David Walkey just contacted us and said the following: I have recently published an e-book called “Kangchenjunga, A Valley Too Far”, which I think your clients will find an informative and entertaining read [if they are attempting the Kanchenjunga Trek]. The book describes the ups and downs of a small trekking expedition organized by the author and Mike Cheney, to north eastern Nepal in 1984. It was the first foreign group of trekkers to obtain permission to visit the area. It is lavishly illustrated with many images and maps. A more detailed description can be found at the end of this message, or by following the links below:
This is the story of a small trekking expedition made to the beautiful, unspoilt valleys of the Kangchenjunja region of north-east Nepal in 1984. Planned by the author and Mike Cheney of Sherpa Cooperative Trekking in Kathmandu, it was the first foreign group of trekkers to obtain permission to visit this area, four years before the region was opened up to commercial trekking in 1988. From the hill town of Ilam, the four expedition members and their support team of Sherpas and Porters, walked parallel to the Indian-Sikkim border to the isolated village of Yamphudin. From here they climbed onto the magnificent high ridges above the Amjee Khola and Simbua Khola valleys, overlooking the Yalung Glacier, and the Kangchenjunga Massif, into the region that is now designated a part of the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area.
The trek was made during May in the pre-monsoon season, so that it coincided with the height of the flowering season for Rhododendrons and other spring flowers. The return route from Yamphudin passed through Sukhetar, Taplejung, Chainpur and Tumlingtar. After Taplejung, a brief excursion was made northwards on the Milke Danda Ridge.
The charming, friendly people encountered along the route had not been habituated to foreigners, and we were enthusiastically welcomed in every village we entered, especially by the local children. We did our best to reciprocate their friendliness.
The book describes the detailed planning and preparation for the expedition, and using the author’s extensive journal of the trek, describes the daily life of the expedition throughout the trek. The countryside, the villages and the people encountered are described, and detailed information is given on the flowers and birds seen during the trek. Despite often extremely tiring and adverse weather conditions, the camaraderie, and often hilarious relationship between the four expedition members and their support team, remained harmonious and happy throughout the trek.
The text is illustrated by 191 colour images, including 59 flower photographs and 132 images of people and scenery en-route, and of the Kathmandu area.
The final chapter is a detailed profile of Mike Cheney, a great friend of Nepal and its people. Without his input, our trek would not have been possible and this story would not have been written.
Finally, there is an appendix, listing the 82 bird species and 71 flower species seen on the trek, together with the location, habitat and altitude at which each species was observed.