Hi, I'm going on the Langtang and Gosainkund trip leaving end of March 2014 and was just wondering if anyone else was on the same trip, and/or anyone had any useful info for trekking in the Himalyas? My first time there, so any tips very welcome!!
I did this trip year before last and it was first trek i'd ever done. what kind of tips were you particularly looking for?
I'm sure you will have read it before now, but you really will get on a lot better if you walk at your own pace. being one of the younger members in the group i initially tried to stay near the people at the front but as we got higher it got harder to do that!! Walking poles were also a big help. we had four crew walking with our group so even though the group might be quite spread out, it wasn't often you were too far away from any of the crew.
At lower altitudes, i was pretty comfortable walking in a short or long sleeved top and trousers but higher up i needed a good fleece and on the peaks, i wore my merino baselayers as well the fleece layers and a jacket to keep worst of breeze off.
we probably walked a good six to eight hours most days but not usually for more than a couple of hours at a time before a break. I found the day coming down from the laurabena pass the hardest, as we were going downhill on a very rocky path that seemed to go on for ever. in the langtang valley they're good paths and it's easy to keep stopping for photos and to admire the views. the optional walk up kyanjin ri and up the next peak you can see from that was a little more exposed than i would have liked and i didn't enjoy coming downhill from there but worth doing it to bag the peaks! and once you get to helambu valley you can start enjoying the views again as walking gets much easeier. oh and bear in mind, in nepal, a downhill stretch is never just all downhill, there's always some uphill in it and vice versa....
I would highly recommend taking a down jacket and down sleeping bag. I hired mine for the trip and it was money very very well spent! one of the guys in my group had hired one through exodus, which seemed a cheaper way of doing it but i don't think it kept him as warm when we got higher.
I'd recommend the optional walk to the monastery above sing gompa. you'll see why when you get inside! and the gosainkund lakes at sunset are even more spectacular than trip notes might suggest.
the accomodation on trek is pretty basic. Don't expect a shower every day - anything more than warm water is a bonus and even when there are sit down toilets you might wish they weren't. and take plenty of spare camera batteries as you can't always recharge them every night.
Oh and definitely do at least one trial pack before you leave. I was sat in katmandu hotel desperately trying to figure out what to leave behind as i was way over the trek limit at check in! It's hard work some days just carrying your own rucksack never mind two kitbags each like the porters have to, so please spare a thought for them when you're packing!
hope that gives you a bit more of an idea about what to expect. however hard going it was some days, it was well worth the effort and the sense of achievement when you get to the summits and i enjoyed lots of contrast in the scenery.
our leader also said since we'd all managed that trek we'd be able to do everest base camp.....!
I'm sure you will have a fantastic time.
Many thanks, that's really useful! Lots to think about there, but I feel like I've a better idea of what to expect!
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