ZEMU GLACIER GUIDE
Why Should I Go
First off, you won’t find Zemu Glacier on a regular list of Sikkim tourist attractions. This is because the trek that leads up to this magical glacier, at the base of the mighty Kanchenjunga, is rated moderate to difficult. That being said, the road to Zemu Glacier is straight out of a painting. Gushing waterfalls, twinkling rivulets, and pristine panoramas form the backdrop of a trek unlike any other in the region.
As you pass through thick forest areas, you will be amazed at the flora and fauna that inhabit this snowy region. Blue poppies in bloom dot the wayside and you will soon lose count of the varieties of rhododendrons. The trail reaches a height of nearly 5,000m, making this a challenging journey but an adventure of a lifetime. You can view the mountain-scape from nearly every tourist spot in Sikkim; Zemu Glacier, being at the foot of the third-highest peak in the world, is at the heart of nature and a bucketlist-worthy experience.
How Do I Get There
You need to reach the town of Lachen, the starting point for your trek to Zemu Glacier. This town in northern Sikkim is about 120kms from Gangtok. On the way you will pass a number of popular attractions like Tashi View Point, Kabi Longstok town, and Phodong Monastery, among others.
An overnight stay at Lachen and you’ll be ready for a short jeep ride to Zema. This is where your actual trek begins to Talem, walking by the Zemu River, that is at a height of 3,240m. From Talem you move on to easier terrain as you reach Jakthang. The rhododendron forests here are a colourful splash against the clear blue sky.
Now the trek will see you move through various ascents and descents and you will reach the snout of the Zemu Glacier near Yabuk. As you move away from Yabuk, you will witness Mt. SIniolchu on your way to Green Lake. This is where you will witness the beauty of Zemu Glacier.
It goes without saying the trek to Zemu Glacier is done over a couple of days.
When Should I Land Up
The best time to visit Zemu Glacier is in the summer months between March and June. The weather during these months makes for clear skies, easier trekking and brilliant views that stretch out as far as the eye can see.
If you really want to push yourselves to the limits, October to mid-December is your option. If you do plan a winter trek, make sure you find out whether permits are provided and if porters are available.
Since this is a high altitude trek make sure you spend a day or two in Gangtok to allow your body to acclimatize to the change in conditions.
Even if you’re travelling in the summer, don’t forget to carry woollens. Since you will be camping under the night stars expect temperatures to drop.
The Zemu Glacier is an eco-friendly zone so make sure you don’t litter the surrounding area.
Follow the instructions of your local guide so that you have a safe and memorable trip.
Zemu Glacier might be a challenge but it is one you should accept because of the spellbinding beauty of the place. This glacier feeds the River Teesta, and you can look up at the Kanchenjunga as you stand at the foot of this mighty mountain. The stars here shine brighter than usual and as the moonlight covers the snow in its pale blue light, you’ll be convinced trekking to Zemu Glacier was a great idea.