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.
When I think about Nepal, I mostly think about high mountains and high elevation. One aspect I don't consider much is the jungle. But shit is brutal. One day I'm sweating buckets down low in the jungle, the next day I'm getting snowed on up high in the mountains. The stark contrast in terrain in Nepal is pretty wild.
But hey, at least the jungle is monkey country. And monkeys are fucking cool!
Still, in my opinion, jungle hiking is the hardest part of the GHT. The mountains? I take care of business there like a boss. Because mountains are what I do.
Traveling to a far land to undertake a major hike is always intimidating. Especially since I tend to go big on my first visit to a new region. But once I start hiking, it just feels natural. The mountains may be different, but hiking is still hiking.
However, the Himalayas are proving to be different from the rest.
After a short flight from Kathmandu. A two-day Jeep ride. A five-day hike to 5,143 meters. I was finally at the start of my trek - Kanchenjunga Base Camp.
I think feeling intimidated is perfectly reasonable when standing beneath the third highest peak in the entire world. Just damn.