Great Himalaya Trail is one of the longest and highest footpaths on earth, and likely the most dramatic, traversing the entirety of Nepal from east to west in the shadows of the world’s highest peaks. For those looking for the cutting edge of adventure trek, Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) presents the opportunity of a lifetime. Winding beneath the world’s highest peaks and visiting some of the most remote communities on earth, the trail passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible landscapes in the Himalayas. The 10 incredible facts about Great Himalaya Trail are presented here.
- After years of research, documentation, and mapping, the concept of Great Himalaya Trail was walked for the first time in 2008 and 2009 by a team led by Robin Boustead. The first trip ran from February through August of 2011 and was completed successfully in 157 days.
- With funding from UKAID, the Government of Nepal is working closely with the tourism industry, NGOs and host communities to ensure that the GHT is developed into an iconic and globally significant new tourism product for Nepal and managed in line with responsible tourism best practices, generating vital jobs and income for local communities and contributing to the conservation of the country’s natural and cultural heritage.
- The Great Himalaya Trail, roughly 4,500 km in length, passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible landscapes, crossing through Myanmar, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Pakistan.
- The 1,700km Nepal section of the trail begins near Kanchenjunga on the eastern border and heads west navigating the domains of eight of the world’s 8000m peaks, from the beautiful Makalu to the famous Everest. The Nepal section ends either in Humla on the Tibetan border or in Darchula.
- GHT’s westernmost point is the world’s ninth highest peak, Nanga Parbat, in Pakistan. Winding past the sacred headwaters of the River Ganga in India, it traverses Nepal beneath the Annapurna, Everest, and Kanchenjunga mountain ranges, through Darjeeling and Sikkim in India, then Bhutan, and eventually to India’s Arunachal Pradesh, and then Myanmar, and finally ending at Namche Barwa in Tibet. Spectacular views include all of the world’s fourteen 8,000m peaks.
- GHT is divided into ten connecting treks. The treks can be done subsequently or completely separate from each other. Besides, each GHT section features a number of side-treks of varying duration and difficulty, some of which require camping equipment and others that can be done teahouse style. With numerous trekking options and new tourism attractions, each GHT section forms a distinct trekking and adventure destination.
- GHT is not the easiest or most direct route across Nepal, rather a route through the Greater Himalaya range. No technical climbing is required—there are numerous high passes above 5,000 meters—but the 150-day plus journey is said to be far more difficult than climbing up any single mountain.
- Trekkers can choose between two routes. Nepal’s GHT High route is winding through high mountain ranges on an average altitude of 3000 to 5000 meters, providing for breath-taking views on the country’s towering peaks. The trail stretches over a distance of about 1,700 km and passes through spectacular, high altitude mountain landscapes, visiting some of the most remote villages on earth, where life remains as it was centuries back. The high-altitude route offers adventure trekking, combining high-pass crossings, trans-Himalayan scenery, and alpine valleys.
- Along the GHT Low route, often referred to as the cultural route, tourists get the chance to visit small communities and villages and learn about the culture and traditions of Nepal’s various ethnic groups. The GHT Low route winds through the Nepal’s mid hills with an average altitude of 2000m. Trekking along the GHT Low route means walking through beautiful lush forests, pastures, green rice terraces and fertile agricultural lands that provide the basis for Nepal’s rich culture and civilization.
- Giving a significant boost to Nepal’s tourism industry, GHT program aims to promote tourism throughout the entire Himalayan belt of Nepal. Through the GHT project income generating activities will be spread throughout the Himalayas, whilst assisting local communities identifying social and economic opportunities for highlanders.
source: The Great Himalaya Trail