My final destination on the trek was Kyangjin (3,755 meters; 12,300 feet), a group of teahouses all clustered amidst the imposing mountains. The trail from Langtang to Kyangjin passes several lengthy prayer wheels and colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. High above the Kyangjin valley lie glaciers sparkling in the sunlight, shedding their frozen tears beneath towering peaks. Besides Kyangjin, there are numerous options to explore, from glacial walks to climbing a peak or the Tserko Ri, the highest point in Kyanjin.
I meet Ashish Tamang from Godetabela, a hamlet I had crossed a day before to Langtang, to hike Tserko Ri together. At a staggering 4,984 meters (16,300 feet), most of the climb to the summit involves navigating through rocky terrain. “The disasters have shown us a wide array of humanity’s immense capabilities—grit, tenacity, perseverance, generosity, and courage,” he reflects. Looking down the valley as we rest, he adds, “The qualities have become the essence of Langtang’s heart and soul.”
At the summit of Tserko Ri, you’ll only hear the serene calm around you and the cold, whistling wind. Gazing down the valley to Kyangjin village and beyond the vast stretches further down, you can see how far this region has come since the massive devastation. The wounds are still there from the earthquake. However, like Sangay, Ashish is resilient and optimistic. “Acknowledging our wounds and still rebuilding and reimagining new visions of who we are, or were, and of what we could be, has given us a chance to build back better,” he says.