His Majesty The King began a 6-day trek to Lunana from Laya, in Gasa Dzongkhag, on 20 October following the route that is internationally known as the Snowman Trek.
In Laya, His Majesty graced the inaugural edition Royal Highland Festival, which was held from 16-18 October. The festival saw the participation of all the highland communities of Bhutan at the picturesque highland village.
His Majesty also visited the village lhakhang, school, and the homes scattered over the village to meet the people.
Lunana, at an average altitude of 4,200 metres above sea level, is a sparsely populated area in Bhutan. It is reached after an extremely difficult trek over the Gangla Karchung pass, which is at over 5,250 m. Snow in these treacherous places makes Lunana completely inaccessible for around five months in a year.
While in Lunana, His Majesty will visit various villages across the gewog, as well as some of the glacial lakes, which are the source of our major rivers. The glacial lakes of Lunana are perceived to pose risk downstream if they are breached– a consequence of the changing climate, which has resulted in receding glaciers. His Majesty will inspect the various warning mechanisms in place and meet with the personnel working at these places.
His Majesty The King last visited Lunana in 2008, just before the Coronation.