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.

 Duration: 24 days, Max. Elevation: 5,320m

Highest Camp: 5,050ma

Standard: Hard

Best Seasons: Mid June to Mid October

Start: Gasa

Finish: Sephu (Trongsa)

Day 01: Snowman Trek starts: Gasa – Koinal

Distance: 16kms

Duration: 7 – 8hrs

Altitude Gain: 970M/ 3181Ft

Altitude Loss: 549/1800 ft

The trail from Gasa is gradual accent through the forest mixed forest of Larch, Fir and Rhododendron for four hour

to the Balela Pass (3810m/ 3261m). After the pass, the trail is descents of three hours to Koina camp site.Overnight Camp

Day 02: Koinal – Laya

Distance: 16kms

Duration: 6hrs

Altitude Gain: 637m/ 2089 ft

Altitude Loss: Nill

The trail winds up and down crossing through few streams and wood bridges. En- route we will pass some beautiful water fall, cave, forest and rivers. Lunch will be served at the side of the bridge, across the river. After lunch climb up gradually to Laya crossing the army camp where you need to show the trekking permit. From Tatsemakha it is one hour to Laya Village Overnight Camp

Day 03: Laya Halt

 One can go around the villages visiting houses and the people. Laya people are friendly and will happily pose for

photographs. Women of Laya wear special dress and typical bamboo hats, decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments.

Overnight at Laya: Camp

Day 04: Laya – Rodophu

 Distance: 14.5kms

Duration: 7 – 8hrs

Altitude gain: 975m /3200ft.

Altitude: 13825ft/4215m.

From Laya we descend to an army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhoduphu. After lunch the climb continues through rhododendron bushes till you reach the camp at Roduphu just next to the Rhodu Chhu.Overnight Camp

Day 05: Rodophu – Narethang

Distance: 16kms

Duration: 7 – 8hrs

Altitude Gain: 2375ft725m.

Altitude loss: Very little.

Altitude: 16,200ft/4905

After following the river for about half an hour you will have a steady climb to a high open valley at 4,600m and then further up to Tsomo La (4,900m). Tsomo La offers a superb view of Lunana, Mount Jomolhari and Jichu Drake, and the Tibetan border. The route then crosses a flat, barren plateau at about 5,000m. The campsite at Narethang is towered by the peak of Gangla Karchung (6,395m).Overnight Camp

Day 6: Narethang – Tarina

Distance: 16Kms

Duration: 6 – 7hrs

Altitude Gain: 265ft/80m.

Altitude loss: 1082m / 3350ft.

Campsite Altitude: 12,915ft/3938m.

The view from the pass is breathtaking and the whole range of mountains including Jekangphu Gang (7,100m), Tsenda Kang and Teri Gang (7,300m) can be seen. The pass descends along a large moraine. Again one has great views: a massive glacier descends from Teri Kang to a deep turquoise lake at its foot. Up here a glacial lake burst through its dam in the early 1960s, causing widespread damage and partially destroying Punakha Dzong. Finally, it is a very long descent through thick rhododendron to Tarina valley, where you will find several good campsites along the Tang Chhu.Overnight Camp

Day 7: Tarina – Woche

Distance: 14kms

Duration: 5 – 6hrs

Altitude gain: 740ft/225m.

Altitude loss: Nil.

Campsite Altitude: 13,655ft / 4,163m.

The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper ridges of the Pho Chhu, passing some impressive waterfalls. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche, a settlement of a few houses, the first village in the Lunana region.Overnight Camp

Day 8: Woche – Lhedi 

Distance: 13kms

Duration: 5 – 6hrs

Altitude gain: 1650ft/503m.

Altitude loss: 2510ft/765m.

Campsite Altitude: 12,790ft/3900m.

The trek starts through juniper and fir forests, and further ahead, through rhododendron bushes. Climb up to Keche La pass (4,650m) where one can have the great view of surrounding mountains again. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through a village with a stunning view of Table Mountain and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi Village. Lhedi has a basic health unit, a school and a wireless telephone connection.Overnight Camp

Day 9: Lhedi – Thanza

Distance: 17kms

Duration: 6 – 7hrs

Altitude gain: 720ft /219m.

Altitude loss: Nil.

Campsite Altitude: 13,450ft/4100m.

 In clear weather, you will have great views of Table Mountain (7,100m).Around lunch time you will pass the small village of Chozo (4,090m) which has a dzong still in use. Reaching Thanza again you will have a great view of Table Mountain which forms a 3,000m high wall of snow and ice behind the village. Although there are possibilities to camp directly at Thanza, most groups prefer to camp in Thoencha.Overnight Camp

Day 10: Rest day at Thanza

Altitude: 4100m /13,450ft.

One can walk around or climb up the ridge for fascinating view of lakes and mountains.Overnight Camp

Day 11: Thanza – Djundji

Distance: 7kms

Duration: 4hrs

Altitude gain: 1640ft/500m.

Altitude loss: Nil.

Campsite Altitude: 14,890ft/4540m.

From Thoencha, the trail climbs up to a large boulder from where you will have excellent views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village and the surrounding mountains. After a few hours of relatively flat and easy walking, you will reach a yak meadow with some yak herders’ huts. It is an excellent campsite with a great chance to spot some blue sheep on the hills above. A trail junction near the campsite will give you the choice between the routes up to Gangkhar Puensum base camp, and further on to Bumthang or to Sephu (Trongsa). Both routes are described in this website.Overnight Camp

Day 12: Djundji – Tsho Chena

Distance: 9kms

Duration: 5hrs

Altitude gain: 2001/610m.

Altitude loss: 625ft/190m.

Campsite Altitude: 16272ft/4960m.

Having chosen the route to Sephu, the trek crosses the creek and after a long climb, you will reach Jaze La (5,150m) with spectacular panoramic mountain views. The path then descends between snow covered peaks and a couple of small lakes to the campsite near the Shore of Tshochena Lake.Overnight Camp

Day 13: Tsho Chena – Jichu Dramo

Distance: 19kms

Duration: 7 – 8hrs

Altitude gain: 605ft/85m.

Altitude loss: 280ft/85m.

Campsite Altitude: 16,595/5060m.

You follow the bank of the blue green lake before arriving at a ridge at 5,100m, where there is another spectacular view in all directions. After going up and down over small hills to reach a glacial lake, the route descends first before climbing again up the next pass, the Loju La (5,140m). Finally after crossing a small saddle (5,100m) you will enter a wide glacial valley from where the trail descends gradually to the campsite at Jichu Dramo.Overnight Camp

Day 14: Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo 

 Distance: 19.5kms

Duration: 8hrs

Altitude gain: 870ft/265m.

Altitude loss: 2870ft/875m.

Campsite Altitude: 15,910ft/4850m.

Right after leaving the camp you will climb through a moraine to Rinchen Zoe La (5,320m). Spectacular mountain scenery with Gangkhar Puensum amongst the impressive mountains is the reward for climbing the highest pass on this trek route and Rinchen Zoe Peak (5,650) towers above the pass the west. Descending from the pass, the route leads into a wide valley with several lakes and goes steeply down along a moraine to the Thamphe Chhu. Here the vegetation begins to thicken again and you will see the first real trees since Lhedi. After a couple of hours you reach the campsite at Chukarpo.Overnight Camp

Day 15: Chukarpo – Thampoe Tsho

Distance: 15kms

Duration: 5 – 6hrs

Altitude gain: 1000ft/305m.

Altitude loss: 1310ft/400m.

Campsite Altitude: 14,285ft/4355m.

The descent continues along the river till you reach the yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here the trail climbs steeply towards Thampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.Overnight Camp

Day 16: Thampoe Tsho – Maurothang

Distance: 21kms

Duration: 5 – 6hrs

Altitude gain: 1015ft/310m.

Altitude loss: 3165ft/965m.

Campsite Altitude: 12,130ft/3698m.

From the lake you climb steeply to the last pass on your trek, the Thampe La (4,600m) with a good chance to spot some blue sheep on the way. Then the path descends to the sacred lake Om Thso. Passing a waterfall you will reach another, smaller lake 100m below to descend steeply to the Nikka Chhu. The path finally leads through mixed forest to large clearing on the banks of the river with a few yak herder huts, Maurothang.Overnight Camp

Day 17: Maurothang – Sephu – Phobjikha

On the last day of this extraordinary trek the path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhu Bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores (mainly selling bamboo products) and small restaurants. You will be then transferred to your hotel

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