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Great Himalaya Trail, Here I Come

Dear Nepal, I love you.

It has been a while since my Appalachian Trail thru-hike, almost five years in fact. While I’ve done quite a bit of hiking since then, I haven’t been on a thru-hike. That is changing this year.

I’m hiking Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail.

Edit: Since writing this post I have since completed my hike. If you’re here for info on how to hike the trail, please visit my Ultimate Guide to Trekking the Great Himalaya Trail.

When I originally went to Nepal in 2015, I thought I was going to some big bucket list destination. Fourteen weeks seemed like more than enough time to trek around the Himalaya and get my fill of it. Then I could, you know, move on and travel to other places and do other hikes. However, I have missed Nepal immensely since coming back to the United States and have been nursing a pipe dream of doing the Great Himalaya Trail.

I call it a pipe dream because the trail is newly established. The first guidebook, by Robin Boustead, was published in 2011 if that gives you an idea of how new the trail is. Since then, there’s only been about a dozen or so people to complete this trail. That’s a guess because no one is really counting. This guess is based on various articles I’ve found online announcing various people’s successful thru-hikes of the Great Himalaya Trail.

Me and my roommates. Left to right: Jake (who is thru-hiking the AT in 2017), and me and my hiking partner Buckey.

I also had reservations of doing this trail alone. It’s remote, high-altitude, and probably lonely. I have always strongly identified as a solo hiker, and I didn’t know who I could possibly rope into doing this thru-hike with me. Turns out I did find someone to rope into a GHT thru-hike. I’m stoked to be going with my roommate/ co-worker/ friend Buckey.

The Great Himalaya Trail sounds like a logistical nightmare. There are limited resources on this hike. When we want to resupply we have to go back to Kathmandu, where we will store duffels of backpacking food. Some of the permits are difficult to organize. Basically, we have to plan extensively and be extremely flexible.

The GHT has a high route and a low route. We would like to do as much of the high route as possible. However, there are five technical passes. We are going without guides and we don’t have the experience to back up doing the technical passes, so we’ll take a lower route for them. My main goal with this hike is to walk one continuous path across Nepal, and not necessarily do the high route at all costs. The trail is about 1200 miles, but keeping exact track of distance between places is not really a thing in Nepal so it could be more or less.

Our departure date is March 16th. We have one-way tickets to Kathmandu. The hope is to complete the trail in four or five months.

I plan on blogging as regularly as possible during this hike, so follow along here. I’m also an Instagram addict and will likely post photos every time I have wifi. Follow me @appalachiantrailgirl. Buckey has a pretty rad Instagram too. Follow him @buckeybiesak.

There’s also one week left to enter the giveaway to win a print copy of my book, The Appalachian Trail Girl’s Guide.

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