Great Himalayan Trail. Starting on January 15th, Apa Sherpa and Dawa Steven Sherpa will begin the trek, which is expected to take roughly 120 days to complete.
Touted as the highest altitude long distance trail in the world, the GHT isn't likely to pose much of a problem for these two men. Apa has reached the summit of Everest an astounding 21 times, while Dawa has been to the top of the world's highest peak on two occasions himself. They've chosen to undertake this latest challenge in an effort to raise the profile of the trail and bring economic investment to its development. They'll begin their journey in eastern Nepal in the village of Ghunsa and will march west until they reach the town of Darchula. Along the way, they'll pass through 20 different districts, surrounded by the unmatched mountain landscapes of the Himalaya.
Along the way, Apa and Dawa will also be looking to raise awareness of the impact of global climate change on the region as well. That has been a particularly important topic with the Sherpas over the past few years, as mountain glaciers retreat, taking their fresh water supply with them. This is an important issue for Nepal, particularly in remote rural areas, where villagers often have to walk for hours each day just to collect fresh water.
Hopefully the two men will post updates along the way and will share their journey online. In the past Apa has often posted about his Everest climbs online, and if he does something similar with this trek, I'll post regular updates on their progress here.
The GHT sounds like an amazing experience and I hope that it garners more attention amongst trekkers and backpackers.