Lu Than – the peak for first-time climbers
Lao Than is 80 km from Sapa town, located in Phin Ho village, Y Ty commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. With an altitude of 2,862m, Lao Than is considered the roof of Y Ty and the 14th highest peak in Vietnam. The way to the top of Lu Than has an average difficulty, which is considered suitable for first-time trekkers. People often compare Lu Than as a passport for those who want to get acquainted with adventurous climbing.
Y Ty is very famous as a cloud hunting rendezvous for moving believers, where you can easily see the sea of clouds floating in all 4 seasons of the year. However, the most suitable time for the journey to conquer Lang Than is from November to February next year, because this time the weather is favorable, easy to gather clouds. In addition, if you come to Y Ty between 9 and 10 months, you will have the opportunity to admire the golden rice terraces all over the hillsides.
The terrain of the road to the top of Luo Than is mainly bare hills, meadows, and thin forests, making the landscape both poetic, airy, wild and ghostly.
The journey to conquer Luo Than – lost in the cloud paradise
After a night bus ride of about 8 hours from Hanoi, Sapa greeted us with fog and cold cutting skin. From here, we continued through Muong Hum, towards Y Ty.
This journey takes about 3 hours. The total trekking distance both up and down is about 15km.
Go! We pulled up on our way. The cold weather and dense fog make everyone anxious because they are obstructed in view and there is a great possibility that the clouds will not be seen as expected. But that doesn't dampen our eagerness for the road ahead.
We passed through a short, sparsely wooded section with dry wood stumps covered with ferns that changed color like fairy gardens. After this stretch of forest, the road from the foot of the mountain to the shack is mainly empty hills. The slopes are covered with white wildflowers. Deep into were fields of dried ferns, charred grass, sloping dry stumps that made us feel lost in another world.
After 5 hours, we reached the shack. Around 4 or 5 p.m., the faint rays of sunlight break through the thick fog and then fade. The mist was white and there was no sunset. Surrounded by fresh mountain air that has been breathed for a long time.
Darkness gradually descended to envelop the large, desolate space. At the shack, we barbecued, had dinner and rested for tomorrow's journey. The night and early morning in Luo Than were extremely cold, with temperatures dropping to 4.5 degrees Celsius. Having spent the night in the mountains can feel all the mystery and murkiness of the mountains and forests. Late at night, the starry sky was a signal that told us that the weather would be better the next day.
The next day, from 4am, we had to start our journey to the top in time for the sunrise. Even though the road was dark, we were all excited because everyone was looking forward to seeing the moment when the sun came out over the sea of clouds. The road from the shack to the top was harder, in the faint flashlight bulb we had to cross a lot of steep slopes. More stones appeared that made me breathlessly tired at times.
As the sky brightened, we saw floating seas of white clouds appear before our eyes. Although moving quite hard, the feeling of "walking on clouds" seemed to make us feel that our feet were lighter somewhat.
We checked in at the peak in the numbing cold, the wind was blowing, everyone was cowering. The dream-like scene in front of you is a worthy reward for the effort spent. The bitterly cold air just needs to breathe smoke and my moist feet remind me to get back to the present – the journey down the mountain is also full of difficulties ahead. In the familiar tunes Follow the shadow of the sun, Take each other to escape of Black..., I walked while inhaling the dew, the smell of grass, the smell of earth, the smell of mountains and forests.
The journey down the mountain ended at 1pm, we moved back to Sapa, had dinner, rested and returned to Hanoi.
A few notes when trekking Wandering
● The peak is not too complicated, the slope is moderate, but you should also spend 2 days and 1 night to have time to feel the wild nature and recover after the first day.
● You should hire a support porter. They, the locals will help you carry things. In addition, the porter is well versed in the terrain to help you avoid getting lost and unfortunate incidents.
● Before going should prepare the necessary costume and items: T-shirts, wind jackets, thick warm coats (because it is extremely cold on the shack), trekking boots, high socks, waterproof backpacks, flashlights, hats, raincoats, insect repellent, painkillers.
● The luggage carried is as compact as possible as the climb is very strenuous.
● You need to bring water, energy drinks, candy to energize along the way.
● Before climbing, you need to exercise one month in advance to ensure you are healthy enough for the journey.
Article: Le Phuong