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Langtang Valley, Ganja La Pass & Helambu Trek

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Adventure around scenic Langtang Valley and crossing high Ganja-la to Helambu

Langtang is a region to the north of Kathmandu, bordering Tibet. It is protected as Langtang National Park and has many high peaks including Langtang Lirung 7,246 metres, which is seen from different parts of Kathmandu valley. About 6,000 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. This park is the heaven of Himalayan black bear, the goat-like Himalayan tahr, Rhesus monkeys, Red Pandas, and snow leopard and there are also stories of Yeti, abominable Snowman, sightings. The park also contains the sacred Gosainkunda lakes, Kyanjin Gonpa and Sing Gonpas.

This region is one of the most accessible areas for trekking since a five- hour drive to Dunche and in six-hour to Shyabrubesi, the starting points of various treks. From there, several itineraries are possible, from 8 days to 20 days, returning via Helambu. There are also small peaks for trekkers willing to test a climbing in Himalaya during their trek and major mountaineerings mountains.

To the east of Langtang Valley is Helambu, which is ideal for a short trek, is particularly lovely in winter. It provides a variety of trails. At the head of Helambu valleys is a ridge that separates Helambu from Langtang. Helambu is home of Hyolmo Sherpas, famous for the beauty and cleanliness of their houses. High peaks dominate the landscape.

The full moon day of August is a special day for people of the Langtang region and all Hindu devotees. During this day a sacred festival, Janai Purnima, is celebrated as Gosainkunda Lakes. Hundreds of Jankris (Shamans) gather, beating drums, twirling rhythmically in skirts, perspiration trickling under their peacock feather headdresses as they move from shrine to shrine. It is a chance to see a bit of Nepali Culture the casual visitors usually miss.

Trip Highlights

  • A adventurous journey around beautiful Langtang valley within the massive snow-capped peaks on both
  • sides of Langtang and Jugal Himal crossing over high Ganja-la pass.
  • Explore rural farming villages of Tamang and Hyolmo, the hilly tribes of central Himalaya.
  • Experience the fascinating cultural, tradition and lifestyle of the people interwoven with the Buddhist and Hindu religion.
  • Enchanting forest including rhododendron, pine, fir, and magnolia.
  • Traverse Ganja-la from Langtang valley to reach beautiful areas of Helambu.

Trip Profile

The total length of the trip: 16 days from arrival to the day of departure • Number of the night in Kathmandu: 4-nights / optionally visit UNESCO sites • Trek starting point: Shyabrubeshi • Trek ending point: Sermathang • Transport mode: 4x4 Jeep/Landcruiser • Highest elevation achievement: 5,122 metres Ganja-La • Accommodation: Hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu and tented camps on full board basis on the trek • Meals: Each day a wide variety of complete meals will be prepared and served by our mobile cook and kitchen staff. • Trip grade: Moderate to strenuous • Best season to trek: from the end of February to the mid of December

Short Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel

Day 02: A free day in Kathmandu or optionally take a tour around world heritage sites

Day 03: Drive to Syabrubensi 1,504m. A 6 hours’ drive

Day 04: Trek to Lama Hotel 2,450m. A 5 hours trek

Day 05: Trek to Langtang village 3,430 metres. A 6 hours trek.

Day 06: Trek to Kyangjin 3,830m. A 4 hours trek

Day 07: At Kyangjin for a hike to Tsergo-Ri 4,984m. or Kyangjin -Ri 4,773m

Day 08: Trek to Ngen-Gang Kharka 4,000m A 3 hours trek

Day 09: Cross Ganja La pass 5,122m & to Keldang Kharka 4,270m. A 6-7 hours trek

Day 10: Trek to Dhukpa 4,040m. A 6 hours trek

Day 11: Trek to Tarkye-Ghyang 2,600m. A 6 hours trek

Day 12: A rest day

Day 13: Trek to Sermathang 2,590m. A 5 hours trek

Day 14: Trek and drive to Kathmandu. An hour's trek and 4 hours’ drive

Day 15: Kathmandu

Day 16: Departure

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel

Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, meet by Happy Feet Mountaineer’s staff and transfer to hotel. It takes about half an hour drive to get to the hotel in Thamel. Check-in at the hotel and after refreshed you will be meeting with other members for the trek and the representative of Happy Feet Mountaineers for the trip briefing. The rest of the time is free to rest. Overnight stay at the hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 02: A free day in Kathmandu or optionally take a tour around world heritage sites

Breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a free day in Kathmandu for the preparation of the trek. Please let the Happy Feet Mountaineers representative know if you want to join the sightseeing tour around the ancient and historical cities in Kathmandu valley as well as the famous Hindu temple and Buddhist stupa, which are listed in world heritage sites by UNESCO.

Day 03: Drive to Syabrubensi 1,504m. A 6 hours’ drive

Breakfast at the hotel in Kathmandu and drive to Syabrubensi. The overland journey via small towns and villages overlooking the magnificent mountains, green hills and valleys, the jungle and farmland, rivers and rivulets is a lifetime experience. You will also be driving through Dhunche, the headquarters of Rasuwa District and main entrance of Langtang National Park. From Dhunche to Syabrubensi is an hour downhill driving, through several small villages and gorges. Stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 04: Trek to Lama Hotel 2,450m. A 5 hours trek

The walk of the first-day starts from Syabrubesi village. We cross a suspension bridge over the Langtang River and then climb up some farming areas and enter into a green forest, full of monkeys, following the Langtang River. The entire day is enjoyable walking day with lovely views of the valley and Langtang river. The trail reaches to a junction, at Pairo (Landslide), to Langtang and Gosainkunda. From here we follow the path to Langtang passing by several tea-house at Pairo, Bamboo and Riverside. The trail is lovely through a dense forest, full of wilderness, with sheer cliff-hanging many huge wild beehives. Cross a steel bridge and follow the north-western bank of the river, very interesting to see the mighty water rumbling against the rock and the river birds singing on the slippery river rocks! Enjoying all the wonder of nature, we reach to Lama Hotel, our second overnight stop, a lovely spot within a forest clearing.

Day 05: Trek to Langtang village 3,430 metres. A 6 hours trek.

The morning walk follows by the bank of Langtang river heading upstream into the deep forest into a gorge, as the trail continues we reach to Ghoda-Tabla, at 3000 metres, a lovely open place for the lunch stop. This place was once used for Tibetan resettlement project; it takes further 2 hours to arrive Langtang village. Afternoon we walk another 2 hours to reach at Langtang village. The trail is scenic with a gradual going up. Tantalizing glimpses of mount Langtang Lirung of 7,246 metres is seen from many points all the way along. The Langtang village has been swept away by the avalanche created by the earthquake of 2015, so the village is with numerous new house. In the past homes of Langtang and neighbouring communities use to have Tibetan-style flat roofs and surrounded by stone walls. And the villagers use to keep herds of Yaks and cattle here and in pastures above the village.

Day 06: Trek to Kyangjin 3,830m. A 4 hours trek

Today is a short walk to reach at Kyangjin our ultimate and significant destination of the journey. Morning walk starts with a short gradual climb to reach a ridge through a small and lovely open area with mani walls. As we walk up, we arrive at a wide scenic Kyangjin valley enclosed by an array of peaks, where we will make two overnight stops. One or two days' rest or a busy day to stroll around the hilltops of Kyangjing is recommendable because of the natural setting of the valley with a great scenario of dazzling summits. It is an excellent accumulation of the high mountains, which inspires one to take a full day's trip or repeated walks on the same ridges with changing Himalayan climates. From Kyangjin gonpa one may trek till Langshisa, the last barrier of the region with Tibet or one may take a long day hike to the summit of Charku-Ri or Kyangjing-Ri to captivate the whole area in an unforgettable memory.

Day 07: At Kyangjin for a hike to Tsergo-Ri 4,984m. or Kyangjin -Ri 4,773m

An exciting day to enjoy a scenic walk around its beautiful surroundings. Optionally one can take a hike to Tsergo-Ri or the nearest lookout the Kyangjin -Ri. There are some of the best panoramas with Langtang Himal, Ghengu Liru (Langtang II - 6571m), Langtang Lirung (7,425m) Kimshun (6,745m), Shalbachum (6,918m) towards views of Chimsedang Himal which forms a ridge with Naya-Kanga or Ganjala peak at 5,846m includes Gangchempo and Tilman's beautiful Fluted Peak. Magnificent views that extend towards the east with Jugal Himal, Dorje Lakpa (6,980m), which makes a massive border wall of mountains between Nepal and Tibet.

Day 08: Trek to Ngen-Gang Kharka 4,000m A 3 hours trek

After marvellous time around Kyangjin, our real adventure begins. Leaving the village we cross Langtang River and climb uphill into rhododendron and birch forest, then a steady climb to reach a flat ground for our overnight camp at a place called Ngen-Gang Kharka. The entire trail is beautiful with a complete view of Kyangjin village, and majestic views of Langtang and Gangchhempo range.

Day 09: Cross Ganja La pass 5,122m & to Keldang Kharka 4,270m. A 6-7 hours trek

Early morning breakfast. The views across the valley with majestic mountain rows on sunrise light are delighting. The first part of the trek takes us through a steep ridge bring us to bellow the Ganja-la. This section of the trail will be challenging if there is snow. Ganja-La pass situates on a sharp hill ridge in a rocky moraine marked with old Cairns and Buddhist prayer flags. The pass offers close views of Naya Kanga (Ganjala Peak) and the whole of Langtang and Jugal Himal range with some peaks within Tibet across the border. After a photographic rest at Ganjala, at 5130 metres, descend through an icy slope, rope support may require, the guide and Sherpa helpers will manage the safety of the members and porters. We cross the iced valley and then reach the bottom near a small glacial pond around Keldang Kharka for overnight camping. This area is summer pasture, traditionally used by the herders from Helambu area.

Day 10: Trek to Dhukpa 4,040m. A 6 hours trek

From Keldang Kharka we walk through lovely open places. The views toward the east are unobstructed with vast valleys and mountain rows to the far horizon. We traverser to the southeast passing through several cow shades with some ups and downs until we reach a small cattle herders temporary settlement at Dukpu, where we will camp for an overnight rest.

Day 11: Trek to Tarkye-Ghyang 2,600m. A 6 hours trek

After spending three days in complete isolation and away from human settlement, we arrive at Tarkye-Ghyang village (Gyang means monastery). The trek leads on a downhill with a climb to a small hill at above 4,100 metres offering grand views of Ganesh, Langtang, and Jugal Himal range. A short refreshing break and continue descend into the dense pine and rhododendron trees to reach Tarkye-Ghyang village.

Day 12: A rest day

Tarkye Ghyang village is a good place for a rest day after some tough and high elevation walk around Ganja-la. This village, populated by a small hilly tribe known as Hyolmo, a mixed group of Tamang and Hyolmo Sherpas, both practising Buddhist religion. The Hyolmo people are known for excellent handy-crafts which one can witness around the doors and windows of their houses, including items of furniture with intricate carving and design. Explore around the village and its old monastery, Ama Yangri, situated on top of the village.

Day 13: Trek to Sermathang 2,590m. A 5 hours trek

After exploring the local culture and life of Hyolmo, the morning walk leads towards a flat area through a forest area enjoying the views of Helambu villages. The trail continues past Chorten (small Buddhist stupas) following a downhill trail to reach at Shermathang another major settlement of Hyolmo people.

Day 14: Trek and drive to Kathmandu. An hour's trek and 4 hours’ drive

Breakfast and a short walk until we approach the motorable road, where our vehicle will be waiting for our arrival. The trek is over! We take a drive with long descend to reach warmer areas of Melamchi Bazaar, one of the major settlement areas, and continue an interesting to Kathmandu via Dhulikhel, a beautiful resort town, where we will stop for Lunch. After lunch, we enter to the Kathmandu valley crossing several small cities of Banepa, Nala, Bhaktapur and finally to Kathmandu. Arrive at your hotel and get distributed into the rooms., The rest of the evening is free for rest and refreshment.

Day 15: Kathmandu

A free day / optionally take a guided city tour

Day 16: Departure

Breakfast and free time till the time limit. In the indicated time, our office representative and vehicle arrive at your hotel to serve you till the airport. Drive to Kathmandu international airport to see off formalities and departure.

Cost

COSTS PER PERSON
NUMBER IN GROUP 3-Star Hotels 4-Star Hotels
1 Person 2800$ 2968$
2 - 3 Persons 2000$ 2120$
4 - 5 Persons 1815$ 1935$
6 - 7 Persons 1715$ 1835$
8- 10 Persons 1615$ 1735$
Single room supplement 230$ 350$
HOTELS / ACCOMMODATIONS
CITIES 3-Star Hotels 4-Star Hotels
KATHMANDU Marshyangdi or similar Hotel Shanke or Malla
DURING TREK Teahouse (Lodge) Teahouse (Lodge)

What is included

  • Airport pick up and departure services as per itinerary
  • 4-nights of hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing basis, breakfast included
  • Kathmandu to Shyabrubeshi transportation by a 4x4 Jeep/Landcruiser.
  • Guide, cook, kitchen boys, Sherpa helpers and the necessary number of porters for the entire trekking period.
  • Insurance and expenses of all local staff
  • TIMS and Langtang National Park entry permits.
  • All camping equipment such as two men dome tent (Ozark/Mountain Hardware) dining tent, kitchen tent, staff tent, toilet tent, Shower tent, hard and soft mattresses for each member and kitchen equipment for common use.
  • All necessary food and beverages for the trekking period. A good sleeping bag to each member. A pair of a trekking pole to each member. A trekking map and duffel bag. A small Medial kit box for first add medical purpose.
  • A satellite mobile phone for communication in an emergency (Personal usage available with 4$ per minute call)
  • Melamchi to Kathmandu transportation

What is not included

  • Travel insurance (Should include helicopter evacuation and cancellation eventualities as well)
  • International air tickets.
  • Nepal entry visa and visa fee (One can apply on arrival to Kathmandu airport).
  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Alcoholic and mineral beverages during the trek.
  • Other charges such as usage of internet, telephone, laundry services.
  • Tips for Nepali staff/porters and those, not mentioned in the above price include section.

Best Seasons

Nepal has four primary seasons:
1. Winter: December–February
2. Spring: March-May
3. Summer: June–August
4. Autumn: September – November

General Weather:
The best time is from mid-September to the end of January or from mid-February to the end of May. July and August are rainy months for Nepal, but each season has its richness. During rainy month the jungles will be lush to the rain forest, and the rivers will swell, the lowlands or the fields of the hills will be full of rice and other crops.

During these month Japanese tourists and from other countries, loving the high Himalaya flower, comes to sight flowers. And most of the tourist willing to travel to Tibet comes from May to mid-October. And we also have a lot of Spanish tourists touring and trekking in Nepal in these months.

During rainy months the parts of Terai may see with flood and travelling during these months is hot and temperature may reach to around 38 degrees, but during this time the Indian tourists visit Nepal to escape the heat in their lowlands. During winter months the part of Terai will be misty and may find under winter mist until late morning (11 a.m.).

End of February to mid-May is the best time for fauna and flora both in the mountains and in Terai. During this time one may find a lot of rhododendron flower, magnolia, wild orchids and birdlife. The weather mostly remains fine in all parts of Nepal.

January February are winter, and from the end of January to February, the high passes in the mountain valley will be in the snow. During this time, the temperature around the Everest Base camp will be -17 degrees (after sunset and before sunrise). During day time will be around 5 to 11 degree and more if sunny. Nepal is a sunny country, so the temperature, even full winter, is much better than some European country and in America and in Canada. Many of them from those countries travel to Nepal to escape their cold weather and to enjoy the sunny Himalaya Panorama.

NOTE
The best months to take this itinerary is from the end of February to the mid of December.

FAQ

Where do we sleep?
In Kathmandu and Pokhara we stay in comfortable 3-star hotels with private en-suite bathrooms. While on trek we stay at Nepalese lodges which offer welcoming but straightforward accommodation and wonderful traditional hospitality. Lodges typically have one large communal room where you can sit and take meals, and there is an adjoining kitchen where you can order your food and drinks. Bedrooms are twin bedded with or without private bathroom, and dormitories with shared bathrooms.

What Equipment do I need?
You will need to bring appropriate warm outdoor clothing and a good pair of walking boots. A complete equipment list gets supplied when you sign up. Many of the necessary items can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu so don’t worry if you can’t buy everything where you live. The guides will check your equipment and clothing before departing from Kathmandu, so if anything is missing, there will be time to obtain anything necessary.

Can I arrive early or extend my stay?
Yes, you can! All you need to do is to tell us what your flight details are and how many extra nights you need and we will book your hotel accordingly. Additionally, if you would like to arrange a program of activities either before or perhaps after the trek, there are a range of options to choose from including the jungle safari at Chitwan national park, or perhaps white water rafting on one of Nepal’s spectacular rivers such as the Sun Kosi. The Kathmandu has several not to miss UNESCO World heritage sites and to visit all of them with time require at least 3-5 days.

Can I have a single room?
Yes, you can! There is a single room occupancy supplement indicated in the price list.

What about insurance?
It is a condition of joining the trek that you have insurance in place which will cover you for the costs of medical treatment, cancellations, emergency rescue and repatriation to your home country. You must ensure that it provides cover for trekking to altitudes above 4000 metres and includes helicopter rescue. We do not sell insurance scheme so requires to manage on your own.

Do I need a visa?
Yes, you do. Everyone needs to get a visa for Nepal, but you can obtain it on arrival at Kathmandu airport. You will need to bring two passport photos and the appropriate visa fee, which is the US $30 for 15 days, US $50 for up to 30 days, and the US $125 for 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry to Nepal.

How fit do I need to be?
Anyone who is in reasonable shape and good health can accomplish this trek. Some days will be harder than others, but none require much more than 5 or 6 hours of walking each day, with a leisurely lunch stop to break up the day. There is no rush or need to ‘keep up’, and you are free to walk at your own pace. We would recommend that you undertake some form of simple training in advance of the trek, such as a 30-minute walk each evening for a few weeks before the start of the trek. Another exercise, such as swimming, bicycling and playing tennis, is also ideal.

Do I have to carry my pack?
We use porters to carry the majority of our equipment so daily you need only take a very light day pack which should contain no more than the camera, water-bottle, a selection of snacks and a warm or waterproof jacket. Everything else needs to pack into a large duffle bag which will be given to a porter each morning. The kitbag will be carried by the porter each day and delivered to your lodge room each afternoon. You need to make sure you have everything you need for the day before giving your bag to the porter as it can be difficult to access while trekking.

Will I be affected by altitude?
Most of the trek takes place at lower altitudes where you are unlikely to notice anything other than mild shortness of breath at the beginning of the trek. As the days go by, you will gain acclimatisation and feel more adjusted to the higher altitudes. At a height above 4300 metres, one may experience a headache caused by the thin air and lack of oxygen, but these symptoms usually pass quickly. If you experience symptoms of altitude that does not go away, you will be accompanied by one of our Sherpas to a lower elevation, where you should quickly recover.

Do I need vaccinations to travel Nepal?
No vaccination are required to travel Nepal, but we suggest to consult with your doctor before travelling. You can get vaccination in Kathmandu/Pokhara but it is more comfortable if you get them before you travel.

How do I sign up?
All bookings need to be made through Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. and to secure your place we will require a non-refundable deposit of minimum US $200 or as indicated in the booking and payment conditions section.

Payment Options:
1. Bank Transfer -this is our preferred method. Payments in US Dollars should be sent to the following account:

Account Name: Annapurna Treks & Expedition
Bank Name: Nepal Investment Bank
Bank Address: Durbar Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. Box 3412
Account number: 001 611710T
Swift Code No.: NIBLNPKT

2. Payment by a Card - payments can only be processed in Nepalese rupees (NPR), so if you wish to pay by card, we will convert the dollar amount to a Nepalese Rupees equivalent at the prevailing exchange rate. Card payment is accepted only on your arrival into the country. There will be a 3.5% service fee on top.

Booking Payment Conditions

Booking and payment conditions
As soon as we have your Booking, with a specific program and more or less number in the group, we will release an invoice for a confirmation deposit as per following.
(A) 200$ per person for trekking and tours
(B) 400$ per person for trekking peak climbing and trekking in restricted areas
(C) 600$ per person for mountaineering expeditions ranging 6,600m to below 8000 metres
(D) 3,000$ per person for all mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m. meter into Nepal
(E) 4,000$ per person for mountaineering expeditions above 8,000m mountain into Tibet.

1. The final confirmation will require at least three months in advance of the tours commence with 50% of the tour payment.
2. The final and total payment will require at least 25-days before the program commences.
3. The banking transaction charges of each time payment will be needed to be borne by the sender, and a net amount of the total amount will require deposited in the company account.

Trip Cancellation

  • To compensate the administrative charges, and other expenses in dealing with the booking process, the following cancellation fees will be charged:Cancellation after the confirmation - loss of the deposit
  • Cancellation 45-days before trip commences - 20% of the total cost
  • Cancellation 25-days before trip commences - 50% of the total cost
  • Cancellation less than 21-days before the trip commences - 70% of the total cost
  • Cancellation after arrival or during the trip - 100% of the total cost
Responsibility
We, Annapurna Treks & Expeditions Pvt. Ltd., accept responsibility for ensuring that the services booked with us are as close as possible to the itinerary outfitted in our mutual understanding. You agree and understand that it may be necessary to adjust the program due to unforeseen factors. In such a case, the group leader and sirdar/guide, in the team, will make the final decision.

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