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Nepal snowline

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Nepal snowline

Postby Sonnik » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:29 am

Hi there.
I am planning on a few weeks of walking around the Langtang region this coming Jan/ Feb, and was wondering the height of the snowline typically, at this time of the year?
I realise being mid-winter is going to limit my options, this trip is like giving myself an introductory tour, and I expect to stay in the valley floors, probably overnighting in lodges. But it would be handy to know just how far up some of these valleys I can expect to get before coming to waist deep snow.

Thanks very much in advance
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Postby Nelson » Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:15 am

To a certain extent its luck of the draw. We were in knee-deep snow above Langtang village in late March, nearly 15 years ago. It melted off the next day.

I would not count on crossing any of the region's high passes but if you do the standard valley trek you can at least plan on getting to Kyanjin Gompa, then hope the weather gods are in your favor.

Langtang has been a popular destination for Christmas holiday treks because of the relatively low elevation combined with stunning scenery. Good luck.
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Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:58 am

I spent around a month in Langtang in April 1996 - arrived last few days March, left start of May. Apparently it had been an unusually snowy winter, there was lots of snow around and the Gangja La was impassable, even on skis. Tsergo Ri, the 4900+m peak near Kyangin Gompa, was knee-deep snow all the way to the summit. The valley floor itself was not too bad, I could go all the way up to, and just past, Langshisha Karka, but in the side valleys it was snow around 4000m. I spent a few days camped up in the valley between Gangchempo and Ponggen Dopku. Generally I thought the weather was pretty crap - it would be sunny on many mornings, but with afternoon storms that brought light snow down everywhere, most of which burnt off. Not great climbing weather. Also, above about Langtang village, the wind picks up in the early afternoon and really howls, making walking down-valley pretty unpleasant.

D
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Postby Scott » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:08 pm

To a certain extent its luck of the draw


Yes, this is true.

When we were there January 2002 (maybe it could have been different later in the month after we left), all trekking areas in Nepal were basically snow free. We spent 47 days in Nepal in December and January with light snow on one day, and not a cloud in the sky for the other 46. All passes were still open on all the major treks (Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, Gosaikunda, Ganja La, etc).
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Postby Sonnik » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:29 am

Thankyou very much for the postings, I wasn't expecting such detailed and knowledgable replies.
Hopefully it will be a repeat of when you were there Scott :D . It is a real relief to know that I should probably be able to get up to Kyangin Gompa.
Are there any other low altitude routes apart from the main Langtang valley that people would recomend? Every resource I find only mentions this valley and Gangja La as the two walking possibilities. Though surely there are others...

This thread has made me even more excited about the trip.

Thanks again
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Postby Scott » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:28 pm

Are there any other low altitude routes apart from the main Langtang valley that people would recomend?


In addition to teh Langtang, the Helambu and Jomsom trek are low altitude as are all the treks around Poon Hill. See the SP page below:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -Hill.html

The only places mentioned on the page where you might run into problems are the Annapurna Basecamp and the Thorung La pass on the Annapurna circuit. The rest of the area wouldn't be a problem to trek to in winter, and in fact there are villages among the all the other places on the page.
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snow line

Postby Sonnik » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:47 am

The trip went really well, and I thought I'd add the details of the snowline here so that anyone interested in the future might find this thread rather than starting another.

Like the above posts say, it is extremely changable. I arrived in the Langtang region on January 5 and had blue skies for about 3 weeks, with the snowline above 5000m. Making for an easy path up to Kyangjin Gompa.

Then I returned to Dhunche and planned to head up to the lakes of Gosainkunda. On my first afternoon the snow started falling heavily, and waking the next morning at Sing Gompa the snow was shin deep and still falling, I made the decision to turn back having heard reports that the trail to the lakes traverses a steep avalanche prone slope (and having left my axe and crampons in Dhunche thinking that I wouldn't need them). And the snowline was down to about 2500 metres. A change of 2500 overnight!

Quite suprising for an Australian who is used to the snowline moving by 5-600 metres max. after a really heavy dump.
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