Bonington Treks Bhutan 2011

As many of you know I’ve just returned from a fantastic trip to Bhutan.
We did the Lingshe/Laya trek. A hard trek with three stunning high passes and a top altitude of 5040m. We had sun, snow and rain, stunning scenery in a beautiful sparsely populated country. We had tracks blocked by fallen trees. Whilst on the trek as well as camping our team was lucky enough to have a homestay with a local family and sample the local delights such as hard dried yak cheese and hard spirits mixed with scrambled eggs.  We also had the drama of an emergency evacuation and met a genuine Princess along the way. The great thing about trekking in Bhutan is how intact the culture is. This is a country where most people still wear the national dress, all buildings are built in a traditional style and as practicing Buddhists, they are warm and generous of heart. What an amazing country!

I had with me a great bunch of clients from all over the world. Mary Thomas (Canada), Carolyn Bridgman (UK/Canada), Gary Followill (USA/Australia), Andrew Iggo (NZ/Australia), Bill Crozier (UK/Australia – expedition Doctor), Kevin Bennett (UK), Robert Bennett (UK), Sue Glover (UK). I also had my Dad, Chris along as a guest.
Our in-country logistics were looked after by a fantastic company called Bridge to Bhutan, who did a fantastic job and whom we intend to use for all our Bhutan trips.
As I mentioned before we did have a very very serious, life threatening medical emergency unfold and it was only because of truly great teamwork and having the correct equipment (Oxygen, PAC chamber), the correct drugs and the fact we have an expedition doctor on our more remote or harder treks, that a life was saved.
At this point I’d like to thank all those who helped in the drama that unfolded:-
Bill (our expedition Doctor)
Sonam (our Guide)
Tenzing (his assistant)
Chundu (Guide from another trek)
Tashi, Ugyen (our crew)
and the local people who helped and let us stay in their house until the choppers arrived: Chimi Dorji, Tshering and Phuv Tenzin who between them supplied horses, shelter, muscle and care.
And also Fin and Lotay from Bridge to Bhutan, my wife Jude, the Director of Tourism for Bhutan and the Indian Army.
Mary, you are a very brave and tough cookie and Carolyn, you are a very devoted and loving friend to Mary.
What with my preparations for the new gym, I haven’t had time to do a complete photo based blog, so what I’d like to do is to direct you to two very good blog accounts of the trip. The first is my dads blog which is on his website part 1 of the trip can be found here and then here for part 2.
The other is Bill Crozier’s which has dramatic video footage of the rescue operation which can be found at his gasmandownunder blog.
Both blogs tell a great story and have fantastic photo’s.

1 Comment
  • Nathan Smith
    Posted at 18:12h, 14 December Reply

    Just read your dad’s blog. What an amazing trip! Congratulations.

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