Snowman Trek

with extension to Mount Gangkar Puensum

Travel Bhutan with Bhutan Travel packages and experience Snowman trek: easily one of toughest and the rarest of high altitude treks one can attempt in a lifetime, if Everest is the Mecca of summits then Snowman trek is sure to be the Mecca of trekking. Snowman trek is approximately 350KM over pastures, passes and ridges. One has to go over 11 passes most of them over 4,500m spend 20 odd days at high altitude. Thin and frigid air, days away from the nearest help in case of emergency, altitude sickness, twisting an ankle, breaking a limb, so on and so forth all real possibilities. Yet some 2,500 tourist have completed Snowman trek successfully, most other treks in Himalayas see that number in a season. Numerous mountain people have done it over millennia as most of the trek route was a major trade route between China, Tibet and Bhutan. And it’s the decendents of these mountain people who would be accompanying you on this awe inspiring Bhutan trek as your trek guides and crew. Most of them would have completed The Snowman Trek on number of occasion in past. Bhutan Travel Packages will make all arrangements and meticulously plan the trek with you. Bhutan Travel Packages will also provide you with experienced guide, cook and crew capable of handling most emergencies so that this Bhutan trekking experience is one of the most memorable one ever.

Day 1:- Arrive Paro

Flight to Paro is one of the most fascinating experiences of any mountain destination the Himalayas, you are treated to some of greatest snow-peaked mountains. On your arrival Paro International Airport, you will be received by Bhutan Travel Packages guide. You will directly be taken to Punakha via Dochula Pass (3,100m), and have lunch here. Dochula is a beautiful spot, have view of towering eastern Himalayan peaks and valleys. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Punakha.

Day 2:- Punakha/Tashithang

Post Breakfast you will be visiting the Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and the second largest fortress in Bhutan. Punakha was also capital to Bhutan in ancient times. The Dzong is now used as winter residence of monk body, and also as the administrative centre for the district. After lunch you may visit the local market for any last minute shopping. Later in afternoon you will head to Tashithang to camp for the night.

Day 3: Tashithang - Damji – Gasa

Your Bhutan trek commence: Gasa Tsachu (Distance 16km, 4 to 5 hours, camp altitude 2,250m) The trail starts alongside the river Mo Chu (river). The area generously littered with abundant flora. It is an easy climb up to Damji Village (2,250m). the trek continues through subtropical forests and villages Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). Tsachu is a popular place with Bhutanese people, who come here for cure skin diseases as well as rheumatism. You will camp by the Dzong (fortress) for the night.

Day 4: Gasa - Chamsa

In the morning visit the Dzong built in early 17th century to protect the country from invading Tibetan forces. Thereafter a stiff climb to Bele La Pass (3,700m) through rhododendron, bamboo, juniper and fir forests. From the pass decent for about 30 to 40 minutes to reach the camping site, Chamsa (3,650). Trekking time 6 to 7 hours.

Day 5: Chamsa - Laya

First you descent to the banks of Mo Chu (Mother river). You will have lunch at the river riverside. Post lunch The trail starts by u will assent to Laya crossing the army camp. You will camp on the nearby meadow at an altitude of 3,800m. Trekking time 8 to 9 hours.

Day 6: Rest day at Laya

You will take a day off at Laya to acclimatise. Your guide will take you around the village to mix with locals, the locals are friendly here and will readily pose for camera. In the evening there will be a cultural programme of local folk dances.

Day 7: Laya - Rodhuphu

From Laya a descend to army camp, you will continue following the river till the turning point to Rhoduphu. After lunch continue climbing to reach the camp site at 4,350. Trekking time 8 to 9 hours.

Day 8: Rodhuphu - Tarina

Today is the longest day of the trek and you must start early in the morning. Climb to Tsimola (4,700m), after crossing the pass, on a clear day one will have breat-taking view of Lunana, Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. The path is flat for another 4 hours till climb to Ganglapachung pass (5080m). The view from the path the panoramic view is spellbinding and whole mountains range including Masanggang, Tsendegang and Teri Gang can be seen. Later your descend to Tarina valley. Camp at altitude 3980m. Walking time 10 to 11 hours.

Day 9: Tarina - Woche

The trail leads down through the forests following the upper ridges of the Pho Chu (Father river). The path then climbs over a ridge and drops down to Woche (3,800m), we arrive at Gasa village. Camping altitude 3,800m. Walking hours 6 to 7 hours.

Day 10: Woche - Lhedi

The trek starts through fir forests and further ahead one walks through rhododendron bushes. Trek to Keche La pass (4480m) where one can have the great view of the mountain range. After the pass, you descend to the riverside and walk through the village. Follow up the river till Lhedi Village, which is one of the main sources of Pho Chu (Father river). Camp at altitude of 3,650m.

Day 11: Lhedi - Thanza

The path continues following the river, the rise is gradual to Choejong village. You camp at Thanza. Camp at an altitude of 4,000m. Trekking time 7 to 8 hours.

Day 12: Thanza - Tshorim

Today the trek starts by climbing the ridge. The ridge altitude is 4,450m and it rises gradually up to 4,650m. Post lunch, walk uphill to the left side of the ridge, enjoy the view of snow-capped mountains. Further up after climbing ridges, you will reach the campsite of Tshorim at an altitude of 5,125m. Walking time 8 to 9 hours.

Day 13: Tshorim - Gangkar Puensum Base Camp

This is one of the highlights of the trek, the day will start with a short uphill climb to the Tshorim Lake. The walk is on the bank of a Lake enjoy the panoramic view of Gophula ranges. The climb to the Gophula pass (5,230m) is very steep and short. After the pass you will descend to the base camp, walking alongside the ridge and enjoy the great view of Gangkar Puensum. If you want to, you can go left side to climb up the pyramid peak for a better view and click a few photos or you can descend to the base camp nearby Sha Chu at the altitude of 4,970m. Walking time 6 to 7 hours.

Day 14: Gangkar Puensum Base Camp

You will have a rest day at the base camp (4,970) Gangkar Puensum, the tallest unclimbed mountain peak in Bhutan of enjoying the great view of the Gangkar Puensum which is the tallest unclimbed mountain in Bhutan.

Day 15: Gangkar Puensum Base Camp - Geshe Woma

You will follows the Sha Chu (river) and descends gradually to your camping site for the night to Geshe Woma at an altitude of 4,200m. Walking time 6 to 7 hours.

Day 16: Geshe Woma - Warathang

The path will continue following Sha Chu for up to 3 hours until the stiff uphill climb to Sakala begins. You have lunch in a nearby a yak herder’s camp. After lunch, uphill climb up to Sakala pass at altitude 4,800m. From Sakala pass you will descend to a landscape dotted with many lakes. Camping altitude 4,000m. Walking time 8 to 9 hours.

Day 17: Warathang - Dur Tsachu

A short uphill climb leads to Julila pass (4,400m). After the pass, you descend to the riverside through dense conifer forests. After crossing the bridge a short climb leads to Dur Tsachu hot spring where Guru Padmasambhava is believed to have taken bath in 8th hot spring. Trekking time 4 to 5 hours.

Day 18: Dur Tsachu - Tshochenchen

From the spring, you will have a long and steady climb with great views of mountains in Lunana. You also come across the blue lakes and yak herder’s camp at an altitude 3,850m. Walking time 8/9 hours.

Day 19: Tshochenchen - Dur Bumthang (Jakar)

Now you enter the last day of the trek. The beast of burden is changed to ponies from yaks. The trail follows the Chamkhar Chu, you will descend gradually. You did it the trek ends nearly 350 km and almost half a million footsteps you have arrived at Dur village. Bhutan Travel Packages transport will be there to pick you and take you to Bumthang, welcome to civilization. Dinner and overnight stay hotel in Bumthang.

Day 20: Bumthang

Bhumtang. After breakfast you will go and visit the Jakar Dzong, the ‘Castle of White Bird”, legend has it when Lama were deciding a site to build the Dzong (fortress), a big white bird rose suddenly in the sky and settled on the site, where the Jakar Dzong stands today. Than you will visit Kurjey Lhakhang and Jambay Lhakhang. Post lunch we will start for Wangdue a little over 2 hour drive, evening exploring the local market, night stay at a guesthouse in Wangdue.

Day 21: Wangdue Phodrang

Wangdue Phodrang or the Wangdi Palace. Morning post breakfast you will visit the Wangdue Dzong, built in 1638. Legend has it that Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal encountered a boy by the name Wangdi playing at the spot besides the river and hence named the palace after the boy’s name. After visiting the palace you will start for Paro via Dochula pass. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 22: Paro

Taktsang Monastery. Any Bhutan tour is incomplete, without paying a visit here. In the morning you will head for the Taktsang Monastery hike, you will have breakfast at the Taktsang Cafeteria. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche came riding on the back of a flaming tigress, and meditated at this place. This is the most significant religious place for Bhutanese. Next stop ruins Drukgyal Dzong built in 1649, it served both as a fortress and a monastery, it was completely destroyed in a fire in early 1950’s. Evening at the local market. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 23: Departure

Your Bhutan Trekking adventure has come to an end. You have just completed a tour of one of the most exotic places on this earth and the most exotic of all Bhutan trekking. You have also managed to complete the toughest trek that the Himalayas have to offer. We at Bhutan Travel Packages hope that this Bhutan travel experience was what you have expected and more. Hope to see you back travel Bhutan with us again. Your guide and driver will escort you back to the Paro International Airport, for you to catch your flight to your next destination.

While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of scope for you to be able to choose places to visit, as well as drop a few places on itinerary if you so desire. Also all the packages can be custom made to suite your need.


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