20 May – 17 June 2020

Snowman Trek

Fixed Departure Date: 20th May – 17th June 2020

SNOWMAN TREK

4.5/5: snowman trek rating

Best Time

April – May

September – October

SNOWMAN TREK – TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • DURATION: 28 Nights | 29 Days.
  • DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Difficult.
  • HIGHEST ALTITUDE: 5320 m.
  • AVG. WALKING DISTANCE: 16 km.
  • AVG. WALKING TIME: 7 hrs.

FROM $6,350

  • 2 Pax in a group: USD 7250 per person.
  • 3 Pax and Above: USD 6350 per person.

snowman-trek-map

20 MAY 2020: Arrive Paro Bhutan by Druk Air

Upon arrival at Paro airport, received by the Representative from Yak Holidays and transfer to the hotel.

After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in 1644; the dzong name’s means indeed “The Victorious Druk”. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

21 MAY 2020: DAY HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY

After breakfast, visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has been since 1967, the National Museum of Bhutan followed by visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices.

Day hike to Taktsang monastery, the famous “Tiger’s Nest”. The hike which is all uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters above the Paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century, a monastery was built on the spot where the saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

22 MAY 2020: DRUKGYEL DZONG TO SHARNA - THANGKTHANKA (START OF TREK)

Distance: 22 km: Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.

Leaving Sharna the trail continues upriver and the route winds in and out of rhododendron and blue pine forests. When we enter Jigme Dorji National Park keep your eyes open for wildlife and changes in vegetation as we continue to climb in elevation. Tonight we camp in Thangkthanka (3520 m).

23 MAY 2020: THANGTHANKA TO JANGOTHANG

Distance: 19 km: Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours.

An hour out of camp this morning we leave the tree line and head into the high mountains. At the halfway point of our hike, we cross Tengethang, a winter home of the migratory yak herders. Arriving at Jangothang (4040 m / 13,250 ft), we can watch the sun set on Mt. Jhomolhari (7314 m) and Mt. Jichu Drake (6989 m).

24 MAY 2020: REST DAY IN JANGOTHANG

The first of our acclimatization days, we have many day-hiking options. The first is a three to four hour excursion up the ridge to the north for great views of Jichu Drake. The second is to hike up towards the head of the valley in the direction of Jhomolhari. The third is a trek up the main valley towards the last house and onward toward Jichu Drake, this gives a great view of where we will be going in the next few days. The final alternative is a fishing expedition to Tshophu, a high-altitude lake about a two hour hike away.

25 MAY 2020: JANGOTHANG TO LINGSHI

Distance: 20 km: Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours.

Heading uphill from Jangothang we cross the first of many major passes. The Nyile La pass at 4890 m (16,135 ft) is about a four hour ascent. Descending the other side we will encounter sparce juniper and rhododendron and pass many yak herder camps. From this area on we start to see herds of blue sheep. Arriving in Lingshi we set up camp at 4150 m.

26 MAY 2020: LINGSHI TO CHEBISA

Distance: 14 km: Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours.

This morning we will visit Lingshi Dzong, also known as Yugyel Dzong in the 17th century, it was used in the past to control travel between Tibet and Bhutan. Since today’s hike will not be as long, the pace will be more relaxed. Upon reaching the camp at Chebisa (3850 m / 12,600 ft), we will have time to visit Chebisa village and see a slice of Bhutanese village life.

27 MAY 2020: CHEBISA TO SHAKSHEPASA

Distance: 13 km: Hiking time: 4 hours.

Crossing the Gombu La pass at 4350 m (14,300 ft), we descend into a rhododendron filled valley, and continue past some yak herder camps to Shakshepasa where we camp at 3980 m (13,100 ft).

28 MAY 2020: SHAKSHEPASA TO ROBLUTHANG

Distance: 18 km: Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.

An early morning start will get us on the way to Jhari La pass at 4747 m (15,600 ft). Decending to Tsharijathang, the valley where herds of Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen. From here we climb to our camp at Robluthang at 4160 m.

29 MAY 2020: ROBLUTHANG TO LIMITHANG

Distance: 19 km: Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.

Starting early a strenuous hike leads to the Shinge La pass at 5005 m (16,650 ft). Descending to Lemithang we’ll see Mt. Gangchenta (6840 m) and the glacially carved Gangchhenta valley. Gangchhenta means Great Tiger Mountain. We camp at 4140 m.

30 MAY 2020: LIMITHANG TO LAYA.

Distance: 10 km: Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours.

A shorter hike follows a trail in and out of a heavily wooded, uninhabited valley. Climbing up out of the forests we will be rewarded with some great views of Gangchhenta and Masang Gang (7165 m) mountains. We camp at Laya at 3840 m.

31 MAY 2020: REST DAY IN LAYA

Staying in Laya for the day we will get a chance to see the village with its community school, hospital, archery field and the first shop since the Paro Valley. Laya is a unique village of about 800 people with their own language, customs and distinct dress. The women keep their hair long and wear peculiar conical bamboo hats with a bamboo spike at the top. They wear a lot of silver jewellery on their backs; on many women this display includes an array of teaspoons.

1 JUNE 2020: LAYA TO RODUFU

Distance: 19 km: Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours.

The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana trail junction, and then makes a gradual climb to the camp through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The trail improves and becomes wider as we climb out of the river valley. We camp at Rodufu near a small stream at 4160 m.

2 JUNE 2020: RODUFU TO NARETHANG

Distance: 16 km: Hiking time: 8 to 9 hours.

It is a long hike, first crossing the Tsimo La pass at 4950 m (16,200 ft). Descending to Narethang we pass some dwarf rhododendron and hike in the shadow of Gangla Karchung peak (6395 m). We camp at 4900 m.

3 JUNE 2020: NARETHANG TO TARINA

Distance 18 km: Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours.

Climb to Karchung La pass at 5240 m (17,187 ft) and down to the glacial lakes that are the source of the Tang Chhu river. Above the lakes are the mighty peaks of Jejekangphu Gang (7300 m) and Tsenda Kang (7100 m). We camp at Tarina, 4020 m.

4 JUNE 2020: TARINA TO WOCHE

Distance: 15 km: Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours.

The walk leads down through conifer forests, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to the village of Woche at 3940 m. The trek has now entered the Lunana region.

5 JUNE 2020: WOCHE TO LHEDI

Distance: 19 km: Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.

It’s a gradual climb from Woche to the Keche La pass at 4580 m (15,100 ft), then downhill to Thega village. The hike continues to Lhedi village where we camp at 3600 m.

6 JUNE 2020: LHEDI TO THANZA

Distance: 19 km: Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours.

The trail climbs gradually following the main source of the Pho Chhu to Chozo village. At the small Chozo Dzong there are some lay monks. Above Chozo the valley opens as we approach Thanza village near the foot of 7100 m Zogophu Gamp, which is also know as Table Mountain. We camp at Thanza, 4080 m.

7 JUNE 2020: REST DAY IN THANZA, 4080 M (13,300 FT).

This day is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the hospitable local villagers, and explore the beautiful surrounding area, our farthest point in the Lunana valley. Alternatively you can relax around camp and rest up for some of the tough days ahead. As Thanza is a transfer point for horses and yaks, it is important to have a day here for our staff to ensure all the necessary yaks are rounded up by the local herders.

8 JUNE 2020: THANZA TO DANJI

Distance: 8 km: Hiking time: 4 hours.

Today is a relatively short, although somewhat steep, climb to a campsite called Danji, part way up to the Jaze la pass. It will allow us to have some extra time in the morning and make a later start. The camp is around 4600 m, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks! It is an important acclimatization spot.

9 JUNE 2020: DANJI TO TSO CHENA

Distance: 12 km: Hiking time: 5 hour.

The first part of the day involves a climb up over three false summits to Jaze La pass at 5050 m (16,570ft). From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite at the lake of Tso Chena at 4800 m. Keep your eyes open for blue sheep during the hike.

10 JUNE 2020: TSO CHENA TO JICHU DRAMO

Distance: 14 km: Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours.

The trail has a series of gradual ups and downs between the snow-capped peaks and across the Loju La pass at 4940 m (16,300 ft) before descending to camp at Jichu Dramo at 4880 m.

11 JUNE 2020: JICHU DRAMO TO CHUKARPO

Distance: 18 km: Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours.

We start with a hard climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5290 m (17,350 ft), the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line at 4950 m (16335 ft).

12 JUNE 2020: CHUKARPO TO THAMPE TSO

Distance: 18 km: Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours.

It is a long mostly downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the Um So lake at 4230 m (13,950 ft). In this lake Pema Lingpa found a number of religious treasures. Continuing downhill we camp by the lake of Thampe Tso at 4200 m (13,860 ft).

13 JUNE 2020: THAMPE TSO TO MAUROTHANG

Distance: 14 km: Hiking time: 5 hours.

It is a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580 m (15,100 ft). The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we camp at 3550 m.

14 JUNE 2020: MAUROTHANG TO NIKACHU CHAZAM / DRIVE TO PUNAKHA.

Distance: 23 km; Hiking Duration: 7 to 8 hours.

A long final day of trekking will descend through the lovely village of Sephu to finish at Nikachu Chazam, the road head. From there we will drive to a comfortable guest house near Trongsa. This beautiful Dzong is the centre of the region of Bhutan called “Bumthang” (central region). The Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive in the kingdom and can be see from a great distance in its strategic position high above the Mangde Chhu river.

Drive from Trongsa to Punakha. (Approximately 3 hours) In the mid-afternoon, there is a spectacular drive back west across the mountains to Punakha. We will probably stop along the way at Chendebji to visit the Chendebji Chorten, patterned after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet. We may also stop at the top of the Pele La pass (3400 m). Overnight in  hotel.

15 JUNE 2020: PUNAKHA - THIMPHU

Morning visit to Punakha Dzong (the second of Bhutan’s dzongs to be built) which for many years served as the seat of government. The dzong was first built in 1637 and is still one of the largest in Bhutan. Drive to Thimphu. After lunch visit the Trashi Chhoe Dzong, built as the symbol of the capital and then explore the shops along Norzin Lam, Thimphu’s main street. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

16 JUNE 2020: THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING

After breakfast, visit National Postal Museum, which is worth a visit for you can get your own picture on Bhutanese stamp right then and there. Get a photo clicked then and there or give a photo of your dear ones and you will get personalized stamps in 5 minutes followed by a visit Memorial Chorten, a monument dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan. Late His Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The inside paintings and statues provide a very rare insight into Buddhist Philosophy. Changangkha Monastery, Takin Preserve centre and Sangay Gang view point, the Largest and tallest statue of Buddha in the world.

After lunch, hike to Cheri monastery.

In the evening, visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

17 JUNE 2020: DEPARTURE

After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.

Bhutan Tour cost is inclusive of:

* All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
* Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra US $: 50 per room per night.
* All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
* Royalty & Govt. Taxes
* Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only
* Visa Fee.
* Guide.
* Sightseeing

Bhutan Tour cost is exclusive of:

* Druk Air fares.
* Insurance Premiums,
* Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
* Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”.
* Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
* Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services

Bhutan Trekking cost covers:

Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division (NRED) Nu.1000
* One guide.
* Cook.
* Helpers.
* Ponies and Yaks.
* Tents (Sleeping tent, mess tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent and shower tent).
* 3 meals.
* Mattresses and all other trekking accessories.
Note: For trekking a load of 25 kg is allowed.

Things to bring for trekking in Bhutan

Personal clothing: strong normal clothing (according to season). Preferably cotton, even for summer, woolen clothing for the evening and winter.

* Strong comfortable trekking boots – water-resistant for the rainy period-June-August.
* Sunscreen
* Flash light
* Rain coat (especially for rainy period –June-August)
* Head gear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection
* Water pills – for extra caution in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek)
* Aspirin – in case of altitude sickness
* Lots of socks
* Warm clothes

Optional items to bring for trek to Bhutan:

* Sunglasses
* Head gear
* Folding umbrella (only for wet months — July and August)
* One towel
* Pillow case
* Wet-packed tissue paper.
* Pillow.

COST EXCLUDE

  • Air fares
  • Sleeping bags (on trek)
  • Tips
  • Insurance
  • Drinks and beverages
  • Laundry
  • Phone / internet
  • Other personal bills