Monday, February 28, 2011

Reaching Talakha Peak at 4241m

Last Sunday, I went to Talakha Peak which is a 4241m high peak not far from Thimphu. Our American-Catalan-Dutch-Hungarian team of five decided to rent a 4WD car with a driver to go to Talakha Monastery first and then climb up to the peak. We found a former policeman who said he had a 4WD, but he could not take more than four people. Finally, he asked if there was a woman in the group. I said yes. He said then it was fine, because six men in the car woud bring bad luck, but five with one woman was ok.

When we were to start in the morning we found out that the car was not 4WD and the driver had never been to the monastery. Given the condition of the dirt road leading to the goemba (monastery), it was a problem and meant about 80 minutes additional walking.

At the goemba a young monk voluntarily joined us to show the first part of the trail, then we continued relying on our Dutch friend who had been to the peak before and the local trekking guide book.

After having climbed over a wooden fence keeping yaks and their female partners, dris, out of the area, we met two Bhutanese men walking with a dog and a radio to their village in the mountains. From there we were going together up to the peak.

The last few hundred meters of the trail were very tough due to rocks and stones and snow, but all of us reached the peak, including our Catalan hero friend whose eye got injured in the bamboo forest. From the top we could see other higher peaks such as Jhomolhari (Bhutan's most sacred mountain, 7314m) and Kachenjunga in Nepal and India (8595m). In a clearer day one can even see the Mount Everest, but we couldn't.

Having limited time and dry coughing developed by few of us due to high altitude, we quickly started descending towards the goemba where friendly dogs welcomed us again. From goemba to goemba the 17 km return trip with 1300m elevation  took almost 8 hours. 

Did you know that Bhutanese regulations prohibit climbing any peak higher than 6000m? This makes the country have the highest unclimbed peak in the world: Gangkhar Puensum (7541m)

From Thimphu you can see Talakha Monastery and Talakha Peak
Our group of five. This photo looks like it was taken in the 80s.

Attacking the peak
Elevation of Talakha peak verified.

On the top with the two Bhutanese men we met on the way.
Going back to Thimphu waiting for us in the valley with hot shower


  1. Hi Zoltan,
    Visited here after I read your comment on my Blog. I didn't realize you have posted so much material here :). I thought I will give it a quick read .. but seems like I need to revisit again some other time when I am more rested. So, for now I am booking marking your blog.


  2. Like Yeshey I am surprised you have posted so much and we didn't know about it... I am Yeshey's regular reader and there I saw your blog address. I have gone through all your posts briefly and would like to come again for deeper reading.

    I hope you are still left with better portion of your nine weeks in Bhutan.