Bhutanese people have been walking for centuries. The Kingdom’s first motor road was built in 1962. Though roads have quadrupled and multiplied, Bhutan is still a ‘walking nation’. The beauty is that all the old trade routes and trails are still reasonably intact and in use.
Some of the country’s stunning flora and fauna are found along these trails; the three-week Snowman trek (one of the world’s hardest) blazes through 356 km of uninhibited raw nature as high as 7000 m; spectacular and demanding but never dull. It traverses through the domains of sacred turquoise lakes, snow leopards, blue sheep and blue poppies, amongst others.
Invariably, the trek is for the seasoned trekker. However, there are plenty of other trekking routes, equally rich and fascinating. The Druk path (Thimphu-Paro or vice-versa) or the shorter two/three-day treks and cultural day-trip explorations have their own enlivening charms.
The shorter treks are also good for acclimatization and preparedness if you plan to do the Snowman or other treks offered by BTCL.
Altitude sickness is an acute problem. Almost all the designated trekking routes go above 3000 m.
Acclimatization is strongly recommended before embarking upon a trek.
On a logistical note, the facilities enroute are as high as the mountains. Trekking parties are led, organized and accompanied by veteran guides, competent assistants, experienced cooks and a horseman. Yaks and ponies shoulder provisions, equipments et al. Trekkers normally prefer to carry a daypack with cameras and films.
Meals are meticulously planned and sumptuously cooked by the support crew. They walk ahead and scout spots; pitching tents, camps and an ad hoc kitchen. Breakfasts are served hot. Dinners include a choice of four dishes. BTCL staff are trained to observe hygiene, practice eco-friendly waste disposal and ensure minimal impact on the environment.
THINGS TO BRING FOR TREK
We suggest clients to bring along sufficient warm clothes, jackets, trekking boots, sufficient socks, rain gear, walking stick, flashlights, plenty of batteries for all electrical appliances, insect repellents, personal toiletries, personal medications, sun cap, sunscreen cream/ lotion and binoculars.
While trekking you are provided with foam mats, but we recommend you to bring a self-inflating mat pack called Thermarest. This packs up small but when inflated gives very good insulation and is more comfortable than a single closed-cell foam mat. We do not recommend that you bring an airbed. You should also bring your sleeping bag which should be 4-seasons bag as the temperature will decrease especially at 4,000 m camp sites.