The Snowman Trek
Bhutan & Nepal, Trek & Walk, 32 days - from £5,195 (land only) - from €7,015 (land only) - from $8,270 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.
Day 2: We transfer to the airport and take the short flight to Bhutan's only international airport, at Paro. Here we are met by our Bhutanese guide and we make the 1.5 hour drive to the capital Thimpu. If there is time after checking into our hotel, we can make our way to the Tashichhodzong to watch the opening day of festival.
Day 3: This is the main day of the Thimpu Tsechu with many masked dances in the courtyard of the Tachichhodzong. We have a full day at the festival, watching the dances and participating in the fun. Afterwards we have a second night at our hotel in Thimpu.
Day 4: We make the return drive to Paro and continue beyond the town for 15 minutes to the ruined Drugyel Dzong. Here we transfer to 4X4 vehicles and follow a rough track beside the Paro river for around 2 hours to the road-head at Shana. Now we can stretch our legs with a walk of 2 - 3 hours to our first campsite (3200m).
Day 5: We follow the river through lovely mixed forest on an undulating trail. At a junction of 2 valleys, we turn north towards Chomolhari which is now visible and in a further 30 minutes, we reach our camp at Soi Thangka. (3610m).
Day 6: We continue our trek towards Chomolhari, passing a small herding camp and entering more open country with grazing yaks. Camp at the meadow of Jangothang (4040m / 13,255ft).
Day 7: A day for exploration above our camp at Jangothang. Even better views of Chomolhari and of Jitchu Drake's dramatic spire can be gained by walking above this camp.
Day 8: Great views during today's long trek, as we cross the prayer-flagged Nyele La and descend on a long pine forested ridge to a riverside camp below Lingshi Dzong.
Day 9: After a morning visit to Lingshi Dzong, we follow a traversing path with views of the Basingthang peaks, then descend via the picturesque village of Gang Yul to Chebisa.
Day 10: The day starts with a long climb to the Gobu La, then a descent to the river and a delightful afternoon's trek through juniper and silver birch woodland to Somothang.
Day 11: An early start for the ascent to the Jhari La (4720m) for superb views of the 7000 metre peak, Kang Che Da. We then descend to another river and camp at Robluthang.
Day 12: Following a well marked yak herders trail, we climb to the Shinge La (4900m / 16,075ft) then drop down once again to the meadow camp at Limithang.
Day 13: A shorter day on an undulating trail through woodland, before a gradual ascent to the village of Laya where we should arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is free to rest and explore this fascinating village.
Day 14: From Laya we first descend to the Mo Chu river and follow this downstream to a side trail which climbs to a yak herders hut at Rodophu, just above the tree line at approximately 4160 metres. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Day 15: We make a steady climb to the Tsome La.(4900m.) where we have superb views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake, and the peaks of the Tibetan border. Our route crosses a high barren plateau to a camp at Narethang (4900m), the only site available before the Karakachu La. 6 to 7 hours walking.
Day 16: We make an early start for a big day across the Karakachu La (5080m). We are treated to more fantastic mountain views from the summit and then we make a long descent to the valley and follow the stream to the campsite known as Tarina (3980m/13,050ft). 7 - 8 hours walking.
Day 17: Trekking down valley, we take lunch beside the river at the turn off to Woche Village. A modest climb in the afternoon leads to this rarely visited settlement. Camp at 3970m. 6 hours walking.
Day 18: Trek through forest and fine open country to the Keche La (4650m.) then descend via several settlements to Lhedi (3700m), a string of houses above the Po Chu. 7 hours walking.
Day 19: Riverside trekking leads to the ancient Chotse Dzong, which we can visit, before continuing across a low pass to the village of Thanza (4150m.). 6 hours walking.
Day 20: A rest day at Thanza, with lots of scope for photography and exploration. Hike up to the lakes above Thanza, for impressive views of Table Mountain.
Day 21: A steep climb away from Thanza, with good views back the way we have come. We make camp at Danji (4230m.) where there are some Yak herders huts in a meadow. 3 - 4 hours walking.
Day 22: There is an opportunity to make an optional ascent to the Gophu La (5230m), for sensational views of Gangkar Puensum (7570m.), the world's highest unclimbed peak. We spend a second night at Danji. 9 - 10 hours walking.
Day 23: Beginning our walk out from Lunana we climb to the Jaze La (5150m.) for more panoramic mountain views before descending past two small blue lakes to the larger Tsochena Lake where we camp (5050m). 5 - 6 hours walking.
Day 24: A simply stunning day of walking crossing several small passes (c. 5100m.) and passing more glacial lakes to reach our campsite at Jichu Dramo (5050m). 5 - 6 hours.
Day 25: Today we cross the highest pass of our route, the Rinchen Zoe La (5320m). From the top we are treated to a superb Himalayan Panorama. We now descend a wide lake-filled valley and below the last lake we enter the tree line for the first time since Lhedi. In another couple of hours we arrive at our camp at Chukarpo (4600m). 7 - 8 hours.
Day 26: We continue our descent, following the river to yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here we climb steeply to Tampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake where we make camp (4300m). 7 - 8 hours.
Day 27: Today we cross the last pass of the trek, the Thampe La (4,600m) and descend to the sacred lake Om Tsho. A waterfall leads to a second lake and we then descend steeply through mixed forest to a camp on the banks of the Nikka Chu known as Maurothang (3610m). 4 - 5 hours walking.
Day 28: On our final day of trekking we will need to swap from Yaks to horses as we will now be dropping down below 3000 metres. The trail follows the river to Sephu where we meet the road and our waiting vehicles. After saying goodbye to our crew we drive for approximately one hour across the Pele La to the Phobjikha valley where we check into a hotel. 5 - 6 hours walking.
Day 29: We drive via Punakha Dzong and across the Dochu La to Thimpu, where we check in at a hotel.
Day 30: We drive to our hotel in the Paro Valley, then have time for sightseeing, including the hike up to the cliff side Taktang Monastery.
Day 31: We take the flight to Kathmandu and transfer to the group hotel. We have a guided sightseeing tour of the city in the afternoon.
Day 32: KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.