Sudeep and Seth did a recon in October, 2016 with the goal of completing the entire route in 60 hours. They failed. The full trip report is posted on Seth’s personal blog.
The short version is: Leaving the Royal Astoria Hotel – they made it 18 hours to Magengoth before monsoon rains hit and they took shelter in a lodge. They next day found them sheltering from rains in a cow shed above Tarygoung. From there they made their way to a yak herder hut in Keldang, below Kanja La pass – they made it over the icy pass by sharing a pair of micro-spikes and descended to Kyangjin Gompa.
A fifth day found them running down the Langtang Valley in 8 hours. Out of time, they grabbed a jeep back to Kathmandu from Syrabu Besi with eyes toward coming back in 2017 (read the trip report from 2017 here and how a HAL team finally completed it in 2018 here).
Big thanks to Michael Collins for posting his trip report and GPX tracks on Trail Running Nepal’s website and for all of his advice.
Pictures also tell a good story and can be found below! If this sounds like a good adventure for you – consider joining us!
The original plan – a lollipop course. Maybe next time!
View from my window north of Shiva Puri National Park – far on the other side is Langtang!
After a couple hours we reach ‘Bagdwar’ – the source of the holy Bagmati river. A good place to tank up on healing water!
Passing through Chispani which is still reeling from earthquake damange
Scary scare crows
Sunset on our first evening – 6:03pm, we only had about 12 hours of light per day.
We stop in a small shop and luck out with hot food. Sudeep demonstrates his de-corning technique (rub one ear against another)
The next morning – moving deeper into Helambu
High up we find tents from the earthquake are still in use in some communities
We luck out on our second night and shelter in a cow herder’s hut just as the rain started coming down – above Tarkeghyang
Early morning – day 3
Look at those trees! Somewhere around 3,000m I am usually reminded of the woods in the pacific northwest. Just past Yangri Peak
Climbing through the clouds can make one tired – day 3
On our third night we found shelter from the monsoon rains in an abandoned Yak herder hut in Kheldang
Day 4. We were happy to leave in the morning but nervous about the pass ahead
Looking back as we started the climb in earnest up to the pass. This river valley would have been great to camp in.
Then the clouds came in during the last ~100m of ascent which was mostly scrambling on loose rock. Can you spot Sudeep?
We made it! Kanja La 5,130m/16,830ft. Wahoo! We think we might be the first people to reach it this year from the South. Now how do you get down?
Sudeep goes first, fortunately chains we installed on this catwalk earlier this year.
At this point we get to choose a super long ladder or inch out further on our ledge and down climb using chains. We skipped the ladder for the latter.
Yes – that is the ladder we skipped. The pass is just up to the left. It gave me flashbacks from the Khumbu Icefall
We spent at least two hours walking carefully and boulder hopping
We are finally got off of the rock and onto tundra. A weird weather station greats us. The Langtang River is far below and so is our first hot food in three days.
Whew! We made it down to the river and from here out it is easy 20 minutes to the village of Kyangjin Gompa.
Proprieteers of the ‘Lovely Guesthouse’ in Kyang Jin Gompa – the last (and highest) village in the valley. Much of it was destroyed in the earthquake – the guesthouse has been totally rebuilt
We are finally able to run on our fifth day – nice trails and a gradual descent. We ran and hiked the length of the Langtang valley from Kyang Jin to Syrabu in about 8 hrs
We encountered many horses hanging out on the trail grazing
Mama Yak and babe
This is the edge of ‘Upper/Old Langtang Village. Beyond is avalanche/landslide debris that buried Langtang Village proper in May, 2015. More than 200 villagers and 50 foreigners died.
It is a somber area to walk across and you can’t help but think what is beneath you.
Tibetan woman on her way to Upper Langtang
Looking back after we crossed. No words.
Futher down the valley – we start picking up speed
I made the mistake of feeding this guy a cookie and then he wouldn’t leave me alone
Some serious nose hairs
We saw many porters carrying supplies into the upper part of the valley. Our packs felt suddenly much lighter
As we dropped in altitude – we started running through incredible forests
This is our last bridge before we join up with the road and catching a jeep back to Kathmandu.
“All Racing all Road young boss”. And that is a wrap
Our final route
Our route into the Langtang Valley from bottom right (Kheldang) to top right (Kyang Jin Gompa ) in one push over pass. And then west in one day to Syrabu Besi running down the valley
The pass in Google Earth