“MAGNIFICENT PEAKS, REMOTE VALLEYS & HIGH PASSES”
- The wild western mountains of Bhutan
- Bhutan’s classic mountain circuit trek
- Cross the high & wild Bonte La Pass
- Visit Chomolhari Base Camp (13,300 feet)
- Hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in the Paro Valley
The trek to Mount Chomolhari Base Camp traverses beautiful and varied country, starting in the cultivated fields and villages of the upper Paro Valley, and then climbing through indigenous forest to the remote, high, mountain landscapes, inhabited only by yak herders. Chomolhari lies along the north western border with China/Tibet and was first climbed by Spencer Chapman in 1937, who approached the mountain from Tibet. He and Sherpa Pasang Dawa reached the summit and then only just survived the descent in bad weather.
After acclimatization and exploration at base camp you cross the Bonte La Pass to reach the remote but permanently inhabited Soi Yaksa Valley, a true ‘Shangri La’ area which we will take time top explore before setting off to cross two further passes and make our dramatic return to the Paro Valley.
Bhutan is situated in a hidden corner of the eastern Himalaya, sandwiched between China (Tibet) to the north, Sikkim to the west, and the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal to the south and Arunachal Pradesh to the east. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south, at an altitude of 1,000 feet, up to some of the highest of Himalayan peaks in the north, rising to over 20,000 feet. A sparsely populated country, Bhutan is often compared to Switzerland because of its small size, jealously guarded isolation and stunning mountain scenery. More than 90% of the population are hill farmers who live in small villages spread over some 18,000 square miles of rugged mountain country. Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, as they have been since the 7th century and a deep and traditional reverence for nature has led to Bhutan imposing some of the strictest standards of environmental preservation in the world. More than 65% of the land is still under forest cover and some of the rarest of Himalayan wildlife, such as the blue sheep, takin and golden langur, are quite common. It is often said that even the most experienced trekker will find Bhutan to be a revelation. In this country known as Druk Yul, ”the Land of the Thunder Dragon,” the fortunate visitor will find a rare combination of harmony and accord, among incredible natural beauty. The air is clean and unpolluted, the mountains are magnificent and the architecture is inspiring.
Entry into Bhutan (Paro Airport) is by Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines. While it is possible to arrange flights into Bhutan from several Asian airports, we have arranged our Bhutan itineraries using the daily flights that now exist between Paro, Bhutan and Bangkok, Thailand.
Chomolhari & the Bonte La (Camping Trek) is part of our Himalayan Classic Trek Series. In 2023, we are able to arrange this trek beginning on any date during the months of late March through May and late September to early November for a group of 1 to 12 people.
Day 1. Welcome to Bhutan! Fly from Bangkok, Thailand to Paro, Bhutan. Drive to Thimphu
Day 2. Morning of sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to the Paro Valley
Day 3. Drive to Drugyel Dzong and further to Shana. Trek to Soi Thanthanka
Day 4. Trek to Jangothang
Day 5. A rest day at Jangothang
Day 6. Cross the Bonte La Pass to the Yaksa Valley
Day 7. Explore the Yaksa Valley
Day 8. Cross the Tagulun La Pass
Day 9. The Thombu La Pass to Shana
Day 10: Sightseeing in the Paro Valley
Day 11. Fly to Bangkok