Crazy Little Snowman, 15 days

Ascending to the Nyile-la pass
For fast and furious!
  • Full experience of Bhutan trekking
  • For fast and hardy trekkers only
  • 3 passes, 3 totally different valleys
  • Beautiful views of many peaks
  • Pristine and original village Laya
  • Gasa hot springs at the end of trek
  • Sightseeing in Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue and Punakha
From: 
US$ 2570 / person ?
Dates: 
Flexible
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# Itinerary Program
1 Arrival to Paro Arrival by plane to Paro or crossing border from India in Phuntsholing/Jaigon and drive to Paro. Sightseeing subject to the arrival time.
2 Drive Paro – Gunitsawa Morning visit of Kyichu lhakhang, the temple built in 8th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Climb to Taktsang gompa (Tiger's Nest), most venerated and holy place in Bhutan overlooking valley from the steep cliff.  After lunch drive to Drukyel dzong. This used to be a place where the trek started before. See ruins of the old dzong (castle) and continue further to military camp of Gunitsawa on the new built road. Possibility to make detour to Lhadi Gompa just before military camp. First night camping just above military camp at the elevation of 2,890 m.
3 Trek Gunitsawa – Thangthangkha Distance 16 km, 7-8 hours, 770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m. On this long day there is a lot of up and downs, mostly through the forest along the Paro chhu river. Finally, you will reach to large chorten on the junction, where you will need take trail to the left. After about half hour, you will reach to Thangthangtha campsite. The place is equipped with dilapidated toilets, kitchen house and caretaker's dwelling. If weather permits, you might glimpse the first great view of Jomolhari, best photographed right from the toilets. Camp is cold and it gets dark early.
4 Trek Thangthangkha – Jangothang Distance 10 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m. If you did not see  Jomolhari peak in the evening, you still have a chance to get a great view this morning. The trek continues up the Paro chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. You will cross an army checkpoint along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you can enjoy most spectacular view of Jomolhari over the ruins of ancient temple or fortress.
5 Halt in Jangothang Today we will make beautiful acclimatization hike to Tshophu lakes in 4450 m altitude. Start going from camp further north along the few hamlets and then turn to the steep ascend towards the east. Finally, you will reach long deep valley hidden from below and see the two spectacular ice lakes hidden at it's bottom. Walk to the first or even second lake since it offers great views back towards the summits of Jomolhari I, Jomolhari II, and Jichu Drakye. Herds of blue sheep are also common sight. If you are strong, you can even continue to the Bonte-la pass (4850 m) but not further. The trail ultimately leads back to Gunitsawa after two days trekking (is so called Jomolhari Yaksa trek). After enjoying the views around the lakes, descend back to Jangothang and have a good rest, making yourself ready for the next day.
6 Trek Jangothang – Lingshi Distance 13 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m. This is one of the longest days of the trek. A short distance from the camp the trail begins climbing rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to the Nyilila pass at 4870 m. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings, while climbing. You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes. From the pass, you will have spectacular views of Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherim Kang peaks. It's a gradual and long descent to the camp. On clear days, you will be welcomed with the spectacular view of the Lingshi Dzong on the heap of the hill. Finally, descend to the valley. There are few suitable campsites here and your staff will select the most practical one given the actual conditions.
7 Trek Lingshi – Shakshepasa Distance 20 km, 8-9 hours, 950 m ascent, 1100 m descent, camp altitude 3980 m. Today is quite hard walking day and you should start early. Shortly after starting you will reach a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. Small village inhabited by yak herders is here. After Lingshi Dzong, you will be passing through the villages of Lingshi and Goyul. In Goyul, the stone houses are clustered together to form a small compact village that is unusual in Bhutan where settlements are usually scattered. After reaching the campsite at Chebisa, you will start with a long ascent through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La pass. On the way, you will see a few people herding yaks. There is also chance to spot large herds of blue sheep above the trail. After crossing Gobu La (4410 m), you will descend to the valley, climb again a bit, before descending again to Shakshepasa (3980 m), a large flat valley, where you will be camping. Sun rises soon so expect cold in the nigh.
8 Trek Shakshepasa – Robluthang Distance 14 km, 5-6 hours, 800 m ascent, 760 m descent, camp altitude 4,160 m. You begin by climbing up the valley to view Kang Bum (6,526 m) and some edelweiss. After three hours of climbing you will reach Jhari La (4,750m), from where you catch the first glimpse of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the day after. The big snow peak in the north is Gangchhenta 6,840 m, better known as the Great Tiger Mountain. If weather is clear, Tserim Kang and the top of Jomolhari will be visible. As the day trek is short, you might like to make climb to Jhari Peak adjacent to the pass in elevation of 4935m for better views. Round trip will take you little bit over one hour extra. Descend to the camp by the river which is called Tsheri Jathang, located in a beautiful wide valley. Herds of takin, the Bhutanese National Animal, migrate to this valley in summer and remain for about four months. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary. Climb up a little bit and you will finally reach the campsite at Robluthang on a rocky meadow.
9 Trek Robluthang – Limithang Distance 13 km, 6-7 hours, 850 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4140 m. The trek starts out with an initial 40-60mins ascent before gradually raising for another one and half hours through the boulder field. It is then about one hour steep ascent before reaching Sinche La (5005m) – the final and highest pass on the trek. As you descend the far side of the pass you will see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. You can see classic examples of lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks up both sides of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu creek and soon reach the Limithang campsite. The peak of Gangchhenta towers over the campsite even though it’s quite a distance away.
10 Trek Limithang – Laya Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, 60 m ascent, 350 m descent, camp altitude 3840 m. Today, you walk downhill all the way along the narrow, winding river valley. After a quite few days, the trail takes you through densely forested region finally reaching the west side of Laya village from where you will have spectacular views of Gangchhenta and Masagang peaks. In the village center, there is a community school and basic health care unit. The campsite is located below the school. Explore the village and visit of the traditional local farmhouse. Inhabitants of the village belongs to distinctive tribe called Layap. Their women wear original conical bamboo hats decorated with color beads. In some welcoming house, you might taste local spirit called “ara” or other delicacies.
11 Trek Laya – Gasa Tsachu Distance 24 km, 8-9 hours, 980 m ascent, 1070 m descent. This will be quite difficult day. The trail winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles and with views of the raging river, feeder streams and waterfalls. Lot of ups and downs will lead you to the large stream of Koina Chhu, where you will find the campsite of Koina. Here the last tiring ascent to reach the road starts. The trail goes through ancient forest where the road is now being built. Finally you will reach to the end of motorable road where the jeeps will be waiting. These will take you down to Gasa Tshachu, the famous hotsprings. Enjoy the hot water, after a tiring trek!
12 Gasa Tsachu – Punakha / Wangdue This the end of the trek. Pack your things and start drive from Gasa to Wangdue. Accommodation in hotel and spend time in leisure. Visit town and celebrate the trek successful conclusion!
13 Punakha / Wangdue – Thimphu Sightseeing in Wangdue. Climb to Khamsum lahkahang with great views. Then visit to Punakha dzong, one of the most beautiful castles in Bhutan. Chimmy lhakhang, temple dedicated to famous divine madman who was spreading Buddhism by rampant sexual behaviour. Transfer to Thimphu over Dochu-la pass (3.015 m). In good weather we can have nice views here. Druk Wangyel lhakhang dedicated to 4th king of Bhutan also makes nice sight.
14 Thimphu – Paro Early morning drive to Buddha Dordenma, the gigantic statue of Buddha overlooking the valley and walk to striking city viewpoint. See Memorial Chorten, always busy with devotees. Walk in Norzin lam street and see the traffic police signaling in junctions. Thimphu is only capital in the world without the traffic lights. Finish walk at handicraft market where many interesting Bhutanese souvenirs can be seen and bought for reasonable price. Visit hand paper factory a Thangkha painting centre, where young artists learns the skills of their forefathers. After that drive to Changankha lhakhang, the oldest place of worship in the valley. Visit of Tashicho dzong, the castle, which serves as seat of the king and government. Evening drive to Paro.
15 Departure from Bhutan  
Tour variants, extensions and combinations: 
  • No rest after the trek (-1 days): You can reduce one more day by going directly form Gasa to Thimphu on day #12.
  • Consider easier trek version (+ up to 4 days): See standard Little Snowman Trek, 19 days trek itinerary for more leisurely planned trekking.