Trekkers mistakenly overlook the valleys of Langtang and Helambu for the Annapurna and Everest regions. Although only a day’s drive from Kathmandu this region is a relatively isolated wilderness with sacred lakes and great snowcapped peaks. Langtang is situated north of Kathmandu Valley, bordering Tibet, whilst Helambu Valley lies north east of the valley, bordering Langtang. Both of these areas are predominately inhabited by Tibetans and Tamangs who share a similar religion, language and attire.
The trek traverses from the west to the east crossing extremely diverse landscapes: rice-terraces, gigantic rhododendron and fir forests in the lowlands, and in the highest parts you will find a rock and shrub wilderness with incredible backdrops of snowy peaks, and an arena of glaciers below Langtang Lirung (7,225m). A climb to the summit of Kyanjin Ri opens up a magnificent panorama of Langtang Lirung, Langshisha Ri (6,427m) and fluted and tent peaks of summits greater than 6,000m.
At Kathmandu International Airport, you will be met by a Trek Nepal representative and transferred to your hotel. There will be a full tour briefing in the evening.
We drive northwards out of the Kathmandu Valley to Trisuli Bazaar. From here, our journey ascends above the valleys along a winding road. Shortly after entering Langtang National Park the road drops to cross the Trisuli Khola (river), continuing onwards we arrive at Syabru Besi, a Sherpa village where we stay the night. En route we pass through a number of villages many clinging to valley ridges, and there are spectacular views of the Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himalayan range.
Walking into the heart of the Syabru Besi Valley we begin the day in a northwards direction following the Langtang Khola. Crossing the river the trail leads us into a forest alive with birds and the occasional troupe of monkeys. Further on, we come to the area which is famous for scrumptious honey; production takes place on the opposite river bank. The trail undulates constantly through forests of oak and rhododendron until the crossing of Langtang Khola On the left side of the river the trail climbs steeply up a winding rocky ridge of a rhododendron forest. As we climb, the rushing river that we have been following and listening to becomes a calming background noise as we arrive at Rimche, a small village that commands spectacular views of the green valley we have just walked through. Following a short descent we reach the Sherpa huts of Lama Hotel.
Continuing to follow the river course we ascend through the forest; after passing Gumnachok there is a short steep climb before the trail brings us to Ghoratabela (2,992m).Here we encounter our first view of the snow capped peak Langtang Lirung (7,225m) and register at the first checkpoint, which is operated by the army. The trail continues to climb with the valley widening, after Thyangsyapu there are several level sections, which are a welcomed respite. Passing hamlets, small streams – some with water driven prayer wheels, and Mani stone walls before a gradual rise brings us to Langtang village. Inhabited by Sherpas, the architecture and layout of the land – arable fields with yaks and cattle grazing above the village, creates a strong Tibetan atmosphere. There is a small cheese factory where we can taste delicious yak cheese.
Climbing out of the village crossing yak pastures, we proceed on a short steep wide trail passing several Mani stone walls. Beyond the valley opens presenting the impressive Langtang Lirung and Ganchenpo (6,387m). The trail goes through the Tamang settlements of Mundu and Sindum, both of which exude a Tibetan feel. After crossing the Langtang Khola, Kyanjin Gompa comes into sight guarded by the snow peaks of Langtang Lirung and Langtang Kimshung. A short descent takes us in to Kyanjin Gompa a spectacular glacial amphitheatre. It is an excellent base for exploring, to the north west there is the Langtang Lirung glacier; in the east is Langshisa glacier; and Kyanjin Gompa Ri a smaller peak north of this delightful village.
A day to explore. We commence with a climb to the summit of Kyanjin Ri (4,350m). A steep narrow trail, with Juniper bushes scattered along it, leads us there. Throughout the entire ascent we witness spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. At the top we are rewarded with breathtaking views of numerous snowcapped peaks with many of their glaciers at the valley floor: Langtang ll, Langtang Lirung, Langshisa Ri , Ganchenpo and many more peaks of 6,000m and above; across the valley is the peak of Naya Kang (5,844m) and Ganja La pass. This viewpoint offers one of the most stunning panoramas in Nepal, completely mesmerizing. Retracing our steps the steep descent takes half the time to reach the village. The afternoon is free to explore the village where you can visit the Swiss influenced cheese factory, Kyanjin’s old monastery – in August it celebrates a festival where food and drink is free to everyone, or explore one of the many surrounding glaciers.
Leaving Kyanjin Gompa we retrace our route westwards down the valley, following the Langtang Khola, through Langtang to Ghoratabela then onwards to Lama Hotel. The trail leaves the alpine country and returns to deep forest.
Continuing down the valley to cross the Langtang Khola. Shortly we arrive at Pahara Hotel from where we take a sharp left to commence the steep climb through forest to the Sherpa village of Thulo Syabru. From here there are distant snowcapped views of Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himal.
Leaving Thulo Syabru we begin with a steep climb to Dursagang. The gradient eases hereafter as the trail makes it way through forest that changes from pine to hemlock and rhododendron. With only an occasional sign of human habitation this tranquil route takes us to the ridge top and Shin Gompa Monastery, high above the Trisuli Khola. The valley views from here are spectacular.
Our final day of walking is a descend to Dhunche.
Drive back to Kathmandu, initially following the Melamchi River.
On your return to Kathmandu, you are free to further explore the city and its shops or simply chill out.