GREAT HIMALAYAN TRAIL – GHT
We start our big crossing at Simikot.
- Duration 150 Days
- Difficulty Level Medium
- Includes Equipment, Drinks, Accommodations, Food
We start our big crossing at Simikot. We cross the region of Humla to reach Lake Rara, a unique opportunity to explore western Nepal, very little traveled. We pass many Chhetri, Brahmans and Takhuri villages and finish this first stage in the little-known region of Lake Rara. This is not an altitude trek and therefore a good acclimatization for the following stages.
Then we leave Lake Rara for the Mugu Valley and Dolpo. After having crossed “the hidden country” with its monasteries and its timeless villages, we continue towards Jomsom and pass five passes over 5,000 meters.
After passing the Thorong pass on the Annapurna tour, we pass the Larkya-la at 5,150 meters on the Manaslu tour in a high mountain glacial atmosphere. Then we arrive at Lho and Sama, Tibetan villages as evidenced by prayer flags, monasteries and chortens. We then pass through many villages of different ethnicities. After skirting the Ganesh Himal and crossing the Pangsang pass at 3,830 m, we are back below the altitude of 4,000 meters.
We then cross the entire Rolwaling with the famous Tilman pass at 5,300 meters as the highlight and the magnificent lakes of Tin Pokhari and Panch Pokhari. The Tilman pass is a difficult pass that is rarely used. This trip is a reconnaissance trip that offers an alternative route via Gyanja la (5,100 meters), which can be taken if the conditions in Tilman seem too difficult.
To get from the Rolwaling valley to Khumbu by the high road, we have to take a difficult pass, the Tashi Lapsa at 5,730 meters, which requires technical knowledge and equipment such as crampons, ice ax and harness. In a high mountain atmosphere, we flirt with peaks at 6,000 meters and more! We arrive at Thame and find the Khumbu lodges.
We continue through the Everest region and its high passes. The Renjo-la, the Cho-la, but also the Kala Pattar at 5,545 meters and the Gokyo Peak 5,360 meters. A beautiful high altitude immersion to familiarize yourself with Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Pumori, Cho Oyu and of course Everest…
Then we set off on a mythical and difficult to organize expedition, sometimes close to mountaineering. We are committed to “the ascent of the 3 passes”: the Amphu Laptsa at 5,850 meters, the West Col at 6,143 meters and the Sherpani at 6,135 meters, which allows an arrival at the base camp of Makalu. We use fixed ropes and do rappelling descents. We evolve in a glacial and snowy landscape and flirt with the high peaks.
We continue with a unique hike, from Makalu base camp (8,463 m) to Lumbasumba, an adventure that takes us to a rare passage: Lumbasumba, the Arun valley and the Tibetan border.
We leave for the final stage. Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Tamang and Tibetan villages line the route. We progress in a beautiful high mountain atmosphere to the northern base camp of Kanchenjunga in Pangpema (5,140 m). Then, after having bypassed this entire mountain range in the east, we come to the end of an extraordinary adventure lasting nearly five months.
The Government of Nepal, along with funding by international development organizations, has promoted the proposed trail and its sections as a way of bringing tourism dollars to remote communities. Tourism is an industry where the consumers come to the producers and so it might be a useful tool in poverty alleviation. To make this work, the concept of the Great Himalaya Trail is being promoted by development organizations as “responsible tourism” and a commercial GHT trek has departed once a year since 2011 to support the remote communities of Nepal. Trekkers are being encouraged to be responsible tourists, but using local guides and porters, and local food and accommodation where possible.
Trip Highlight Hiking the Great Himalaya Trail
Walking the full trail requires excellent logistics and planning. It also requires anywhere between 57 and 160 days to complete depending on route and walking speed. Consequently, most people will walk sections of the trail over different seasons.
Conservation Areas and National Parks
The divisions of the sections are based roughly along lines of geography, with many areas being a ‘Himal’. Unlike many popular long distance trails where the route and points along it can be reached by vehicle, many sections require a trek in from road head or airport. Choosing a section trek depends on time available, the season and your ability (fitness, skills on ice and snow and ability at altitude).
It’s a 12-day hike in to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Then it is approximately 20 days to connect with Makalu Base Camp.
12 days hike in to Makalu Base Camp. 7 days to cross to Everest region and a further 3 or 4 to the airport at Lukla.
Flying in from Lukla, approx. 25 days to connect to Barabise or The Last Resort on the Kathmandu Lhasa Highway.
Helambu & Langtang
17 days from Barabise to Syabru Besi including the Tilman Pass.
Approx. 18-20 days from Syabru, or Arughat (the traditional start for the Manaslu Trek). Approx. 25 days to combine with part of Annapurna circuit to Jomsom.
Annapurna Circuit trek is around 2 weeks to Jomsom, though roads are shortening the time needed. Mustang trek is usually 10 days (minimum permit length) from Jomsom. The exploratory high route to Mustang via Saribung, Nar and Phu (6,328m) can be done in a 30 day round trip from Kathmandu.
Its 17-20 days to reach Phoksundo Lake and Juphal from Jomsom. There is a longer, high route trek from Dolpo to Mugu.
From Phoksundo Lake, Rara Lake can be reached in about a week via Jumla.
From Rara, it’s around a week to Simikot and a further week to the border and return. Additionally, the fabulous Limi Valley trek can be completed in about two weeks from Simikot.
NB: these figures are a rough guide and will vary according to level of acclimatisation, route choices and weather. Additionally travel to and from Kathmandu has not been included and that typically requires a day for destinations close to Kathmandu, to two to three days when flights are involved.
THE TWO BASE CAMPS OF KANGCHENJUNGA
We leave for a wild hike in an exceptional high mountain atmosphere. Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Tamang and Tibetan villages line the route. We progress in a beautiful high mountain atmosphere to the northern base camp of Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) in Pangpema (5,140 m), then after having bypassed the entire mountain range to the east, the southern base camp. An extraordinary adventure. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “The two base camps of Kanchenjunga”.
FROM MAKALU TO KANGCHENJUNGA VIA LUMBASUMBA (5,159 M)
We leave for a unique hike, from Makalu base camp (8,463 m) to Lumbasumba. We progress to the Makalu lookout which allows us to see Everest (8,848 m) and Lhotse (8,516 m). An extraordinary adventure that takes us on a rare and unique passage: Lumbasumba, the Arun valley and the Tibetan border. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Makalu to Kanchenjunga via Lumbasumba (5,159 m)”.
EVEREST AT THE MAKALU VIA AMPHU LAPSA (5,800 M) AND THE SHERPANI COL (6,180 M)
We set off on a mythical and difficult to organize expedition, which brings us closer to mountaineering than trekking. We are committed to “the ascent of the 3 passes”: the Amphu Lapsa (5,850 m), the West Col (6,143 m), used for the first time by Shipton in 1951, and the Sherpani at 6,135 m ( easier than the East pass), which allows an arrival at the base camp of Makalu. Sometimes we have to use fixed ropes, rappelling. We evolve in a glacial and snowy landscape and flirt with the high peaks. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Everest to Makalu via Amphu Lapsa (5,800 m) and Sherpani Col (6,180 m)”.
THE EVEREST REGION VIA RENJO (5,360 M) AND CHO LA (5,420 M)
In the heart of Sherpa country are the highest peaks in the world. On this route, we will first meet this endearing population, its villages and monasteries, then gain altitude and cross two passes at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters, the Renjo La, the Cho La, and also climb Kala Pattar (5,545 m) and Gokyo Peak (5,360 m). A great immersion in high altitude to familiarize yourself with Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Pumori, Cho Oyu and of course, Everest. A very beautiful route where we never take our eyes off the high Himalayan peaks. We sleep in a lodge in the villages we pass through. See details and day by day in the fact sheet “The Everest region via Renjo (5,360 m) and Cho La (5,420 m)”.
FROM ROLWALING TO KHUMBU VIA THE TASHI LAPSA (5,730 M)
To get from the Rolwaling valley to Khumbu by the high road, we have to take a difficult pass that requires technical knowledge and equipment such as crampons, ice ax and harness, the Tashi Lapsa. In a high mountain atmosphere, we flirt with the peaks at 6,000 m and more! We arrive at Thame and find the Khumbu lodges. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Rolwaling to Khumbu via Tashi Lapsa (5,730 m)”.
FROM LANGTANG TO ROLWALING VIA THE TILMAN PASS (5,300 M)
A mythical route and extremely little traveled. We cross the entire Rolwaling with the famous Tillman pass (5,300 m) as the highlight, then the magnificent lakes of Tin Pokhari and Panch Pokhari. We join the Bhote Khosi river (the Tibetan river) and the “old” road to Lhasa. The Tillman pass is a difficult pass that is rarely used. This trip is a trip of recognition. An alternative route via the Gyanja la (5,100 m) can be taken if the conditions of the Tillman seem too difficult to us. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Langtang to Rolwaling via the Tillman Pass (5,300 m)”.
We then pass through many villages of different ethnicities. A journey away from the crowds, between many villages and in a high mountain atmosphere. After going along the Ganesh Himal and crossing the Pangsang pass (3,830 m). Here we are again at a reasonable altitude, below the 4000m mark. See details and day by day in the “Ganesh Himal” technical sheet.
FROM ANNAPURNAS TO MANASLU
After crossing the Thorong pass at 5,416 m on the Annapurna tour, we continue with the Manaslu region. The Manaslu massif is actually made up of three peaks: Manaslu proper (8,163 m), Himchuli (7,893 m) and Peak 29 (7,871 m), located between the Bhudi, Gandaki and Marshyangdi rivers. We pass the Larkya La at 5,150 m in a high mountain glacial atmosphere. We then arrive at Lho and Sama, Tibetan villages as evidenced by prayer flags, monasteries and chortens… Details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Annapurnas to Manaslu”.
DOLPO CARAVAN, FROM LAKE RARA TO JOMOSOM
An adventure that takes us from the little-known region of Lake Rara and the Mugu valley to Dolpo then the gates of Mustang. After having crossed “the hidden country”, its monasteries and villages out of time, we continue towards Jomsom by the high passes which make it possible to join the tour of Annapurnas by more than five passes at more than 5000 m. Details and day by day in the technical sheet “Dolpo, from Lake Rara to Jomsom”.
FROM SIMIKOT TO LAKE RARA
First step of our Great Nepal crossing! We start in Simikot, cross the region of Humla to reach Lake Rara. A unique opportunity to explore western Nepal, very little traveled. We pass through many Chhetri, Brahmans and Takhuri villages. This is not an altitude trek, so good acclimatization for the following stages. See details and day by day in the technical sheet “From Simikot to Lake Rara”.