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18Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comB ack in 1988 Mountain Kingdoms was the first UK company to take people exploring in the Dagala Mountains, and we have returned many times since. Having trekked into our base camp next to one of the largest lakes, we have a couple of days to ascend some peaks, including the highest in the range, Um Jomo 5,050m/16,568ft. For the less energetic there are some fine walks, and the chance to go trout fishing or plant hunting. A memorable highlight is the early morning climb to a nearby ridge top to watch the sun rise over the eastern Himalaya. On a clear day we can see all the major peaks of north Bhutan, and to the west the world's third highest mountain Kangchenjunga. From Labatama Lake we trek through valleys and along ridges with magnificent views, before dropping down into the capital city of Thimphu, nestling in the valley below. A fter a walk up to the celebrated Tiger's Nest Monastery, we leave Paro and trek northwards through the cultivated fields and villages of the upper Paro valley before climbing through lush indigenous forest to reach the base camp for Chomolhari which, at 7,314m/23,997ft, is the second highest peak in Bhutan. Here we trek through high mountain terrain, inhabited only by seasonal yak herders, up to the mountain's glacier and acclimatise before crossing a high pass to reach the remote monastery/fort of Lingshi. Built by the first ruler of Bhutan as a defence against Tibet, this dzong is fantastically situated on a 180m hill overlooking wide valleys. After time to explore Lingshi we turn southwards to cross another high pass and trek towards Thimphu passing some curious meditation caves, perhaps some 'blue sheep' and through the wonderfully named Dom Shisa (Where the Bear Died). Once in the capital, there's time to relax and take in some of the sights before heading home. Secret Valleys & Sacred Mountains of DagalaA superb two-week trekking holiday through the mountains of a 'thousand lakes'.Mount Chomolhari Base Camp Trek A magnificent mountain trek through remote country, crossing two high passes of nearly 4,880m/16,000ft. Above Chomolhari Base Camp, Andi HarrisonGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£2,395£2,395£3,095£3,045Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 12 Apr - Sat 30 Apr 11Tue 04 Oct - Sat 22 Oct 11On Trek: 10 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 8 Camping: 9Optional: Single Room £175 Single Tent £75Insurance: £99Trek | Duration: 19 DaysGrade: Vigorous/Strenuous On Trek: 8 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 7 Camping: 7Optional: Single Room £160 Single Tent £75Insurance: £95Trek | Duration: 16 Days£2,160£2,160£2,850£2,795Land OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFri 08 Apr - Sat 23 Apr 11Fri 07 Oct - Sat 22 Oct 11Grade: Moderate/Vigorous Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comBhutan The Himalaya

19telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Himalaya BhutanT his is one of our longest Bhutanese treks, and one which we have successfully run every year since 1988, when we were the first British company to pioneer the route. Starting from Paro, we strike out towards the Tibetan border into Bhutan's mountainous northwest corner. The route takes us beneath Chomolhari, 7,314m/23,997ft, the country's second highest mountain, and the beautiful Jichu Drake, 6,858m/22,500ft. We may be lucky enough to see bears, herds of 'blue sheep', takin and eagle. The main villages in the area are Lingshi, Laya and Gasa and their mountain tribespeople, dressed in yak wool clothes and conical bamboo hats, see few visitors. Reaching this little-known area is not easy and involves crossing passes up to 5,000m/16,000ft high, however, rest days occur at timely intervals and this is without doubt one of the finest treks in the Himalaya. L eaving the roadhead behind and setting off on trek towards isolated Lunana is an incredibly exhilarating feeling. Ahead of us lies the 5,243 m/17,200 ft Gophu La Pass leading from Bumthang into Lunana. Just to get there we first have to progress through pristine forest, pausing at the hot springs of Dur Sachu, before climbing to uninhabited wilderness leading to the pass. The scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna are superlative, and we come almost to within shouting distance of the highest mountain in Bhutan, Gangkar Punsum, 7,550m/24,770ft which appears to float above us on a higher, purer plane. As some of the few visitors to reach pristine Lunana we enjoy that rarest of pleasures - almost complete abstraction from the 21st century.H ere is something extremely special: where other trekking companies offer only a taste of Lunana, Mountain Kingdoms offers the complete trek - something only a handful of westerners have ever achieved. From Paro, we trek past Mt Chomolhari (7,314m/23,997ft), and cross numerous high passes to arrive at the village of Laya. We then trek across the Karakachu La (5,200m/17,000ft) from where we have excellent views of Gangkar Punsum (7,550m/24,770ft), the highest peak in Bhutan, and now the world's highest unclimbed mountain. The pass leads us into Bhutan's most remote and beautiful district, Lunana. This is a difficult place to reach enclosed on all sides by high mountains, and during winter months unforgettable Lunana is totally isolated from the outside world. The Hidden Kingdom Trek This trek really has everything: remoteness, fantastic mountains and fascinating villages.Mountains of Lunana A stupendous one-month strenuous trek to the remotest region in the Himalaya.The Complete Lunana Snowman Trek The experience of a lifetime - trek the full length of Bhutan's highest mountains.£2,995£3,995£5,295£3,650£4,665£5,950Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 03 May - Sat 28 May 11Tue 04 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 11Sat 01 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 11Tue 27 Sep - Sat 05 Nov 11On Trek: 17 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 8 Camping: 16Optional: Single Room £175 Single Tent £150Insurance: £169On Trek: 17 days Appointed Leader: Paul BurdittAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 8Lodges/Guesthouses: 2Camping: 17Optional: Single Room £210 Single Tent £150Insurance: £169On Trek: 28 days Appointed Leader: Bart JordansAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 9 Camping: 27 Lodges: 2Optional: Single Room £225 Single Tent £150Insurance: £210Trek | Duration: 26 DaysTrek | Duration: 29 DaysTrek | Duration: 40 DaysGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clientsGrade: StrenuousGrade: Strenuous Grade: Strenuous For detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comLingshi Dzong, Andi Harrison