This is a moderately challenging trek that starts very close to Kathmandu and includes some steepish slopes up on to the ridges that border the western side of the Helambu Valley. From there a long traverse is made toward Laurabina La (pass) and then a steep hike over the pass itself to the beautiful scenic lakes of Gosaikunda. From here a further trek takes us up the scenic Langtang Valley to Kyanjin Gompa, the last inhabited village.
This can be turned into a longer trek for the more adventurous by the various options available from Kyangjin Gompa. We could do a day’s trek up to Morimoto base camp and, perhaps, beyond onto the Langtang Glacier, a climb could be done of Yala Peak, 5,500m, a relatively simple, non-technical ascent, easy by mountaineering standards, or an exit by Ganja La if it’s open (it should be in October and November and maybe in April) and a trek back to Kathmandu across a different side of the Helambu Valley. These extra day activities are not included in our quoted cost, though I’d recommend doing, at the least, the Morimoto trek.
Unless you undertake any of the above mentioned extras, for which we provide tents, food etc, the whole trek is a tea-house trek, ie you stay in guesthouses.
This trek is best in October or November, but can be done in March, April, when the rhododendron forests should be in flower, or early May, though the Helambu Valley can get a bit hazy in the spring.
|Kathmandu to Chisopani (2,140m) Your trekking guide will arrive and, after breakfast, we drive from Kathmandu to the Sundarijal on the northern edge of the Kathmandu Valley and hike up to Mulkharka, a sprawling Tamang settlement. From here the trek continues on a gentle hike up through beautiful forests before we trek down to Chisopani, from where you can see countless snow peaks. We stay overnight here and the sunrise over the Himalayas, from Annapurna to Everest, is particularly outstanding. (1 hour drive and 4 hours trekking).
|Chisopani to Gul Bhanjyang (2,140m) The trek continues and we hike across meadows and fields to Pati Bhanjyang, a Brahmin and Chhetri village on a saddle at the bottom of a ridge at 1,860m. From here the trek starts climbing up again on a series of steep switchbacks to Chipling, 2,170m, where we stop for lunch. At the upper end of this village the trek makes another steep 200m climb up a stone staircase to the top of the Jhogin Danda ridge. From the ridge the trek descends through the forest to a large chorten (round Buddhist monument) overlooking the Tamang village of Gul Bhanjyang, a delightful, classic hill village with a pleasant main street. (5/6 hour trek).
|Gul Bhanjyang to Tharepati (3,640m) From Gul Bhanjyang we trek up a steep eroded trail through rhododendron forest hiking past a few shepherds’ huts and proceed north up the Yurin Danda ridge with wonderful views of Langtang and Gosaikunda peaks. We hike a pass at 3,510m before trekking down to Magen Goth where we stop for lunch. Afterwards, we pick up the trek again, hiking through forests, crossing flower-strewn meadows and flowing streams until we reach Tharepati. (6 hour trek).
|Tharepati to Phedi (3,740m) From Tharepati the trek, after initially descending, clings to the mountainside and winds its way through rhododendron forests to Phedi. There is a small chorten here to a Japanese who died in 1992 when a Thai Airways Airbus crashed into a mountainside near here killing all 113 people on board. The crash site itself is about 4 hours return hike from Phedi if you want to take a rest day here. (5/6 hour trek).
|Phedi via Laurebina La (4,610m) to Gosaikunda (4,400m) Today is a steep trek up into the mountains through Laurebina Pass, with views of peaks in either direction, and we may well cross the snowline. We then trek down to the magical holy lakes of Gosaikunda. Every August, during the full moon, Hindu (and Buddhist) pilgrims gather here and the rock in the middle of the lake is said to be the head of Shiva. (7 hour trek).
|Gosaikunda to Laurebina Yak (3,920m) From the tea-house we can hike up the hill above (4,640m) for the views. We can also circumnavigate the first two of the five sequential lakes. For cultural reasons the lakes should be hiked round clockwise. After lunch we shall make the short trek past two more lakes and some rock carvings of Ganesh down to Laurebina Yak. (Exploring Gosainkunda plus 2 hour trek).
|Laurebina Yak to Thulo Syrabu (2,260m) This is a day of trekking down through forest and across terraced slopes to the small village of Thulo Syrabu, where we should be able to connect back to the ‘other side’ through the internet cafes. (6 hour trek).
|Thulo Syrabu to Lama Hotel (2,500m) First we continue to trek down, sometimes on seemingly endless stone steps, into the Langtang Valley. Then the trek ascends gently to Rimche (2,400m) which lies by the bank of Langtang Khola and on to Lama Hotel. En route you might see red pandas, monkeys and bears if you’re lucky – well monkeys anyway. (5 hour trek).
|Lama Hotel to Kyanjin Gompa (3,860m) The trek continues through forests of hemlocks, oaks, maples, white and pink rhododendrons before opening up to give you glimpses of the peaks ahead. Langtang Village is the old local village and the views from here are spectacular. From Langtang we’ll make the short hike up to Kyanjin Gompa, where we’ll take a well earned rest. (6 hour trek).
|Rest Day at Kyanjin Gompa Today is a day to rest and EXPLORE the area so use it. Hike up Kyanjin Ri (4,600m) the hill directly to the northeast of where we’re staying. Make a short trek up toward the base of Langtang Himal, admire the views to your right up the valley behind Kyanji Ri, visit the monastery or hike slightly downhill and cross the river to explore the other side.
|Second Rest Day at Kyanjin Gompa Try hiking up Tsergo Ri (4,980m and 5 hours), which is best done in the morning.
|Kyanjin Gompa to Lama Hotel We must trek back to Lama Hotel. (5 hour trek).
|Lama Hotel to Syabrubesi Leaving the mountains behind us our trek takes us back to Syabrubesi (and a high powered hot shower). Alternatively this hike can be done using a higher path from Rimche down to Syabrubesi. (5 hour trek).
|Syabrubesi to Kathmandu After breakfast, we make the hair-raising drive back to Kathmandu. (7 hour trek).
We hope you’ve had a great trek, had some adventures, tightened your belt a few notches and look forward to trekking with you again on your return to Nepal.
|Ballpark price; US$ 1,000 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
|Price includes airport pick-up and drop-off. All inclusive trek costs; accommodation in twin shared rooms, breakfast, lunch, dinner, trekking and park permit fees, guide and necessary porters and all their costs such as transportation, accommodation, food, equipment, insurance etc.
|Price excludes food and accommodation in Kathmandu, alcoholic beverages, tips, your insurance and personal expenses.