Sandakphu – See four of the tallest mountains in the world!
Sandakphu being the very best peak in state, offers grand views of the world’s tallest peaks. Mountain peak and Makalu, the fourth and fifth highest peaks within the world stand tall at 8,516m and 8,463m, making an attempt to outdo the world’s tallest peak. However will they? In spite of everything, the Mount Everest stands between them, lofty over everything!
On the opposite hand, Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak, stands with its family at 8,586m.
The Kanchenjunga cluster is splendidly known as The Sleeping Buddha, because of its look. Mt. Kumbhakarna forms the top and face of Buddha, whereas Kanchanjanga forms the higher body. the opposite peaks that form up The Sleeping Buddha area unit Kokthang, Rathong, Frey, Kabru South, Kabru North, Simvo, Mt. Pandim, Tenzingkhang, Japanu, Narsing.
The route of this trek lies on the border of India and Kingdom of Nepal. In fact, one perpetually moves in and out of Kingdom of Nepal throughout the trek. The mighty mountains, of course, grasp no boundaries. They stretch through Kingdom of Nepal, India, Kingdom of Bhutan and more.
Do the Sandakphu trek in April for the rhododendrons
This trek will be done nearly throughout the year nevertheless monsoon months. However April is one in all the simplest months to try to the trek because of the bush forests that burst to life!
If want clear mountain views, then choose autumn
Not simply rhododendrons, get to envision many birds and different animals. If get lucky, may even spot the elusive red panda!
The months of Sept, October and November provide crystal-clear mountain views and be able to relish wonderful sights of sunrise from Sandakphu and Phalut. If trek later in winter, be able to even expertise contemporary snow at Sandakphu!
Day 1: Getting to the base camp – Jaubhari
We believe that Jaubhari is our prettiest basecamp! New Jalpaiguri is that the nighest rail head and Bagdogra is that the nighest airdrome to Jaubhari. The drive from each the places takes on mountain roads indirect through tea estates and villages bordering India and Kingdom of Nepal. The length of the drive is 4-5 hours.
Altitude: 6,400 ft (1,951 m)
Time taken: 4-5 hours drive from NJP. Pick up from NJP station at 9.30 am
Day 2: Jaubhari to tumbling
Altitude: 6,400 ft (1,951 m) to 9,450 ft (2,880 m)
Time taken: 6-7 hours, 11 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep climb for the first 1.5 hours, followed by a gradual ascent and descent for another hour. Last 3-3.5 hours is a combination of gradual ascents and level walks.
Water sources: Chit trey (1.5 hours), Lamyadhura (3.5 hours), Meghma (5 hours)
While this trek is categorized as straightforward to moderate in terms of issue, rain will build it more difficult. Hence, make sure begin on time to succeed in destination by early afternoon and avoid the mountain showers, which usually arrive post twelve noon. The path nowadays may be a combination of gradual and steep ascents and level walks. There are a unit some rocky ways (gravel roads) with muddy sections and some walks through meadows in addition.
To begin the trek, climb up to the most road from the homestay at Jaubhari. Across the road, may notice a path intensifying Capitol Hill to higher invoice trey. This is often a steep climb of three metric linear unit, through a thick forest, and takes regarding 1.5 hours to succeed in.
As climb higher, pause to require a glance at the villages and mountains around through the little openings that simply notice within the forest.
Towards the top of this section, the path becomes steep an or so ten minute walk leads to a hayfield with 2 little retailers. May sight a motor road going upwards; a touch below, towards the left, is that the invoice trey religious residence with Buddhist prayer flags wave within the wind. This is often higher Chittrey, wherever be able to take a chance.
Lamaydhura may be a little village with a couple of Tibetan families that run a little tea look. It’s a comfy place to require shelter and luxuriate in a hot cup of tea and biscuits.
The path from Lamaydhura to Meghma may be a three metric linear unit hike up a gentle incline. It additionally has some leisurely walks over sedgy parcel and motor roads. This is often the simplest gradient of the day’s trek. Chimal and magnolia trees area unit scattered on the route and if lucky and extremely quiet, would possibly be able to spot an Ailurus fulgens. Around 1.5 hours of walking brings to a SSB check post (keep visa/ID card handy for checks here). From this time, walk straight till discover a Buddhist religious residence to left. Be able to enter the religious residence if it’s open. A 4-minute-walk from the religious residence can lead to a fork. Take the road to the left and break for lunch at one in all the tea homes.
Day 3: Tumbling to Kalipokhri
Altitude: 9,450 ft. (2,880 m) to 10,400 ft. (3,170 m)
Time taken: 6-7 hours, 13 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual ascent for 1.5 hours followed by a 40 minute descent; steep ascent from Garibas for about an hour, followed by an easy descent. Level walks on the motor road for the last 2 hours.
Water sources: Garibas (2 hours), Kaiyakatta (4 hours)
The Mount Everest can’t be seen from here, however the complete Kanchenjunga family of peaks reveal, taking heart away. The peaks that simply will see from the left area unit Kumbhakarna, Kangchenjunga and Simvo within the background. Below Kanchanjanga area unit Koktang, Rathong, Frey, South Kabru, North Kabru, Kabru Forked, Goecha and therefore the ridge of Pandim simply sooner than Simvo. Time period between the ridgeline of Goecha and Pandim is that the Gochela, that may be a style and exquisite trek in Sikkim.
As proceed from Tumbling to Kalipokhri, enter the Singalila parkland. Be able to choose from a hiking path and a motor road. The motor road goes into Kingdom of Nepal and reaches Garibay via Jabari (not the bottom camp), each villages in Kingdom of Nepal. We recommend are taking the hiking path that passes through dense forests and meadows, and is way a lot of scenic than the motor road.
This route can take on to Gairibas, five metric linear unit faraway from Tumbling. Through the forest, the path climbs to a flattish prime from wherever be able to visually trace the route all the thanks to Sandakphu that stands tall before. The path then descends from this time and a ten minute trek can land during a lovely hayfield with majestic views of wide valleys. To right is India, and to left is Kingdom of Nepal. May additionally notice a border stone there.
Another forty minutes of descent from here can bring to Gairibas.
Gairibas may be a little village with some hotels and guest homes on the Kingdom of Nepal facet. On the correct facet of the road is India’s SSB camp and Singalila parkland Entry Check Post. May got to pay the entry fee here to proceed with the trek.
It is judicious that simply take a chance here since subsequent stop, Kaiyakatta, is a pair of metric linear unit away and therefore the path to succeed in there includes a steep climb of one.5 km. There are a unit steps turn over the mountain for trekkers. One additionally has the selection of trekking on the winding motor road, which provides fantastic views of the Kingdom of Nepal facet. Once reach the highest, descend a touch and in ten minutes, may be in Kaiyakatta, wherever you’ll be able to stop for a hot Nepali lunch.
Kalipokhri, final destination for the day, is four metric linear unit from Kaiyakatta. The path goes on tier motor road. Vehicles aren’t allowed on this stretch. This is often a fine looking path on that be able to encounter several forms of birds. After 1.5-2 hours, may reach a bean-shaped black lake enclosed by waving Buddhist prayer flags. This is often Kalipokhri that interprets to Black Lake. There’s a little Buddhist temple at the other finish of the lake. Note that simply are literally standing on the border between India and Kingdom of Nepal. A five minute walk from this time can lead to tea house. The motor road that simply notice running behind the shed close to the lake goes to Ilam district within the interiors of Kingdom of Nepal, that is that the district city for all the Nepali villages on this trek.
Find a little shed and a motor road running behind the shed. That road takes to the interiors of Kingdom of Nepal, to Ilam district, that is that the district city for all the Nepali villages on this trek. With a brief walk of five minutes, finished the day. Rest here for the night.
Day 4: Kalipokhri to Sandakphu
- Altitude: 10,400 ft (3,170 m) to 11,950 ft (3,642 m)
- Time taken: 3 hours, 6.5 km (to Goat campsite)
- Trek gradient: Easy – moderate. Gradual ascent for the the first 30 minutes followed by a steep ascent for about an hour, and finally, an undulating path on the motor road.
- Water sources: Bhagsa, Bikheybhanjang, both of which are reached within the first hour of trekking. Ensure refill water bottles before proceeding from here.
Take a break chance at Bikheybhanjang and appearance out for Sandakphu that lies sooner. The path from here to Sandakphu may be a steep incline of four metric linear unit and zigzags up Capitol Hill. Will be able to choose from 2 routes here – the left one which works via Kingdom of Nepal and may be a longer path with a gradual ascent, or the lot of in style shorter route with a steep ascent.
An hour’s steep ascent on the second route followed by around quarter-hour of level walk brings to an area wherever trails from Kingdom of Nepal and India converge and more slash. Will be able to sight huts and tea stalls dotting the Sandakphu landscape.
The main attraction of this spot is that the 180-degree bird’s-eye views of the range peaks, one in all the world’s most desired panoramas. Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapucchare and different peaks of the Annapurna vary opened up towards the west. 3 sister peaks stand tall towards the north and in fact, the Sleeping Buddha lies before. Towards the east, see the very best ranges of Kingdom of Bhutan, wherever Chomolhari the very best peak, rises specially the others.
Faint mobile network is typically obtainable at the very best purpose in Sandakphu. Camping site may be a twenty minute leisurely walk from here, and is settled at a rather lower level.
Day 5: Sandakphu to Sabargram
In the winter months, the Sandakphu camping site is roofed in snow. The temperature here dips to sub-zero levels when sunset, November until March.
- Altitude: 11,950 ft. (3,642 m) to 11,807 ft. (3,599 m)
- Time taken: 7-8 hours, 21 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Begins with a gradual decent followed by a combination of gradual and steep ascents and level walks. Rocky path (gravel roads) with few muddy sections and forest cover. Will get tricky if it rains.
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Sandakphu, as water is scarce on this route. Sabargram has an open pond close to the Forest Post.
Start early as there’s ton of distance to be coated. The paths area unit the simplest may encounter on this trek in terms of scenery and variety of flora and fauna. May walk on ridges and thru meadows, and perhaps even run down some slopes with the wind processing through hair. This route, in April and should, has a vast concentration of bush fully bloom, and may even have yaks for company in some places. Proceed north-east, following the logical path. A twenty minute descent is followed by a five to ten minute ascent and another short section of a straightforward descent. Gradual ascents and descents over a pair of to three hillocks and be a part of the road once more. This section takes 1.5 hours as reach Thukumb Checkpost. Get entry tickets checked here.
The path to Sabargram is towards right whereas the Kingdom of Nepal road goes via the left path. Take a left via the Kingdom of Nepal path and walk for ten minutes until reach a hut. Another quarter-hour on an equivalent path can connect back with the path to Sabargram.
Day 6: Sabargram to Gorkhey via Phalut
This stretch takes around three to four hours until discover at Forest Check Post of Sabarkum. This may be camping site for nowadays.
- Altitude: 11,807 ft. (3,599 m) to 7,546 ft. (2,300 m) via 11,950 ft. (3,642 m)
- Time taken: 6 hours, 16 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Initial descent followed by a combination of gradual ascents and descents to Phalut. Level walks to Gorkhey except for the final hour of steep descent.
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. Can refill water bottles from a stream ahead of Phalut.
Will get the simplest views of Kanchenjunga whereas trekking to Phalut. The path from Sabargram to Phalut may be a seven metric linear unit zigzag route, which is able to take regarding a pair of.5 hours to hide. There are a unit a series of gradual descents and level field walks, every returning in intervals of quarter-hour. When this is often a one/2 metric linear unit flat hayfield walk followed by 1 metric linear unit of steep climb, which might be negotiated by taking shortcuts. Look out for the trekkers’ hut on approach. From this time, may reach Phalut by rising steady for regarding 0.5 an hour. The read purpose is on the knoll to left. Reach there early to induce splendid views of the complete panorama of mountains and peaks.
Phalut may be a little parcel with least or no vegetation. There’s solely a SSB camp, a forest guest house which might accommodate eight individuals, and a GTA trekker’s hut which might accommodate eighteen trekkers. Tho’ this is often an overseas place, get the nighest views of the complete panorama.
If the weather isn’t clear on this present day, possibly ought to head straight to Gorkhey.
From Phalut, start to descend. The path passes through forests, with many openings. Within the initial stretch of the descent, may be able to read Pandim, Tenzingkhang, Japanu, and Nursing through the openings. Continue on this path for around ten metric linear unit to succeed in Gorkhey. The ultimate stretch to succeed in the village may be a steep descent through fields.
While at Gorkhey, confirm practice the village, across the bridge on the Gorkhey stream to enter geographical area. This may higher change to soak up the sweetness of the place.
Alternate trek routes from Phalut to Sirikhola:Route 1: Phalut to Gorkhey (15 km), to Rammam (9 km), to Sirikhola (4 km), total distance – 24 km. This is a longer route but very scenic. Experienced trekkers may want to take this route.
Day 7: Gorkhey to Sepi via Samanden and Ramam. Depart from Sepi
- Altitude: 7,546 ft (2,300 m) to 6,234 ft (1,900 m)
- Time taken: 4-5 hours, 15 km
- Time difficulty: Easy, mostly level walks interspersed with a few ascents and descents.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water with today. Can refill water bottles at Ramam, where will reach a little over an hour into trek.
Start from Gorkhey and proceed to Sepi via Ramam. The path from Gorkhey to Ramam is thru a forest with gradual and steep ascents. On the way, may pass Samamden, a really pretty village with quaint wood huts and luxurious fields. There’s a tea house at Ramam, next to the SSB post, wherever be able to take a chance.
The route from Ramam to Sepi is generally created from descents through dense forest. Simply before Sepi, may cross a wood bridge at Srikhola. To induce to Sepi (our final destination), walk up the motor road for 30-40 minutes.After a hot lunch, depart for NJP. Vehicles will be organized on demand.
- Day 1: Reach Jaubhari; 4-5 hours drive from New Jalpaiguri. Transport will be organised from from NJP Railway station at 9.30 am. Cost of the transport will Rs.3,300 per cab (5-6 seater).
- Day 2: Jaubhari (6,400 ft.) to Tumling (9,450 ft.); 11 km, 6-7 hours
- Day 3: Tumling (9,450 ft.) to Kalipokhri (10,400 ft.); 13 km, 7 hours
- Day 4: Kalipokhri (10,400 ft.) to Sandakphu (11,950 ft.); 6.5 km, 3 hours
- Day 5: Sandakphu (11,950 ft.) to Sabargram (11,807 ft.); 14 km, 7 hours
- Day 6: Sabargram (11,807 ft.) to Gorkhey (7,546 ft.) via Phalut; 21 km, 6 hours
- Day 7: Gorkhey (7,546 ft.) to Sepi (6,234 ft.); 15 km, 5 hours. Depart from Sepi after lunch. It takes 6-6.5 hours to reach NJP. Arranges this transport for Rs.5,500 to NJP, which will have to be shared by trekkers. Will reach NJP by 7.00 pm.
Get yourself fit/Fitness Parameter:-
How to get fit for the Sandakphu trek?
Sandakphu is a moderate trek. There are no technical sections to walk on. But it is an extremely long trek. This requires a good amount of preparation.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. Can begin by jogging every day. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
–>Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when begin.
–>Gradually increase pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 35 mins.
–>If are 45 years old and above and are comfortable with long distance walking than jogging, then before go on the trek, should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes.
If jogging is fine for, target should be completing 5 km in 40 minutes initially, and 5 km in less than 40 minutes before go on the trek.
–>If are somebody who prefers cycling over running, target must be to cover 22 km in 60 minutes.
Working out indoors
If can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints.
Things to take/Essential things to take:-
Trekking shoes: Will need trekking shoes with good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable for this trek. Can watch this video to learn how to choose the right trekking shoes.
Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential, especially during the months of April and May.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of backpack and not be used on the trek. Once clothes get warmed up on a trek, will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.
Three warm layers: Will need at least three warm layers (two light layers such as fleece or woolen and one padded jacket) for this trek. Add another layer during winter. A hollow full sleeve windproof jacket/down jacket will help enormously because Sandakphu is a very windy trek.
Three trek pants: Wear one pair and carry two pairs. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry two. Let one of these be a dry-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their t-shirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night. From December to March, carrying this is mandatory.
Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow at the upper campsites regardless of the season. So carry a pair of sunglasses.
Suncap: The sun is intense at higher altitudes and a sun cap is absolutely essential to keep your face and neck safe from sunburns.
Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof gloves.
Balaclava: May use woolen scarves instead as well. This helps to keep ears and neck covered protected from cold winds.
Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks to wear while trekking, can take a pair of woolen socks for the night.
Headlamp LED torch: Mandatory.
Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
Poncho: Given its geographical location, Sandakphu is prone to rainfall almost throughout the year. It’s always wise to carry a poncho along with.
Daypack (20 litres): If are offloading backpack, will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this zip lock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
Two water bottles: 1 liter each.
Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
Dexamethasone – one strip
Nifedipine – 5 tablets
Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
Omez/Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
Gauze – 1 small roll
Band aid – 10 strips
Cotton – 1 small roll
ORS – 10 packets
Beta dine or any antiseptic cream
Move spray (aches, & sprains)
Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
Anti fungal powder
Please carry the documents mentioned. Documents 2 and 3 need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Medical Certificate – Download PDF
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.
Map & getting’s there/Map:-
How to get to Base Camp- Jaubhari
New Jalpaiguri → Jaubhari
Jaubhari is a very pretty, quiet village in province 2.5 metric linear unit once Maneybhanjan. Maneybhanjan is that the usual start line of the Sandakphu trek. From Maneybhajan taxi stand, two roads pass on – the higher road ends up in Sandakphu and therefore the lower, to Jaubhari.
The cost of every cab is about Rs 3,300. It’ll be shared among co trekkers within the same vehicle.i
Pick up will be arranged from NJP to Jaubhari at 9.30 am on day 1 of your trek.
The cost of each cab is approximately Rs 3,300. It will be shared among your co trekkers in the same vehicle.
Travel to the pick up point for your trek – New Jalpaiguri Railway station-
Can take a train from Delhi or from Kolkata.
Delhi to NJP
12506 North East Exp ANVT 6.45 am – NJP 8.20 am
14056 Brahmputra mail DLI 23.40 pm – NJP 4.55 am
Kolkata to NJP
15959 Kamrup Exp HWH 17.35 – NJP 6.15 am
13147 Uttar Banga Exp SDAH 19.35 – NJP 7.00 am
12343 Darjiling Mail SDAH 22.05 – NJP 8.00 am
13149 KanchanKanaya Exp SDAH 20.30 – NJP 7.30 am
The closest airport to the pickup point is Bagdogra airport.
The flights generally land in the afternoon.
Hence, trekkers taking a flight to Bagdogra Airport need to reach a day prior to the start of the trek.
Can stay overnight at Siliguri, which is 30 minutes away from the airport.
There are plenty of local transport options from Bagdogra airport to reach Siliguri.
Meet the pickup vehicle the following morning at NJP railway station.
It takes 15 minutes to get there from Siliguri.
Auto rickshaws are easily available from Siliguri to NJP.
Sepi → New Jalpaiguri
The trek ends at Sepi. Diganta arranges transport from Sepi to NJP at an additional cost. It costs Rs. 5,500 from Sepi to NJP. It will be shared among co trekkers in the same vehicle.
It takes approximately 6-6.5 hours to NJP. Will reach NJP by 7 pm.
IMPORTANT – In case are booking return tickets for the same day, it is advisable to book tickets for flights/trains/buses that leave post 9 pm.
What are the risks on the Sandakphu-Phalut Trek?
The Sandakphu-Phalut trek is graded moderate-difficult. If have registered for this trek, then here is some information that must know in order to have a safe trek. At Diganta, we believe that as long as are well-informed and well-prepared, can survive easily at high altitudes.
The Sandakphu-Phalut trek is a very long trek. Although there are no technical sections, this high altitude trek comes with several risks. Most trekkers are carried away by the road that goes along the trail. They often see jeeps and little carts alongside which makes them believe that they cannot be in any immediate danger. But the trek climbs very rapidly to the Sandakphu and Phalut campsites, and this is something that should be extremely mindful of.
What Diganta does to ensure safety?
Philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. Have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organizing high altitude treks, have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Sandakphu trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Sandakphu trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.
On the Sandakphu trek, Trek Leader will be monitoring
Two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.
This will help us ensure that body is acclimatising as required.
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health every day. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.
3. High Altitude Medical Kit
Trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.
4. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Diganta will provide with micro-spikes to attach to shoes. This will give good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Diganta will provide with gaiters that can put on over shoes. Will have qualified technical guides with, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
With all these processes and equipment in place, can be rest assured that will have a safe trek with Diganta.
Nevertheless, will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to trek leader as soon as feel them.
5. Being hydrated and well-nourished on the trek
Need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Trek leader will brief about the amount of water that need to carry with at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
Provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
The Sandakphu-Phalut trek is peppered with tea houses along the way and it can be tempting to make a pit stop for momos or magi. We strongly advise against this since the salt content of these food items can dehydrate.
What compulsorily need to know if going on the Sandakphu trek?
Acute Mountain Sickness:
At 11,929 feet the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out.
Sandakphu and Sabargram/Phalut are the highest campsites on the trek. Trekkers tend to develop symptoms of altitude sickness at these camps. The ascent to the Sandakphu is rapid.
Do not proceed to Phalut/Sabargram if have symptoms of altitude sickness. Inform trek leader about condition. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to Tumling/Jaubhari. Although if feel symptoms of AMS at Phalut/Sabargram, it is better to proceed on to Gorkhey.
This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognized before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours. And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognize any symptoms and nip them in the bud.
Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox
We strongly advise to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps acclimatize much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before trek.
What to do if have symptoms of AMS?
If feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it either. Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Diganta will also tell the protocol to follow when see someone showing symptoms of AMS.
Exit points on the Sandakphu-Phalut trek: The safest point on a trek where a trekker can descend to and rest is considered an Exit Point. For most months there is an open jeep trail until Phalut. This trail closes before Sandakphu in winters. For a safe exit, must get down to Jaubhari . Although if feel symptoms of AMS at Phalut/Sabargram, it is better to proceed on to Gorkhey.
For any advanced treatment, Darjeeling has the closest hospital. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach from Jaubhari. There is a smaller hospital in Sukhiapokhri too.
Why should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks?
If ever find alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps can take. Firstly, should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when have to administer medicines to or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest always carry on– Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
If are trekking with Diganta, do not administer these to anyone without consulting Trek Leader. If are trekking independently then need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
AAlso ensure that are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.
Can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Diganta, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.
Acute Mountain Sickness
If of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, can download and study the manual below.
Cancelation policy/Terms & Cancelation Policy:-
What need to know about the trek fee?
The trek fee of Rs. 9,750 + 5% GST covers all cossts of the trek from Jaubhari to Sepi
Here is what the trek fee includes:
Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 6 (Jaubhari to Gorkhey). Will be camping on two days of the trek (3 per tent) and staying in tea houses on the remaining days.
Meals – All meals from dinner at Jaubhari on Day 1 to lunch at Sepi on Day 7 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
Trekking equipment – Will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. High altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
Services of an expert Trek Leader – All trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well-trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.
Here is what the trek fee excludes:
Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick up from New Jalpaiguri Railway station and drop back there from Sepi. This will cost Rs.3,300 per 5-6 seater vehicle on the way to Jaubhari and Rs.5,500 per 5-6 seater vehicle on the way back from Sepi. Will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to Jaubhari and return from Sepi.
Backpack offloading charges – If wish to offload backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,500 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case decide to offload bag after reaching Jaubhari (Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax). Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
Stay at New Jalpaiguri on the last day
Personal expenses of any kind
Anything apart from inclusions
Terms & Conditions
1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc.), Diganta will issue a trek voucher for the full amount of the trek fee. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
In case, wish to cancel trek, please login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under:
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
- Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee that have paid. Also, if have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start at Jaubhari to the end of the trek at Sepi.
2. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from NJP railway station. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Jabari in shared cabs.
3. Transport: Transport from NJP to Jaubhari (Rs.3,500 per vehicle) and return from Sepi to NJP (Rs. 5,500 per vehicle) can be arranged by us – participants are expected to share the cost of the cab. The amount is to be paid directly to transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Diganta only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
4. Backpack offloading: Diganta expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charge for the entire trek duration is Rs. 1,500 + 5% GST. Partial offloading is not allowed. Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading – Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
5. Emergency during trek: A medical emergency or any other emergency may arise during a trek. If for any reason are sent down from the trek then Diganta will make arrangements for return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany. He may not be a trained personnel.
Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (an unwell person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with the team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Diganta trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, are not doctors?
Registering for this trek is an understanding that have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. Have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. Have taken efforts to educate and are in a position to manage own altitude related emergency.
6. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Cardiovascular training before a trek is critically important. Training must include strength and flexibility workout. Have laid out the eligibility criteria here. Registering for the trek is an understanding that will undertake the mandated fitness training. Diganta has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
7. Non-liability: Diganta is not responsible for any loss/damage of gear, equipment or other belongings during the trek.
8. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.
9. Drinking and smoking: During the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.
10. Safety Protocol:
a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatization’s, most treks in the Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and terrain are the reasons for this. There are chances that will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that trek leader may deem it unsafe for to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for to descend to a lower attitude.
b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Diganta reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Diganta trek leaders.
c. This is a high altitude trek with rough, rocky and snowy terrain. It is important that are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by within a reasonable time. Diganta reserves the right to send back a trekker if trek leader finds that will be unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance.