Our Spring Rhododendron trek is specifically timed to catch the plants of the Langtang and Jugal Himal at their finest. But this trek is no gentle trundle through the forest; it is an exhilarating trek through alpine valleys and takes in the holy lakes at Gosainkund and the Lanjura Pass. At first the lower reaches of the trail are bordered by terraced fields of mustard which, enhanced by the rich yellow blossoms of double jasmine, set the valleys ablaze, Higher up, dense forests of Spanish Oak give way to meadows of Daphne and Gentian which compete with each other in a riot of colour.
This is a 15 day, Grade 3+ (moderate to strenuous) trek. A shortened version of this trek, is also available but this only covers the Langtang portion of the trek.
Price per person 2 pax: 1758.00 USD
Price per person 4 pax: 1659.00 USD
On arrival meet assist by Mountain Travel representative and transfer to hotel.
Our morning transport from Kathmandu takes us all the way through to Dhunche, which lies on the east bank high above the Trisuli river. Beginning the trek from here allows us to cover some of the best trekking country in Nepal, where relatively few foreign trekkers visit. The first night’s camp is generally between Dhunche and Bharkhu.
This is a fine day of trekking which traverses high above the junction of the Trisuli River and the Langtang Khola. Syabru is a busy village with the houses laid out in single file down the hillside. Sherpas and Tamangs farm this area. The trail drops steeply down towards the river and our camp for the night is located in fine deciduous forest near the bank of the river. A glacier-cold swim is available here!
Half an hour further upstream the trail crosses to the north bank and climbs steeply through the Langtang gorge, before the ascent eases and the valley widens out into an area of fir and rhododendron. Ghoratabela lies near the end of the main forest area where an army post is located. There are plenty of good camping areas nearby.
We move out into wide alpine country with easy walking up to Langtang village. A necessarily shorter day because of the increase in altitude.
From Langtang we continue up the valley to Kyangjin Gompa, where there is a government rest house, a cheese factory (which produces some 7000kg of cheese for Kathmandu every year, all of which is carried by porter to the dairy in the city) and a national park pot.
This makes an excellent base for side walks either immediately above the Gompa to the foot of the Langtang Lirung glacier, eastward to the Langsisa Glacier, or a tougher ascent of the northern flank of the valley towards Yala Peak. From this area there are views west towards Langtang Lirung (7245m) and the Ganesh Himal. To the south lies the Ganjala Himal and a view of the high pass which leads to Helambu.
We spend a long day retracing our steps to the campsite at Syabru.
There are a few direct routes to Gosainkund; we take the more pleasant circuitous route via Sing Gompa. A stiff uphill in the morning leads to a ridge-line which offers views north into Tibet and west towards the Annapurnas. In the afternoon we walk through ancient hemlock and rhododendron forest to the little settlement of Sing Gompa, high above the Trisuli. In spring the area is a mass of flowers and fresh cheese can sometimes be bought from the cheese factory.
The steep climb up the ridge takes us into alpine country to a saddle at Chalang Pati (3380m). We can enjoy the views of the Annapurnas, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal, as well as peaks in Tibet. There is still a long way to go before we reach the main lake, from which a black rock (said to be the head of Shiva) protrudes.
A long and hard day. We begin by climbing from the lakes to the Lamjura Pass (4610m). We then having a jolting descent over more rough ground and more tricky and awkward ground to negotiate before reaching our camp site near an enormous boulder which provides protection for the porters and thus provides the misnomer of ‘cave’.
Another hard climb through rhododendron forest leads to the ridge line at Thare Pati. Keep an eye out for pheasants and other wildlife through the area. After lunch a steep scrambling descent leads down to the village of Malemchigaon, a Sherpa settlement at the top end of the Malemchi river valley.
This day entails a loss of altitude before a climb up to Tharke Ghyang. This is one of the most attractive villages in the area with a small monastery and the building characterised by stone, slate and wood. The ridge walk to Shermatang offers wide views in all directions with the southern foothills of Nepal fading into a hazy distance towards the plains of India. Shermatang is another Sherpa village and has excellent camp sites.
A knee wobbling day as altitude is rapidly lost on the way down to the Malemchi River Valley. Tarangmarang is a busy trading village.
A lovely day's walk along the north facing slopes of the foothills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley through some Tamang and Chettri/Bahun villages. It ends with a steep climb to the campsite. The whole Himalayan range from Everest in the east to the Annapurnas in the west is visible from here.
A short climb crests the valley rim and the descent is down a busy trail with people en route to or from trading or business in Kathmandu. There is a charming lunch spot at a man made lake providing water for the area and the final descent follows the water pipeline to the village of Sundarijal where transport is laid on for the short trip to Kathmandu. Overnight at Hotel.