Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh
Climbing in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the Eastern Himalayan states of India is still an explorers dream. Not only are the cultures so different and vibrant, but in order to access some of the peaks, one needs to go through some daunting rain forests specially in the case of Arunachal Pradesh.
Sikkim has easier access from Delhi to Kolkata and then onto Bagdogra, from where one takes the road to either West or North Sikkim to make ascents. Sikkim has borders with Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan and all visitors are required to have an ‘inner line’ permit.
The application procedure is much the same as elsewhere in India. However, there are additional peak royalties levied by the State Government of Sikkim .
Most of the areas in Sikkim are close to the International Border and the clearance of the Ministry of Defence is also mandatory or else the Military units may not permit access.
Permits for the ‘alpine summits’ in Sikkim are easy to obtain and some of these peaks are Brumkhangshe South 5635m, Brumkhangshe North 5450m, Lama Ogden are in the Northern part of Sikkim which are alpine summits whilst in West Sikkim, there are other interesting peaks too.
The Home Department of Sikkim has designated five newly opened alpine peaks to encourage small expeditions.
West Sikkim: Frey Peak 5830m (Chaunrikiang valley), Trinchakang 6010m (Thansing valley), Jopuno 5936m (Thansing valley)
North Sikkim: Lama Wangden 5868m (Lachen), Brumkhangshe 5635m (Yumthang)
Goecha La Trek
There are only few trekking routes around the Kanchenjunga National Park that are open to visitors. The trek is traditional which follows a picturesque route past lush vegetation and wonderful mountain views until it reaches a high pass. Some of the animals that are found at various altitudes on this trail are the Himalayan brown bear, black bear, barking and musk deer, sambar, marble cat, Tibetan antelope, wild goats and red pandas. From here you can get spectacular views of the peaks like Kangchenjunga, Sinolchu, Kabru, Pandim, Jopuno, Kokthang, Talung and Narsing.
The area of Arunachal Pradesh in the North East is relatively unexplored and offers short treks and is botanically rich with hikes through dense rain forests with over 1000 varied plant species rarely found elsewhere in the world. The tropical and semi-tropical climate of the area has favoured the growth of a spectacular range of over 500 species of orchids alone.