Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hiking mount Lang Biang with children

We decide to climb the Lang Biang Mountain, one of the highest summits around Da Lat, 2167 meters above sea level. Our guide first seems to have little confidence in the physical abilities of the children and asks us several times if we did not book the wrong excursion. The ascent, he says, is difficult, especially in the last kilometer, when the trail climbs steeply.

Ready to climb: the Lang Biang mountain is right behind us.

We are determined to attempt it: our children are definitely good hikers! The trail climbs gently at first, amidst coffee plantations, then more steeply in a pine forest. Lucie, 3-year old, finds it sometimes hard to follow our steps, but keeps on climbing, while we encourage her with songs and stories. Four kilometers further, we reach a wooded ridge, just in time for a lunch break.

The Lang Biang peak

 After a hearty picnic, children are full of energy to start the final kilometer of the ascent. We now walk on a narrow path lined with wooden planks that make the steps of a high and irregular stairway. We’re only 400 meters away from the summit when Lucie abandons, exhausted: the steps, sometimes as high as her, are extremely difficult to climb. She gets in the baby carrier and falls asleep within seconds. Lise and Loïc reach the top easily. The weather remains clear; the view is gorgeous.



Summary of the hike: 3h30 ascent, 2h descent, 10 kilometers walk and more than 670 vertical meters climbed. Who would think children aged 3, 5 and 7 years could climb that much with little to no help?