There are some natural events which are on a scale beyond our ability to comprehend. The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was undoubtedly one of these events. The Langtang Valley in Central Nepal, located just 50km to the North of the capital Kathmandu, was one of the worst affected places. Settlements along the Valley were devastated, particularly the village of Langtang itself, where the destruction was almost complete – the result of a huge landslide of rock and ice which poured down mercilessly from the mountainside high above.
My memories of the Langtang Valley are very different from this however. Almost 25 years before the earthquake, I made a trek up the Valley with a couple of friends from the UK. We also bumped into another British trekker en route, who joined us for most of the journey. I remember a beautiful, unspoiled valley with laid-back inhabitants, intense colours and the laughter of cheeky children drifting across the landscape from rustic village houses.
The photos here give an impression of our happy trek. I consciously haven’t given much of a commentary here, however the photos generally follow a logical sequence from the start of the trek at at Syabrubesi to Langsisa Kharka the foot of the Langtang glacier, where we camped for a couple of days – well beyond the highest lodge accommodation in the valley.
Although these photos were from almost 30 years ago now, it seems like it could have just been yesterday !
Back to the present and it’s clear that no-one can underestimate the trauma caused by the quake and the tragic loss of life – however it has not been my intention to dwell on these aspects here. It’s my sincere belief that the resilient people of Langtang will rebuild what has been lost – already this is happening and life is being restored to these fragile mountain communities.
The Langtang Valley remains a beautiful place amidst stunning mountain scenery – I’m sure the locals will appreciate your visit to help them to rebuild their mountain paradise. Although the valley has changed, it has not been lost forever…
For background on the impact of the earthquake on the Langtang Valley, a very detailed account can be found on the blog site of mountaineer Mark Horrell: