Mathéo on reconnaissance in Langtang

Western orientation, beautiful sky over the Catray and the Champfromier take-off

 Nepal, October 2021

With Tom Lafaille we left from October 2nd to 18th in the Langtang region of Nepal. With the transports it was actually 10 days on the spot in action.
Our objective was to explore the place in view of future expeditions, especially on the Langtang Lirung, a very little made 7200m summit. Langtang is a region where very few climbers go. In spite of the proximity with Kathmandu (1 day of 4×4 and 2 days of trek), the summits of more than 6000 m are very distant and relatively technical. We clearly don't have the same accessibility as in the Annapurnas and Everest for example. It is nevertheless a region crossed for the trek, especially by the Nepalese.

Our idea, to establish our base camp at kyanjin gompa, the last inhabited village in the valley, at 3850m. Then from there, we would go on a day trip around the village and descend the mountains with our paraglider.
We had several problems: to understand the geography, the topography of the place, to understand the access on these mountains, but especially to understand the aerology and to identify the flying slots.

In our case we were very lucky as the weather was great for 10 days with very little wind at altitude. Nevertheless a huge breeze and big thermals did not leave us much choice, we had to fly before 9:30 am, after that it would have been much too strong for our style of practice. So the slots were there but they were short, we had to go fast to come back as fast by air.
The equation was therefore posed: we had very little information on the mountains, their difficulties, we had a great weather window to climb and fly but short, and we wanted to climb as we do at home in the Alps, that is to say by day from the valley.
We realized that with a big physical preparation beforehand, notably a big capacity to link daily efforts and an acclimatization beforehand in the Alps on the Mont-Blanc and with the help of hypoxic chambers it was possible to arrive in an unknown place, to climb summits at 5800m, 6000m from the valley at 3800m and to descend by flying. And this almost daily in a very short time.

Western orientation, beautiful sky over the Catray and the Champfromier take-off
Western orientation, beautiful sky over the Catray and the Champfromier take-off

In the end we climbed 5 summits between 5800 and 6150m, from the valley and flew daily in 10 days. We think that nobody has ever taken off from these summits, according to the locals and the non-existent information on the internet.
We are very happy and satisfied with this adventure, since our philosophy of efficiency, lightness, freedom and leaving for short periods of time, in the simplest way possible was respected.
We could also understand the place, locate summits, notably one in particular the Langtang lirung (7200m) which motivates us particularly for the continuation.
This way of approaching the Himalayas also motivates us both on bigger mountains, that is to say 8000m. This will clearly be our goal with Tom in the coming years. Climbing 8000m from the valley without OX, in one shot and flying down. Before this expedition we knew it was possible, now we are convinced. With Tom we found a common desire and philosophy. Clearly the beginning of many adventures together.

Mathéo, Tom

Mathéo, member of Team Kortel, flies with the Kliff II...