4 stages – over 4 years
The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) is a network of existing trails through the Himalaya, all connected to form one of the longest, highest and most impressive hiking trails in the world. The GHT has a high (Upper GHT or GHT high route) and a lower (Lower GHT) option. It covers the full length of the Himalaya Range through Bhutan, Tibet, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal. Our dream is to ride the full length of the Great Himalayan Trail by mountainbike, taking the high route as much as possible. This means we won’t shy away from riding the many 4000m+ and even some 5000m+ passes, but we draw a line at passes requiring mountaineering skills and/or equipment. Although the route will contain quite a few hike-your-bike sections, the idea remains to actually ride most of it. With a total length of 4500 km, doing the traverse in one go is impossible due to logistics and weather conditions corresponding with the changing seasons. Therefore we decided to split the trail into 4 stages over 4 years, starting in Nepal for the first stage in 2019.
Stage 1 – Nepal – 2019
The first stage is a ride from West to East Nepal over the Great Himalayan Trail high route in 42 days. This will be a world first attempt, self-supported in an all-female team. A group of local Nepali men have traversed Nepal by bike in a supported expedition in 2013, but via the low route rather than the high route. It took them 50 days. Our route entails 1700km with around 70.000m ascend including about 17 high passes between 4000-5800m altitude. It crosses parts of Nepal you cannot enter without a guide. Unfortunately, there aren’t many female guides in Nepal and our dedicated female guide Usha Khanal has had to withdraw from the expedition. Therefore, we are very excited to have Himalayan Trails Adventure Travel to help us. They take care of all logistics and provide permits and assistance to cross the checkpoints in the restricted areas. In between the checkpoints, we will be on our own. The expedition will be a large undertaking, needing careful planning, route mapping and training. However, since the route has never been done before by bike, it is impossible to draw up an exact timetable.The team will head to Nepal end of October and will start the expedition after a short acclimatisation period around the 27th or 28th October 2019 in Hilsa and finish mid December 2019 in Kachenjunga BC.