Mapping the Snowman Trek I using Google Earth

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These days, you can do most work online, and I was able to do the Snowman Trek I on the Google Earth as well. When I wanted to look at the locations and routes of this trek, known as one of the toughest in the world, the first and most authentic source was the Tourism Council website. However, the website did not give most of the locations correctly. Many of the places after Thanza are clustered around this place. Then I came across a beautiful and very detailed trip report from a trekker who did this trek in the fall of 2019. I read his report and looked at his maps and traced the trail on Google Earth. In most places, the trail is clearly visible, even in the snowy sections. However, in some places there are some clouds during the image capture time by the satellite and in some places covered by dense forest and sometimes along riverbanks.

According to the Tourism Council website, this stretch of the Snowman Trek takes 25 days and passes through many high altitude lakes and passes. Two of the passes, namely Ganglakarchung La between Laya and Lunana and Rinchen Zoe La between Lunana and Sephu, are the most difficult on this trek. They are higher than 5000m and remain covered under snow most of the year.

This is a map showing the route marked on, but may not correspond exactly to the trek on the ground but through such interactive maps we can have a virtual tour of the trek.

2 thoughts on “Mapping the Snowman Trek I using Google Earth

    true_north said:
    January 25, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Greetings from true_north, a fellow WordPress blogger in Toronto, Canada! Thanks for your positive reference to my Bhutan trip report! Also, congratulations on completing your virtual Snowman Trek! It looks like Ramblin’ Boy and The Wandering Drukpa have some things in common!

    I don’t think that we will be over the COVID problem in time for the 2021 trekking season but hopefully in 2022 trekkers can return to Bhutan and the Himalayas to experience one of the world’s most amazing extended walks.

      Phuentsho responded:
      January 26, 2021 at 7:31 am

      Your trip report is very good. It is rare to see such a detailed report like yours. I read them all and in some places I made corrections to the names as someone pointed out the error in the names of the places. I hope we get over this pandemic soon to open our mountains to the tourists.

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