Amazing things happen when Men and Mountains meet.
I had trekked to Sandakphu, West Bengal, India [12000 feet] with Youth Hostel Association of India [YHAI]. More than the climb I was fascinated about the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga under Full-moon light. 25th December, 2015 was supposed to be the Full-moon night. I had selected the Trek batch dates in a way to be on Sandakphu top on the 25th.
The range is most commonly known as the "Sleeping Buddha" as it looks like the same in imagination of religious people of India. This range consists of several peaks starting from [l-r] Kumbhakarna, Korbu North, Korbu South, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Pandim.
Mt. Kanchenjunga is the 3rd highest peak in the world and 2nd to Mt. Everest in the Himalayas with an elevation of 8,585m lies partly in Nepal and India. God did not create boundaries. We did.
I started the trek from the base camp located at Darjeeling, India. On day 2, I reached the 2nd camp at Tumling, Nepal. On Day 3, I reached the 3rd camp at Kalipokhri, Nepal with the Indian border just few steps away. I'm not sure how many get an opportunity to walk and cross borders so easily. I take the pride in being the very few.
I started early the next day from Kalipokhri camp towards the summit I had my eyes on. I reached the top a little after noon on the 25th and it was -5 degrees. On the way, it snowed. It was a perfect welcome to the summit. The camp leader had predicted the temperature to drop to -10 degrees that night with strong winds which were quite capable of blowing heavy stones with them. The previous batches had experienced -16 degrees. However, this could not dampen my spirit to view the view I had come so far for.
The night fell. Post-supper the lights off were announced at 20:30hrs. One has to follow the rules even while being adventurous. I marched out in the cold with few enthusiasts and there it stood "“ the snow clad Mt. Kanchenjunga illuminated by the full-moon shining in all its glory. Oh, it was beautiful.
It was -12 degrees. I was at 12,000 feet. Winds so strong that they could blow your little dog away. I stationed my camera for a long-exposure shot and voila.
It was cold. Very cold. Finger-numbing cold. I had to gather courage to take out my hands from the gloves to press the shutter. I'm glad I did. But at the end, it was all worth it and if I ever have a chance to do something like this again, I'd do it.
Like I mentioned above, Amazing things happen when Men and Mountains meet.
Written by: Sushant Kanchan
Son. Brother. Friend. IT Engineer. Fitness enthusiast. Software Tester. Photography enthusiast. Dog lover. Sushant is 29 years old and was born and brought up in Bombay, India. He currently is working as a Team Lead – Software Tester with J.P Morgan Chase & Co.