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August 22, 2019

Reminiscences of Langtang excursion

  • Rachael L Mclaren
Langtang valley
Langtang valley

I have always wanted to see the mountains in the Himalayas. Never did I imagine that one day my dream would come through. When my son decided to have a break from traveling the world with me, I thought to myself, this is the opportunity that I have been waiting for.

So, in 2018 I chose Nepal as my first overseas trekking expedition. I gathered some friends that had a similar outlook in life and we booked Northern-Nepal-Langtang for October 2018.

For months, I trained myself and when I arrived in Nepal, I thought to myself, Oh God! I hope I made it to the summit. We had a wonderful group of Nepalese guides and it was through one seed Expedition that we booked our expedition.

Writer, Rachael L Mclaren

The day before our trekking journey starts, we met our lead guide Kale Sherpa Pinasa and his assistant lead guide Lalkaji Gurung along with 3 training assistants. For the next 8 days, we were family. We hiked together, we ate together, we played cards together and we learned about each other.

The Northern Langtang region is located near the Nepal-Tibet border. Langtang region is the magnificent place to trek and one can get a closer and crystal clear view of Langtang ranges from the Langtang valley. It has the most magnificent views of the Himalayan ranges.

The major attraction on this trek is Langtang Lirung sitting at 7234m above sea level. The Langtang National park is located in the area. About 4,500 people live inside the park, and many more depend on it for timber and firewood. The majority of the residents are Tamang.

The Park contains a wide variety of climatic zones, from subtropical to alpine. Approximately 25% of the park is forested. Trees include the deciduous oak and maple, and evergreens like pine, and various types of rhododendron. Animal life includes Himalayan black bear, the goat-like Himalayan tahr, rhesus monkeys and red pandas.

There are also stories of Yeti sightings. The park contains the Gosainkunda lakes, sacred to Hindus. Pilgrimages are made there in August. Another spiritual site is the Buddhist monastery Kyanjin Gonpa.

Langtang village has been completely swiped away by a massive avalanche followed by the earthquake in April 2015 the village suffered an estimated 310 deaths, including 176 Langtang residents, 80 foreigners, and 10 army personnel. More than 100 bodies were never recovered.

It was my personal best when I summit Kyanji Ri Peak 1 at 4300m. The views were amazing. One could stay up there up for hours if it wasn’t cold. Interacting with local people is also one of my highlights.

I have learned so much on this trip about the cultures, the people and their country. I am looking forward to returning to Nepal in the near future and trek the Annapurna region.

(This article was written by Australian tourist Rachael L Mclaren from Newcastle, New South Wales has been republished under a new title which was published earlier in “Guide Nepal” a publication of Trekking Guides Association of Nepal)

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