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Thangsing - Goeche La Trek Day Three

Gangtok Travel Blog

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Porters in Silhouette on the way to Thangsing

5/15/07
Well we managed to convince Thupten that, since the weather was perfect and we had great views from the Dzongri viewpoint, we should head off to Thangsing and save our extra day for the Goeche La pass. After packing up, we left Dzongri and started the easy hike to Thangsing, at first climbing over a saddle (where you see the three porters in silhouette) and then walking across the side of some hills with really nice views of Pandim and Khangchendzonga. We walked with Carl and Karin and their guide, looking at birds and the five Chorten on the hill. The fog was rolling in and out, occasionally opening up for another spectacular view of the mountains.

After traversing alongside the mountains, we started a steep, switchback descent.

Mountains and porters on the way to Thangsing
Luckily, my knees didn’t act up. Along the way, we started talking with the group of American’s from Alabama (which you have to admit is a strange state to have a “trekker’s club” all the way in Sikkim!). One of the guys, Mike, was kind of the organizer and is very into trekking having been all over India, Nepal and Bhutan several times. One of the members of the group is a Dr. who did the seven highest peaks on seven contents thing over about three years. He actually summited Mt. Everest so this trek must be a bit slow for him.
Mountains in the clouds
He is here with his wife and apparently yesterday was their anniversary and the group baked them a cake and bought Indian Champagne which they snuck onto the trek.

After scrambling downhill trying not to fall, eventually Cindy asked Thupten about whether or not we had to hike back up this ridiculously steep, rocky, dangerous trail. Luckily for both of us, he said “No, we go back another way”.

Once we reached the bottom, we had a riverside lunch in the midst, again way to much food, happily served by Bebe. We started off after lunch, crossing the river several times (see Cindy on the prayer flag covered bridge) and Thupten explained that there had been a huge glacial flood here in 1990 that ripped through the valley, leaving nothing but mud and giant granite boulders and killing some people and livestock further down.

Chorten on the way to Thangsing
His sister (who lives in Tsokha) said that it sounded like jets flying overhead but luckily Tsokha was not damaged too badly. After crossing the river, we started back up a steep, Rhododendron forest path (you can see the freaky Rhododendrons covered in moss in the picture) where it started raining for a change, actually just a drizzle.

We got to the camp at Thangsing at about 4,000 meters where the boys had already set up our tent. The Alabama group slowly arrived as did Karin and Carl and then it started pouring so we retired to the tent and tried to nap but all the porters and cooks were gambling and playing cricket so we just listened to audio books. Right on time at 4:00 Bebe awoke us for teatime. Cindy and I decided to take a misty walk out the path towards our next camp, Lamunie. We crossed the river several times with great views of Khangchendzonga and Pandim and saw lots of pretty mountain flowers (look for them on the later trek day entry) before heading back for a huge dinner.

Creepy Rhododendron Forest on the way to Thangsing
Tomorrow is an easy day hike to Lamunie so we don’t have to wake up early (although sleeping in when camping is tough).

5/16/07
Well the storm worsened last night and we were paranoid that the tent would leak but it held up relatively well. Sometime in the middle of the night, there was a loud commotion which ended up being all the porters/cooks frantically trying to put a tarp over a leaky, collapsing kitchen tent. Luckily we didn’t have to get up particularly early, but Cindy and I were up around 5:00 anyway so headed out for a walk on the path to Lamunie again. Once again, the early morning light on Pandim, Kabru and Khangchendzonga provided spectacular views. We unwittingly walked almost halfway to the camp at Lamunie where we saw some very cool Yak Sheperd’s huts in the mist on the hills.

Cindy crossing the bridge to Thangsing
On the way back, we ran into Denise, the wife of Paul the Everest guy from Alabama and talked to her for a bit. She was really funny and this is the first time that they have actually gone trekking together. She is much more a fan of flowers and gardening than camping (sounds like Cindy!).

When we got back to camp, breakfast was waiting (that is what Cindy is doing at the little plastic table with the almost broken little seats). As you can see from the picture of the tent, the weather started clearing up and it looked like it would be a nice day to hike to Lamunie. Carl took advantage of the sunshine to shave (he is a very experienced backpacker and having a great time. Personally, I am waiting until we are back but starting to feel pretty grubby). The horse that wouldn’t leave Karin and Carl alone at breakfast really cracked me up. After we finished breakfast, we all headed out for the brief and thankfully flat hike to Lamunie with really great views of the valley and the mountains.

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Porters in Silhouette on the way t…
Porters in Silhouette on the way …
Mountains and porters on the way t…
Mountains and porters on the way …
Mountains in the clouds
Mountains in the clouds
Chorten on the way to Thangsing
Chorten on the way to Thangsing
Creepy Rhododendron Forest on the …
Creepy Rhododendron Forest on the…
Cindy crossing the bridge to Thang…
Cindy crossing the bridge to Than…
The camp at Thangsing
The camp at Thangsing
Khangchendzonga view
Khangchendzonga view
Mossy River Stones in Thangsing
Mossy River Stones in Thangsing
Larry looking goofy in Thangsing
Larry looking goofy in Thangsing
Khangchendzonga view from Thangsing
Khangchendzonga view from Thangsing
Mountains from Thangsing
Mountains from Thangsing
Carl the professional camper shavi…
Carl the professional camper shav…
Our Tent in Thangsing (before it r…
Our Tent in Thangsing (before it …
Cindy at breakfast in Thangsing
Cindy at breakfast in Thangsing
Karin and Carl with their friend h…
Karin and Carl with their friend …
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photo by: lrecht