Bhutan: Chele La

8th April 2013

Previous posts:
Flying to Paro
Punakha to Bumthang
Bumthang to Punakha
Trek to Tiger Nest monastery

Bhutan trip had gone extremely well. But my daughter was not very excited as the snow I promised was only seen but not ‘felt’. The only place where we could expect snow was Chele La, the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. At about 13,000 ft ASL, it connects Paro with Haa valley. It is at the same height as Rohtang pass in Himachal Pradesh. With great difficulty, BRO opens road by end of May. But after travelling through various passes in Bhutan, I knew that there would very little or no snow even in April at the height of 13,000 feet in Chele La. Hence I asked my daughter not to expect ‘snow’ in the pass.

Chele La is just 35 km from Paro which would take about 90 minutes. There might be no snow in April but flowers compensate for it. They were omnipresent in the hills.

There were few patches of snow near the pass which was sufficient for my daughter. But later she complained that the snow should have covered the entire mountain!!

On a clear day, we could have seen Jhomolhari peak which is at an altitude of 24,035 ft ASL. But nature did not provide the permits that day!!

On the other side of the pass was Haa valley. Indian military has some presence there.

We may not have seen good views in Chele La but a surprise was awaiting us when we flew back from Paro to Bagdogra. The weather was great and we could see the clear view of Jhomolhari peak (Am I right?) !!

We could see a gigantic peak on the far side.  It was Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, the third highest peak in the world.

That was a great way to end the Bhutan trip!!

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