Why do I do this to myself? I know exactly what's coming. Bears, bugs, brush. Big rivers and big carries. The constants when hiking long-distance in Alaska. But it's the last major, unknown region in the U.S. I haven't experienced, so I got to go.
And this it for me. My last big hike before I walk away from thru-hiking. Yep, I'm retiring.
But first, I want to flirt with the boundary of my limits. To give my everything on an epic that has never been done before. A route that even I'm not sure I can complete. My ultimate test as a backpacker.
Alaska end-to-end. One last time.
Everybody who looks into the GHT probably comes away with nightmares. The red tape is that bad. The worst I've seen in any country by leagues.
Luckily, I left most of that hassle to Urja at Alliance Adventure. His assistance in navigating the logistics of Nepal made my thru-hike of the GHT possible.
He was the trekking agent who helped Trauma and Pepper complete one of the first thru-hikes of the GHT. Now I too join that elusive list of completers. A cool achievement on a trail with a reputation for breaking so many thru-hikers.
Dhan'yavāda, Urja and Alliance Adventure!
I can't say I'm used to getting passed by everyday people when I'm thru-hiking. But it happens quite frequently here in Nepal - by school kids to old grannies. For the locals, walking is a way of life.
It's really amazing to see the Nepali culture of walking. Born out of necessity and economic reality, everybody walks to get anywhere. I don't think there is another country in the entire world that can compete. What's more crazy is the people tend to walk in flip-flops. Carrying loads I don't envy strapped from their heads. In mountain terrain. All of this is normal!
It's been quite an honor to hike among such great walkers. If it weren't for my Arc'teryx, Patagonia, and Ray-Ban, I would totally blend in here.
Since I won't be beating this elevation PR in the foreseeable future, it's worth marking the occasion. Tashi Lapsha at 18,881 ft. (5,755m)!
Besting my previous PR of 14,433 ft. on Colorado's highest peak, Mt. Elbert, and my latest PR of 17,090 ft. on Ishinca Pass set earlier this year in Peru. And all it took was a 6,500 ft. vert day from Thame. A memorial day to say the least.
As a double reward, I also set a new elevation PR for camping. A memorial night I would have preferred to pass on though.