WELCOME TO SIKKIM
... the Land of Mystical Splendor !
The Sikkim Himalayas, the epitome of the world's mountains,
encompass a wonderland, which for sheer
beauty and magnificence remains unbeaten elsewhere in the globe.
In the southwestern part of Sikkim,
in the main Himalayan range, lies the majestic Khangchendzonga or Kanchenjunga, rising to a staggering height of
8,585 m (28,169 ft) above sea level. Beside this third
largest peaks, other famous mountaineering peaks in Sikkim include- Kabru, Kirat Chulior
(7,365 m) and Sinolchu (6,887 m). Mountaineering expeditions,
unlike trekking, require more planning and paperwork as clearance
is required from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi.
Besides these the local governments also impose royalties on
Little History: The first European to explore the
Khangchendzonga area was Douglas W. Freshfield who reached its
base in 1899 from the Green Lake Basin area. A German expedition
led by Paul Bauer made the first attempt to reach the summit in
1929 followed by another attempt in 1931 and reached an altitude
of 26,000 ft. In 1955 Charles Evans conquered Khangchendzonga a
few feet below the summit from the Nepal side.
In 1977 an expedition led by Major Prem Chand reached a few feet
below the summit. In 1987 an Assam Rifles expedition attempted the
peak. In 1991 an Indo Japanese expedition led by Hukam Singh and
Yoshio Ogata conquered the peak.
The Kabru was first climbed in 1935 by a British C.R. Cooke. The
pyramid Peak was first conquered in 1949 by a Swiss R. Dittert. A
British A.M. Kallas, climbed the Paunhri in 1911. The summit of
Siniolchu was first reached by a German in 1936. It was later
again climbed by the famous Sikkimese Everester Sonam Gyatso.
Pandim was climbed in 1993 by a team from the Sonam Gyatso
Mountaineering Institute. Rathong was conquered by an Indian
expedition in 1964.
Khangchendzonga (8585 mtrs/ 28,146 ft) is considered the Guardian
Deity of Sikkim. For sentimental, religious and other
environmental reasons, permission is not granted by the Sikkim
government is to scale the peak. Rathong (22,000 ft.) has some of
the open peaks though they require special permits. The best known
peaks in Sikkim - Talung, Jonsong and Tent are all above 24,000
The amount mentioned below has to be paid in Gangtok, Sikkim,
after the permit is granted by the Indian Mountaineering
Foundation, New Delhi
Royalties for Peaks in the Sikkim Himalayas:
Peaks above 8000 Mtrs.
Peaks between 7501-8000 Mtrs.
Peaks between 7001-7500 Mtrs.
Peaks between 6501-7000 Mtrs.
Peaks below 6500 Mtrs.
The best season to climb in Sikkim is from May to October. Foreign
expeditions have to book a peak along with a peak fee. The Indian
Mountaineering Foundation(IMF) is the country's apex body that
helps in organising/ sponsoring mountaineering expeditions. It is
mandatory for Expeditions in Sikkim to take a liason officer from
the Sikkim Mountaineering Association along with the liason
officer from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. IMF functions
as a clearing house for foreign expeditions and deputes a liasion
officer to accompany foreign climbers. All requests have to be
forwarded to IMF for clearance.
It is advisable to give atleast a six month's notice before
embarking on an expedition. All emergencies and accidents are
looked after by the liasion officer who helps to get rescue from
the Indian Air Force.