No one knows who first climbed this peak but many would like to credit Tilman with the feat. Certainly he and Peter Lloyd were probably the first westerners to cross the ganja La in this region. However it is certainly a beautiful looking mountain and worthy of far more attempts than it gets compared with the more well known trekking peaks in the Kumbhu. The technical difficulty of the climb is rated at Alpine Grade PD+. This is mainly a function of three things: the fact that you are on significant snow slopes for most of the journey above camp 1; some crevasses as you turn west below the Ganja La; and finally the short ridge section to the summit. The summit can be gained in two days from Kyanjin with one camp at Branchen or Nyengang Kharka, or alternatively in three days with a second camp at Kangla Phedi just beow the Ganja La.
The Langtang Region is the closest to Kathmandu and it is the peaks of Langtang you can see from Kathmandu if the traffic fog isn’t too bad. These peaks are the easiest to get to within three days or so of leaving Kathmandu.
First take a bus or better, hire a 4-wheel drive to take you to Syabru Bensi. This will take the best part of 8 hours whichever method you choose, private car being more comfortable. From Syabru walk along the Langtang Khola (river) to Kyanjin, taking around 3 days at quite a leisurely pace to acclimatize. There are plenty of lodges along the way in Bamboo, Lama Hotel and Langtang then Kyanjin itself. I have attached a photo of a map to highlight the route to Kyanjin and a second map to support the climb route
Firstly, no trekking permit is required for this region but you will have to pay a National park Entrance Fee of around $10 in the park itself. The peak requires a climbing permit of approximately $500 for up to 6 people and this must be arranged in Kathmandu. In the last couple of years Maoists have been active in this area, often stopping tourists for a $10 “tax” for which they very politely give you a receipt!
When To Climb
The Himalayas has two well known climbing windows; April-May, and October-November. The main issue is the snowfall in this area, you could be lucky or unlucky but in 2003 the snow was thigh deep and prevented us summiting.
Camping is permitted along the way although with the cheap lodges every few miles offering rooms at $1 or so per night I don’t see the point. Later however you will definitely need tents for possibly two camps above Kyanjin. The first at Branchen/Nyengang Kharka, the second at Nyengang Phedi.
There is no real way of finding out about the condition of the mountain prior to travelling to the region. As mentioned above, provided you stick to the two main time windows you should be ok with only regular snowfall a likely problem.
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