LANGTANG TO HELAMBU
Via The Gosainkund Lakes
16 Days. Max. Altitude 4,300m.
Tea-House Trekking with guides and porters.
16 Days Kathmandu-Kathmandu.
DAY TO DAY PLAN –
Day 1: Kathmandu to Nuwakot – The Famous Farm
(O/nt Altitude 1,000m approx./4 hrs drive )
Morning departure from Himalayan Encounters, Courtyard of Kathmandu Guest House. The road heads north-westward through Balaju before making a steady climb to the rim of the Kathmandu valley. Weather permitting, views of the Manaslu massif, Ganesh, Langtang and Jugal Himal are possible. A long, winding descent brings us to Trisuli bazaar. From Trisuli, it’s a short uphill drive to the town of Nuwakot, with its palace/fort and famous Farm. (L, D)
Day 2: Nuwakot to Syabrubesi
(O/nt Altitude 2720 m/6-7 hrs approx. drive)
The current road conditions to Dhunche (50 kms) are rigorous to say the least. Another 15kms further will get you to the dead end of the road and the start point of the trek.
Day 3: To Lama Hotel
(O/nt Altitude 2,480m/6-7 hrs approx. total time)
Set off trekking from Syabrubesi. The trail first descends then turns northwards, passing through woods, sometimes filled with monkeys. We arrive at the village of Doman. A steep climb over a rocky ridge brings us to a junction with the trail from Thulo Syabru. The region is deciduous, rich in birdlife and home to the extremely elusive red panda.
Day 4: To Langtang Village
(O/nt Altitude 3,430m/6hrs approx.)
It’s upwards and then upwards…. following the Langtang Khola, climbing to Ghora Tabela (2,970m) from where Langtang Lirung should be visible. After the village of Thangshep the valley opens out and at times some pleasant level sections give respite some. We eventually reach the Tibetan-like village of Langtang.
Day 5: To Kyanjin Gompa
(O/nt Altitude 3,850m/3hrs approx.)
Leaving Langtang the trail crosses yak pastures and follows a meandering stream. Gengchempo (6,387m) is a prominent landmark off to the east. The trail reaches the Tamang settlements of Mundu (3,410m) and Sindum (3,410m). Beyond we continue our climb. Kyanjin Gompa, flanked by equally spectacular peaks, notably the Langtang range and Langshisa, comes into view.
Day 6: Acclimatisation day with day hikes in and around Kyanjin Gompa
(O/nt Altitude 3,850m)
Today takes into account the higher altitudes we’ll encounter in the days to come. Hike to the Langtang Lirung Glacier (4,300m/1 hr uphill) in the afternoon, and/or explore Kyanjin Gompa and its half-century old, Swiss-influenced, yak cheese factory.
Day 7: Return to Lama Hotel
(2,470m/approx 6 hrs)
Retracing our steps back down the valley over the same route to Lama Hotel.
Day 8: To Thulo Syabru
(O/nt Altitude 2,130m/6 hrs approx.)
A steady day’s trekking to arrive at Bamboo Lodge, from where we head off on the uphill trail towards the Sherpa village of Thulo Syabru.
Day 9: To Laurebina
(3,900m/5 hrs approx.)
We climb to Dursagang (2,550m), then the gradient eases as the trail makes its way through rhododendron forest to Chandan Bari (3,250m). The next village of note is Sing Gompa. The trail cuts across the ridge tops before finally reaching the saddle of Chalang Pati (3,380m). A final upward thrust and we’ve reached Laurebina; from where there are astounding views of the Annapurnas, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang Lirung.
Day 10: To Gosainkund
(O/nt Altitude 4,380m/4 hrs approx.)
The Gosainkund Lakes are one of the high points of this trek.
The ridge top trail (4,100m) brings us to where we can see the first of the lakes, Saraswati Kunda. We then cross a rocky spur and a short distance ahead the much larger, second lake, Bhairabh Kund, appears. Keeping to the ridge and finally dropping about 20m we come across the third and largest lake, Gosainkund. The fabled black rock at the centre of the lake is venerated as the head of Shiva.
Day 11: Exploration/Rest Day in Gosainkund
(O/nt Altitude 4,380m)
A day free to enjoy the beauty of this very special place.
Day 12: To Ghopte
(O/nt Altitude 3,430m/6.5 hrs approx.)
The path skirts the northern shore of Gossainkund and climbs along a rough trail, marked with rock cairns, towards the Laurebina La pass (4,610m). The descent from the pass can be very difficult and caution is advised. The descent is initially very steep but levels out slightly after a while, following a ‘middle’ valley then taking the lower trail to Phedi (3,500m). The trail from here is no less difficult with a dramatic drop to the right. Through forest and ravines we finally reach the head of the valley. Then, atop a spur, we come across the first glimpse of our overnight destination, Ghopte. After dark, from Ghopte, we can see the lights of Trisuli Bazaar far below.
Day 13: To Tharepati
(O/nt Altitude 3,510m/2.5 hrs approx.)
Having left the big mountains behind a series of foothill ridges now dominate the landscape. We’ve a short day’s trek through alpine landscape. Soon we meet the trail that merges with the Helambu Circuit. Tharepati is at a short way further along, perched on the crest of the hill.
Day 14: To Kutumsang
(O/nt Altitude 2,470m/5 hrs approx.)
A comfortable day’s walk along a well- defined path. Via Mangengoth (3,150m) we climb again to a saddle adorned by fluttering prayer flags. An hour from Mangengoth, the forest opens onto a wide hillside and we reach another trail junction. Ahead is the Tamang village of Kutumsang, its ridge-top location giving way to terraced fields on either side.
Day 15: To Chisopani
(O/nt Altitude 2,215m/ 7 hrs approx.)
The trail follows the crest of the ridge, bringing us to Gul Bhanjyang (2,142m). Uphill again through forest of oak, we reach Namche Danda (2,453m). A long descent down stone steps leads to Chipling (2,165m). From Thana Bhanjyang (1,780m) the trail branches out in three directions; we take the path which leads to Pati Bhanjyang (1,768m). Another steep 400m ascent to Chisopani. Views from Chisopani are splendid to say the least.
Day 16: To Sundarijal and drive back to Kathmandu
(6hrs/1 hr drive)
After taking in the views at dawn we set off on the final leg of our trek. Following the trail through and beyond Burlang Bhanjyang (2,438m), through forest , we reach the village of Mulkharka (1,768m). Descending a steep staircase, we arrive at the water reservoir of Sundarijal and the Shivapuri National Park - the end point of the trek. We join our transport back to Kathmandu and a celebratory dinner. End of Expedition.
MEAL CODES: (B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)