The 4984m high summit of Tserko Ri, the 4600m high Laurebina La (pass) and the holy Gosainkund Lake were all on the cards on last month’s expedition to the Langtang Valley in Nepal. This was not to be an easy feat within our timescale of 12 days of trekking. To achieve such lofty goals would mean long days of trekking and no rest days, but rest assured our team was up to the challenge!
It also meant that we would have to start the trek without our fellow mountain comrade Peter and that he would meet us in a few days’ time in Thulo Syraphru – a remote village situated at 2210m and a day’s walk from the road.
Forced to forgo a good night’s sleep due to the threat of more snow that could potentially thwart our summit attempt we decided to depart Kianjin Gompa at the early hour of 4am. We ate our breakfast of chapattis and hard boiled eggs as the sun came up a good third of the way into our climb. The snow had been falling every morning above 4000m and as luck would have it, we were the first party to start the climb. This meant Bhairesh and I had the arduous and laborious task of breaking trail through the thigh deep snow.
On our descent we came across a Belgium man holding his semi-conscious friend upside down, shaking him vigorously. It was clearly apparent that the semi-conscious man was suffering from altitude related problems and his friend was not doing him any favours by “shaking the blood back into his head.” This is no way to treat altitude sickness. The man was showing signs of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and was in bad shape. I gave him some Diamox tablets and forced him to drink some water. Bhairesh – our high altitude mountain guide from the Solo Khumbu picked the man up over his shoulder and rapidly descended down the mountain side, dropping about 1000m in an hour.
Peter arrived the next day, looking very fresh faced in his nice clean clothes! We had a nice treat of a warm solar powered shower that night and shared our stories over a few glasses of beer and games of Pass the Pigs! The following day we took to the trails slowly allowing Peter to acclimatise affectively and ourselves to recover from the very long days we had prior. Two short(ish) days of walking took us through beautiful forests of rhododendrons, yak pastures and alpine meadows until we reached Laurebina where the trail leads sharply upwards taking us high into the Himalayas and onwards to our next goal of reaching Gosainkunda Lake.
We gave the Sadhu some Snickers bars as an offering, while KP, Bhairesh and the porters took a blessing from him.
Our next challenge was the 4600m high Laurebina Pass. As we made our way over we had stunning views Manaslu and Annapurna, the world’s 7th and 10th highest mountains, as well as of Ganesh Himal (7422m). From the top of the pass we could see our route for the next two days that would take us down into the Helambu region.
After a warm shower, a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep in Kathmandu it was time to tour the city and reflect on a successful and great trip!
For more information about this trek please see our Langtang Valley Trekking page.