A fantastic two week trekking through the Langtang National Park in Nepal culminating in an ascent of the spectacular but non-technical Yala Peak. The summit is renowned for being an excellent viewpoint. The feeling is of being high up in the remote Himalayas and with few people around, and without experiencing too much technical difficulty.
We will be in the heart of the Himalaya with awe inspiring views across into Tibet and out over Nepal. Langtang is the closest national park to Kathmandu, requiring a drive to get there, and the valley is famous for its flora, aswell as beautiful Himalayan peaks.
We drive to the Park with 4x4 vehicles and then trekking and possible horse riding through the Park using lodges and porters with a Sherpa guide. Tents are used for the high camp at Yala Kharka. The terrain is mountainous but not precipitous, with forest, terraced hill slopes and valley hikes leading to high pastures and eventually the moraine of the glaciers and the peaks. The route passes through settlements and villages, although this is a less populated and visited region than Khumbu or Annapurna.
Yala Peak is close to the Tibetan border and north-east of Kyangin Gompa (3870 m) in the Langtang Valley. The mountain can be climbed in two days from Kyanjin Gompa with using a high camp at Yala Kharka (4900 m). However you can also climb it in a single long day with a pre-dawn start and with good acclimatisation. It is one of the easier trekking peaks to climb, and sometimes climbed as a preparation for Ganja La Chuli (5844 m).
Langtang National Park and Yala Peak history
The Langtang National Park is a protected area where the majority of residents are Tamang and the climatic zones range from subtropical to alpine. The beautiful Langtang Valley contains several glacial lakes including Gosainkunda Lake which is sacred to Hindus, and a number of high peaks including Yala Peak (5732m) which is an achievable goal for fit, high level enthusiasts wishing to ascend a snow-covered non-technical peak.
Langtang remained unknown until Bill Tilman’s expedition in 1949, the same year that the Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club asked for permission to explore the south side of Everest; this was refused, but Tilman and Peter Lloyd were allowed into Langtang, where they searched for a way into Tibet. Tilman discovered a pass (still called Tilman’s Pass) beyond Gangchempo leading south through the wild Jugal Himal and back to Kathmandu.
Today, despite the road going up the Trisuli Valley all the way to Dhunche, the valley is still a rarely visited area and retains an air of remoteness and adventure. The Park has similar climatic pattern to Sagamartha National Park, but the subtropical area to the south ensures a wider variety of animals, including musk deer, Himalayan black bears and the Himalyan tahr (a large ungulate), langur monkeys, ghorals, and the rare snow leopard and red pandas. Trees include oak, blue pine, birch, maple and in the springtime the hillsides are heavy with rhododendron flowers.
Yala Peak itinerary
Getting to Langtang is quite simple and does not involve any internal flights. It is a seven hour bus journey from Kathmandu to Syabru Besi which is at the start of the Langtang Valley. From there is a pleasant acclimatisation trek up the valley and then a further hike to the base camp, and an early start to climb to the summit and get back down again safely in daylight hours.
- Arrival & Preparations in Kathmandu, drive to trek start (days 1-3)
- Trekking up the Langtang valley (days 4-8)
- Climb Yala Peak (days 9-11)
- Trek back down Langtang valley & drive to Kathmandu (days 12-15)
- Depart Kathmandu (day 16)
|1||Arrive in to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.|
|2||Meet our team, rest, relax, explore Kathmandu and have a trip briefing.|
|3||1966m||Drive from Kathmandu north to Dhunche (1966m) by 4WD which takes about eight hours, following scenic foothills and ridgeline vistas. The road beyond Trishuli Bazaar becomes a gravel route, sometimes blocked by landslide in the rainy season. Overnight in lodge.|
|4||2581m||Trek from Dhunche to Thulo Syabru (2581m) which takes about five and a half hours and onto to Thulo Syabru (6950ft, 2120m). The walk is leisurely through forests and terraced hill slopes, descending to a ridgeline that separates the Langtang Khola from the Trisuli River. Syabru is a beautiful village stretched out along the ridgeline. The sunset can be spectacular; brilliantly backlighting the houses perched on the ridgeline above. From here you can enjoy spectacular view of Lantang Lirung (7245m.) and the Tibetan Himal ranges. Overnight stay at lodge|
|5||2470||Trek from Syabru for about five hours, descending along the ridge and dropping to the Ghopche Khola and then ascending evenly to Rimche (2400m) through bamboo forest where it is possible to catch sight of the red panda, monkey and black bear, although these animals are naturally secretive and shy.|
|6||3500m||Continue the ascent above the Langtang Khola which becomes steeper and leads to a log bridge and the lush meadows of Ghora Tabela beyond. Along the way there is a beautiful sight of Langtang Lirung (7246m), and the route opens up into a wide valley of yak pastures and scattered Tamang villages with water-driven mills and prayer wheels. After crossing a stream we reach Langtang village at a height of 3500 metres, which is the headquarters for the park and has traditional flat roved Tibetan style houses, small hotels and cultivated lands yielding buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips and barley. Overnight at lodge.|
|7||3870m||The walk to Kyangjin takes about three hours and climbs gradually through small villages and yak pastures as the valley opens out further and the views become more extensive. After crossing several small streams and patches of moraine, the trail reaches the settlement at Kyangjin where there is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. We should arrive at Kyangjin by lunch time allowing time to acclimatise and explore the area. It is a dramatic setting, with surrounding snow covered peaks. Overnight stay at lodge.|
|8||3870m||This is a day off for acclimatization and a proper rest, exploring interesting places like the monastery and the cheese factory. You can walk up the moraine and climb Kyangjin Ri at 4350m for views of the surrounding peaks.|
|9||4160m||This is an ascent for five hours to Yak Kharka where the tents are pitched for a night under canvas.|
|10||4600m||A four hour trek along lateral moraine to the high camp. The horse can make it this far if the ground conditions allow, depending on whether there is deep snow or not.|
|11||5732||The optional summit ascent takes about eight hours. At the summit of Yala peak, there are panoramic views of Shishapangma, Dorje Lakpa, Ganchenpo, Naya Kang, Tserko Ri , Langtang Lirung and many Tibetan mountains. The last 700 metres will require being roped up and using crampons and a walking axe. There is a final shapely ridge to negotiate to the small summit. Those who do not choose to add the Yala Peak summit day will rest in Yala Peak basecamp and await the return of the climbers before continuing on back down the valley.|
|12-15||Return to Kathmandu by trekking from Yak Kharka to Kyangjin Gompa, Lama Hotel and Syabru and 4WD to Kathmandu.|
|16||International flight home|
Yala Peak cost from £1,395.00
- In-country logistics & support
- English speaking trekking guide and climbing guide
- Accommodation, food and hot drinks at lodges
- 3 nights shared room in a hotel or guesthouse in Kathmandu (bed and breakfast)
- Private vehicle for drive to Langtang
- Yala Peak climbing permit
- Tents, camping equipment, fixed climbing ropes and group climbing equipment
- Staff insurances and food/accommodation allowances
- Garbage deposit fee
- Air fare to Kathmandu
- Travel Insurance
- Additional nights in Kathmandu
- Mineral water, soft drinks or boiled drinking water on trek
- Single room supplements
- Meals in Kathmandu
Adventure Alternative Nepal is the local provider for this trip and we can vouch for proper staff salaries, insurances, training and equipment. Our company invests heavily in our local companies and you will have full access to the staff handling your trip by email or skype if you wish.
Yala Peak - fitness and terrain
The walk up the valley is very enjoyable and not difficult, perfect for hikers and walkers. Altitude is obviously something to be mindful of, but the itinerary allows for plenty of rest and acclimatisation. Getting to the base camp will mean possibly crossing the snowline but the ground is not too steep and the campsite is in an excellent location.
From base camp starting up early in the morning the route winds its way up onto the snow slopes which are initially easily angled. The last 700 metres is on steeper ice so we will be using crampons, ice axe and a man rope.Obviously general fitness is a bonus here, because the effort at high altitude is all the more. You will also be carrying a daysack so any training at home is best done with something on your back. The pace needs to be consistent but not excessive, so breathing well is important. Long deep breaths from the diaphragm rather than gasping will enable your body to get the most energy out of the reduced oxygen in the atmosphere. Climbing with a rope at altitude is tiring, but with good teamwork then everyone can get into a good pace that is safe and manageable.
Yala Peak kit list
- Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry and a daypack
- Top and bottom shell or waterproofs to keep off wind/rain
- Warm layered thermals of base layers
- Fleece tops or warm jumpers and jacket
- Crampon compatible boots for the climb and trekking boots, or one pair that can comfortable do both
- Set of crampons, walking axe, climbing harness, two screwgate karabiners and two medium slings
- Warm sleeping bag
- Water bottles and a pee bottle for the night
- Wash bag, first aid kit, headtorch, books and camera, dry bags
The porter will carry your main clothing and equipment and the lodge will provide accommodation and meals in the valley. Once you go to the high camp our staff will provide tents, sleeping mat and someone to provide meals which can be eaten outside or in the tent. We will also provide climbing equipment such as ropes and snow stakes, but you will have to have your own personal climbing equipment. The final section of the climb will be done on a man rope, so you will be required to clip on.
- All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber who has made six expeditions to Mount Everest
- You will get to travel with local guides who not only lead trekking groups but are experienced in high altitude expeditions and even Everest climbs.
- Our adventures directly support the local economy through full time wages and excellent pay rates
- We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits, and we are continually improving our quality service year on year.
- We have proper guidelines for porter safety and welfare
- All the staff in our UK office have trekked and climbed in Nepal many times so you can chat to people who understand what its really like before you go..
- We are members on Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
- We are a company founded and run by people who are passionate about trekking, climbing and exploring in the world's most beautiful wildernesses. We are equally passionate about having the opportunity to share these experiences with others.