Trekking in the sacred valley of Langtang
Langtang National Park, Nepal
Trekking in the sacred valley of Langtang Langtang National Park Reviews
Trekking in the sacred valley of Langtang Dec 02, 2014
*update: the village of langtang, the trail and the valley are now completely destroyed by the earthquake that has changed the landscape of the middle valley*
A sacred valley where slaughtering of animals and cutting of trees are forbidden, a valley of glaciers located inside the Langtang National Park where it is the first himalayan national park established in nepal to protect and conserve the ecosystem (wildlife, flora and fauna) and the cultural heritage of the area.
the valley of langtang is a world of different and varied zones (ecosystem, vegetation and climate). the valley is cut by the fast flowing langtang khola (river) that originates from the glaciers of the great himalayas located inside the national park. the dominant ethnic group that thrives here are the tamangs and when you reach the highest part of the trek, the people are of tibetan origin who couldnt go back to tibet after the border closed.
in the lower part of the valley at 1500 to 2400 meters, the climate is tropical to subtropical. the valley is very narrow and the himalayas couldnt be seen but the landscape is quite spectacular. wild honeycombs attached from the sheer cliffs and langur monkeys swinging from tree to tree. water just flows endlessly, passing small waterfalls and strong currents of the langtang khola. the trail is up and down and some parts are muddy due to the moist and the endless supply of water.
in the middle part of the valley above 2400 meters, the landscape slowly changes. the tropical trees from the lower part transforms into trees that could be found in the temperate zone. the forest is covered in moss and lichens and the great himalayas could be seen faintly in the distance.
then at exactly 3000 meters, the temperate zone transforms dramatically into the alpine zone. conifers and other trees grow like oak in the landscape and valley widens itself, revealing the tallest himalayan peak in the langtang national park - langtang lirung at 7234 meters.
trekking above 3000 to 3700 meters the vegetation transform dramatically into stunted trees and shrubs. the valley is sandwiched between the higher langtang himal on the left and the smaller kanja-la himal on the right and all throughout the valley the fluted peak of gangchempo 6387 meters dominate. as it is windy in the valley, prayers flags, darchors sway along with the wind. the influence of tibetan buddhism at this altitude is also very strong, prayer wheels and mani stones / walls (prayer wall), chorten, stupas, gompas and pictures of the dalai lama in the guesthouses can be seen.
in the upper part - above 3700 meters, climbing tserko-ri (the highest trekking peak in the langtang himalaya) at over 5000 meters, only rocks, ice and sometimes snow dominates. the air quite thin but the landscape is the most beautiful of all - desolate and only the high himalayas towering above the valley. in the panorama, one cansee the peaks of dorje lhakpa, loenpo gang, shalbachum, morimoto, pemthang karpo-ri that could not be seen from the valley. going further near the border of tibet - yaks congregate in the high pastures of langshisa kharka. i saw a herd of himalayan tahr and if one can get lucky some traces of the snow leopard.
aside from trekking there are also some activities to do while trekking in the langtang valley. some of them are:
1. wild camping in the upper part of the valley
2. climbing and crossing the ganja-la pass (above 5000 meters)
3. climbing tserko-ri to get the best panorama view of the high himalayas (above 5000 meters) it is also the highlight of the trekking trail
4. climbing kyanjin-ri (4700 meters) to get a view of icefalls and glaciers of the langtang himal
5. visiting the gompa at kyanjin gumba.
6. visiting the cheese factory at kyanjin gumba.
as langtang is a national park, there are only 2 settlements in the valley, the village of langtang and kyanjin gumba and the rest only comprises of 1 to 4 guesthouses. the trail is up and down. for me, i had difficulty getting from bamboo to lama hotel and up to ghodatabela. sometimes the guesthouses are far from each other specially in the lower part of the valley, so bring as much provisions if you can. estimate everyday 8 hours of walking time. best time to go - late november to december - the clearest weather but nights can be so cold and in the higher altitudes can be freezing.
the national park is the closest trekking trail to the high himalayas from kathmandu but to get there is a very long bus ride up into the mountains driving on sheer cliffs in some sections. you need a permit to trek into langtang - you can get it in kathmandu yourself or a competent trekking agency will provide it for you. you need this permit for countless military checkpoints in the area.
Part of the the HIMALAYAS begin where all other mountains end. travel blog
Part of the list Namaste NEPAL
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