Lunana Snowman
Bhutan

Lunana valley
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Strenuous
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: International Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 5 - 14 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 19 Apr 2021

Details

Lunana Snowman trek is a long and challenging trek travelling over numerous high passes into and out of remote region of Lunana in northern Bhutan along border with Tibet

Lunana Snowman is a 29 day trek crossing the north of Bhutan along the border with Tibet covering 356km and crossing eight Himalayan mountain passes over 4,000m and three over 5,000m. The Mountain Company has 100% track record of organising Lunana Snowman in Bhutan with our groups having successfully completed this trek on ten previous occasions.

Very few westerners have ever visited the remote district of Lunana due to its inaccessibility; one can only get in and out by crossing mountain passes over 5,000m that are frequently blocked by snow. Our itinerary completes the full journey starting in Paro and finishing near Bumthang.

At the start of the trip we organise a visit to Haa valley for two nights in order to help essential acclimatisation before the trek. This valley offers wonderful scenic walk along trails passing through traditional villages and magnificent monasteries. This is a beautiful area adorned with pristine alpine forests and still remains one of the least visited areas in the country.

The mountain views throughout this trek are spectacular with many peaks along the Bhutan and Tibet border un-named and un-mapped, you will see several mountains over 7,000m such as Chomolhari and Gangkar Punsum the world’s highest unclimbed mountain.

  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists and we have been operating trips in Bhutan for many years. Roland Hunter, owner and founder of The Mountain Company, has modified this itinerary based on his first-hand experience of the Lunana region.
  • The Mountain Company has organised ten successful Lunana Snowman treks. For more information on how these treks went please take a look at our Trip Reports.
  • We work with some of the best mountain leaders and guides with deep knowledge and experience of the Himalaya and Karakoram. Unlike many other operators we still allocate appropriately trained international leaders for more remote and technical trips like Lunana Snowman.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Lunana Snowman where our overall holiday rating is 100%. Our approach to organising trips in the Himalayas has helped The Mountain Company win awards such as 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year and 2015 Bronze Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year.
  • Our Lunana Snowman itinerary has been designed based on this first-hand experience which is the best in terms of acclimatisation, safety and enjoyment. Unlike most other Snowman itineraries we now include one night in Paro and two nights in Haa Valley before starting the trek for essential acclimatisation
  • We have chosen the optimal times of year to complete this trek in Spring and Autumn seasons. If one starts later in Autumn/ Fall or earlier in Spring season there is a high chance of the passes into and out of Lunana being blocked with winter snows.
  • The Mountain Company will receive bespoke weather forecasts for the Lunana region from EverestWeather.com and from our in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Bhutan. It is essential for your guide to have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety. We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location on to Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • There will be a range of tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. We give everyone in the group one chocolate or muesli bar per day (Mars, Twix, Bounty etc) and also provide biscuits at tea time. For breakfast every morning we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.
  • We bring a comprehensive first aid kit plus high altitude medicine, antibiotics and other medicines. There will also be a portable altitude chamber (PAC or Gamow bag).
  • Pre trip support will be given by our Operations team with first hand knowledge of Lunana Snowman trek.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrive in Paro

Sightseeing in Paro

Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Olathang in Paro

You will be met on arrival at Paro airport and driven back to the hotel. Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick-up and transfer.  A full trek briefing will be given in the afternoon. Later on we will organise sightseeing tour to explore Paro, change money at the bank, visit Paro Dzong and the National museum.

Walking for 9km (4 hours)

Drive to Haa Valley (2 1/2 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Risum Resort in Haa Valley

After breakfast we will organise a walk up to the Taktsang monastery known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to walk through pine forest and up to the monastery perched on a cliff overlooking the valley.

After our visit to Taktsang we drive to the Chele La pass and on a clear day there is a view of Mount Chomolhari to the north. Haa Valley is a beautiful area adorned with pristine alpine forests and remains one of the least visited areas in the country. The valley offers wonderful scenic walk along trails passing through beautiful villages and magnificent monasteries.

Day walk in Haa Valley

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Risum Resort in Haa Valley

Today there are a number of options for day walks in Haa valley. Most likely we will walk through the lower village of Lechuna and continue down to the Haa Chhu (river) before crossing a wooden bridge. From here we walk up through forest up to the Jamte Gompa. After visiting the 300 year old monastery currently undergoing renovation after suffering earthquake damage we descend to Chumpa bridge and to Chuma village.

Drive to Paro and onto Shana Camp

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We leave Haa valley and drive up to Chele La where we stop and walk along the ridge for acclimatisation. If we are lucky we will get the views again of Mount Chomolhari to the north. From the pass we drive down to Paro and then we continue past Drugyel Dzong and along a jeep track to Shana. At Shana we meet the trek crew and spend our first night in the tents before starting the trek tomorrow.

Walking for 9km (6 to 7 hours)

Walking ascent 895m

Walking descent 175m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

From Shana camp the trail continues through rhododendron and blue pine forests. The trail is normally quite muddy in places so it is a good idea to use trekking poles and to wear gaiters. Tonight we camp in a clearing in the forest at Soi Thangthanka.

Walking for 13km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 530m

Walking descent 65m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an hour or so from camp we leave the forest as we climb above the tree line into a beautiful valley. Arriving at Chomolhari Base Camp there is a superb view of Mt Chomolhari next the ruins of an old Dzong that used to guard Bhutan against invasions from Tibet.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

In order to help the acclimatisation process it is a good idea to go for a walk in the morning to higher altitude (“climb high, sleep low”). There are a number of options for a morning walk including walking up a ridge to the north for good views of Mt Jichu Drake or to walk to the twin lakes at Tsho Phu (4,350m). This is a holy lake where fishing, swimming or throwing stones is not permitted according to Buddhist beliefs.

Walking for 13km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 835m

Walking descent 830m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we cross the first of the major passes, the Nyile La pass at 4,890m. It is a steady ascent to the pass on a good trail. There are views of Mt Takaphu (6,526m) to the north and Tiger Mountain to the east.

Walking for 10km (4 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 360m

Walking descent 495m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After breakfast we will visit the Dzong and then carry on to Lingshi village. On leaving Lingshi the trail contours high above the valley passing through hillsides covered with medicinal plants and flowers. After passing a ridge covered with prayer flags, we descend into a side valley to a beautiful village called Goyok. Another hour further we arrive to Chebisa village located in a valley with a waterfall.

Walking for 14km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 670m

Walking descent 550m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After crossing the Gombu La we descend through a hillside of rhododendrons to Shomuthang where we camp for the night.

Walking for 14km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 1,000m

Walking descent 800m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After an early start we climb towards the Jhare La pass where there are good views of Tiger Mountain, Mt Jitchu Drake, Takaphu and Kang Bum. Descending from the pass we arrive to Tsharijathang where herds of Takin (national animal of Bhutan) can be seen at certain times of the year.

Walking for 12.5km (7 hours)

Walking ascent 900m

Walking descent 860m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After a long climb of 4 hours to the Shinge La at 5,000m we are rewarded with stunning views of mountains, including the spectacular Tiger Mountain at the head of the valley. In 2011 a new Buddhist chorten was constructed on the summit of Shinge La. On the descent from pass we walk next a terminal moraine and glacial lake located above Limithang camp.

Walking for 10.5km (4 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 280m

Walking descent 560m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today we walk through forest alongside the river to Laya the largest village on the trek. Layap women wear distinctive conical bamboo hats with turquoise and jade jewellery.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today you can explore the village and possible get the chance to watch archery later in the afternoon.  There is also a walk to a view point above Laya at 4,200m with superb views of Masagang mountain.

Walking for 15km (7 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 1,100m

Walking descent 660m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail descends from Laya to the army post at Taksaka from here we turn to the east towards Lunana. We camp at Rodophu for the night.

Walking for 9km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 895m

Walking descent 175m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

After a steep climb out of Roduphu camp the trail then steepens on the approach Tsemo La. Narethang camp is in a very remote area with superb views of Gangla Karchung towering above.

Walking for 12km (7 to 8 hours)

Walking ascent 350m

Walking descent 1,200m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The climb to Karchung La takes 1 ½ hours and on the summit of pass you will be rewarded with superb views of Jejekangphu Gang (7,300m) and Tsenda Kang (7,100m).  There is a beautiful place for lunch with views of the glacial lakes to the peaks north of Lunana and down to the valley below. From here there is a steep and often muddy path through rhododendrons to Tarina camp. In October 2008 members of our group saw a Himalayan black bear and cub near Tarina.

Walking for 10.5km (5 hours)

Walking ascent 370m

Walking descent 400m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail follows the Pho Chhu river through pine forest and past several spectacular waterfalls. There is then a steady climb over a ridge to the village of Woche, we camp an hour further at the base of the Keshe La.

Walking for 12km (6 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 850m

Walking descent 1,050m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

There is a steep climb for 2 hours to Keshe La, on the way we pass a beautiful green coloured lake. There are prayer flags and cairns on the pass and from here it is a steep descent to Tega village. The trail contours high above East Pho Chhu and continues to Lhedi village where we camp for the night.

Walking for 24km (6 to 7 hours)

Walking ascent 725m

Walking descent 250m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail continues gradually uphill following the East Pho Chhu to Chozo village. It is very likely that you will have to cross the river 1 hour from Lhedi as the bridge has been washed out. The erosion scar from Glacial Lake Outflow Flood (“GLOF”) is still seen by erosion scars on side of the valleys. The Lunana valley opens out into a classic U shape on the approach to Thanza village.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today there is an optional morning walk to the glacial lake above Thanza or you can relax in camp and explore the village. The Lunaps make good money picking Cordyceps Sinesis ("caterpillar fungus") over the summer months, these are sold to the Chinese as herbal medicine and is worth more than per kg than gold.

Walking for 5km (3 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 600m

Walking descent 90m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today is a shorter walk to Danje where we camp for the night. It is important for acclimatising to spend the night here rather than continuing on to Tshorim. 

Walking for 14km (6 hours)

Walking ascent 845m

Walking descent 150m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

We continue up the valley towards Tshorim and camp by the lake where the views are sensational.

Walking for 9km (5 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 300m

Walking descent 650m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

A classic  day as we cross the Gophu La and shortly after see the highest mountain in Bhutan, Gangkar Punsum, at 7,541m. It takes only an hour to walk to the pass from Tshorim lake camp. From the pass we descend past two lakes and cross several moraines with view of a broken and crevassed glacier. We walk along a lateral moraine to the main valley we follow the river to the camp at Geche Woma.

Walking for 10km (4 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 90m

Walking descent 600m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail follows the Sasha Chuu valley to a yak herders camp at Mischugang below the Phorang La. We stay on left side of valley passing a number of empty yak herders’ huts as by this time of year have moved their herds to a lower altitude.

Walking for 9km (6 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 865m

Walking descent 570m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

There is a steep climb on grassy slopes to the Phorang La, from the pass there is a 50m descent to the yak herders’ huts at Phorang. Shortly after you see a lake surrounded by peaks and the steep trail winding its way to the Saga La. There is a superb view from the Saga La, then the trail descends to a grassy plateau past two lakes and shortly after a short climb to the Worithang La. The camp at Worithang is next to several yak herders’ huts with Nephu La visible behind the camp.

Walking for 7.5km (4 1/2 hours)

Walking ascent 220m

Walking descent 1,385m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

There is a short walk to the Nephu La and then a long descent through forest to Dur Tsachu. The hot springs are well worth visiting in the afternoon for a soak.

Walking for 13km (8 hours)

Walking ascent (1,600m)

Walking descent 960m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Today is a tough day as we climb 1000m to the Gongto La, descend to the lake and then head up again to the Djule La. In October 2008 the group saw over 40 Blue Sheep on the slopes above the lake. Tso Chen Chen is a yak herder’s camp and we pitch our tents nearby.

Walking for 14km (6 hours walking)

Walking ascent 255m

Walking descent 970m

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

The trail descends through forest and further down bamboo stands. An hour before Gorsum we cross the bridge and walk up a very muddy trail to the camp located in a grassy meadow.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Camping

Walking for 9.5km (4 hours)

Walking ascent 160m

Walking descent 590m

Drive to Bumthang (45 minutes)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Swiss Guesthouse in Bumthang

After a short trek to the road head at Minchugang we drive to Jakar and check into our hotel. In the afternoon we can visit the Dzong and monasteries then walk around Jakar township.

Drive to Punakha (8 hours driving)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Meri Puensum in Punakha

From Bumthang we drive over Yotong La and to Tongsa, from here the road climbs to Pele La and descends to Punakha where we spend the night.

Drive to Thimphu (3 hours driving)

Sightseeing in Thimphu

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Gyelsa Boutique Inn in Thimphu

After breakfast we make the short drive to Punakha where we visit the Dzong. There is a long climb to Dochu La where there is superb view of the Himalayas including Gangkar Punsum, from the pass the road descends to Thimphu. After checking into the hotel you have the afternoon to explore the town centre of Thimphu with a wide range shops, restaurants and cafes.

Flight back

Breakfast

Transfers to Paro airport for flights back home.

Dates & Prices

We provide an early bird discount for the first people paying their deposits to make up our minimum group size

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 19 Apr 2021 to 22 May 2021 Trip Leader Almas Khan Price US$8,795pp
US$8,595pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$395pp / US$550pp
Availability 2 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now
Dates 20 Sep 2021 to 23 Oct 2021 Trip Leader Natalie Wilson Price US$8,795pp
US$8,595pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$395pp / US$550pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now

2022

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 25 Apr 2022 to 28 May 2022 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$8,795pp
US$8,595pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$395pp / US$550pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now
Dates 19 Sep 2022 to 22 Oct 2020 Trip Leader International Leader Price US$8,795pp
US$8,595pp
Single Supplement:
Room/Tent
US$395pp / US$550pp
Availability 5 Left to Guarantee
Early Bird Discount
Book Now

For private and bespoke trip, please contact us

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What's Included

  • All transfers including airport collections in Paro.
  • Twin share hotels while in Bhutan.
  • All meals included while in Bhutan.  
  • Twin share tents while on trek.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, Western & Bhutanese guide, pack animals and cook.
  • Bespoke weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Two Thuraya satellite phones for organising logistics and medical evacuations, it can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • We use GPS on Thuraya satellite phone to upload daily your location onto Google Maps so your friends and family can track your progress during the trek.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone and face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send you our comprehensive "Bhutan Pre Trip Information" notes.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Paro.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • Personal clothing & equipment please see Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips (we recommend you budget £170, US$220 or €195 for local crew).
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Accommodation

Hotel Olathang in Paro

Hotel Olathang is located amidst 28 acres of blue pine forest on a hill overlooking Paro valley. This hotel is designed in traditional Bhutanese style and was established in 1974 for the guests invited to the coronation of the Fourth King of Bhutan.

There are 28 rooms with attached bathroom and the cottages have an outdoor deck with chairs. There is a restaurant and bar in the main building and other facilities include a spa and a traditional hot stone bath.


Swiss Guesthouse in Bumthang

Swiss Guesthouse is located above Jakar with good views over the valley. This property was originally a farmhouse once the residence of the famous "Karsumphe Angye", the older sister of the first King of Bhutan.

There are now two traditional Bhutanese buildings set amidst an apple orchard. The Swiss Guesthouse was set up by a Swiss- Bhutanese cheese maker and is well known for its Swiss dishes such as Fondue and Raclette. The restaurant and has a bar serving Red Panda beer (a traditional wheat beer brewed in Bumthang). The rooms are cosy and simple with attached bathrooms and a wood-burning stove (bukhari) for heating.


Hotel Meri Puensum in Punakha

Hotel Meri Puensum is located above Punakha with good views down to the river and valley below. This property is family owned and was one of the first hotels in Punakha.

The rooms have attached bathroom and are simple yet functional. Some of the rooms have balconies overlooking the valley. There is a restaurant serving Bhutanese, Indian and Chinese with most meals are served as a buffet.


Gyelsa Boutique Inn in Thimphu

Gyelsa Boutique Inn is a family-run hotel located in the centre of Thimphu city and within walking distance of the restaurants, cafes and shops of the largest city in Bhutan.

The hotel has 6 suites and 12 twin rooms where the furniture is carved out of Himalayan wood and made in Bhutan. Every room has access to high speed wireless internet connectivity. Other facilities include a restaurant, bar and café.


Camping in Bhutan

We use A frame tents in Bhutan, these sturdy tents work well with the conditions often experienced in Bhutan and are waterproof plus have ample head room inside.

Practical Information

A Typical Day On Camping Trek

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the assistant guides. Before heading over to the mess tent for breakfast you will pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the tents will be packed away and, after the porters have arranged their loads, they will set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, probably between 7am and 8am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around 11am at a spot by the side of the trail and is prepared for us by the cooks.


There is more walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid afternoon with the tents already put up by the local staff. In the evening a three course meal is served in the mess tent around 6-7pm. After supper the international leader will discuss the plan for the next day with the group. People might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events for a while before retiring to their tent for the night.

While on the trek, the cook will provide good quality food in sufficient quantities.  For breakfast you are likely to get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis, omelettes and a range of hot drinks. For our camping treks in Nepal we provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine. On arrival to camp in the afternoon you will be given tea and biscuits and a three course meal will follow later in the evening.

Communications

We bring a Thuraya satellite phone for logistical, safety and personal use. Personal calls charged at £4 (US$5 or €4.50) per minute and £2 (US$3 €4.50) to send and receive SMS text.

Clothing and Equipment List for Lunana Snowman

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Lunana Snowman trek. Your gear will be checked by the group leader in Paro prior to departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. During the first couple of days on Lunana Snowman trek you are likely to experience rainy and muddy conditions. You will experience the coldest temperatures in Narethang Camp (altitude of 4,900m) and Tshorim Lake (altitude of 5,250m) where overnight lows will be down to around -15˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kgThe rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a pack animal. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 18kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek. Important note: it is not possible to purchase any decent quality trekking gear in Bhutan therefore it is essential everyone arrives to Paro at start of the trip with all of the right kit as per this list.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.  Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek. Over the years of organising treks in Bhutan we have had several boots fall apart so it is essential you also bring trail shoes as a backup.
  • Trail shoes. Can be used around camp and as a replacement if your walking boots fall apart!
  • Sandals. fully enclosed sandals are best to protect your feet during river crossings. These are required for river crossings as well as two trekking poles.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak) Minimum two.
  • Soft Shell Trousers.
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton). Minimum two.
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Fleece or synthetic pants. To be worn around the lodge or added as an additional layer when the temperatures start to drop higher up.
  • Medium weight down jacket.

Heads and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves.
  • Warms mittens and/or gloves.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Headtorch.  Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated and should have side protection or wraparound design to prevent light getting through to your eyes that could cause sun blindness.

For crossing the passes

  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail, river crossings and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Kahtoola Microspikes or YakTrax Summits. These are for your safety and security when descending passes if snowy or icy conditions.  These are not crampons - they can be fitted directly to your walking boots.
  • Gaiters. A pair of knee high gaiters used to keep boots dry if walking through deep snow or on wet ground.

Personal equipment

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows will be around -15℃.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg.Thermarest).
  • Daypack. Recommended size is 40 litres or larger as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing as well as climbing gear and down jacket. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).  You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have 2 water bottles.
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, ipod and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. We suggest you keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffle bag for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). A rugged, waterproof duffle bag made of a plastic material 100-120 litres in size is recommended eg. Mountain Equipment 100l or Rab 120l. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletry bag, soap, travel towel, toothbrush, travel wash etc. You will be provided with toilet paper on trek.

Personal first aid kit

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

Threat and risk assessment for Lunana Snowman

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Lunana Snowman trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Lunana Snowman we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Lunana Snowman is available to clients on request. For your information we have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping eg. Tshorim Lake at 5,000m.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Snow and ice avalanches ie. While crossing high passes.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accident.
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Weather and climate for Lunana Snowman

The timing of Lunana Snowman trek is very important in order to increase the chances of successfully completing the journey. The optimal time in Autumn season is to start the trek is towards the end of September when the monsoon should be winding down which places the group in Lunana around mid October hopefully before the winter snows block the exit passes.

We have used the same Autumn dates for our Lunana Snowman with our previous eleven treks since 2008 and we have 100% success rate in completing this trek. Having said this each year the monsoon finishes at different times of the year. Sometimes there will be cloud and rain during the first section of the trek to Laya village whereas most years the weather clears after arrival to Chomolhari Base Camp. Lunana Snowman is a remote Himalayan trek and you should be prepared for a range of conditions and weather throughout the trek.

This trek will have a wide range of temperatures depending on the altitude and the time of day.  In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool, normally around 5˚C, and during the day temperatures sometimes rise to 25˚C.  At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15˚C to -20˚C.

The traditional trekking seasons in Bhutan are late September to November and March to May with October generally recognised as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. 

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US$8595.00

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