End of the Track
Thursday, 30 Jan, 2020
Singh Gompa (3300m) - Laurebina (3930m) return
No need to pack this morning and we were ready for breakfast at 7:30. We have yet to manage 30 minutes for breakfast though each evening, Puncha plans our departure time on this basis.
It was freezing when we left and I had to stop and put gloves on. Bokta was carrying Georgia's daypack whilst Gopal carried mine. We soon left the little village behind as our guesthouse was one of the last buildings.
We climbed gradually and made our way through forests along tracks that were well compacted, but any slight deviation put you into knee deep snow. Through the trees we could see mountains surrounding us. After about two hours we reached Cholongpat at 3250 metres. There were two guesthouses nestled in the clearing but unfortunately both were closed. We stopped anyway for a drink and a muesli bar and found the the toilet was unpadlocked, though completely frozen. At least we could push the door open wide enough to slip inside.
It was another hour or so to Lauribina and as we climbed above the tree line the views were simply stunning. There was some cloud over Himal Ganesh which towered at over 7000 metres. We could see Nagthali and were now higher than the lookout at Taruche that had been rendered inaccessible due to excessive snow.
The last few hundred metres seemed to take a long time but we finally reached the guesthouse at Lauribina, located at 3930 metres. It was surrounded by snow and there were no footprints visible in the direction of Gosaikunda.
Whilst there were some clouds over the Gosaikunda range, we could see 360 degrees. We could clearly see Langtang Luring and in the distance, a Tibetan village. We took lots of photos.
We then headed inside to huddle around the stove for our morning tea and coffee. There was no sign of the Koreans but we spoke to a young man from Castle Hill in Sydney. He had walked from Dunche to Lauribina the previous day and was now struggling with a headache. He didn't have any Diamox for altitude sickness. I offered him some of ours but he insisted he would be fine. He had a little gadget that attached to a finger to measure oxygen levels and he was measuring in the low 60s. He asked to test it on us so we all had a go. Jonno and I registered 90, Simon and Gopal scored 93 whilst Georgia had the highest level at 97. We never did find out his name but his plan was to head into Gosaikunda lake tomorrow. He said he had been told by the landlady at the guesthouse that a group of Nepalese were due to arrive and that an owner would walk up to Gosaikunda to open a guesthouse.
Whilst we were waiting for lunch we saw the occasional snow flurry and at one stage the cloud started to look quite ominous. However, the sun was shining as we headed back to Singh Gompa. Puncha found enough signal to book a jeep from Dunche to Kathmandu on Saturday as well as booking a night's accommodation back at the Sunshine Boutique Hotel.
We passed a couple of young girls trekking with a guide and a group of Nepalese that may have been the group planning to head to Gosaikunda.
Soon after we arrived back it started snowing. Before changing out of our trekking gear, we had one final stop at the cheese factory. This time we bought 500g of organic yaks cheese. Back at the lodge, we changed and gathered around the stove which was generating reasonable heat. We ate some cheese with chappatis and watched the snow fall. Puncha was relieved that we hadn't stayed in Lauribina as we may have been snowed in.