This is one of our favourite treks, venturing into the greatly contrasting Langtang and Helambu regions via a mystical sacred lake and a dramatic connecting pass.
Our journey begins with a drive to Syabrubesi, where we stay overnight. Next comes a four-day walk through astonishingly beautiful country with forests of oak, rhododendron and pine, and ancient settlements slotted between. Above the tree-line, the valley widens for fantastic views of Langtang Lirung (7400 m) and then there is a gradual ascent towards Langtang village, the headquarters of the Langtang National Park and the last spot hospitable enough for year-round habitation. The people here are Tibetan speaking pastoral farmers whose lifestyle is unchanged from that of their ancestors who first colonised the valley from Kyirong, Tibet, more than 300 years ago. Before this time Langtang had been regarded as a ‘hidden’ valley.
Our next destination is Sing Gompa (otherwise known as Chenchen Bari), a small settlement which has a yak cheese factory. The trail from Sing Gompa follows a ridgeline with the terrain changing markedly to become much more sparse and barren.
On clear days the central Nepali Himalayas are clearly visible from this high ridge, from Annapurna as far east as Langtang. It is even possible to see the flat meadows of Kyirong in Tibet.
The dropping off of this trail to the south side of the ridge is an indication that we are nearing the lakes. Far below lies Saraswati Kund, with Bhairav Kund above and a little further the dark green waters of the large and peaceful lake Gosainkund (4380 m) become visible.
For most of the year only infrequent herders or trekkers pass this way. However during the August full moon a large pilgrimage called Janai Purne is made to Gosain Kund, in honour of Shiva and along the lake shoreline are small shelters and a stone Shiva lingam.
The next stage of our journey is negotiating the Laurebina pass, the linkage between Langtang and Helambu. The path rises to the south-east in view of several other small lakes that feed into the Gosain Kund. Beyond the pass the path drops precipitously at first, then angles north-eastwards down rocky slopes, eventually passing a couple of streams and then two separate overhanging rocks called Ghopte, where there is a cave – and a tremendous vista of the Nepal Himalayas.
Day 01 : Arrival Kathmandu – transported to hotel – tour briefing
Day 02 : A full-day Kathmandu sightseeing
Day 03 : Kathmandu / Syabrubesi (8 hours)
Day 04 : Syabrubesi / Lama Hotel (2480 m)
Day 05 : Lama Hotel / Langtang village (3541 m)
Day 06 : Langtang village / Kyangjin Gompa (3900 m)
Day 07 : A day hiking around Kyangjin Gompa
Day 08 : Kyangjin Gompa / Ghora Tabela (2950 m)
Day 09 : Ghora Tabela / Bamboo (2100 m)
Day 10 : Bamboo / Thulo Syabru (2200 m)
Day 11 : Thulo Syabru / Sing Gompa (3580 m)
Day 12 : Sing Gompa / Goshainkunda (4381 m)
Day 13 : Gosaikunda / Ghopte cave (3100 m)
Day 14 : Ghopte cave / Kutumsang (2700 m)
Day 15 : Kutumsang / Chisopani (2400 m)
Day 16 : Chisopani / Sundarijal / drive to Kathmandu (1 hour)
Day 17 : Free time
Day 18 : Transported to airport – flight to onward destination