The trek involves a day’s bus journey from Kathmandu to the trailhead at Syabrubensi; a 4 day walk up the Langtag valley to Kyanjin Gompa; ascent of Tzergo Ri (4984m), Kyangin Ri (4350m) or Kyimoshung Ri (4620m); return down the Langtang valley; 4 day ascent to the holy Gosainkund Lake; traverse of the Laurebena Pass (4610m) and then a 2 day walkout through the foothills to Kathmandu.
For Nepal, this is a mostly at a low level and there were no altitude issues within the group. The trek was on excellent trails giving easy walking, but days could be quite long e.g. 7+ hours. Despite the trek notes claiming it to be a remote part of Nepal, there were many other trekkers, a lot of them doing the trail independently. The highlight of the trek is the ascent of Tzergo Ri. This provides a 360 degree panorama of the mountains surrounding the head of the Langtang valley and is a breath taking view. It took about 7 hours to get to the top and back to Kyanjin Gompa. The path to the top is reasonably gradual. The weather had been bad the day before and there had been a dump of snow for the last 300 metres. If the weather had been colder and the wind greater, I would have put on my spiders (if you are really unlucky with the weather, maybe you’d require crampons). Note that neither spiders nor crampons were available for hire in Kyanjin Gompa. The ascent to Gosainkund is a delight. Starting in jungle, it progresses through pine forest and then follows a snowy broad ridge to the frozen lake. It was a bit early in the year and maybe this was the reason that there were relatively few (compared to Ghorepani on the Annapurna Circuit) rhododendron bushes in flower. It takes about ninety minutes to get to the top of the Laurebena Pass from the Gosainkund Lake. There is a tremendous view westwards to the Annapurnas, Manaslu and the Ginesh range from the top of the pass. The 2 day walk out through the foothills can get tedious, some of it along dusty roads. The alternative would be a 12 hour bus journey and given the option, I’d do the walk.
This is a lodge trek. Most of the lodges are typical fayre for Nepal: warm, reasonably clean and wholesome food. Lodges at Gosainkund (and the day after) were slightly more basic but fine given the location. Out of 16 trekkers, only 3 of us (thankfully including me) didn’t succumb to a stomach upset – 3 had to drop out completely.
I’d much prefer camping treks, but lodges seem to be the way forward in Nepal.
The sherpa team were superb and I can’t fault Exodus for their organisation.
I find it amazing that so much scenery and so many experiences can be squeezed into a 2 week holiday. The limited time means that there are no contingency days at the end of the trek and no real time for sight seeing in Kathmandu (actually a bonus for those who have been many times before). It would be good to get an extra day at Kyanjin Gompa – just in case you are unlucky enough to get bad weather there. Tzergo Ri (or the other viewpoints) are the highlight of the trip and it would be a big disappointment to miss that day. Given the tight timescales though, and the long days, I can’t see Exodus changing that.
Photos of the trek can be seen at…https://www.dropbox.com/sh/o5854v8qsz1qxw3/ee5JJSLat5