trek for another 3 hrs? We'll I didn't have a choice. Had lunch, a lot of lunch and still I wasn't ready to roll.I was in pain, I had total of 8 blisters in my feet. I was hardly able to walk and now I also had rash between my thighs.This was the only time during the trek where I gave up and offloaded my bag. I was carrying a rucksack of 12kgs during the whole trek cause I didn't want any help and make it on my own.But now I hit my limit. I offloaded to trek for another 3 hrs.At 5 we reached kokchurang. Everyone made fun of me for taking a dump on vp1 and then  we entered the cottage and lit the candles.Had snacks at 1600 and then smoked some weed (very little) and then had dinner.There were 3 rooms in this cottage. I was in the one with 9 people sharing, the biggest one. But today's night was awesome. Our trek leader Aakash told us all the ghost stories he has experienced in the mountains and has heard of. I was a little scared and again everyone made fun of me being scared. But I don't believe in ghosts, whatever.. no offense to ghost readers!! Then at 22:00hrs everyone slept.
Sindhu Chandra
Goecha La: Heart filled with everlasting memories- A gigantic thrilling experience. We are all travelers, we look, search and go for what we love for and do up to in achieving them. Searching for what makes you happy/feels great, in so doing, those gives you motivation and inspiration too far to drive them. Once we are there in perceiving the dream ahead giving us more excitement, enchantment with a jubilant heart. It is just simply like pumping adrenaline all over your body with more energy and enthusiasm. This is what I felt guys when I saw this place -heaven on earth. Keeping yourself motivated and happy, throws a lot of courage at you to achieve more in life what you looking for. Olaaa.. here I go to share more glimpses of our enthralling trip to Goecha La.kanchanjunga Visiting Himalayan range is one my wish lists - take the pleasure of enjoying the nature; walking through fields, trekking to high altitudes covered with snow, floating clouds, and abrupt weather changes gives you a fascinating and unbelievable experience. I can say that, have no words to explain the beauty of Himalayan range- Crown to India. When our organizer Siva swaroop, came up with this trip idea, I just said yes. From there it got planned and formed a group of 12 members: Aishu, Prasanna, Binny, Sravan, Appu, Adarsh, Chitrakavi, Gangi, Ranjith, Siva swaroop, Subbu, Rafi and me. Generally it’s a 9 day trek, but we had no time so we scheduled it for 7 days.Day 1: 16th April 2016: Hyderabad to Yuksom
Disha Kapkoti
Shimoj gives you a day to day itinerary to the Goecha La Trek with an insider's account of the beauty of the trail. This 11-day trek is for seasoned trekkers in the north eastern states who are on a look out for the undiscovered landscapes around the country. Could Goecha La become your ticket to a new discovery?Check out!
Riyanka Roy
Shwetha Krish
SHIMOJ
Goecha La (el. 4940 mt or 16,207 ft) is a high mountain pass in Sikkim, India in the Himalaya range. The southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, is viewable from the pass, which is also a base camp for those aspiring to scale the mountain. From here, you can see the head-spinning Goecha La (4940m) for those incredible views of Khangchendzonga. A further viewpoint, another hour’s walk ahead, offers even closer views.