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Your organisation was superb & the trek itself exceeded our expectations by miles!
John Potter (UK) | Everest Luxury Lodge, Nepal

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Is Lunana Snowman really one of the most difficult treks in the world?

Lunana Snowman has a reputation as one of the most difficult treks in the world, is this true and in practice how challenging is this trek?

Snowman trek is a long trek at 29 days and is our second longest trip after Kanchenjunga to Makalu GHT trek in Nepal. Of course being away on the trail and camping for this length of timing is tough as your cumulative tiredness builds up over a month although this may well be balanced out by your increase level of fitness!

On Snowman there are eight high mountain passes to cross however once you have got over the first two passes then you should have acclimatised to the high altitude making your body feel less tired up high.

It is worth pointing out that Snowman is a non-technical trek therefore mountaineering skills are not required to cross the passes. Of course the overall difficulty of this trek will depend on the conditions and weather experienced during the trek, if there is no snow on the passes (quite often this is the case in September/ October) then it will be much less strenuous than walking through deep snow (as experienced on Saga La in October 2013 following Cyclone Phailin). For this reason on our kit list we have included micro-crampons, trekking poles and gaiters in case there is deep snow or icey conditions.

The success rate of all groups attempting the Snowman trek is quite low although it is worth pointing out that The Mountain Company has 100% record so far. The reason for failure among other groups is less due to the strenuous nature of the trek and more to do with poor logistics and planning. The main logistical challenge is to have enough pack animals available to carry their luggage at the changeover points. Most groups will change their pack animals three or four times during the course of Snowman so having reliable contractors in place is very important.

There is no doubt Snowman is a tough and challenging trek however there are more technical (such as Makalu to Everest GHT) and longer treks (Kanchenjunga to Makalu GHT) in the Himalaya. The Snowman should be a suitable objective for fit hill walkers with previous experience of trekking at high altitude in Himalaya and for people who are happy to camp in the widerness for a month!

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