Sunday, 22 December 2013

Trip report for Lunana Snowman led by Paul Burditt in September/ October 2013

Photo: view from Karchung La (Paul Burditt)
This is the fifth time The Mountain Company has successfully organised the Complete Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan starting in Paro and finishing in Bumthang. This year we had eleven trekkers signed up and like last year this group was made up with an international mix of people.

Our 2013 Snowman group was led by Paul Burditt and we had our regular Bhutanese trek crew on board again with Dawa as the Sirdar; Tashi & Tashi as guides and Tenzing working as the cook. In the end this group successfully made the full traverse from Paro to Bumthang in spite of poor weather as a result of Cyclone Phalin. 

Please click here for the detailed Trip Report on 2013 Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan published on The Mountain Company's blog

I have copied one of the testimonials below from one member of the group with his feedback on how the trek went:

“I really enjoyed the Snowman, despite the awful weather. It must be a very difficult logistical exercise to organise it but everything seemed to go really well. Paul made an excellent job of leading it and I was delighted to have been able to complete it, a real accomplishment. Dawa's organisation was excellent. Tulsi's personal collection and return to the airport in Kathmandu was first class. This is the type of trek which I revel in and I will be looking for something similar in future” Chris (UK)


The Mountain Company is planning to organise our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2014 (dates: September 21st to October 26th 2014), please get in touch soon if you are interested in joining this group.

Roland Hunter

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2013 is now guaranteed to run

Photo: Jitchu Drake
The Mountain Company's Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan during September/ October 2013 led by Paul Burditt is now guaranteed to run and there is currently availability.

The Mountain Company has a long track record of organising treks in Bhutan, our groups have successfully completed the Lunana Snowman trek in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012, please click here to read the Trip Reports from our previous Snowman treks

Please get in contact with us soon if you would like to join our Lunana Snowman group in 2013.

Roland Hunter
www.themountaincompany.co.uk

Friday, 11 January 2013

Trip Report for Lunana Snowman trek led by Almas Khan in September/ October '12

Photo: view from Tshorim Lake Camp

This is the fourth time The Mountain Company has successfully organised the Complete Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan starting in Paro and finishing in Bumthang. This year we had twelve trekkers signed up and like last year this group was an international mix with people coming from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy and Germany.

Our 2012 Snowman group was led by Almas Khan who is originally from India now living with his wife in Tasmania, Australia; Almas knows Bhutan very well and in particularly Lunana region having led groups here many times over the past 13 years.  For more information on Almas Khan

Overall our Snowman 2012 trek went very well with far better weather than our 2011 Snowman trek. This group made good progress and successfully traversed northern Bhutan crossing all of the passes to Bumthang.

For the detailed Trip Report on our 2012 Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan please click on link below to The Mountain Company’s blog:

Trip report for Lunana Snowman (Bhutan) led by Almas Khan in September/ October 2012

To get a further feel and understanding how our Snowman trek went I have copied below a testimonial from one member of this group which helps explains her experiences in more detail, we really appreciate receiving positive feedback like this and make all of the hard work getting this trek off the ground well worth while.

“I wanted to write and thank you for a truly spectacular trip on the Snowman Trek. I can honestly say this trek was one of the best organised, most efficient, well thought out treks that I have been on. Every staff member spoke very highly of your company, as did the guides and the many repeat guests for the Mountain Company that I met on the trek.

Almas is a fantastic team leader - I would follow him anywhere he went - he leads with authority, he is fair, hospitable, kind and generous to all, and his knowledge of the mountains and search and rescue means that guests can feel safe with him, no matter where they are. I cannot recommend him highly enough - without a doubt the best team leader that I have met on my treks so far - and I would go so far as to say that I would want him on any trek that I went on.

You must know that each and every one of the Bhutanese crew was a joy to work with. Every single one. Best crew ever. And if you pass messages on to Kinley, then Nima my guide for after the trek is a consummate gentleman and professional and made my trip to Bhutan a magical and enchanted experience.

I wanted to thank you for everything. From the outset, you have been extremely efficient and professional and your company has provided me with a once in a lifetime experience.” Alexis Fosler (Hong Kong)

The Mountain Company is planning to organise our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2013 (dates: September 21st to October 26th 2013), please get in touch soon if you are interested in joining this group.

Roland Hunter

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2012 is now guaranteed to run

Photo: Mount Jitchu Drake at 6,970m

The Mountain Company's Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan during September/ October 2012 led by Almas Khan is now guaranteed to run. Almas knows this trail well having completed Snowman trek three times including both Nikka Chu and Bumthang exit routes, for more information on Alma Khan’s background and experience

The Mountain Company has a long track record of organising treks in Bhutan, our groups have successfully completed complete the Lunana Snowman trek in 2006, 2008 and 2011. If you are interested in joining our Snowman 2012 I suggest you read our Trip Reports from previous Snowman treks.

Please get in contact with us soon if you would like to join our Lunana Snowman group in 2012.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Trip Report for Lunana Snowman trek led by Roland Hunter in September/ October '11

The Mountain Company organised our third successful 28 day Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2011.

Photo: Farmhouse in front of Mt Jitchu Drake

The Mountain Company only organises the complete Lunana Snowman trek from Paro to Bumthang whereas these days many other operators are walking the shorter 24 day version of the "Snowman" trek start in Punakha and others Lunana via the Nikka Chu valley. In fact in our group we had two people who had already done this shorter version of Snowman and came back again to Bhutan to do it properly! It was very interesting to hear their views on the differences between the two Snowman treks, they both confirmed that the longer Snowman to Bumthang is far better and this last section includes the best days of the entire trek such as Tshorim Lake, Gophu La, Phorang La & Saga La, Dur Tsachu hot springs and the Djule La pass.


Photo: lake below Kesha La

Our dates worked well as we experienced good weather throughout most of the trek however had some days of light snow towards the end and it is likely the high passes would have been blocked by winter snows shortly after our passage. In fact I recently heard from one person who trekked the Snowman with another group starting a week later and she explained how they had several tough days crossing Gophu la and other exit passes in blizzard conditions.


Photo: Lunap woman

In terms of logistics the crux for organising the Lunana Snowman trek is to arrange the animal transport in advance and work with reliable contractors. We had four changeovers of pack animals: first from Paro to Chomolhari BC; then to Laya; then to Thanza and finally at Dur Tsachu to Minchugang.

It is also important to consider whether to use yaks or horses, in fact these days more groups are relying on horse transport mainly because they are faster than yaks. However yaks are stronger and are able to cross high passes even if there is some snow that would make the trail impassable for horses. We decided to use horses on three sections of the trek and use yaks for the section from Thanza to Dur Tsachu where there are several high passes to cross.

Photo: women dancing in Laya

Lunana Snowman is one of the most challenging treks in Himalaya due to the logistics involved, it is also one of the most beautiful trek visiting a remote area rarely seen by other trekking groups especially if you follow the longer exit from Lunana to Bumthang. Of course Lunana Snowman is a long trek and expensive to join however it is a very special place to visit summarised well by Mark one of the members of our 2011 Lunana Snowman trek- see his comments below:

"The Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan was for me a dream fulfilled that transcended the magical. Yes - it was long and challenging but now indelibly etched on my mind as the most beautiful place I have been privileged to visit. The highlights were....Karchung La....the rest day in Thanza......Tshorim Lakes....Saga la (surprisingly for me)....simply stunning... and inevitably the Swiss Guest House! Superb leadership by Roland; a master logistician and outdoorsman.....an absolute gentleman." Mark Simmonds 2011 Lunana Snowman trek

Photo: on summit of Karchung la

I have copied links below to read more information on our Snowman 2011 on The Mountain Company’s blog:

Trip report for Lunana Snowman (Bhutan) led by Roland Hunter in September/ October 2011

Selected photos of Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan (September 2011)

Photo: our wonderful crew at end of trek

The Mountain Company is planning to organise our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2012 (dates: September 21st to October 26th 2012), please get in touch soon if you are interested in joining this group.

Roland Hunter

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Our Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2011 is now a confirmed departure

Photo: Taktsang monastery or Tiger's Nest

The Mountain Company's Lunana Snowman trek in Bhutan during September/ October 2011 led by Roland Hunter is now guaranteed to run. Roland knows the Snowman trek well having led a successful trek from from Paro to Bumthang in 2008. If you are interested in this trek I suggest you read our Trip Report from Snowman in 2008

The daily permit fees in Bhutan will rise by 25% in 2012 so if you are thinking of Lunana Snowman than you should think about doing this trek in 2011!

Please get in contact with us soon if you would like to join our Lunana Snowman group in 2011.

Roland Hunter

Friday, 1 October 2010

Roland Hunter confirmed to lead The Mountain Company's Lunana Snowman trek in September 2011

Photo: view from Karchung La on Snowman trek

Roland Hunter will lead The Mountain Company’s Lunana Snowman trek in September/ October 2011. Roland knows the trail well having led a successful Snowman trek in 2008 and is very much looking forward to returning with a group next year.

You might have seen recently the documentary by BBC Natural History Unit in Bhutan where they filmed snow leopard cubs and also tiger high up in the Himalaya for the first time. We will visit this area on our Snowman trek, for more information please take a look at The Mountain Company’s blog