Yala is a “trekking peak” in the Langtang Region of Nepal. It is classed as Grade F (facile/easy) on the Alpine Grading system although this can vary by a point or so depending on the snow conditions. In 2003 I would have definitely rated the peak as PD. The peak is seldom climbed in it’s own right, often being used as a warm-up for Naya Kanga on the opposite side of the valley. The summit gives surprisingly good views of Shishapangma if you are lucky enough with the weather.(We weren’t!) This is an excellent peak as a “first” in the Himalayas. The route involves a base camp at the end of the trail and a high camp a further half days trek beyond base.
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.
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 does not require a climbing permit but is usually climbed with Naya Kanga which does require a peak 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.
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 a high camp on Yala at Yala Kharka and similarly for a couple of camps on Naya Kanga if you are attempting it.
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.