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Snowman Trek (Gangkhar Puensum Extension)

Type of Trip Adventure Treks
Duration of Trip 25 Days
Regions Covered Central, Western Bhutan
Good Season March, April, May, June, July, August, September

Day 1: Paro

Fly from Bangkok to Kingdom of Bhutan. On the flight, you can see breathtaking views of the Great Himalayas. Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be welcomed to the Kingdom by representative from Lakhor .

After lunch: Visit to Ta- Dzong. It was built in 17th century to protect the Paro Dzong. In 1968 it was turned to a National Museum of Bhutan.

Day 2: Paro Sightseeing. Altitude: 2250 M.

Early morning start from the hotel and drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong to see the view of Mt. Chomolhari (7315m). Drive back to Sartsam Chorten and walk up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger nest) viewpoint. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche, who brought Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, meditated here. The monastery was built later in the 17th century on the same site. In April 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the buildings and the religious contents. A complete restoration was done and as resulted built exact as original one. This place beholds the history of the hidden land. The walking time is approximately five hours. But depend on one’s pace.When we reach to main road turn to right and dive further to Drukgyel Dzong. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built it 1649. It was caught fire in 1951. On the way back we will visit one of the oldest monastery that we have in Bhutan. The first King of Tibet Songtsen Gampo built this Kichu Lhakhang in 7th century to diffuse Buddhism into our country.

Day 3: Paro – Punakha.

Drive to Punakha via the Dochula pass (3050 m), through magnificent forests of rhododendron and magnolia. From the pass one can see the panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas and enticing views. Check in and lunch at hotel. Enjoy the view of the Dzong, built in 1637 during the time of Shabdrung. The Dzong is now used as the winter residence of the Monk body and it is built in between the two Rivers, which is called Mo-Chu, and Po-Chu. “Means” (Female & Male) Camp Tashithang. Altitude 1,600m.

Day 4: Tashithang – Damji. Walking times. 5-6 hours.

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 Camp. Damji. Altitude 2250m.

Day 5: Damji – Gasa. Altitude 2,900m. Walking time 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 bathe for its curative powers. There are four pools, ranging from mild to hot to suit the temperature. Hot lunch will be served here. After lunch, 2 hours stiff climb to Gazing and camp below the Dzong.

Day 6: Gasa – Chamsa. Altitude 3650m. Walking time 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 stiff climb up to Bele la pass (3,700m) through bamboo and rhododendron to juniper and fir forests. The climb up to pass will take around 5 hours. The descend will be about half – hour to camp at Chamsa. Overnight Camp.

Day 7: Chamsa – Laya. Altitude: 3,800 m. Walking time: 8-9 hours.

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

Day 8: 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 evening cultural dance or show will be organized with local girls from Laya with campfire. Overnight Camp.

Day 9: Laya – Rhodophu. Altitude: 4350 m. Walking time: 8-9 hours.

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

Day 10: Rhodophu – Tarina. Altitude: 3980 m. walking time: 10-11 hours.

This is the longest day of the trip and therefore very essential to start very early. We start at 5 am by climbing to Tsimola (4,700 m). After crossing the first pass and at the little summit one can have a superb view of Lunana. Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey. 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, Tsende Gang, and Teri Gang can be seen. After the pass there is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Overnight Camp.

Day 11: Tarina -Wache. Altitude: 3800 m. walking time: 6-7 hrs.

The day is much easier as the path follows the river down valley. The lunch will serve at the lowest Point of today it is (3500 m). After lunch climb up about 300 meters to the village of Woche. Overnight Camp.

Day 12: Woche – Lhedi. Altitude: 3650 m.

The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron gushes. We climb up to Keche la pass (4,480 m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. After the pas, 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 Pho Chu, till Lhedi village.

Day 13: Lhed – Thanza. Walking time: 7-8 hours.

The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visit the Choejong Dzong and continue towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza. Overnight Camp. 4000m.

Day 14: Rest day at Thanza.

One can walk around or climb up the ridge to see the view of the lakes and mountains.

Day 15: Thanza – Tsorim. Walking time: 8-9 hours.

The trek starts with climb up to the ridge with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza valley below. The ridge altitude is 4,500 m and rises gradually up to 4,650 m near by the Foot Bridge. After lunch walk up towards the left side of the bridge enjoying the views of the snow peaked mountains. Climb up ridge after ridge until you reach the camp at Tsorim at the altitude of 5,150 m. Then down to the camp at 5125m.

Day 16: Tsorim – Gangkar Phuensum base camp. Walking times: 6-7 hors.

This is the highlight of the trip and we start the day with a short climb to the Tsorim lakes. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic views of the Gophula ranges. The last climb to Guphola pass (5,230 m) is very short. After the pass descend to the base camp walking along the ridge.Enjoy the great view of Gangkar Phuensum. Those with a lot of energy can divert to the left side to the left side to climb up the pyramid peak for better view, others can go down to the base camp nearby Sha Chu at the altitude of 4,970 m.

Day 17: Rest day at the base camp.

Enjoy the great view and hike glacier of Gangkar Phuensum.

Day 18: Base camp – Geshe Woma. Walking time 6-8 hours.

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 at the altitude of 4,200 m.

Day 19: Geshe Woma – Warathang. Walking times: 8-9 hours.

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 watch the top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch will be served by the side yak herder’s camp. After lunch climb up to Sakala pass at the altitude 4,800m. Descend to the lakes and another short ascent to Wartangle pass (4,590 m). The scenery once again is stunning with small lakes and the mountain peaks. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 4000m.

Day 20: Warthang – Dur Tsachu. Walking times: 5 hours.

A short half- hour climb to Juelela, (4400m). 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 this hot spring Overnight Camp.

Day 21: Dur Tsachu – Tshochenchen. Walking times: 8-9 hours.

Today we go across the last pass of the trip (Juelela pass). From the spring it is a long and steady climb again with great views of the mountains in Lunana. One comes across blue lakes and yak herders camps to arrive at the Thochechen. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 3,850 m.

Day 22: Tshochenchen – Dur Jakar.

This is the last day of the trek. Here we change from yak to pack ponies for carrying trekking gear. The path follows the Chamkhar Chu, descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when you arrive at Dur village. Then drive to Bumthang. Overnight.

Day 23: Jakar – Gangtey – Wangdi. Distance 193KM. Driving- 8 hours.

Gangtey Gomba was built in small hillock surrounded by the blue pine trees and it was found by the descended of Pema Lingpa. The great Bhutanese saint from Bumthang in 16th century and Nyimpa Monastery.At the end of 17th century it was enlarge once and at present it is headed by the 9th reincarnation called Gantey Trulku. At present it is under renovation and it is ring with family house of Gomchens (Lay man) who work and worship at monastery.Further down you will reach to Phobjikha valley. This place is reserved for the migration of black Neck Crane. The people out here has become friendly with the endanger species and every consecutive year starting from 2nd week of November to 1st week of April. The fields and marshes of this undisturbed valley is truly sight as you watch the cranes. Overnight Wangdue.

Day 24: Wangdue- via Thimphu- Paro. Distance-142Km. Driving-5Hours.

An early breakfast drive to Thimphu for our lunch, sightseeing and as well shopping for souvenirs. Visit Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, Changangkha Monastery and if it is Sunday. Visit Sunday market it is very interesting place to see as lot people gather to sell their things from Handicraft to vegetables. In an evening drive to Paro.

Day 25: Departure

Our representative will bid you a farewell and safe journey back home.


Tashi Delek!

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