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Snowman Trek II

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The Snowman Trek is an extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek, and leads from Laya into high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. It takes tough and enduring trekkers 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 most remote areas up to very high altitudes.

Trekkers have to camp in altitudes above 5,000m more than once, and depending on the seasonal temperatures, the camps are sometimes on snow.

The Lonely Planet describes the Snowman Trek as one of the most difficult treks of the world. The best time for Snowman Trek is summer – unlike many other high altitude treks of Bhutan.  Many groups that attempt this tough trek do not finish due to problems with the high altitude or snow blocked passes.  However, those who make it will remember this trek as an outstanding, beautiful and as one of the most rewarding trek of their life.  In this version of the Snowman Trek, one has the possibility of spending a day or two at perhaps one of the most beautiful hot springs of the Himalayas.

Duration: 25 days, Max. Elevation: 5,320m

Highest Camp: 5,120m
Standard: Hard
Best Seasons: Mid June to Mid October
Start: Gunitsawa Village, Paro Valley

Finish: Duer Village, Bumthang

Day 1: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa

40mins, 80 m descent, camp altitude 2,850 m. This trek begins at Gunitsawa Village were you pass the army post. At the army checkpost 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.

 


Day 2: Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha

Distance 22 km, 7-8 hours,  770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m. On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will b…

 


Day 3: Thangthangkha – Jangothang

Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m. If you did not see Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, you will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and sc…

 


Day 4: Jangothang Halt

The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of 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 acclimati…

 


Day 5: Jangothang – Lingshi

Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m. This is one of the longest days of the trek.  A short distance from the camp the trail begins climbing rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. While on the cl…

 


Day 6: Lingshi – Chebisa

Distance 10 km, 5-6 hours, 280 m ascent, 410 m descent, camp altitude 3,880 m. Today is the shortest walking day, and you can really 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 detour up …

 


Day 7: Chebisa – Shomuthang

Distance 17 km, 6-7 hours, 890 m ascent, 540 m descent, camp altitude 4,220 m. The morning starts with a long ascent behind Chebisa Village (2-3 hours) 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 l…

 


Day 8: Shomuthang – Robluthang

Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 700 m ascent, 760 m descent, camp altitude 4,160 m. You begin by climbing up the valley to view Kang Bum (6,526 m) and some edelweiss. After two hours of climbing you will reach Jhari La (4,750m), from where you catch the first glimpse of Sinche La, the pass you wil…

 


Day 9: Robluthang – Limithang

Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, 850 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,140 m. The trek starts out with an initial 40-60mins ascent before gradually raising for another 1.5 hours through a boulder field.  It is then a 1 hour steep ascent before reaching Sinche La (5,005m) – the final and high…

 


Day 11: Rest / Acclimatisation day in Laya

If you have trekked from Paro Valley 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 Gasa (Punakha) you should also walk up to Laya to acclimatize, and not just stay at the trail junct…

 


Day 12: Laya – Rhoduphu

Distance 19km, six to eight hours, 1,030m ascent, 750m des