Bhutan Snowman Trekking 27 Days

Bhutan Snowman Trekking

Snowman Trekking goes to the remote Lunana district and considered as the most challenging trek in Bhutan. The attributes those make it a tough trek are; distances, altitudes, weather and remoteness.

Trip Details

  • Itinerary
  • Trip Info
  • Useful Info

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro: On arrival at the airport received by our representative and transfer to Paro. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: Paro: Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Taktsang was severely damaged by fire in 1998 and now has been restored in its original grandeur. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and country's exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong situated at commanding height, overlooking Paro valley. This Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. In the evening visit a traditional farm house to see what the lifestyle is like for the local people. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 03: Paro - Thimphu (55 km.2 hours): Morning drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. Also visit en route Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Then drive to Thimphu visiting en route Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist Studies.Evening visit to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's Third King followed by visit to Trasichhodzong, beautiful medieval fortress/monastery. Also Viisit Thimphu, National Library, Arts & Carfts School, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.


Day 04: Thimphu - Punakha - Tashithang: Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (3,050m), through magnificent forest of rhododendron and magnolia. From the pass one can have the panormic view of eastern Himalayan peaks and enticing view of Lunana route, Picnic lunch at Punakha by the riverside. Enjoy the view of Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 during the time of Shabdrung. The Dzong is now used as the winter residence of monk body and administrative centre of the district. After lunch drive on to Tashithang following the Mo Chu river. Camp at Tashithang at the end of the road at alt. 1,600m.


Day 05: Tashithang - Damji: The trek starts by the riverside, following a well made path through semi tropical forest. This part of the area is quite wet and one has to be careful of leeches. Also for flower lovers there is abundant on wild orchids here. The day walk is fairly gentle climbing up to Damji village. Camp at Damji at alt. 2,250m, walking time 5/6 hours.


Day 06: Damji - Gasa: The path continues through semi-tropical forests and villages up to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). The Tsachu is a famous place where people from all over the country come to have bath, due to its curative powers. Here there are four pools of different temperature from mild to hot. Hot lunch will be served close to spring. After lunch two hours stiff climb to Gasa Dzong. Camp below the Dzong at alt. 2,900m. Walking time 6/7 hours.


Day 07: Gasa - Chamsa: After breakfast, visit the Dzong, which was built in 17th century, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. The path starts with stiff climb up to Bele la pass (3,700m) through bamboo, rhododendron, juniper and fir forests. Then descend for about half an hour to camp at Chamsa at alt. 3,650m. Walking time 6/7 hours.


Day 08: Chamsa - Laya: The trail starts by descending to the bank of Mo Chu river. Lunch will be served at the side of bridge, across the river. After lunch climb gradually to Laya crossing the army camp. Overnight camp at alt. 3,800m. Walking time 8/9 hours.


Day 09: Rest day at Laya: One can go around the villages, visiting houses and the people. Laya people are very friendly and will happily pose for photographs. Women of Laya wear a special dress and typical bamboo hats, decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments.


Day 10: Laya - Rhodophu: 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 we reach the camp at alt. 4,350m. Walking time 8/9 hours.


Day 11: Rhodophu - Tarina: Today is the longest day of the trip and it is important to start early. Start at about 5 a.m. by climbing to Tsimola (4,700m). After crossing the first pass and the little summit, one can have superb view of Lunana, Mt. Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake.


The path is flat for another four hours till climb to Ganglapachung pass (5,080m) is started. The view from the path is breathtaking and whole range of mountains including Masagang, Tsendegang, Teri gang can be seen. After the path, it is very long descent to Tarina valley. Camp at alt. 3,980m. Walking time 10/11 hours.


Day 12: Tarina - Woche: The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper reaches of the Pho chu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche at 3,800m, the first village after Gasa. Camp at alt. 3,800m. Walking time 6/7 hours.


Day 13: Woche - Lhedi: The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and further ahead through rhododendron bushes. Climb up to Keche la pass (4,480m) where one can have the great view of mountains. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through the village with stunning view of Table Mountains and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi village, which is one of the main sources of Pho Chu river. Camp at alt. 3,650m.


Day 14: Lhedi - Thanza: The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch, visit the Choejung village walking towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza camp at alt. 4,000m, walking time 7/8 hours.


Day 15: Rest day at Thanza: One can walk around or climb the ridge for fascinating view of lakes and mountains.


Day 16: Thanza - Tshorim: The trek starts by climbing the ridge, with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza valley below. The ridge alt. Is 4,500m and it rises gradually upto 4,650m. After lunch walk upwards the left side of the bridge enjoying the view of snow capped mountains. Further after climbing ridges, you reach the camp site of Tshorim at alt. 5,125m, walking time 8/9 hours.


Day 17: Tashorim - Gangkar Puensum Base Camp: This is one of the highlights of the trip and day starts with a short climb to the Tashorim Lake. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panormic view of Gophula ranges. The last climb to the Guphola pass (5,230m) is very short. After the pass descend to the base camp, walking along the ridge and enjoying the great view of Gangkar Puensum. If interested, one can divert to the left side to climb up the pyramid peak for a better view or you can go down to base camp nearby Sha Chu at the alt. of 4,970m, walking time 6/7 hours.


Day 18: Gangkar Puensum base camp: Rest day at the base camp enjoying the great view.


Day 19: Gangkar Puensum Base Camp - Geshe Woma: The trek is not yet over. The trail further follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshe Woma at alt. of 4,200m, walking time 6/7 hours.


Day 20: Geshe Woma - Warathang: The path continues following Sha Chu for two and half hours until the stiff climb to Sakala begins. Visibility along the Sakala trail is poor so one must see the top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch nearby a yak herder's camp. After that climb up to Sakala pass at alt. 4,800m. Later descend to the lakes and another short ascent is stunning. Scenery once again is beautiful with small lakes and the mountain peaks. Camp at the alt. of 4,000m, walking time 8/9 hours.


Day 21: Warathang - Dur Tshachu: A short half-hour climb leads the Juelela pass (4,400m). After the pass, descend to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forests. After the bridge a short climb leads to dur Tshachu hot spring, where Guru Padsambhava is suppose to have taken bath in the 8th hot spring, walking time 5 hours.


Day 22: Dur Tshachu - Tshochenchen: From the spring, it is a long and steady climb again with great views of the mountain is Lunana. You also come across blue lakes and yak herders camp at alt. 3,850m, walking time 8/9 hours.


Day 23: Tshochenchen - Dru - Bumthang (Jakar): This is the last day of the trek where you change from yak to pack ponies. The path follows the Chamkhar Chu descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when you arrive at Dur village where transport will pick you up and drive to Bumthang. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.


Day 24: Bumthang: Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys - Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Visit to Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Then visit, Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley.Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, the ancient monastery dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the country.Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang. Evening visit to local shops. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.


Day 25: Bumthang - Trongsa (68 km, 3 hours): The crown prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes the Penlop (governer) of Trongsa prior to crowned as king. Trongsa Dzong built in 1648 is the master piece of Bhutanese architecture, which has been traditional home of all four kings of Bhutan before they crowned as King. Standing above this fortress is Ta Dzong, which once guarded this place from internal rebellion and provides visitor more insight into the historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan's history. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.


Day 26: Trongsa - Paro (250 km, 7 hours): Morning drive to Paro enroute visiting Wangduephodrang and local market. This place is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 27: Paro - Departure: After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for onward flight.


Note: If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

Cost Include:

* Bhutan Visa fees
* Consultation on every aspect of preparation including physical and mental.
* All transfers during the trip.
* All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
* Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary.
* Porters and ponies to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
* Experienced English speaking guides.
* Trekking permit and Entrance fees.

Cost Exclude:

* International flights to/from Paro/Bhutan.
* Personal medical & travel insurance.
* Tips and Gratuity.
* Any meals/snacks not mentioned in the itinerary.

Trekking in Bhutan, Tibet  and Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. Nevertheless, preventive measures such as a through medical checkup and inoculations before you start trekking can save you from unexpected hazards. Since the remote places of Nepal are not supplied with necessities that are essential for modern medical facilities and as the rescue and evacuation are measured in days, it is imperative to make a comprehensive first aid box consisting of basic drugs and accessories as part of the paraphernalia for trekking. Modern dentistry is unknown in the hill of Nepal so it is advised to have a checkup before departure from home. Tooth fillings; sometimes loosen in cold temperatures and high altitudes, so it is recommended to have them checked. Travelers are requested to bring medicine prescribed by their doctor at home. Common medicine for stomach problems, headache, and malaria is available in Kathmandu. Medicine is usually not available in remote areas. So necessary medicine is advisable to carry with you. Before going to Nepal, it is advised to get injections against typhoid, meningitis and hepatitis.

OVERCOMING ALTITUDE PROBLEM:

This is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which is particularly a matter of important medical consideration while trekking in the Himalayas. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. Early mountain sickness will manifest itself in headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue; etc can be encountered as initials of the sickness. The major information source on prevention and treatment of the sickness is Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) and Adventure Treks Nepal (P). Ltd. is the confide life member of it. We assure every trekker that all our guides have followed the training conducted by HRA with the understated information.

CAUSE/FACTOR OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. Less Oxygen
2. Low Pressure i.e. Barometric Pressure
3. Rapid Ascent
4. Possible Dehydration
5. Hypothermia TYPE OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

  TYPES ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. AMS - Acute Mountain Sickness
2. HAPE - High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
3. Hace - High Altitude Cerebral Edema

SYMPTOMS

1. (AMS) ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
Mild symptom feels like hangover/not feeling good

a. Headache
b. Fatigue/Tiredness
c. Nausea
d. Shortness of breath
e. Loss of appetite
f. Sleep disturbance
g. Dizziness

2. (HAPE) HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA (Water in lungs)

a. Increasing shortness of breath even at rest
b. Severe cough-dry/Productive
c. Very tired-Unusual fatigue while walking
d. High Pulse rate i.e. 110
e. Blueness of face, lips, finger nails that means inability to transport Oxygen into the blood

3. (HACE) HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA (Water in the head)

Severe symptoms of altitude sickness
a. Severe Headache
b. Vomiting
c. Walking like a drunk (Ataxia)
d. Mental confusion/Altered mental status
e. Irritable-Does not want to be bothered by other people
f. Unconsciousness or Coma
TEST - Tandem walking test, Heel to toe step fall off from the line.

DECISION MAKING

1. Find out the main problem i.e. at altitude. Assume all problems are Altitude Sickness unless proven otherwise.
2. If it is an altitude problem with mild symptoms, stay at the same altitude until the symptoms are completely gone. Take an Aspirin tablet, try to go up but listen to your body. If symptoms are worsening, go down.

PREVENTION

1. Acclimatization: Have time for acclimatization.
2. Do not make RAPID ASCENT; don't go too fast too high.
3. No alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
4. Drink more fluid 3-4 ltrs a day… clean, boiled or treated water/tea/coffee/soup/juice etc.
5. Do not carry heavy packs.
6. Climb higher sleep lower.
7. Do not travel alone.

TREATMENT

1. DESCENT is the best medicine; do not wait for the Helicopter.
2. Medicine:
a. Oxygen.
b. Diamox…for AMS 125mg. Before dinner, for sleeping problem if feeling suffocated.
c. Nafedipine for HAPE
d. Steroids/Dexamethasone for HACE
3. Hyperbolic Bag - Gammow Bag
4. Golden Rules
a. Awareness of ALTITUDE SICKNESS
b. If you have mild symptoms, do not go higher. Take Aspirin.
c. If you have worsening symptoms, go down.
d. Do not leave your team member behind unattended, either trekker or porter.
5. IMPORTANT
a. Go up slowly.
b. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 3 liters per day)
c. Get all information about Altitude Sickness before your trekking tour that will make you confident to make your tour successful.

Our advice: Drink 3-4 ltr of water minimum a day, don't exhaust yourself so much and breathe deep and take rest more than usual.

Visa/Entry Permit: With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC).

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Online Regional Permit System: In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.

Travel Requirements: All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors.

In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan's policy of "High Value. Low Impact" tourism a Minimum Daily Package is required for tourists. To learn more about the Minimum Daily Package, please follow the link below:

Getting Into Bhutan: The Kingdom of Bhutan remained largely cut off from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot from two main entry points, one in the North and another from the South. The Northern route was through Tibet, crossing high mountain passes that were inaccessible throughout the winters. The second entry route from the South came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high frozen passes in the North and the dense jungles in the South made it extremely difficult to enter the country.
However, carefully planned economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are now a network of roads entering and traversing the country, as well as one international and multiple domestic airports.

Today the main roads entering the country are through Phuentsholing in the south, linking Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal through the border towns of Gelephu, in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east, that link Bhutan with the Indian state of Assam.

Travel by Land: Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.

The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.

Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into the capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.

Travel by Air: There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225m (7300ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876?m (16,000?ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Payment System in Bhutan: Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

Guides: There are over 1000 licensed and active tour guides working in the country.
In order to ensure that visitors receive high quality professional service, every guide must complete a training course. Guides are trained to specialize in either cultural or adventure tours. Many guides complete language courses in German, Japanese, Thai and other languages so that they can easily communicate with guests and all are proficient in English. All tour operators must employ only registered and certified guides.


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