Kyanjin Ri (4773m / 15655 ft), like Kala Patthar on the Everest Base Camp Trek, is the highest point most trekkers reach on the Langtang Trek. Kyanjin Ri is a small hill by Himalayan standards that sits just to the north east of Kyanjin Gumba (3830m). Its well worth the 3 to 5 hours it will take to get to the summit to see the fantastic views of the upper Langtang Valley and surrounding peaks and glaciers. Here is a quick summary of how to reach the top and what you will see.
Most trekkers ascending Kyanjin Ri will make the almost 1000m / 3200ft climb up from the small village of Kyanjin Gumba. It’s best to get an early start before the clouds start to build up in the afternoon and while the ground is still frozen. I started out for the summit around 7am but it might have been a bit easier to go at 5:30 or 6am since the sun was already starting to melt the frozen earth making the relatively steep trail somewhat slippery.
When Kyanjin Ri first comes into view on the way up to Kyanjin Gumba a number of small trails switch-backing up can be seen and it’s easy to assume the small point topped by prayer flags just behind Kyanjin Gumba is the top. In fact, this small point is about two-thirds of the way up and the actual summit is not visible from Kyanjin Gumba. I noticed lots of trekkers turning around at this point but if you have made it this far its worth going all the way up as the view from the top is much more inclusive.
Once at the top the views are amazing. To the northwest you can see the entire face of Langtang Lirung (7227m) and the Langtang Lirung Glacier below the peak. The large lateral moraines of the glacier are clearly visible but most of the remaining ice of this retreating glacier is covered by a thick layer of debris. Just to the right of Langtang Lirung is Changbu (6251m) and Yubra (6264m). Changbu and Yubra are easily identifiable as they are separated by a large glacier with a steep gradient that is best described as a series of ice falls. Yalla Peak (5500m) is visible to the northeast but it helps to spot it with the aid of a map since it lies below the more prominent Tserko Peak (5749m). Just to the southwest lies Tsergo Ri (4984m) with a clearly visible trail leading to the top. If you have an extra day Tsergo Ri also makes an excellent climb. To the south across the valley you can see Naya Kanga (5844m) to the southwest and to the right of it Kangja La and the Kangja La Himal.
Getting to the top can take between 2 and 4 hours depending on your pace and the trail conditions so make sure to carry enough water and bring some sunscreen as well as a good jacket as the top can be windy.
Coming back down you might want to take a different route by following the canyon down on the north side of the peak. When I did this it was covered in snow and it was possible to glissade almost all the way done before cutting back over to Kyanjin Gumba.
To learn more about great day hiking options in upper Langtang (click here). If you want to find out more about trekking in the Langtang region send us an inquiry or sign-up for one of our Langtang Treks.
Update: These pictures were taken shortly before the earthquake. The Langtang Region was one of the most damaged in all of Nepal. Having trekked in the region with my wife just days before the earthquake we were devastated as we learned about what happened. Our hearts go out to those in the region who suffered loss. I am now posting a series of posts on the region to remind people how beautiful the area remains and also because I believe in part how fast the region recovers will depend on when trekkers are willing to return. While trekking in the Everest Region is now okay (see current update) it will certainly take the Langtang Region longer to recover. We wont be running treks this current season but we are planning to start again sometime 2016 – ask us for more details on the current situation.