Shertang La

Shertang La

Shertang La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.573m (11,722ft) above the sea level, located in the Bumthang District of Bhutan. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.

The road to the summit, also known as Ura La, is asphalted in very bad conditions (even grael sections) and pretty steep, with hundreds of turns. There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. Prayer flags hang on top of the pass. Notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. A major hazard of altitude is the sickness that can indiscriminately affect anyone regardless of age or fitness. Climbing too high, too fast increases the risk of altitude sickness. Extremely low oxygen for engine combustion.
Located in the Black Mountains, the road is very narrow. It’s called Bumthang - Ura Highway. The road was built in the 1990’s. It is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The journey offers superb views. It’s definitely worth it. A drive not to be missed! If weather permits, just before the pass you'll get a view of Gangkhar Puensum (7541m) dominating the northern valley and the yellowroofed lhakhang of Shingkhar village below. 

The wind is usually quite strong at mountain areas. High winds blow here all year long. Protect yourself from heavy cold with warm clothes, cap and glouse. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. The pass is often closed during winter for a day or two due to heavy snowfall. It is quite strange that from early April and May, we do not see snow at this height. Top of the pass is fully covered by mist most of the time. Great views over the wide valleys and forrest of Bumthang.

 

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