An open letter to anyone with an interest in attempting some part of ‘the’ Great Himalaya Trail
First of all, many congratulations on your upcoming Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) adventure. It is something that will take you far out of the world that you know and far beyond anything you have every tried before! Whether you are an elite athlete hoping to run a fast time or someone hoping to complete the route over several years, this is a wonderful chance to journey through the highest mountains of the world.
For those of you who like to travel fast and light, as I do, I’d like to suggest that claiming a Fastest Known Time for the GHT is nonsensical. Inasmuch as there is no one Great Himalaya Trail (read something more of its history here), and there is huge variation in possible routes and style. Instead better to define your route, state your time, say the level of support you received, and explain your rationale for going the way that you did as this can be helpful for others. To give a more accurate description of your overall route it is preferable to define your route by the passes crossed rather than the villages passed through. Anyone who knows anything about the region, the landscape and the terrain will appreciate your achievement simply for what it is. This way you respect those who have gone before you and those who will come after you.
Whichever way you go, in reality crossing Nepal is tough, it is wild, it is enormous and it is humbling. If you make this journey, however you make it, you learn that it is as much about the people and their mountains as it is about your personal challenge. Good luck and enjoy your journey because after all it is only that, a journey.