Snowman Trek 29 Days

This trek is the ultimate adventure in Bhutan. The nearly 200 mile (320 km) trek takes you from Paro to Bumthang all the time traversing near the crest of the Himalayas. You will cross over 11 different passes and gain nearly 48,000 feet (15,000m) in elevation. Asides from the physical challenges you will see a remote part of the mountainous Bhutan where traditional villages and herding cultures still dominate. This isolation of the mountain valleys will give you a glimpse of a world that is rapidly disappearing. Altitude, the challenges of long distances, difficult weather conditions and remoteness, combine to make this trip a true adventure. The hearty are rewarded with the most magnificent views in the Himalaya and unforgettable landscapes.

    What's Included?

  • Airport Transfers
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Transportation by private vehicle in Bhutan
  • English speaking guide
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees, Trekking permits, All local taxes
  • Services of Guide, Cook & Helper on the Trek
  • Mess Tent, Kitchen and Toilet Tent
  • Ponies to carry supplies
  • Sleeping Pads (Bring your own Sleeping Bag)


*Single supplement applies. Inquire for current rates.

Day 1 - Arrive Paro

Altitude: 2280 m - Arrival Day
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world's highest peaks give way as you land in the lush green Paro Valley. Your Bhutanese guide will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the hotel to check in and for lunch. Free to explore Paro in the afternoon.

Day 2: Paro Tour

Altitude: 2280 m - Paro
After breakfast at the hotel in the morning we will drive 16km (10 miles) up the valley to visit the Drukgyal Dzong built in 1647. The term "Dzong" refers to the traditional for style architecture of Bhutan. On a clear day one has excellent views of Mt. Jhomolhari from the Dzong. We will return to Paro for lunch and visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Nearby is one of the innumerable archery grounds (archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. The evening ends with a stroll through Paro's main shopping district.

Day 3: Paro - Shana (Start of Trek)

Distance: 14 kms. Time: 5/6 hrs. Altitude: 2,820 m, 9,250 ft.
Our trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong. Following the Paro River we pass cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies. Overnight at camp Shana.

Day 4: Shana - Thangthangka

Distance: 21 kms. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 3610 m, 11,850 ft.
The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows, closes in and winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter.

Day 5: Thangthangka - Jangothang

Distance: 15 kms. Time: 5/6 hrs. Altitude: 4,115 m, 13,500 ft.
In the morning after passing a small army post, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, through Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp. High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.

Day 6: Jangothang (Acclimatization)

Today we will take a rest day to help us with acclimatization. We can take a day hike to the Jhomolhari glacier or to the lakes in the opposite direction.

Day 7: Jangothang - Lingshi

Distance: 17 kms. Time: 6/7 hrs. Altitude: 4,700 m. 15,400 ft.
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses a bridge to the right side. As we start the climb up to the first ridge there are breathtaking views of Jhomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Ghang. Then it's down towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until a climb to the Nyeley La pass.. After the pass there is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, while you can enjoy the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.

Day 8: Lingshi - Chebisa

Distance: 12 kms. Time: 4/5 hrs. Altitude: 3,780 m, 12,400 ft.
Walk past the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of green hills, the winding river and magnificent peaks. This is a very easy day and a pleasant walk through villages and yak herders camps. Lunch will be at scenic Goyuna village. After lunch, a short walk will take us to Chebisa Village. We camp here by the side of stream.

Day 9: Chebisa - Shomuthang

Distance: 17 km. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 4, 500 m, 14,800 ft.
Today begins with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gubula pass taking nearly four hours to the top. After the pass we descend to a lunch spot, through a forest of rhododendron. In the afternoon we continue along the up and down path, crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and yak herders camps. You may see herds of Blue Sheep now and then. Arrive at camp in Shomuthang.

Day 10: Shomuthang - Robluthang

Distance: 22 km. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 4,640 m, 15,200 ft.
The trek starts with a climb to Jari La pass. Then we descend to Tsharijathang Valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream and get wet, as most of the time the foot bridge is washed away. After crossing the stream, the trail ascends till we reach Robluthang camp.

Day 11: Robluthang - Lemithang

Distance: 18 kms. Time: 6/7 hrs. Altitude: 4,870 m, 16,000 ft.
This is one of the hardest days of the trek. We climb slowly up to Shinchela La and are rewarded with stunning views of mountains, including the spectacular Gang Chen Ta at the head of the valley. On a clear day practically all the mountains on the northern border are visible. Eagles, griffin vultures, blue sheep and yaks abound in this area. We descend down to camp on a lovely spot by the riverbank.

Day 13: Lemithang - Laya

Distance: 10 kms. Time: 4/5 hrs. Altitude: 3, 880 m, 12,700 ft.
We walk along the river, one of the tributaries of the Mochu and through a forest of rhododendron and silver fir and then enter the village of Laya. The people of Laya are famous for their vertical stripe yak hair clothing and their strange conical bamboo hats. The women wear their hair long and with much turquoise and jade jewelry. The features of the people are more Tibetan/ Mongolian than the Bhutanese who live in the central valleys The rest of the day is spent at leisure or visiting village houses and mixing with the villagers. There are good views of the Masagang and the other peaks.

Day 13: Rest day at Laya

Explore around the village. You can go and visit any of the houses around. By tradition one can go to any house without an invitation. A cup of tea or Chang (local drink) is always offered. The people in this village are very interesting with a unique dress, language and ornaments.

Day 14: Laya - Rhodophu

Distance: 19 kms. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 4, 350 m, 14,300 ft.
From Laya descend to army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhodophu. After lunch continue the climb through rhododendron bushes until the camp.

Day 15: Rhodophu - Tarina

Distance: 18 kms. Time: 10/11 hrs. Altitude: 5, 080 m, 16,500 ft.
This is the longest day of the trip and therefore very essential to start early. We start at 5 am by climbing to Tsimola La. After crossing the first pass and at the little summit one can have a superb view of Lunana, Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. This path is flat for another four hours till the climb to Gangla Karchula pass. The view from the pass is breathtaking. The whole range of mountains, including Masagang, Tsendegang, Teri Gang can be seen, after the pass there is a very long descent to Tarina valley.

Day 16: Tarina - Woche

Distance: 17 kms. Time: 6/7 hrs. Altitude: 3,800 m, 12,500 ft.
This day is much easier as the path follows the river down the valley. Lunch at the lowest point (3500m). After lunch climb to the village of Woche.

Day 17: Woche - Lhedi

Distance: 17 kms. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 4,480 m, 14,500 ft.
The Trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron bushes. We climb up to Keche La pass where one can have a great view of the mountains. After the pass, descend to the river walking through a village with stunning views of Table Mountain and others. Follow the river, one of the main source of Phochu, till Lhedi village.

Day 18: Lhedi - Thanza

Distance: 15 kms. Time: 7/8 hrs. Altitude: 4,000 m, 13,000 ft.
The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visit the Choejong Dzong and continue towards the wide valley. Crossa bridge to reach Thanza camp.

Day 19: Thanza - Tsorim

Distance: 18 kms. Time: 8/9 hrs. Altitude: 5,150 m, 16,9 00 ft.
The trek starts with climb up to the ridge with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza valley below. The ridge rises gradually to a foot bridge. After lunch walk up towards the left side of the bridge enjoying the views of the snow peaked mountains. The we climb up ridge after ridge until we reach the camp at Tsorim.

Day 20: Tshorim - Gangkar Puensum base camp

Distance: 16 kms. Time: 6/7 hrs. Altitude: 5,230 m, 17,150 ft.
This is the highest of the trip. We start the day with a short climb to the Tshorim Lake. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic views of the Gophula ranges. The last climb to Gophula pass is very short. After the pass descend to the base camp walking along the ridge. Enjoy the great view of Gangkar Puensum. Those with a lot of energy can divert to the left side to climb up the Pyramid Peak for better view. Others can go down to the base camp near Sha Chu.

Day 21

Today is a rest day at the base camp to enjoy the great views. We can take an afternoon hike at our leisure.

Day 22: Base camp - Geshe woma

Distance: 17 kms. Time: 6/8 hrs. Altitude: 4,200 m, 13,800 ft.
Time to leave the beautiful mountains, but the trek is far from over. The path follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshe woma.

Day 23: Geshe Woma - Warathang

Distance: 18 kms. Time: 8/9 hrs. Altitude: 4,800 m, 15,700 ft.
The path continues following Shachu for two and a half hours until the stiff climb to Sakala begins. Visibility along the Sakala trail is poor so one must watch the top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch nearby a yak herder's camp. After lunch climb up to Sakala pass the descend to lakes followed by a short ascent to Wartangle pass. The scenery once again is stunning with small lakes and mountain peaks.

Day 24: Warathang - Dur Tsachu

Distance: 12 kms. Time: 5 hrs. Altitude: 4,400 m, 14,500 ft.
First there is a short half hour climb to Je Li La. After the pass descend to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forest. After the bridge a little climb to Dur Tsachu hot spring, where Guru Padmasambava is supposed to have bathed in the 8th hot spring.

Day 25: Dur Tsachu - Tshochenchen

Distance: 19 kms. Time: 8/9 hrs. Altitude: 4,400 m, 14,500 ft.
Today we go again across the last pass of the trip Je Le La. We descend to a stream and from the stream it is a steady climb again with great views of the mountains in Lunana. We pass blue lakes and yak herders' camps to arrive at the Thochechen camp.

Day 26: Tshochenchen - Dur - Jakar (End Trek)

Distance: 16 kms. Time: 57/8 hrs. Altitude: 3,100 m, 10,000 ft.
This is the last day of the trek. Here we change from yak to pack ponies for carting trekking gear. The path follows the Chamkhar Chu, descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when we arrive at Dhur village. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 27: Jakar - Wangdi

Distance: 200km (9 to 10 hours driving)
We will start with an early breakfast and visit some of the famous monasteries in Bumthang before driving to Trongsa for lunch and then continuing to Wangdi. Overnight at the lodge.

Day 28: Drive to Thimphu

Distance: 68 kms (3 to 4 hours driving)
Today we will drive to Thimphu and arrive by early afternoon. The rest of the day after lunch is free for exploring the capital.

Day 29: Paro (Departure)

After breakfast, according to your flight schedule we will drive you to the airport. End of our services

    Exclusions

  • International air tickets
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance
  • Laundry service
  • Beverages
  • Telephone bills
  • Other extras not specified
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance should be considered mandatory and obtaining it is your responsibility. If you are arranging your own insurance your policy should cover rescue insurance, as well as medevac by helicopter. Many of the same agencies that sell airfare now offer travel insurance as well. We recommend ihi.com if still need a policy. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can arrange an affordable policy for you.

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!