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Above GHT Kanchenjunga; although we won't have to cross any bridge as adventurous as this, we always do have adventures on our GHT treks - Jamie McGuinness

Gear

Do have a look over our standard Nepal gear list and note we are trekking expedition-style from hot lower country up and over glaciated mountain passes. You need a good variety of trek clothing.

Tilman's Pass 5308m/17,400ft does involve crossing a small, crevassed glacier and traverse two areas that can be exposed to some rock fall, depending on conditions. We are crossing later in the season when there is less rock fall. We will definitely use a hand line in one place, perhaps two, and will probably briefly rope up for crossing the glacier. You need boots that can take crampons and that have some insulation in them, and since we cross on the last day of October, it will be cold up there. The best boots are boots with a removable inner, so the old-style plastic shell boots, available for rent in Kathmandu.

So in summary we need climbing harness set, insulated boots, crampons and helmet. An ice ax is recommended but optional.

The Tashi Labtsa is even higher at 5755m/18,875ft and is a true mountaineering pass where we are on a glacier for a couple of days and has some interesting rock approaches. It is utterly spectacular. We will rope up for crevasses and perhaps use a hand line in a couple of spots. You need warm mountaineering boots, with an insulated removable inner.

In summary we need climbing harness set, insulated boots, crampons, ice ax and helmet.

We have a sheet on gear rental that we email to you, do ask.

Climbing experience

Fundamentally we are trekking the Great Himalaya Trail, admittedly the high, extreme route. We hope that you have worn crampons previously and have a least roped up in a climbing gym but other than that, we will provide instruction as needed.

Maps

Check out this map of the GHT, and do click on the lower right most control to go full screen, then click on the text to activate. Click to zoom in.

For the trek itself:

Langtang & Helambu NP105 the start to The Last Resort

The Rolwaling NP104 covers from a day above The Last Resort to the Glacier camp

Solu-Khumbu (Everest) Region NP103 covers the end

All are readily available in Kathmandu.

Fitness

You MUST have a good level of trekking fitness. We don't set out to make the trek tough, but it will be as we are trekking sometimes shorter, sometimes longer days as we don't know in advance exactly where the camp will be for any given day. In 2011 we only had one trek into the evening where everyone had to sleep outside, no room for tents, but these challenges happen.

Trek style

We trek standard Nepal expedition style, with you carrying a day pack, porters carry the gear and we have a kitchen crew to cook for us.

Real exploration

We love exploring, truly exploring and have many firsts to our credit and major achievements that we haven't previously publicized, but as importantly, they have been amazingly successful, fun treks too. From 1998-2006 we explored the greater Kanchenjunga region with 7x 42 days treks then since 2008 have been opening routes of the the Nepal Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and assisting with the GHT maps and guidebooks.

Most trek pages below have links to photo galleries, or see our Nepal Photos Inspiration. We are also exploring in Ladakh, India...

2016 Upper Dolpo & Mu La - getting to Bhijer wasn't as hard as we expected, and we finished our Mu La exploration from 2014, crossing this last somewhat enigmatic pass in front the Dhaulagiris.

2015 GHT Wild West - we straightened the last section from Darchula to Simikot, and successfully explored the Simikot-Mugu high route, a first, and a route that is unlikely to ever be repeated.

2014 GHT Mu La exploration - we investigated Lower Dolpo's Mu La as a GHT alternative but were snowed out by Cyclone Hudhud

2013 GHT Tilman's and Tashi Labtsa Wild - we found the hard way the map+guide book are wrong on Tilman's; and had great conditions for the Tashi Labtsa

2012 GHT Wild West exploration - we broke trail to be the very first trekkers ever to trek Darchula to Simikot between Api and Saipal, staying completely in Nepal ... !

2011 GHT Dolpo Wild exploration - we were the very first commercial trek team across the Lakyap/Kekyap passes (thanks, Paulo Grobel), rerouted the GHT near Bhijer saving a 5368m pass crossing and crossed the tough high route between Dolpo and Mugu without incident.

2010 GHT Mustang & Saribung Wild - we traversed from Upper Mustang to Nar-Phu and climbed Saribung, 6328m, with 100% team success then traversed around Manaslu as well.

2009 GHT Makalu Wild - we were the very first commercial trek team to trek Chyangtang to Makalu Base Camp the direct way (Robin Boustead was the first).

2008 Limi-Saipal - Jamie discovered the crucial pass near Saipal for the 2012 trek after guiding James Vlahos writing for Nat Geo; thanks Nepal Trust.

2007 Manaslu Wild - we explored the Tsum Valley to the Tibet border, and also explored the peaks and passes above Samdo.

2006 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers ever to the top the Umbak La to Tibet

2005 Kanchen Gola Wild - first commercial trek to cross the Lumbasamba, Kanchenjunga to the Makalu region, crucial for the GHT

2004 Nangpa La exploratory - trekking to the Tibet border in the Everest region for the guide book Trekking in the Everest Region

2003 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to the top of Olangchung Gola's Tipta La (after Joseph Hooker in 1848)

2002 Kanchen Gola Wild - first trekkers to Yangma's 5746m Ghari La

2001 Kanchenjunga Wild - first trekkers to the Chabuk La, virgin peak ascent, a climb of Tengkoma peak and saw snow leopards, see Wanda's diary.

2000 Manaslu High - we trekked the Tsum valley prior to Tsum being opened and climbed Chulu Far East

1999 Kanchenjunga-Makalu - 42/75 day trek (!)

1998 Wild Kanchenjunga - the trek that started the Kanchenjunga exploration series; we didn't meet any other trekkers.

1998 Churen Surprise - a trek to Churen Himal base camp above Gurjagoan, a trek that still few people have ever heard of.

GHT galleries

See Jamie's public Flickr sets.

 

Jamie's Flickr photo sets

Jamie's Flickr sets

GHT

The Great Himalaya Trail is the longest and highest trekking trail in the world, a trail from one end of the Himalaya to the other and Jamie and friends, Robin Boustead and Richard Bull particularly, are deeply involved in trekking and promoting it.

There are two main websites with lots of info, Robin Boustead's GreatHimalayaTrail.com and and the NGO-run GreatHimalayaTrail.org.