BHUTAN: SHANGRI LA OF TRAIL RUNNING

 

3rd - 17th November 2018

Welcome to Bhutan – the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’. Perched among the peaks of the mighty Himalaya, the tiny kingdom of Bhutan has been described as the last Shangri-La, shrouded in centuries of mystery. Bhutan offers a fascinating insight into a Buddhist culture where time has stood still and the chance to experience Himalayan landscapes of astounding, untouched beauty. It's also a mind-blowing place to run. It happens that there is a trail perfect for a running adventure like no other, one based on the first half of the renowned Snowman Trek, one of the hardest in the world. While there are other running adventures to be had in Bhutan, this is the only trip that takes you deep and high into the Himalayas!

 

THE BASICS

DAYS TOTAL (IN BHUTAN): 15

DAYS/NIGHTS ON TRAIL: 8/8

DAYS/NIGHTS ENJOYING SHANGRI LA: 7/6

THE TRAIL: JOMOLHARI-LASA-GAYA TREK 

TYPE: END TO END EXPEDITION

DISTANCE: 170KM

AVERAGE DAILY DISTANCE: 15-30KM

HIGHEST POINT: 5005 METRES (SINCHE LA)

AVERAGE RUN ELEVATION: >4000M

ACCOMMODATION ON TRAIL: CAMPS

ACCOMMODATION OFF TRAIL: 2017 IS AN EXPLORER TOUR= THREE-STAR SIMILAR TO TIGERS NEST LODGE (CLICKHERE).

SUPPORT2-3 X RUN GUIDES, 2 X LOCAL GUIDES, CAMP/COOK CREW, MULES

RUN GROUP NUMBERS: LIMITED TO 12 RUNNERS PLUS GUIDES.

PRICE: US$8000

THE EXPERIENCE

In partnership with Tour de Trails and Blue Poppy Tours we offer a run adventure as remote as you can imagine on this planet. This is the high Himalaya. It is in fact the first half of the renowned Snowman Trek, billed by Lonely Planet as the 'one of the most difficult treks in the world'. 

Unlike most rough and ready expeditions, we're softening the edges. The running will remain tough given the steep terrain, the altitude, and the lack of facilities - on trail it will be as any other trail run, a true experience of Bhutan's raw and pristine wilderness. But each afternoon you'll run into a pre-set camp, sip some tea with biscuits, have dinner served up and we will even sneak up a bottle of wine. At each end of the trail, our Explorer guests will enjoy relative comfort of Bhutan's accommodation the likes of renowned Tigers Nest Resort, and of course a massage to stretch out the muscles. 

Bhutan is considered a once in a lifetime destination, and thus we'll make the most of your visit to this magical place. You'll spend 8 days on rugged trails with Anna Frost learning all you can from her elite trail running experiences, training, technique, nutrition and mental approaches to endurance running. 

The JomolhariLaya-Gasa Trek itself, which forms our route, is considered one of the most scenic in Bhutan, offering amazing views of some of the most pristine and unspoiled landscapes in the Himalaya. It is more often taken by the few lucky ones to have experienced it as a 14+ day walking journey that begins at Drukgyel in Paro and takes you through gorgeous alpine meadows, high mountain passes and dense sub-tropical jungles before finishing in Damji in Tashithang. Along the trail you’ll be able to spot indigenous animals such as blue sheep and Takins, the national animal of Bhutan. The finale of the route also offers a day of relaxation at the famous Gasa hot springs that is sure to rejuvenate you.