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The Kingdom of Bhutan, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is a small landlocked country bordered by Tibet on the north and northwest and surrounded by northern India.
High Himalayan peaks form the western and northern boundaries and Bhutan’s elevation ranges from 100 to 7,541 m. In fact, Gangkhar Puensum, on the disputed border with China and the country’s highest point, is widely recognized as the world’s highest unclimbed peak.
Los Alamos Mountaineers member Erik Shores visited Bhutan in May 2010 and will describe his trip at the Wednesday meeting.
He will share pictures from the Druk Path, one of the countries popular trekking destinations, as well as his travels around Paro and Thimphu, the capital. High mountain climbing has been banned since 2004 and the country did not open to foreign tourists until 1974. However, there is an interesting mountaineering history, which Shores will relate.
The Royal Government of Bhutan is famous for the concept of Gross National Happiness in lieu of GNP and also for requiring visitors to travel with a prepaid and pre-planned itinerary. In the spirit of “high value, low impact,” this second point comes with a daily fee of $200-250 USD per person. Shores will explain Bhutan travel logistics.
Shores has been a member of the Mountaineers since 1998 when he took the LAM climbing school with friends, Bill Geist and Lori Daane. He’s climbed and hiked extensively around the western states with close friends and fellow mountaineers and, when convenient, collects state highpoints. Shores enjoys trail running and long solo hikes in the wilderness. Two favorite spots in New Mexico are the Truchas and Latir Peaks. .
Join Shores and the LAM to hear about his Bhutan adventure and to see photographs of this unique Himalayan kingdom. The meeting will be in the main room of Fuller Lodge and will begin with dessert and social time at 7:30 p.m., followed by a discussion of trips past and future.
The presentation will begin at approximately
8 p.m. The club offers trips that range from easy hikes to technical mountaineering and is committed to safe outdoor practices. Membership information and the Mountaineers schedule can be found at their web address, www.lamountaineers.org.
The Los Alamos Mountaineers welcome the public.