Difficulty Level :
Duration : 33 Days
Maximum Elevation : 5345 m
The Snowman Trek is a demanding trek for very healthy, fit and experienced trekkers. We will be trekking at an altitude between 3000 and 5345 meters for 26 days. Daily trekking times are between 4 and 10 hours. Patience, team spirit and flexibility are required at this trek.
From "Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World" by Kevin Grange: "Why is the Snowman trek considered so tough? Not only are trekkers hiking nearly 10 miles a day, they traverse 11 high-mountain passes, seven of them over 16,000 feet. In addition to the risks inherent on at times precarious trails and from unpredictable weather, the height of the mountain passes makes altitude sickness a very real - and potentially fatal - danger. More people have climbed Mount Everest than have completed the Snowman Trek, Fewer than 120 people a year attempt the trek; less than 50 percent finish. Or, as one of author Kevin Grange’s fellow trekkers put it, "Everybody cries at some point on the Snowman Trek."
We start trekking at Drugyel Dzong at 2580 m and walk along paddy fields, pass through villages, pine forests and along crystal clear streams and wild rivers, until we reach high pastureland, where we get the first view of the high peaks. During the 26 days we will cross over 13 passes (La), with Gophu La, being the highest with 5345 m. We will trek through uninhabited land, meet the occasional herdsman and spend some time with the friendly people in the settlements of Laya and Lunana.Our pack animals will be ponies, horses, donkeys and yak depending on our route and altitude. In low altitude we will be using ponies, donkeys and horses, whereas yaks are a must for the high passes. We have to be prepared for cold, heat, wind, snow and rain as well as for the crossing of several streams. The following trekking itinerary is designed to ensure that you will get enough time for the necessary acclimatisation during the first days of trekking and a pace, which allows you to fully enjoy your walk through the spectacular mountain scenery of Bhutan. There are two possible variations of the Snowman Trek. Both start from Drukyel Dzong in Paro. Variation one and ends in Nikka Chhu, near Trongsa. Variation two ends in Dur Village in Bumthang Valley.