The Great Himalayan Trail low route – also called the cultural route – winds through the country’s mid-hills with an average altitude of 2000m. However, there are many passes to cross with the highest being the Jang La at 4519 m between Dhorpatan and Dolpa in West-Nepal.Trekking along the GHT low route means walking through beautiful lush forests, pastures, green rice terraces and fertile agricultural land, providing the basis for Nepal’s rich culture and civilization, the GHT low route stretches over a distance of 1,500 km and the whole trek will roughly take around 90-100 days.
Stretching for 1,700km along the length of Nepal, the Great Himalayan Trail will take you a mere 157 days to complete. You’ll see eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000m, including Everest, and cross passes reaching up to 6,000m, climbing a total of 150,000m. That’s a Snowdon every day for half a year. Oh, and it will set you back £20,500.
The GHT isn’t the world’s longest long-distance footpath. The Continental Divide Trail in the US is 5,000km and the Trans Canada will be three times that. But this steroidal version of the Pennine Way looks like being the most coveted of all. Eventually, the trail’s originators hope it will stretch from the mighty 8,000m peak Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, considered the westernmost outlier of the Himalaya, to Namche Barwa in Tibet. It will connect five Asian countries – Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
That version will stretch for 4,500km, but there is no completion date confirmed for such a huge undertaking. For now, the focus is on Nepal – with the first guided treks starting next year. As well as being an enormous challenge, the GHT could also prove to be a welcome money-spinner for a country still recovering from 10 years of civil war. Some parts of Nepal have benefited hugely from tourism, like the Everest and Annapurna regions. Those areas without such famous mountains, particularly in remote western Nepal, haven’t fared nearly so well.
Last year, I trekked along a section of the GHT through the Mugu district of western Nepal, a remote region peopled by Tibetan traders and animist tribes. Thousands of people were relying on aid from the World Food Programme, flown in by helicopter with the nearest roads a week’s walk away. Many young men leave to find work abroad. Tourism, for all its faults, could really make a difference here.
Several adventurous souls have travelled the arc of the Himalaya before, while Richard and Adrian Crane, cousins of television presenter Nicholas Crane, actually ran it in 1983. But the idea of a defined and designated route for trekkers is more recent. In 2006, the Dutch development agency SNV and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development based in Kathmandu committed to developing the idea, and have brought together government agencies and local people.
But it’s the hard work of one man, Australian trekker Robin Boustead, that has moved the project along most. After years of research (read his account here), he completed the trek in two sections, and has drawn an excellent free map of the trail’s route as well as writing a guidebook. Every water source, camping ground and elevation has been meticulously logged with GPS, but he says that the route will undoubtedly develop as more people do it and discover better alternatives.
For those without the time – or the knees – to do the whole thing in one goes, Boustead has broken the GHT down into nine sections, which you can pick off at your leisure. And if you think 20 grand is a lot of chapatties to spend on an adventure holiday, it’s still a lot less than the current price of a trip up Everest – and a lot more exclusive. There have been four thousand ascents of the world’s highest mountain, but only one man has done the GHT.
- The Nepal stretch of the Great Himalayan Trail guided with World Expeditions opens in February 2011. It costs £20,500, not including interntaional flights. It takes 157 days to complete, although it can be broken down to seven smaller stages up to 34 days. For more information and bookings call World Expeditions on 0800 0744 135 or visit worldexpeditions.co.uk
Nepal launches Great Himalayan Trail
Nepal has officially opened the Great Himalayan Trail, one of the longest and highest trekking routes in the world, the tourism board said on Thursday.
Billed as the ultimate trek, the arduous hike over Nepal’s mighty Himalayas stretches from Taplejung in the shadow of the world’s third-highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga, to Humla at the border with Tibet.
Adventurers who complete the 1,050-mile trek will encounter a huge variety of cultures from the mainly Buddhist Tamang people of the central Langtang region to the ancient animist practices that mix with Hinduism in the far west.
It will take experienced trekkers around five months to complete, although it can also be broken down into smaller sections.
Nepal hosts thousands of trekkers and mountaineers annually. The country has eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres, including the world’s highest, Mount Everest, at 29,021 feet.
The Everest region offers several trails that range from 10-day to three-week packages.
The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal’s most popular, is a 300-kilometre, three-week trek that rises to 17,768ft and passes through two river valleys.
Permits needed for the Trekking
- Special Trekking Permit for restricted/controlled areas
- Trekkers’ Information Management System/TIMS Card
- Conservation Area entrance fee
- National Park entrance fee
- Trekking peak climbing and mountaineering permi
- Filming and documentary shooting permit
1. How difficult is trek to Everest Panorama and how can we prepare?
Trekking to Everest Panorama is an easy trek as compared to others. And our company also provides well skilled guides and potters to help you during the trek. People with weak ankles, lungs, hearts problems may suffer more difficulty on trekking. Well preparation is needed for every trek.
2. What about safety measurements and altitude sickness do the guides and porters have their insurance in Everest Panorama trek?
Worrying for safety measurements? Our guides having long experience are much professional for handling such issues with various means of safety measurements. For common health issues like: headache, common cold, diarrhea, vomiting, we provide you first aid medicines. In case of being sick in the mountain, Sunrise Adventure Trek will make proper arrangements rescue by helicopter, for this you should have better travel insurance. If our guide and porters may suffer from sickness, they have also travel and medical insurance and we will also rescue by helicopter.
3. What about guide & porter, do they have well training?
Guides and potters provided to our guests had complete accomplishment of several trainings required for their professions by the Ministry of Nepal Tourism. Having well experience in tourism sector as a guide or potter, make easy to explain all the information required for trekking and can create very familiar environment to the guests.
4. What about communication system during trek?
As all the porters and guides are well certified by the Ministry of Nepal tourism they can easily understand and speak English languages during the trek. On the other hand, we can also provide you guides and potters according to your own understanding languages.
5. Do I need to give tips to guide and potter and if how much?
It’s difficult to mention about tipping which is up to your happiness, but guides and potters do expect the tips at the end of the trip. However, normally people can give minimum 10% of their total payment to the guide and porter.
6. What kind of food, drinking water and accommodation do we have on Everest Panorama trek?
Trek to Everest Base Camp with Sunrise Adventure Trek includes trekking lodges or guest houses as accommodation with twin bed sharing room, if you are in a group and if you are solo traveler, you have private room. Regarding meals, we will have some options to choose like: continental foods, Italian, Indian and Chinese cuisine etc. For drinking water, you can buy the mineral bottles or safe drinking water from hotel either you can bring water tablets.
7. How many hour should I walk per day and what happened if I am slow walker in the group?
Normally, we have to walk around 5 to 7 hours per day, if you are slow in walk the team leader will professionally manage to you walking with our assistance guide and potter.
8. What about the weather conditions and Lukla flight?
Firstly, we have to take a flight to Lukla in the morning then we start trek from Lukla but sometimes due to the air traffic and weather problems, the flight may be delayed or canceled. Due to uncertainty of Lukla weather, we are not sure about untimed flight. If there will be frequent weather problem, we do arrange a flight by helicopter chopper and for this you have to pay additionally.
9. What is the limitation of weight to Lukla flight and where do I store my extra bags?
You can carry 10 kg luggage plus 5 kg hand bag and if you want to carry more than the limit you have to pay extra charges. You can keep your extra bags in your hotel or in the office in Kathmandu.