Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim
Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim
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Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim with a side Trek to Goechala Pass

The Thinchenkhang Expedition is not just a physical challenge; it’s the best expedition in Sikkim, a journey of self-discovery, pushing your limits, and experiencing the raw power of nature. It’s a quest for those who seek adventure beyond the ordinary, an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Thinchenkhang Expedition with a side trek to Goechala Pass is the best trekking expedition in Sikkim, a thrilling climb to the majestic Thinchenkhang Peak, a 6010-meter technical marvel that stands tall in the wilderness of Kanchenjunga National Park.

The side trek to Goechala Pass, which ascents up to 4990 m, not only gives one the pleasure of trekking to the foot of Kanchenjunga, but in the process also helps in acclimatization, making it easier for the Thinchenkhang Expedition.

Location

Thinchenkhang, a 6010-meter technical peak with alpine-type climbing, falls to the south of Thansing Valley inside the Kanchenjunga National Park in west Sikkim. Once on the Dzongri Ridge, Thinchenkhang remains visible throughout the trek from Dzongri to Goechala Pass. But this peak is best seen from Dzongri Top and also from Thansing Valley.

Thinchenkhang, a popular peak for Climbing

Thinchenkhang, with an altitude of 6010 m, is the most sought-after peak for climbing and expedition in Sikkim.

Firstly, as compared to other similar expeditions in neighboring Nepal, the Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim gives a climber the opportunity to experience the workings of a full-fledged expedition at a very nominal cost.

Secondly, in comparison with the expeditions in Nepal, the expeditions in Sikkim are less commercialized, less crowded, and very raw. Therefore. At any given time, your group may be the only one on the Thinchenkhang Expedition.

Thirdly, Thinchenkhang, at 6010 m tall, is a technical peak, and climbing Thinchenkhang involves all the technical aspects of climbing an eight thousand-meter peak. Therefore, in order for one to undergo the Thinchenkhang expedition in Sikkim, one needs to be a trained climber with both technical knowledge and skill.

So, with a combination of height and technical aspects, the Thinchenkhang expedition in Sikkim is popular among novices and also ideal for first-time climbers aspiring to climb higher mountains in the near future.

Thinchenkhang Expedition
Jean Laurent on the Thinchenkhang Summit, April 26, 2023

Getting Around 

The Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim starts with a drive to Yuksom (1760 m), a small hamlet in West Sikkim. For those who do not know, Yuksom is the original and old capital of Sikkim. Also, Yuksom is the trek head for expeditions in Sikkim to Thinchenkhang, Jopuno, and Frey Peak, which lie in Rathong Valley, and is also the trek head for the famous Goechala Pass Trek.

Yuksom is about five hours and 144 km from the capital, Gangtok, and six hours by car from Bagdogra Airport or New Jalpaiguri Rail Station.

Sikkim Peak Climbing
Setting up Camp at Toriphuley (4034m): Base Camp for Thinchenkhang Expedition

Grade 

Mount Thinchenkhang is categorized in the “D” category. As the name suggests, the Thinchenkhang Expedition is difficult, meaning it involves more technical climbing on steep snow, rock, and ice slopes at 50–70 degrees. The route is harder but shorter. Thinchenkhang is a challenging mountain with hard sections of rock, ice, and snow.

Permits and Formalities for Thinchenkhang Expedition

The Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim has to go through a travel or trekking agency registered and recognized by the Government of India and approved by the Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim. Permits for this expedition in Sikkim will be issued to a minimum of two persons after paying the peak fees as prescribed by the Tourism Department with the approval of the Indian Mountaineering Association.

Permits for trekking and the Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim have to be applied for three months in advance. All relevant fees with regard to Peak Royalty, Kanchenjunga National Park Fee, and Fee to Liaison Officer have to be paid in advance before applying for the permit. Then only will the permit be entertained and issued.

Sikkim Peak Climbing
Climbing to the Summit of Thinchenkhang

Documents needed for Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim

Two forms, one for expeditions and the other for trekking, will have to be filled out and signed by the expedition members.

Along with these two duly filled-in and signed forms, the following documents also have to be attached and submitted to the Home Department for the Thinchenkhang Trekking Expedition in Sikkim.

  • Photocopy of Passport
  • Four Passport Photos
  • Indian Visa
  • A medical certificate from a registered Doctor stating the participant is fit to undertake expedition in Sikkim
  • Indemnity Bond duly signed
  • Personal Insurance for Mountaineering

The following royalty shall be levied for Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim:

For Foreign Expedition Teams:

  • 1-4 members: US$500 per  Team
  • 1–8 members: US$700 per Team
  • Thereafter, there is US$75 for every additional member.

For Domestic expedition teams

  • 1–8 members: IRs. 15,000 per Team
  • Thereafter, IRs. 1500 for every  additional

For local expedition teams:

  • 1–8 members: IRs. 3000 per  Team
  • Thereafter, IRs. 300 for every additional member.

The best time for Thinchenkhang Climbing Expedition

Best Trekking Expedition in Sikkim
Advance Base Camp or Summit Camp

May to October is an appropriate time for Thinchenkhang climbing in Sikkim. There are basically two seasons that are recommended for all activities related to climbing in Sikkim.

The spring season, which starts from March to May, is an appropriate time for climbing and expeditions in Sikkim when the temperature is very pleasant.

October to November is another season recommended for expeditions in the Sikkim Himalayas when the weather is very pleasant and the skies are all clear because of the just-concluded monsoon rain.

After having said that, it is necessary to keep in mind that we do get occasional rainfall, especially in the afternoon in the Himalayas. The lower reaches get rainfall, whereas the upper reaches get snowfall.

What to Bring for Thinchenkhang Expedition 

Personal Climbing Equipment

  • Pair of climbing Boots
  • Good-quality one-pair gaiters
  • Crampons
  • Trekking pole (s)
  • Climbing harness
  • Ice Axe
  • Karabiners ( Locking)
  • Ascender
  • Descender
  • Jumar
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Glacier goggles with side covers
  • Good four-season sleeping bag (0 degrees to -10 degrees Celsius)

Clothing

  • 1 set of windproof or waterproof jackets
  • 1 Down jacket with hood
  • 1 mid- to heavy-weight Fleece Jacket
  • 1 Fleece vest
  • 1 mid-layer fleece
  • 1 mid-weight Fleece pant
  • 2 Thermal underwear tops and bottoms
  • A Pair of insulated mitts
  • A Pair of thermal gloves
  • 1 Pair over-mitts
  • 4 pairs of thick woolen socks
  • 4 pairs of thin polypropylene socks or liners
  • 1 Warm wool or fleece Hat
  • 1 Balaclava (wool or fleece)
  • 1 Whistle
  • 1 Head lamp with spare batteries

Clothes and Equipment for Trekking

  • Pair of Loose Trekking Pants
  • A couple of light Quick Dry Tee Shirts for Day Use
  • Pair of Comfortable Ankle Length Trekking Boot
  • A pair of lightweight sandals (Keen )
  • 1 Sun hat
  • 2 one-liter water bottles
  • Sunscreen lotions (50 SPF)
  • Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly for chaffed lips
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer, etc.
  • water purification tabs

Back Pack and Duffle Bag 

  • A summit pack with at least 50 liters of capacity can also be used as a day pack while on the trek.
  • Large, robust canvas bag or kit bag (for transporting gear on trail)
  • Small duffle bag with lock (for storing excess gear and travel clothes in hotels).

Climbing Equipment Provided (Included in the Cost) 

  • Climbing Rope: 100m.
  • Fixed Rope: 200m.
  • Carabiner: 35 nos.
  • Plain Carabiner: 16 Nos.
  • Rock Pitons: 8 Nos.
  • Ice Pitons: 15 Nos.
  • Snow Bar: 4 Nos.
  • Jumar: 1 No.

Your Safety is our Prime concern

We care about you, and your safety is our prime concern. Therefore, we at Farouttrek have very experienced climbing guides with more than eighteen years of experience leading climbers and mountaineers from all over the world to all the highest mountains in the world.

Our climbing leader, Tashi Sherpa, has the following credentials:

  • Everest: Three Times (2013, 2018 , 2019, 2021)
  • K2 (Pakistan): One Time (2014)
  • Kanchenjunga: Two Times (2011 and 2014)
  • Dhaulagiri: One Time (2016)
  • Lhotse: Two Times (2012 and 2013)
  • Manaslu: 2Times ( 2016 and 2017)
  • Makalu: 2 Times (2016 and 2017)
  • Annapurna: 2019
  • Cho-Oyu: 2014
  • Amadablam: 2021
  • Yalung Khang: 2014
  • Baruntse: Five Times
  • Mera Peak: Seven Times
  • Nanga Parvat (India): One-Time
  • Thinchenkhang (Sikkim, India): Four Times

Booking Formalities

In order to book and confirm the Thinchenkhang Trekking Expedition in Sikkim, you will need to deposit an advance amount of US$400 per person, along with the peak fee and Kanchenjunga National Park fee.

Permits for all trekking expeditions in Sikkim have to be applied for at least three months in advance. Duly filled out expedition forms by the participants, along with the Peak Fees, Kanchenjunga National Park Fees, and Fee to Liaison Officer, have to be submitted three months in advance from the starting date of the expedition in Sikkim.

A xerox copy of the passport, an Indian visa, four passport photos, an indemnity bond duly signed by the participants, a medical certificate declaring the fitness of the participant(s), the insurance policy of the participants, and the climbing guide have to be submitted.

After reference by the Forest Department, Government of Sikkim, acknowledgement from the Home Ministry, and approval by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, the Trekking Expedition Permit will be granted.

Once you decide to undergo the Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim with us, we will mail to you in PDF format all the forms to be filled in, such as the doctor’s certificate, fitnee certificate, etc., and guide you with all the instructions.

Accommodation and Food 

Accommodation on this Thinchenkhang Trekking Expedition in Sikkim will be in twin-share tents with three-inch foam mattresses allocated to each expedition member. Besides, a kitchen tent, a dining tent, and a toilet tent will also be set up at the Thinchenkhang Base Camp. The kitchen tent and the dining tent will also double up as sleeping tents for the entire support team.

Local Indian vegetarian food will be provided during the trekking expedition until the base camp.

Breakfast will usually be porridge and honey, pancakes with jam or peanut butter, Tibetan bread, bread and butter, fruits, tea, or coffee. Some days during the trekking expedition, puri (flour bread fried in oil) with vegetable curry will also be provided.

Lunches will be Macaroni, Pasta, Chapatis with Vegetable Curry, Vegetable Chowmein, Noddle Soup, or Plain Soup, followed by Tea or Coffee.

Dinners will normally be plain rice with dal and curry. Sometimes fried rice with soup and chowmein with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate drinks will be provided.

Individual propane gas canisters, along with a burner and canned food, will be supplied for cooking and consumption while at the Summit Camp.

Our experienced outdoor adventure team is always ready to help you plan your expedition in Sikkim. Our team will assist you throughout the whole process, from the moment you decide until you return from the Thinchenkhang Expedition.

TRIP FACTS

  • Type of Trek: Moderate to Rigorous.
  • Minimum Number of Participants: 2 Pax.
  • Total No. of Days: 18 days.
  • Style of Trek: Camping and Expedition.
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport, NJP Rail Station, or Nepal Border.
  • Best Season: April–June and September–December.
  • Availability: Only private expeditions can be arranged for a minimum of two people on request on a date of your choice.

Itinerary for Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim

Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station. Meet the guide and drive to Gangtok. Overnight Hotel. Driving time: 4 hours. Altitude: 1760m.

Day 2: Around Gangtok. Acclimatization Day. Overnight Hotel (B/B only).

Day 3: Drive to Yuksom (Trek Head/1760m/5Hrs Drive). Overnight Lodge/Hotel.

Day 4: Trek Starts. Trek to Bakhim or Tchoka (2970 m/13 km/5-6 hours). Overnight Tents.

Day 5: Trek to Dzongri (4030 m/9 km/5-6 hours). Overnight Tents.

Day 6: Rest Day or Acclimatization Day in Dzongri. Take a side trek to Dzongrilla Pass. Overnight Tents.

Day 7: Trek to Lamunee (4164 m/11 km/5-6 hours). Overnight Tents.

Day 8: Trek to Goechala Pass and trek back to Lamunee. After lunch, trek up to Toriphuley (4304 m), our base camp for the Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim. Overnight Tents.

Day 09: Acclimatization Day. Trek up to Advance Base Camp I (5400 m/3 km) with the Sherpa and set up camp. Return to Toriphuley, our base camp. Overnight Tents.

Day 10: Ferry goods, climbing equipment, and food to Advance Base Camp. Overnight Tents.

Day 11: Trek to Summit Camp with Climbing Equipment, Tents, and Food. Overnight Tents.

Day 12: Keep an extra day just in case weather does not permit summiting the peak.

Day 13: Summit Camp to Summit and Back to Advance Base Camp to Toriphuley. Overnight Tents.

Day 14: Trek Toriphulae to Kookrochoong. Overnight Tents.

Day 15: Trek Kookrochoong to Tchoka. Overnight Tents.

Day 16: Trek Tchoka to Yuksom. Overnight Lodge or Hotel.

Day 17: Drive to Kalimpong. Overnight Hotel or Home Stay.

Day 18: Drive to Bagdogra Airport or NJP Rail Station for Final Departure. End of the Mount Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim. Extensions can be made to Darjeeling, Nepal, and Bhutan.

How much will it cost?

  • Thinchenkhang Expedition Cost: US$3800 per person.
  • Peak Fees: US$500 (for a group of two people).
  • Thereafter, US$75 per additional member
  • Indian nationals, kindly inquire within for costs and other information.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Minimum Charge: (The deposit amount is non-refundable in case of cancellation of the trekking expedition, either by the expedition members, closure of national parks, or for some other unforseen reasons.)
  • Less than 7 days of trekking Expedition date: 50% of the expedition cost.
  • On or after the trekking expedition start date: no refund. There are no refunds if the expedition is aborted or shortened for any reason.

The following minimum insurance coverage is compulsory for the Thinchenkhang Expedition in Sikkim:.

  • Expedition members: IRs. 3,00,000 per  person
  • Camp Crews: IRs. 1,00,000 per  person
  • Porters: Rs. 50,000 per  person
  • Pack Animals: Rs. 20,000 per  animal

—– o0o —–

What is included and excluded in the cost?

Expedition Cost Includes:

  • Twin Share Hotel Accommodation in Gangtok in a Standard Hotel, including Breakfast.
  • Lodge accommodation: twin share in Yuksom with a common washroom and rest room, including breakfasts.
  • Kanchenjunga National Park Fees (US$250 )
  • Fee to Liaison Officer (US$200)
  • Fees for two Sherpa Climbing Guide
  • Insurance for two Climbing Guides
  • Insurance for Support Team Members
  • Insurance for Pack Animals
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping, trekking, or expedition.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and camping equipment.
  • All fixed three meals everyday during trekking / Expedition.
  • All road transport is as per the itinerary by Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • Trekking Permit
  • Expedition Permit
  • Inner Line Permit
  • Climbing Equipment

The cost does not include:

  • Insurance for Climbing Member
  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Personal Climbing Equipment

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Note: The above itinerary for mountaineering in the Sikkim Himalayas is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors, such as weather, road conditions, the physical abilities of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort, and general well-being.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.)

  • Thinchenkhang Expedition Cost: US$3800 per person.
  • Peak Fees: US$500 (for a group of two persons and extra as applicable).
  • Thereafter, US$75 per additional member
  • Indian nationals, kindly inquire within for costs and other information.

—– o0o —–

Expedition Cost Includes:

  • Twin Share Hotel Accommodation in Gangtok in a Standard Hotel, including Breakfast.
  • Lodge accommodation: twin share in Yuksom with a common washroom and rest room, including breakfasts.
  • Kanchenjunga National Park Fees (US$250 )
  • Fee to Liaison Officer (US$200)
  • Fees for Sherpa Climbing Guide ( One Guide Per Climber)
  • Insurance for two Climbing Guides
  • Insurance for Support Team Members
  • Insurance for Pack Animals
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping, trekking, or expedition.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and camping equipment.
  • All fixed three meals everyday during trekking / Camping / Expedition.
  • All road transport is as per the itinerary by Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • Trekking Permits and Inner Line Permits  for
  • Climbing Equipment

We provide the following climbing equipment (included in the cost):

  •  a). Climbing Rope: 100 m.
  • b). Fixed Rope: 200 m.
  • c). Carabiner: 35 nos.
  • d). Plain Carabiner: 16 Nos.
  • e). Rock Pitons: 8 Nos.
  • f). Ice Pitons: 15 Nos.
  • g). Snow Bar: 4 Nos.
  • i). Jumar.

The cost does not include:

  • Insurance for Climbing Member
  • Peak Fee (US$500 for a Group of Two Pax)
  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
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