Great Himalayan Trail
We just finished the three months long Great Himalayan Trail trekking with some Kiwis and a French girl. They started from Kanchanjunga and finish it from Simikot, Humla in 123 days although there was a big challenge to us with the bad weather. We couldn’t cross the few passes at east because of massive snowfall. Eventually, when we arrive in the Khumbu area the weather was perfect and there was no problem for the rest of the high passes.
Facebook post on July 16, 2017
For those of you not into majestic mountains, ancient villages & beautiful monasteries we also made a lot of dog friends along the Great Himalaya Trail. If we could spare a couple of biscuits we had a friend all the way to at least the next village where we met another dog. One day we had three dogs follow us for more than 5 hours down a valley until we decided that we should try to tell them to find their way home, ops.
Facebook post on July 14, 2017
The Great Himalaya Trail team walked across the remote Upper Dolpa region crossing eight 5000m+ passes on their way. At least the beautiful lakes, peaks, villages & monasteries helped to distract us from the constant up & down of the trail. Here We also got to witness the madness of the Yasha Gompa season that sees thousands of Nepalese go searching for the natural medicine high on the Himalayan mountain slopes. We were luckily able to eat & stay with these people in their remote makeshift tent villages where at any other time of year we would be lucky to see anyone.
Facebook post on July 4, 2017
Well, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings & according to us, the GHT isn’t finished until your sitting in a bar in Kathmandu with a cold beer!
After taking some photos at the end of the trail & celebrating with a beer we waited at the makeshift Hilsa airport for a space on one of the tour helicopters to get back to Simikot & then onto Kathmandu. After 5 hours of waiting for the last flight left without a spare seat for either of us. The next morning flights were canceled & the offer of a ‘seat’ in the back of a tip truck came up so we decided to take it & got a ride, 15km, as far as the road going towards Simikot. We then had to walk for two days, retracting our earlier steps the remaining 40km to get to a more reliable flight to Kathmandu.
Although we were physically & mentally done with the GHT we managed to get motivated by the thought of finally getting to Kathmandu for a second GHT celebratory beer.
Facebook post on July 14, 2017
Halftime Match Report – PLEASE SHARE
Two nights ago we celebrated our 60th day on foot, having walked halfway across Nepal on the Great Himalaya Trail.
Our team of four, Yadab, Cécile, Andrew & myself started by climbing up to Kanchenjunga Base Camp where we were initiated into the Himalaya’s with -20 degree nights and where we were hit with a late winter snowfall. Luckily Cécile had bought her sleeping bag sized gloves! Heading west we struggled over Nango La Pass in meter deep fresh snow & were eventually stopped in our tracks at the Lumba Sumba pass due to the difficult & dangerous snow conditions. This meant that we had to make a huge detour around Makalu Region through the Himalayan foothills, through beautiful rhododendron forests, agricultural terraces & rural villages which was a nice change from the alpine environment. On our way Andrew fell, bounced over a few rocks & broke a rib. We were able to make it to the more developed Khumbu Region where Andrew got some medical attention & we meet up with my wife Jess. Here we were able to find some foods other than our twice daily Dal Bhat (Lentals & Rice) so we ate as much as we could, hoping to stop our rapid weight loss that had Yadab looking like a bearded 10-year-old boy.
In the Khumbu, we were also able to stand among the towering giants of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam & Cho Oyu. We climbed the 5000m+ Kala Patthar, Cho La, Gokyo Ri & Renjo La & visited Everest Base Camp. Yadab, Jess & Cécile flew back to Kathmandu while Andrew & I crossed the difficult yet stunning Tashi Lapcha pass in very cold but clear weather. From here we traversed through hillside villages, visited monasteries & stayed in isolated hearers cottages until we arrived at The Last Resort for some much-needed comfort & a sterilizing hot shower.
Helambu Region came as a huge reality check with indistinguishable & overgrown trails, we got lost, sick & days of rain. Andrew discovered a few new choices four-letter words to describe this experience. We were already exhausted before we even reached Tilman Pass but managed one last big effort to cross just as a storm covered us in fresh snow. Despite the tough day, we woke to an amazing morning & soon made it down to civilization in the beautiful Langtang Valley where we were quick to embrace the luxuries of the touristic area. Throughout the last month, we had witnessed the devastation of the 2015 earthquake that has destroyed most of every village that we have walked through. Despite this, the people we meet were getting on with life with smiles on their faces.
In Langtang, we were rejoined by Cécile and the three of us are now headed in the direction of Khahare, our guide Yadav’s village where we are looking forward to having him rejoin the team & to meeting his family. We are currently feeling really good, despite dropping a few dress sizes, but we still have a long way to go to get to Hilsa on the Chinese border.
Throughout our trip so far we have been in awe of the amazing friendliest, hospitality & generosity of the Nepalese people. These people have been born to a much harder life than we have yet they have helped us so much along the way. This trip wouldn’t be possible without those who have opened their homes to us & who have asked their mothers to cook for us. Dhanyabad!