09.12.2018 - 09.12.2018
Have completed the 5 day Dzongri trek - at the top there are great views of kangchengdhongza (3rd highest mountain).
I went on an organized trek with Lydia (Lily) - a wonderful trekking partner and great company. We had been promised 3 porters, 1 guide and a yak and tented accommodation. We got 1 guide (Naveen) and a heavily loaded porter (Son Samon) - carrying 88 pounds of weight in a wicker basket strapped to his forehead! Poor sod, but he had a job so was relatively fortunate. Luckily, we stayed in wooden huts (not tents) - very very basic, but when it's - 10 degrees it's way better than a tent. So cold our water bottles turned to a solid block of ice in our rooms at night.
Day 1 was walking about 10 miles to the 1st village "Tshoka" (4 almost derelict wooden huts) at an altitude of 3000m (10000feet). One of them contained a wood burning clay stove, which everyone huddles around waiting for food and bedtime. The room is full of smoke despite windows and door being open, so not roasting hot - we still needed many layers of clothes to be working. Although it was absolutely freezing Naveen provided a 2nd sleeping bag and a hot water bottle at night. With 4 layers of clothes on we weren't cold at all... Till we got up needing a pee in the night!
Day 2 we walked up hill for a few hours to the smaller village of Dzongri (2 huts) - 4000m (13000feet). Absolutely freezing! The walk was very misty through wonderful woods up a steep well marked path. We were greeted with a hot cup of tea and lunch by the fire, in a tiny room with a very smoky fire, by Didi - a lady that lives up in the but for 5 months at a time!
Despite visibility down to just a few metres, we decided to climb 200m higher to the view point. We could see nothing and were about to come down when for a few brief minutes the clouds parted and boy o boy what a view! We were so excited and so so happy.
Day 3. We got up at 4.10am to go up and see the mountains at sunrise. It was so cold up there that my fingers went numb each time I took gloves off to take a photo. The views of kachenjunga were staggering.
We went back for a much needed tea and hot breakfast by the fire and waited for my fingers to thaw out.
Part 2 in a second, as the WiFi here is shit and won't cope with me sending too big a blog.