2005 Bhutan Trek 
Directed by Phil Ershler 

Trip Report: Bhutan Trek with IMG
(Click photos in left column to see larger images)

Bhutan The events of September 11, 2001 forced the cancellation of our first planned trek to Bhutan but it didn't change the goal for IMG of having Phil Ershler and Sherpa Nawang Gombu lead a trip together to this exotic destination. Gombu and Phil have been good friends for over three decades, sharing climbs on Rainier, McKinley, Kangchenjunga and Everest. This October, it finally happened. A great group comprised mostly of previous IMG customers joined Phil and Gombu for two full weeks of trekking through Bhutan.

Their route is called the Laya-Gasa Trek and covers 150 miles of extraordinary countryside. The team included husband and wife teams, two sisters, one couple's daughter, sets of friends and a few singles. Phil even let his wife, Susan, come along. We're happy to say that everyone completed the 150 miles in style. Brooke, you're a stud (ette).

Bhutan proved to be the perfect mix for a trek. Beautiful and varied countryside, extremely friendly people, an exotic destination, interesting villages and monasteries made for a great combination. Then, there was the trek food. Gombu brought Raj, one of the head cooks from Rimo Expeditions, with him from Darjeeling. It's not often that a good-sized trekking group can say that they went through a 14 day trek without any illness and actually looking forward to each meal. Raj, we owe you one.

We're not going to mention the first two days on the trail, even though they were quite memorable. Let's just say that it was a bit damp. However, that's easily forgotten when the weather for the rest of the trip was so nice. The dances in the village of Laya and visiting the school there won't soon be forgotten. And, how about the hot springs in Gasa? Wow.

John and Gerlinde Whetzell, Kim, Reidun and Kari Lundgren, David Golden and Cynthia Dodson, Mary Figge and Catherine Bell, Sharon Hayman and Brooke Meyers, Kathe Fowler, Tom Weiss and Richard Ripple joined us on this IMG inaugural trip to Bhutan. We trust they enjoyed this trip as much as Phil, Susan and Gombu did. You can bet we'll be back to Bhutan.

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