The classic trek to Dzongri peak (altitude 4000 meters) in West Sikkim, passing through magnificent rhododendron forests and culminating with the magnificent views of snow clad peaks at Dzongri, caught our immediate attention. Our high energy found an immediate resonance with the chill and thrill of Dzongri, the meeting place of man and mountain gods.
When to Visit Dzongri:
The best time to visit Dzongri is from mid March-April, and then from September to mid October, so as to avoid snowfall and monsoon rains. Although, owing to high altitude, there is a definite probability of the climate taking unexpected turns during any time of the year.
Dzongri Trek Arrangements: Yuksom is a small village in Sikkim, with a population of about 150. The open roads and view of snow clad peaks produce an immediate contrast with the otherwise crowded roads of cities.
The economy of Yuksom is mostly based on tourism, so the necessary logistics for the trip can be arranged locally. Alternatively, numerous travel agents in Gangtok can organize the Dzongri trek in advance. Travel agents generally charge 1500-2000 rupees per person per day for the trek, though there is a heavy bargaining depending upon the number of people in the trekking group.
Everyone must register at the Local police station at Yuksom with a valid identity proof. Separate trekking permits are also mandatory for foreigners. The trekking permits are available at Tourism offices in Gangtok, or else contact Sikkim House in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
The Dzongri Trek:
The trek starts from Kachenjunga National Park in Yuksom. We paid around 1000 rupees for four persons, two still cameras and our trekking crew of porter, guide and yaks as the fee for national park entry.
The trek to Dzongri is ideally five days, with one day of acclimatization at Tshoka village. However, it's possible to complete it in four days if one decides to skip the acclimatization day.
For staying, Sikkim Tourism has constructed a wooden trekker's hut on the way, for which they charge 50 rupees ($1) per day for one room.