Langtang Trek – day 5

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Nov 2, 2014

Kyanjin Gompa 3830m – Langshisha Kharka 4110m

Another classic, perfect November day in the high Nepali Himalaya. Blue sky. Bright sun.

I departed Kyanjin Gompa late. As usual.

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Today I would walk as far up the river as possible. Then camp. Only idiots carry their own tents on a Nepali Teahouse trek. I’m one of those idiots.

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Past Kyanjin Gompa there are no houses. No people. Nothing but Yaks. If I wasn’t so hair impaired, I’d swear the Yak is my spirit animal.

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It’s rugged, varied, interesting trekking.

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There are plenty of birds up high. The Golden Eagle looks to take smaller birds on the wing.

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Cake for lunch. Kyanjin Gompa has two bakeries.

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My friends headed back to town. They were saving their legs for an attempt on an even more difficult trekking peak, Tsergo Ri 4984m, next day.

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Most Langtang day hikers stop here at Numthang viewpoint 3940m. To go further is a minimum 1hr, one way commitment including a climb over the big moraine wall on the left.

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I continued up valley.

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Over the moraine, the river valley winds around left presenting a completely new (bleaker) vista. Looking to Tibet.

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This was my favourite part of the hike, so far.

The Yaks get even hairier up high.

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This was as far as I got. In the distance is the source of the Langtang, close to Morimoto Base Camp.

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Perhaps I should have spent an extra day up here. Check a 2009 photo of Morimoto.

Morimoto Base Camp

Earlier today, my friends caught a glimpse of some kind of wild dog. This scat is from some sort of carnivore beastie. There are no domestic dogs in the high Langtang.

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Finally I set up my little tent in this seasonal Yak herders hut overlooking tomorrow’s adventure, a day hike up towards Tilman Pass the other side of the river.

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A friendly Japanese expedition had already claimed the best tent site, nearby. They would head to Motomoto on the morrow.

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I was ready for a cold, but moonlit, night.

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Just at dusk I saw some grazing animals high above the Yaks. I hope these are Thar.

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Last light on Mt. Urkinmang. (Have I got the correct mountain?)

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Tilman Pass is just to the right of that perfect snowy triangle. I believe.

As always at dusk, Yaks come to check if you’ve left anything edible outside.

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TheSnowLeopardDuring the long, cold night in a cocoon of down and nylon, I listened to one of my favourite authors, Peter Matthiessen, read one of my favourite books, The Snow Leopard.

It’s his classic philosophical account of a November 1973 Nepal trek to Shey Gompa, Crystal Mountain.

If you wonder why I keep returning to Nepal, read Snow Leopard. Matthiessen is most eloquent on the joys and challenges.

Matthiessen had boots that were too small. A leaky tent. And no audio books to enliven the 12hr nights.

My 57th birthday. Under the Himalayan sky.

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see all my high res photos from this day

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | day 7 | day 8 | info | … Gosainkund

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