Himalayan Snowman Trek I

Himalayan Snowman Trek I

  • Camping
  • CommunityBasedTourism
  • CrossBorder
  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • FarmHouseStay
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • Trekking
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
Himalayan Snowman Trek I,your trip to Himalaya
Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 29 Days
Trek Duration: 24 Days
Cultural Duration:5 Days
Trip Type: Cultural and Trekking
Difficulty Level: Hard
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude: 5320m
Max Elevation: 5320m
Highest Camp: 5050m
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End: Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha > Snow man trek 1
Activities: Trekking, Hiking, Visit Farm House, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


The Himalayan Snowman Trek I can be booked through Bhutan tour agent when you plan your trip to Himalaya. This trek is an extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek that leads from Laya into high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. The trekkers are led into the Lunana region and further on to Gangkhar Puensum and Bumthang or down to Sephu in Trongsa district, depending on which route you choose. The Snowman trek leads through the remotest areas up to very high altitudes. Trekkers have to camp at altitudes above 5000m more than once, and depending on the seasonal temperatures, the camps are sometimes on snow.Many groups that attempt this tough trek do not actually finish it due to problems with the high altitude or snow blocked passes. This makes the Snowman Trek one of the most difficult treks of the world. Therefore, the best time for the Snowman Trek – unlike the other high altitude treks of Bhutan – is in summer time. Those who make it will remember this trek as unusually beautiful and memorable trek of their life.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air
  • DAY 2: Paro – Paro
  • DAY 3: Drukgyel Dzong-Sharna Zampa
  • DAY 4: Sharna Zampa-Thangthangkha
  • DAY 5: Thangthangkha-Jangthang
  • DAY 6: Jangothang Hault
  • DAY 7: Jangothang-Lingshi
  • DAY 8: Lingshi-Chebisa
  • DAY 9: Chebisa-Shomuthang
  • DAY 10: Shomuthang-Robluthang
  • DAY 11: Robluthang-Limithang
  • DAY 12: Limithang-Laya.
  • DAY 13: Laya Hault
  • DAY 14: Laya-Rhoduphu
  • DAY 15: Rhoduphu-Narethang
  • DAY 16: Narethang-Tarina
  • DAY 17: Tarena-Woche
  • DAY 18: Woche-Lhedi
  • DAY 19: Lhedi-Thanza
  • DAY 20: Thanza Hault
  • DAY 21: Thanza-Danji
  • DAY 22: Danji-Tshochena
  • DAY 23: Tshochena-Jichu Dramo
  • DAY 24: Jichu Dramo-Chukarpo
  • DAY 25: Chukarpo-Thampe Tsho
  • DAY 26: Thampe Tsho-Maurothang
  • DAY 27: Maurothang-Sephu-Punakha
  • DAY 28: Punakha-Paro
  • DAY 29: International Departure

Detail Itinerary

1

Paro – ParoAs you approach Paro, on clear sunny days you can capture a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks. Just before landing, you will have unusual experience with the aircraft as it prepares to land on one of the most difficult airports in the world. On arrival you will be received by our representative who will then take you to hotel to checkin. After lunch you will visit Drukgyal Dzong built in 1647 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong was built to commemorate the victory against the invading Tibetan army in 17th century.The Dzong was destroyed by fire and left in ruins. On a clear day you can get a magnificent view of Mount Jhomolhari (7314 m / 23,990 ft). From Drugyal Dzong, we will drive south to Satsam Chorten, built in memory of the late Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, and continue on to Kyichu Lhakhang, built in seventh century by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo. After that according to time we will visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan, which has collection of works of art, handicrafts, costumes, armor and rare stamps. We will take a short hike down to Rimpung Dzong. The short hike will take you through a traditional cantilever bridge and to your waiting car at the valley floor. Depending on time, we will hike up to the nearby hill to get a panoramic view of the Paro Valley.

2

PARO (EXCURSION TO TIGER’S LAIR)After breakfast, your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The steep trail to the monastery will take you through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You will love to stop at the cafeteria for refreshment after a steep climb. If not tired, you will hike further until you get a clear view of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger.Lunch will be served at the cafeteria

3

Drukgyel Dzong – Sharna Zampa(Distance: 17km, Duration: 4-5 hours, Ascent: 360m, Descent: 80m, Camp altitude: 2850m).
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) where the motor able road ends, and the trek begins. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Paro Chhu passing through beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about four hours you will reach the army check point at Gunitsawa village. At the check point your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.

4

Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha(Distance: 22km, Duration: 7-8 hours, Ascent: 770m, Descent: 10m, Camp altitude: 3610m).
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of gentle climbs up and down. After going uphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.

5

Thangthangkha – Jangothang(Distance: 19km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 480m, Camp altitude: 4080m)
If you have not seen Mount Jomolhari last evening, you have a great chance in the early morning to get a great view. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley, which widens into patches of alpine meadow with scanty forest growths. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herders’ homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.

6

Halt at JangothangThe day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatisation. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains in the west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

7

Jangothang – Lingshi(Distance: 18km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 840m, Descent: 870m, Camp altitude: 4010m)
After 15 minutes from the camp the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4870m. While on the climb enjoy the surrounding. You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7000m. On the way down to the camp you will pass by some of the yak herders’ tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. The campsite is next to a stone hut, just before you reach Lingshi Dzong.

8

Lingshi – Chebisa(Distance: 10km, Duration: 6 six hours, Ascent: 280m, Descent: 410m, Camp altitude 3880m)
Today is the shortest walking day, and you can take it easy. Shortly after starting you will reach a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. Here, you have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a diversion up to the Lingshi Dzong (4220m), which sits right atop a ridge. Besides a very special atmosphere of mystic silence Lingshi Dzong provides a great view over the valley. After Lingshi Dzong you will be passing through the villages of Lingshi and Goyul. In Goyul, the stone houses are clustered together to a small compact village, which is unusual in Bhutan as village houses are normally scattered. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa with a beautiful waterfall behind the village, you will have plenty of time to visit the village houses if you feel up to it.

9

Chebisa – Shomuthang(Distance: 17km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 890m, Descent: 540m, Camp altitude: 4220m)
You walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La (pass). On the way, you will see a few people herding yaks. There is also a great chance to spot large herds of blue sheep above the trail. After crossing the Gobu La (4410m), you descend to the valley, then climb again a little bit, and descend again to Shakshepasa (3980m) where a helipad has been established. Climbing from here you will finally reach the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river.

10

Shomuthang – Robluthang(Distance: 18km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 700m, Descent: 760m, camp altitude: 4160m)
As the walk is a little strenuous, it is advisable to start early. You will climb up the valley to view Kang Bum (6526m) and some edelweiss. After two hours of climbing you will reach Jhari La (4750m), from where you can catch the first sight of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the next day. The big snow peak in the north is Gangchhenta 6840m, better known as the Great Tiger Mountain. If weather is clear, Tserim Kang and the top of Jumolhari will be visible. The camp by the river is called Tsheri Jathang. Herds of takin, the Bhutan’s National Animal, migrate to this valley in summer and remain for about four months. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary. Climb up a little bit and you will reach the campsite at Robluthang in a rocky meadow.

11

Robluthang – Limithang(Distance: 19km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 850m, Descent: 870m, Camp altitude: 4140m)
After crossing Sinche La (5005m) (the last and highest pass on the trek in case you don’t intend to continue the Snowman trek from Laya onwards) you descend to a little stone house and come across a few Laya women dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Right behind the stone house you will see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. You can see classic examples of the lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks up both sides of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu and soon reach the Limithang campsite. The peak of Gangchhenta towers over the campsite even though it’s quite a distance away.

12

Limithang – Laya(Distance: 10km, Duration: 4-5 hours, Ascent: 60m, Descent: 340m, Camp altitude: 3840m)
Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. After a long time, you again trek partly through deep forest. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. From the west of the village you will view Gangchhenta again and catch a glimpse of Masagang. In the centre of village are community school and basic health unit with telephone connection. The campsite is below the school.

13

Hault at LayaIf you have trekked from Drukgyel Dzong you should spend a day recuperating from the trek to Laya and preparing yourself for the rest of this challenging but spectacular trek. If you have started from Tashitang/Damji (Punakha) you should also walk up to Laya to acclimatize, and not just stay at the trail junction to Lunana. It is worthwhile to spend one day in Laya just for the great views from Laya and its extraordinary inhabitants

14

Laya – Rhoduphu(Distance: 19km, Duration: 8 hours, Ascent: 1030m, Descent: 750m, Camp altitude: 4160m)
From Laya we descend to an army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhoduphu. After lunch, the climb continues through rhododendron bushes till you reach the camp at Roduphu, just next to the Rhodu Chhu.

15

Laya – Rhoduphu(Distance: 19km, Duration: 8 hours, Ascent: 1030m, Descent: 750m, Camp altitude: 4160m)
From Laya we descend to an army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhoduphu. After lunch, the climb continues through rhododendron bushes till you reach the camp at Roduphu, just next to the Rhodu Chhu.

16

Narethang – Tarina(Distance: 18km, Duration: 6 hours, Ascent: 270m, Descent: 1200m, Camp altitude: 3970m)
From the camp you will climb for about an hour to Gangla Karchung La (5120m). The view from the pass is breathtaking and the whole range of mountains including Jekangphu Gang (7100m), Tsenda Kang and Teri Gang (7300m) can be seen. The pass descends along a large moraine. Again one has great views: a massive glacier descends from Teri Kang to a deep turquoise lake at its foot. Up here a glacial lake burst through its dam in the early 1960s, causing widespread damage and partially destroying Punakha Dzong. Finally, it is a very long descent through thick rhododendron to Tarina valley, where you will find several good campsites along the Tang Chhu.

17

Tarina – Woche(Distance: 17km, Duration: 7 hours, Ascent: 270m, Descent: 330m, Camp altitude: 3910m)
The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper ridges of the Pho Chhu, passing some impressive waterfalls. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche, a settlement of a few houses, the first village in the Lunana region.

18

Woche – Lhedi(Distance: 17km, Duration: 7 hours, Ascent: 980m, Descent: 1190m, Camp altitude: 3700m)
The trek starts through juniper and fir forests, and further ahead, through rhododendron bushes. Climb up to Keche La pass (4650m) where one can have the great view of surrounding mountains again. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through a village with a stunning view of Table Mountain and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi Village. Lhedi has a basic health unit, a school and a wireless telephone connection.

19

Lhedi – Thanza(Distance: 17km, Duration: 7-8 hours, Ascent: 450m, Camp altitude: 4150m)
In clear weather, you will have great views of Table Mountain (7100m). Around lunchtime, you will pass the small village of Chozo (4090m), which has a dzong still in use. Reaching Thanza again you will have a great view of Table Mountain, which forms a 3000m high wall of snow and ice behind the village. Although there are possibilities to camp directly at Thanza, most groups prefer to camp in Thoencha.

20

Rest day at ThanzaIn Thanza, walk around and experience some village life or climb up the ridge for fascinating views of lakes and mountains. But as it takes time to arrange new yaks (the yaks from Laya will not go further than Thanza) you might have to spend one day at Thanza anyway.

21

Thanza – Danji(Distance: 8km, Duration: 3-4 hours, Ascent: 80m, Camp altitude: 4230m)
From Thoencha, the trail climbs up to a large boulder from where you will have excellent views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village and the surrounding mountains. After a few hours of relatively flat and easy walking, you will reach a yak meadow with some yak herders’ huts. You will have an excellent campsite with a great chance to spot some blue sheep on the hills above. A trail junction near the campsite will give you the choice between the routes up to Gangkhar Puensum base camp, and further on to Bumthang or to Sephu (Trongsa). Both routes are described in this website.

22

Danji – Tshochena(Distance: 12km, Duration: 6 hours, Ascent: 980m, Descent: 240m, Camp altitude: 4970m)
Having chosen the route to Sephu, the trek crosses the creek and after a long climb, you will reach Jaze La (5150m) with spectacular panoramic mountain views. The path then descends between snow covered peaks and a couple of small lakes to the campsite near the shore of Tshochena lake.

23

Tshochena – Jichu Dramo(Distanc: 14km, Duration: 4-5 hours, Ascent: 230m, Descent: 150m, Camp altitude: 5050m)
You follow the bank of the blue green lake before arriving at a ridge at 5100m, where there is another spectacular view in all directions. After going up and down over small hills to reach a glacial lake, the route descends first before climbing again up the next pass, the Loju La (5140m). Finally after crossing a small saddle (5100m) you will enter a wide glacial valley from where the trail descends gradually to the campsite at Jichu Dramo.

24

Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo(Distance: 18km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 320m, Descent: 730m, Camp altitude: 4600m)
Right after leaving the camp you will climb through a moraine to Rinchen Zoe La (5320m). Spectacular mountain scenery with Gangkhar Puensum amongst the impressive mountains is the reward for climbing the highest pass on this trek route. Rinchen Zoe Peak (5650m) towers above the pass. Descending from the pass, the route leads into a wide valley with several lakes and goes steeply down along a moraine to the Thamphe Chhu. Here the vegetation begins to thicken again and you will see the first real trees since Lhedi. After a couple of hours you reach the campsite at Chukarpo.

25

Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho(Distance: 18km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 400m, Descent: 700m, Camp altitude: 4300m)
The descent continues along the river till you reach the yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here the trail climbs steeply towards Thampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.

26

Thampe Tsho – Maurothang(Distance: 14km, Duration: 5 hours, Ascent: 330m, Descent: 1020m, Camp altitude: 3610m)
From the lake you climb steeply to the last pass of your trek, the Thampe La (4600m) with a good chance to spot some blue sheep on the way. Then the path descends to the sacred lake Om Thso. Passing a waterfall you will reach another, smaller lake 100m below to descend steeply to the Nikka Chhu. The path finally leads through mixed forest to large clearing on the banks of the river with a few yak herder huts, Maurothang.

27

Maurothang – Sephu-Punakha(Distance: 18km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 990m)
On the last day of this extraordinary trek your porters will have to change from yaks to horses as the yaks will not go further down. The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhu bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores (mainly selling bamboo products) and small restaurants. Later when we reach the main highway the car will waiting to take you to Punakha.

28

PUNAKHA-PAROAfter Breakfast, we will drive to Paro and stop at Dochula Pass to take photographs and explore the recently built stupas. On clear sunny days, you can view the Bhutan’s 200 mile snow-capped peaks in the north. From Dochula, you will drive down and stop at the oldest Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses the institute of traditional studies for lay men and women. We will continue our drive and eat lunch in a local restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch, you will have about an hour to do the last minute shopping before you resume journey to Paro. On your way to Paro you will stop at the Tachogang Temple, built in the 15th century by Thangtong Gyalpo, who also built several iron bridges in Bhutan. We will resume our drive to Paro and check in to Hotel.Overnight at Hotel

29

Depart ParoAfter breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Creative Tours will bid you farewell. As the aircraft gains height and proceed, you will see the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappear behind its guardian mountains

Images



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FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map