Snowman Trek – 23 Days

Highlights:
✓ Taktsang Monastery
✓ Rinchen Zoe La Pass
✓ Loju La Pass
✓ Keche La Pass

✓ Jaze La Pass

Category:

Description

Snowman Trek

Snowman Trek in Bhutan is considered as the world’s toughest and most difficult treks. The trek starts from western Paro district and end in central Bumthang & Trongsa. The arduous trek covers majority part of Himalayas in Bhutan. The trek feed your soul with glimpses of turquoise green glacier lake, snow capped mountains and remote villages. The Snowman Trek passes through some of the highest passes of Bhutan like Gangla Karchung at 5,230 meters, Jaze at 5,251 meters, Loju La at 5,155 meters and Rinchenzoe at 5,332 meters. The trek passes through 11 passes and requires full fitness and is not meant for the beginners.

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Snowman Trek
Trip Duration: 23 Days
Max. Altitude: 5,005m/16,420ft (Sinche la)
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private car, van or bus (Depends on group size)
Trip Type: Private Tour
Min Group: 2 pax

Highlights:

• Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro.
• Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
• Experience probably the hardest & best Himalayan treks in the world
• Witness spectacular mountains view Gangkar Puensum, the World`s highest unclimbed Peak
• View great lakes of Thpe Tsho & Om Tsho
• Trek through great high mountain passes above 4,000 meters
• Discover Laya & Lunana across 11 passes
• Discover abundant flora and fauna, wild flower & picturesque villages
• Hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’
• Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles of simple

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)

Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards, visit Rinpung Dzongbuilt in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Then drive to Thimphu (1 hour) following Pa Chhu downstream.

In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal – a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose! Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)

After breakfast, drive for about 1 & half hour to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Overnight at Hotel (Lunch/Dinner included) Afterwards, drive to Tashithang to the camp-site following the Mo Chu River. Overnight in Camp.

Day 03: Trek from Tashithang to Damji (2,250m)

The trek starts by the side of the river, following a well-made path through semitropical forests. This part of the area is quite wet and one has to watch out for leeches. There are also lots of wild orchids around for those who love flowers. The day walk is fairly gentle, climbing up to Damji village. Overnight in Camp.

Day 04: Trek from Damji to Gasa (2,900m) (Walking Duration: 6-7 hours)

The path continues through subtropical forests and villages up to Gasa Tsachu (Hot spring) The Tsachu is a famous place where many people from all over Bhutan come to bath for its curative powers. There are four pools, ranging from mild to hot. A Hot lunch will be served here. After lunch, the path stiffly climbs for about 2 hours to Gasa Dzong and camp below the Dzong. Overnight in Camp.

Day 05: Trek from Gasa to Chamsa (3,650m) (Walking Duration: 6-7 hours)

After breakfast visit the Dzong which was built in the 17th century to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. The path starts with a stiff climb up to Bele la pass (3,700m) through bamboo, rhododendron, juniper and fir forests. The climb up to the pass will take around 5 hours. The descent will be about half – hour to camp at Chamsa. Overnight in Camp.

Day 06: Trek from Chamsa to Laya (3,800m) (Walking Duration: 8-9 hours)

The path starts by descending to the bank of the Mo – Chu River. It goes up and down again to detour back up the hillside, to avoid the steep spur. Lunch will be served near the side of the bridge crossing the river. After lunch climb up gradually to Laya crossing the army camp. Overnight in Camp.

Day 07: Rest day at Laya (3,800m)

Today is the rest day at Laya for acclimatization. One can go around the village visiting the houses and people. The Laya people are very fascinating and friendly and will happily pose for photographs. The women in Laya wear a very special dress. In the evening there will be a cultural dance if the local people are around. Overnight in Camp.

Day 08: Trek from Laya to Rhodophu (4,350m) (Walking time: 8-9 hours)

From Laya descend to the army camp and continue following the river until the turn off point to Rhodophu. After lunch continue the climb through rhododendron bushes until the camp. Overnight in Camp.

Day 09: Trek from Rhodophu to Tarina (3,980m) (Walking Duration: 10-11 hours)

This is the longest day of the trip and therefore it is essential to start very early. So, the trek starts at 5AM by climbing to Tsimola (4,700 m). After crossing the first pass and at the little summit spot the superb view of Lunana, Chomolhari and Jichu Drake. The path is flat for another four hours till the climb to Gangla Karchung la pass (5,080 m). The view from the pass is breath taking. The whole range of mountains, including Masagang, Tsendegang, and Teri Gang can be observed. After the pass there is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Overnight in Camp.

Day 10: Trek from Tarina to Wache (3,800m) (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

This day is much easier as the path follows the river down the valley. Lunch will be served at the lowest point of today’s trek (3,500 m). After lunch climb up about 300 meters to the village of Woche. Overnight in Camp.

Day 11: Trek from Woche to Lhedi (3,650m)

The trek starts through juniper & fir forests and then through rhododendron bushes. Then the trail climbs up to Keche la pass (4,480 m) where some great view of the mountains can be witnessed. After the pass, descend to the riverside, walking through the village with stunning views of Table Mountain and others. Follow the river (one of the main sources of the Pho- Chu) until reaching Lhedi village. Overnight in Camp.

Day 12: Trek from Lhedi to Thanza (4,000m) (Walking Duration: 7-8 hours)

The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visit the Choejong Dzong and then continue towards the wide valley, crossing the bridge to reach Thanza. Overnight in Camp.

Day 13: Rest day at Thanza (4,000m)

Today is rest day at Thanza. The day can be spent in walking around or climb up the ridge to see the view of the lakes and mountains. Overnight in Camp.

Day 14: Trek from Thanza to Tshochena (4,900m) (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)

Today is a long trekking day so the trek is started as early as possible. The climb of three false summits will arrive at Jaze La (5050m), after this pass it will be less than an hours’ walk downhill to the camp near the lake of Tshochena. Overnight in Camp.

Day 15: Trek from Tshochena to Jichu Dramo (4,880m) (Walking Duration: 4-5 hrs)

Following the shore of the lake, climb up the ridge at 5100 meters from where witness the 360 degree panorama of the snowy peak; Dochula pass can also be spotted after short descend. Then the path makes several ups and downs descending past a glacial lake and climbs up to Loju La pass (5140m). Then it crosses a small saddle at 5100 meters into a wide glacial valley and descends gradually to camp at Jichu Dramo, a small pasture land. Overnight in Camp.

Day 16: Trek from Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo (4,950m) (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

Climb through a moraine to Rinchen Zoe La pass (5320m) which divides the Pho Chhu& Mangde Chhu drainages. Spectacular view of mountains with Rinchen Zoe peak (5650m) towering over the pass to the west and many other major peaks stretch along the northern horizon can be seen from the pass. Towards the east spot the western flank of Gangkhar Puensum and down south the Thampe Chuu Valley. After the pass the trial descends broad, marshy valley with a strings of lakes. Then the valley narrows as the route lowers down and eventually descends steep down the face of a moraine to a yak pasture in the upper reaches of theThampe Chhu. Cross the west bank and continue as the vegetation thickens from rhododendron to juniper shrubs and trees. It’s a welcoming sight after trekking through treeless area. Finally arrive at Chukarpo (4600m). Overnight in Camp.

Day 17: Trek from Chukarpo to Thampe Tsho (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)

It is a long trek mostly downhill, walk along the Riverside and then climb back to the Um Tso at 4230M. The legend believed that Saint Pema Lingpa the reincarnation of Guru Rimpoche had discovered a number of religious treasures from this Lake. A bit further the camp can be reached near by the Thampe Tso. Overnight Camp.

Day 18: Trek from Thampe Tsho to Maurothang (4,000m) (Walking Duration: 5 hrs)

It is around two hours walk to the base of Thampe Tso and then a steep climb to the pass at 4230M. Then the trek route goes downhill through rhododendron to the Yak pasture of Maurothang. This is as far as the Yaks go and they won’t be willing to go further down, so yaks needs to be replaced with horses. Overnight Camp.

Day 19: Trek from Mauraothang to Sephu. (2,500m) Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs

The trail follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. Overnight in Camp.

Day 20: Sephu – Wangdue – Thimphu (2350m)

Drive from Sephu to Thimphu via Wangdue. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 21: Thimphu – Paro (2250m)

After breakfast, drive to Paro. PM: Free/At leisure. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 22: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3,120m)

After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Later on, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel

Day 23: Paro depart

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and bid farewell to the Breakfree representatives and journey back home.

Cost Includes:

• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

Cost Excludes:

• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

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