Bhutan Chomolhari Trek

Bhutan Chomolhari Trek

Bhutan Chomolhari Trek

Trip Details

  • Itinerary
  • Trip Info
  • Useful Info

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro: The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world. Upon your arrival, a Our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer to the Hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: In Paro: Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Taktsang was severely damaged by fire in 1998 and now has been restored in its original grandeur. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and country’s exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong situated at commanding height, overlooking Paro valley. This Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. In the evening visit a traditional farm house to see what the lifestyle is like for the local people. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 03: Paro - Shana: 17km, 5-6 hours/The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Later on we will see apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2,870), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

Day 04: Shana - Soi Thangthangkha: 20km, 7-8 hours/The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the river, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests, and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (3,750m).

Day 05: Soi Thangthangka - Jangothang: 19km, 7-8 hours/The path ascends for a while until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning view of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a yak herder’s camp. A short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang (4,040 m). From here, the view of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 06: Jangothang - Lingshi: 18km, 7-8 hours/The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up to the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking view of Chamolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la pass (4,700m). We descend gradually from the pass to our camp site at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying a panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.

Day 07: Lingshi - Shodu:
22km, 8-9 hours / The Laya-Gasa route leaves the Chomolhari trek route here. Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the west side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-la (4,820m). On a clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. Descend alongside a stream to a rock shelter in the cliff face, and then continue on downstream till reaching Shodu (4,100m), where we camp in a meadow with a chorten in it.

Day 08: Shodu - Barshong: 16km, 6/-7 hours/ We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimpu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.

Day 09: Barshong - Dolam Kencho: 15km, 5-6 hours/The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimpu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams run down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, coming out onto pastureland where we camp for the night at 3,600m.

Day 10: Dolam Kencho - Dodena - Thimpu: 8km, 3 hours/The trail winds in and out of side valleys above the Thimpu Chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3,510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2,600m). Etho Metho transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimpu. Overnight at hotel in Thimpu.

Day 11: Thimpu - Paro: Full day of sightseeing in Thimpu valley visiting the following, as time permits:National Memorial Chorten; Tashichhodzong (‘the fortress of the glorious religion’); National Library; Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school); National Institute of Traditional Medicine ( outside only ); Handicrafts Emporium. Evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 12: Breakfast at Hotel. Today you will be transferred to the airport to fly back home, taking with you the memory of a life time.

Note: If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

Cost Include:

* Bhutan Visa fees
* Consultation on every aspect of preparation including physical and mental.
* All transfers during the trip.
* All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
* Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary.
* Porters and ponies to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
* Experienced English speaking guides.
* Trekking permit and Entrance fees.

Cost Exclude:

* International flights to/from Paro/Bhutan.
* Personal medical & travel insurance.
* Tips and Gratuity.
* Any meals/snacks not mentioned in the itinerary.

Trekking in Bhutan, Tibet  and Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. Nevertheless, preventive measures such as a through medical checkup and inoculations before you start trekking can save you from unexpected hazards. Since the remote places of Nepal are not supplied with necessities that are essential for modern medical facilities and as the rescue and evacuation are measured in days, it is imperative to make a comprehensive first aid box consisting of basic drugs and accessories as part of the paraphernalia for trekking. Modern dentistry is unknown in the hill of Nepal so it is advised to have a checkup before departure from home. Tooth fillings; sometimes loosen in cold temperatures and high altitudes, so it is recommended to have them checked. Travelers are requested to bring medicine prescribed by their doctor at home. Common medicine for stomach problems, headache, and malaria is available in Kathmandu. Medicine is usually not available in remote areas. So necessary medicine is advisable to carry with you. Before going to Nepal, it is advised to get injections against typhoid, meningitis and hepatitis.

OVERCOMING ALTITUDE PROBLEM:

This is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which is particularly a matter of important medical consideration while trekking in the Himalayas. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. Early mountain sickness will manifest itself in headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue; etc can be encountered as initials of the sickness. The major information source on prevention and treatment of the sickness is Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) and Adventure Treks Nepal (P). Ltd. is the confide life member of it. We assure every trekker that all our guides have followed the training conducted by HRA with the understated information.

CAUSE/FACTOR OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. Less Oxygen
2. Low Pressure i.e. Barometric Pressure
3. Rapid Ascent
4. Possible Dehydration
5. Hypothermia TYPE OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

  TYPES ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. AMS - Acute Mountain Sickness
2. HAPE - High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
3. Hace - High Altitude Cerebral Edema

SYMPTOMS

1. (AMS) ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
Mild symptom feels like hangover/not feeling good

a. Headache
b. Fatigue/Tiredness
c. Nausea
d. Shortness of breath
e. Loss of appetite
f. Sleep disturbance
g. Dizziness

2. (HAPE) HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA (Water in lungs)

a. Increasing shortness of breath even at rest
b. Severe cough-dry/Productive
c. Very tired-Unusual fatigue while walking
d. High Pulse rate i.e. 110
e. Blueness of face, lips, finger nails that means inability to transport Oxygen into the blood

3. (HACE) HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA (Water in the head)

Severe symptoms of altitude sickness
a. Severe Headache
b. Vomiting
c. Walking like a drunk (Ataxia)
d. Mental confusion/Altered mental status
e. Irritable-Does not want to be bothered by other people
f. Unconsciousness or Coma
TEST - Tandem walking test, Heel to toe step fall off from the line.

DECISION MAKING

1. Find out the main problem i.e. at altitude. Assume all problems are Altitude Sickness unless proven otherwise.
2. If it is an altitude problem with mild symptoms, stay at the same altitude until the symptoms are completely gone. Take an Aspirin tablet, try to go up but listen to your body. If symptoms are worsening, go down.

PREVENTION

1. Acclimatization: Have time for acclimatization.
2. Do not make RAPID ASCENT; don't go too fast too high.
3. No alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
4. Drink more fluid 3-4 ltrs a day… clean, boiled or treated water/tea/coffee/soup/juice etc.
5. Do not carry heavy packs.
6. Climb higher sleep lower.
7. Do not travel alone.

TREATMENT

1. DESCENT is the best medicine; do not wait for the Helicopter.
2. Medicine:
a. Oxygen.
b. Diamox…for AMS 125mg. Before dinner, for sleeping problem if feeling suffocated.
c. Nafedipine for HAPE
d. Steroids/Dexamethasone for HACE
3. Hyperbolic Bag - Gammow Bag
4. Golden Rules
a. Awareness of ALTITUDE SICKNESS
b. If you have mild symptoms, do not go higher. Take Aspirin.
c. If you have worsening symptoms, go down.
d. Do not leave your team member behind unattended, either trekker or porter.
5. IMPORTANT
a. Go up slowly.
b. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 3 liters per day)
c. Get all information about Altitude Sickness before your trekking tour that will make you confident to make your tour successful.

Our advice: Drink 3-4 ltr of water minimum a day, don't exhaust yourself so much and breathe deep and take rest more than usual.

Visa/Entry Permit: With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC).

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Online Regional Permit System: In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.

Travel Requirements: All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors.

In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan's policy of "High Value. Low Impact" tourism a Minimum Daily Package is required for tourists. To learn more about the Minimum Daily Package, please follow the link below:

Getting Into Bhutan: The Kingdom of Bhutan remained largely cut off from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot from two main entry points, one in the North and another from the South. The Northern route was through Tibet, crossing high mountain passes that were inaccessible throughout the winters. The second entry route from the South came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high frozen passes in the North and the dense jungles in the South made it extremely difficult to enter the country.
However, carefully planned economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are now a network of roads entering and traversing the country, as well as one international and multiple domestic airports.

Today the main roads entering the country are through Phuentsholing in the south, linking Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal through the border towns of Gelephu, in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east, that link Bhutan with the Indian state of Assam.

Travel by Land: Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.

The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.

Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into the capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.

Travel by Air: There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225m (7300ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876?m (16,000?ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Payment System in Bhutan: Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

Guides: There are over 1000 licensed and active tour guides working in the country.
In order to ensure that visitors receive high quality professional service, every guide must complete a training course. Guides are trained to specialize in either cultural or adventure tours. Many guides complete language courses in German, Japanese, Thai and other languages so that they can easily communicate with guests and all are proficient in English. All tour operators must employ only registered and certified guides.


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