21 Apr, 2019 Great Nepal Treks
Langtang is a region in the Himalayas of Nepal to the north of Kathmandu Valley and bordering Tibet. Langtang valley is also known as the Valley of Glaciers and is the closest Himalayan Region from Kathmandu valley which is only a few hours of drive. You can experience a spectacular view of Mount Langtang Lirung (7246m) and the breath-taking view of dense forests, swift mountain streams, high grasslands and snow-capped peaks.
Although it is very close to Kathmandu but you will experience Tibet influenced culture as it lies at the south of Tibetian border. Langtang Valley Trek is considered to be remote yet an amazing trek through the high Lake of Gosainkunda, forests of Rhododendrons and bamboo, majestic waterfalls and the snow-capped Himalayas.
On Langtang Valley trek, your journey starts from Kathmandu(Nepal),1400m and you ascend in the Langtang region to the highest point at Kang Jin Gompa, 3900m. That means you will experience 2460m of the altitude variation in Langtang trek starting from Kathmandu to Kang Jin Gompa.
To cover this altitude variation in the Langtang region, you need to walk slowly and cautiously. On an average, you will walk 6 hours per day and ascend/descend 1000m of altitude on the trails of the Langtang region. The day you trek to Kang Jin Gompa is the only day when you will be walking less than the average number of days and gain a small altitude. So, in a total of 7 days, you will gain an altitude of 2460m and descend the same altitude in the Langtang trek.
Langtang trek is one of those few treks that offers you spectacular views of the Himalayas from a lower elevation. On this trek, although you do not ascend to much higher altitudes, you will be near the towering peaks with the least chances of altitude sickness.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Syabru Besi
Kathmandu is at a height of 1440m, and is the starting point of your trek. On the first day, you will be driving for 6-7 hours from Kathmandu to Syabru Besi, 1460m. The altitude gain on this day is only 60m. So, you may not find any difficulty in adjusting to the climate in Syabru Besi as it is similar to Kathmandu.
Day 2: Syabru Besi to Lama Hotel
Your Langtang trek officially starts from Syabru Besi. On this day from an altitude of 1440m, you will trek to Lama Hotel, which is at 2560m. The total altitude gain on this day is 1120m which can get tedious as this is your first day on foot.
A good way to make your trek easier is by walking on your own pace and enjoying the surrounding sceneries. We always say, ‘do not only focus on reaching the destination but enjoy the route’. This way you may feel lesser exhaustion and get the best out of the trek.
For the first three hours of the trek, you will climb uphill through forests and reach Bamboo. At this point, you will have gained an altitude of 410m. From Bamboo, the route is steep uphill for the next 710m and continues for 3-4 hours, depending on the speed with which you walk.
Day 3: Lama Hotel to Langtang Village
From Lama Hotel, you will start off to a height of 3430m, i.e., Langtang village, on this day. The altitude gain for this day will be 870m after walking 6-7 hours. The day will start with an easy climb of 432m up to Ghoda Tabela.
From Ghoda Tabela, you will walk up a steep climb past the old Langtang village to gain an altitude of 438m. Your stop for the day will be the new Langtang village resting on the lap of towering hillocks and mountains.
Day 4: Langtang Village to Kang Jin Gompa
From Langtang village, you will walk past villages, streams, mani wall and more for 3-4 hours to gently climb up to Kang Jin Gompa, 3900m. After lunch, the rest of the day you may explore Kang Jin Gompa, its monasteries, Yak Cheese Factory, and the soothing natural beauty.
The altitude gain on this day is only 470m, which is almost half of the altitude gain of the rest of the days. Even though you will be gaining a small altitude and trek for shorter hours on this day, you should consider walking slowly and carefully as you will be reaching the highest point of the trek.
Day 5: Kang Jin Gompa to Lama Hotel
Post exploration day in Kang Jin Gompa, you will start to retrace your steps back to Lama Hotel (2560m). From Kang Jin Gompa, you will descend for 6-7 hours to lose an altitude of 1340m. The walk will be mostly downhill which is not as tedious as climbing up a hill.
But, it does exert a lot of pressure on your knees and ankles. Wearing kneecaps and using trekking poles is a good option to avoid the pain.
Day 6: Lama Hotel to Syabru Besi
From Lama Hotel, you will again trek down 1100m to Syabru Besi. For a total of 5-6 hours, you will be descending down a hill. Like the previous day, you may wear your kneecaps and use trekking poles to ease your trek downhill. This day marks the end of your Langtang Valley trek.
Day 7: Syabru Besi to Kathmandu
From Syabru Besi you will drive back to Kathmandu to drop the remaining altitude gain of 60m. The driving hours back to Kathmandu is 6-7 hours.
It is essential that you carry correct clothing and equipment while your Langtang Valley Trek. Correct clothing and carrying essential equipment are very important for a safe and enjoyable trek.
Sometimes packing too much or too little can spoil your trip. So you need to know how much is too much or too little. The number of items of clothing you should pack will depend on how long or at which time you will be trekking.
In Langtang Valley trek, most of the trekking starts from the lower altitude in moderate temperature to higher altitude in cold temperature. Thus, it is better to do dress in layers so that you can change your clothing with the variation in temperatures.
Normally, you start your day trekking in light sweater or tracksuits. During sunny days, you may feel comfortable in T-shirts and shorts. Then, later on, you may have to put on a tracksuit, down jacket, warm pants, hats, and gloves as the temperature falls.
Adjustments for your packing list can be done according to your need, interests, season and duration of your trip. Some of the essentials are listed below:-
The best option is if your gear is going to be carried by porters. It should be waterproof, durable and lockable. Normally, the size of the duffel bag is the 80L.
If you are trekking with a porter, your main bag will go ahead. Sometimes, your bag will be strapped to the back of a donkey or yak. So, your bag needs to be waterproof.
Rucksack Bag With Waterproof Cover:
Your bag size will very much depend upon your trekking duration. If you are trekking independently or without porters, then you will need to take a rucksack. You can take a Mountaineers style backpack with a wide opening on the top.
It is an essential item as you can carry your personal items such as sunscreen, camera, hat, wallet, passport, water bottles, snack etc in this. Normally, a 30-litre bag is the ideal size to use as a day bag.
In the Langtang Valley Trek near to Himalayas, you will find wide variations in altitude and temperature. So, it’s good to dress in layers while trekking. Sometimes, depending upon the altitudes and temperature, you may need to add or remove certain layers of clothing.
If you are planning on trekking during winter, you will definitely need to pack warmer clothes.
A mix of the long and short sleeve, light weight are the best options to have during trekking. Synthetic t-shirts are recommended as they quickly wick away moisture from your body. Normally, cotton t-shirts are not recommended particularly 2500m above.
Synthetic long johns and long sleeved vests are essential for trekking in the Himalayan region. You should not compromise on the quality of material when you are deciding on a good base layer.
Light weight thermal tops
Lightweight thermal tops will help you to keep your body warm and also wick away your sweat.
Fleece Jacket or Pullover
A fleece jacket is lightweight and made of polyester synthetic wool such as Polar Fleece. Typically, it has a zipper up the middle, rather than buttons. Normally, it is not weatherproof, so you can wear it as a second layer for extra warmth.
Waterproof breathable material with full front zipper is recommended. A proofed nylon or Gore-Tex jacket with hood is required. This outer layer protects you from wind, rain, and snow.
This jacket will mainly be used at the higher altitudes of the trek. You can wear it as a third layer when the weather gets very cold or rainy.
Women sports bras, synthetic
For women trekkers, a synthetic sports bra is recommended. It because a good quality sports bra will wick moisture away from your skin.
Jeans and cotton clothing are not recommended during trekking period. They are very uncomfortable to trek in. They also do not absorb moisture, blocks breathability and dries very slowly.
Lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking underwear is recommended. Long underwear will keep you warm as you go higher up.
Particularly, when you are hiking in the lower altitudes, it can get hot on a sunny day. And your tracksuits will make you uncomfortable. As hiking short are cooler than pants, you can use hiking shorts instead of trekking pants during day hikes.
Lightweight walking pants
Lightweight nylon pants are recommended while trekking. They are air permeable, dry quickly and provide sun protection. You can have convertible ones as it can get hot in the afternoons.
Fleece or tracksuit pants
You will be experiencing temperature fluctuations throughout the trekking period. Thus, you can wear track pants around the tea house and for sleeping.
Waterproof shell pants
If you are going for a trek in the rainy or winter seasons, you will face some rain or snow. So, you will need waterproof or windproof shell pants to keep yourself dry.
Thin inner socks
You can get moisture wicking socks which will keep your feet dry. Good hiking socks need to be breathable, so don’t choose anything made from cotton.
Thick warm wool hiking socks
For the colder regions of the trek, you will need thick warm wool hiking socks. They are super warm, really comfortable on the feet and will protect you from blisters.
Hiking boots are recommended as the trail can be quite uneven and rocky. If you get a wrong size hiking boot, it will impact heavily on your trek and make you uncomfortable during your whole journey.
You need to avoid leather boots as they are too heavy. Instead, you need to choose a full ankle support boot. Your boots need to be waterproof as well.
You can take camp sandals for evening walks around camp or tea houses. It will also give your feet a rest from your walking boots. Besides, you can use this sandal in camp activities such as taking shower.
Using walking poles can cut the strain on your knees and will help you with balancing too. Lightweight walking poles which are simple to store, versatile and durable are recommended for trekking in Nepal.
Lightweight fleece gloves
Lightweight fleece gloves can be used as inner gloves when the temperature is moderate.
When the temperature gets colder, you need heavyweight gloves for extra warmth. It must be waterproof and durable which will protect you from wind, rain, and snow.
Waterproof/wind fleece gloves
Your outer gloves need to be waterproof, warm and very durable.
Unless trekking at a very high altitude or in winter, you may not need these as it is hot during the day. But as soon as the sun drops and temperatures go down, you may need this for warmth. Warm wool hat made of synthetic material that covers your ears is recommended.
It is necessary when you are hiking on a sunny day as it will protect you from sunburn and gives you a shade.
Bandana or scarf
Many trekking trails are dusty, especially at the lower altitudes. So to protect yourself from dust and the wind, you can tie a scarf around your nose and mouth.
A good pair of UV protected sunglasses is recommended due to the thinness of the air. In high altitudes, you will be exposed to high-intensity UV rays which can be harmful to your eyes.
Thus, to prevent yourself from a headache, dizziness and snow blindness, you need to have UV protection sunglasses.
Post-earthquake (2015), Langtang valley has suffered a lot. Hundreds of people died, lost their homes and families. The old Langtang valley settlement crushed due to the landslide that fell off Langtang Lirung. The survivors of the landslides lost their families and everything they had earned till then.
The economic condition of the people in the area has also deteriorated after they lost their houses, properties, and source of income. People in Langtang earned from agriculture and the trekking trails working as guides, porters, owning teahouses, etc. Once the trekking trails closed after the earthquake, they had a limited source of income.
Today, Langtang region is back to its original beauty state with safety. The region is safe for trekking as the boulders that blocked the trekking routes have been removed, new trails have been made in place of the completely damaged ones and new teahouses have been established in place of the old destroyed ones. The aftershocks have also stopped and the risks of landslides/avalanches are very low. You can have safe Langtang Valley Trek with lesser risks of your life and belongings.
You can have a lifetime experience of this beautiful Himalayan range in a very affordable Langtang Valley Trek Package and will be taken care of.
You shouldn’t be waiting and restricting yourself from this once in a lifetime experience, so, plan your Langtang Valley Trek now and get closer to natur