The Great Himalaya Trail
The Great Himalaya Trail is a long distance hiking trail which will one day span the entire Greater Himalaya Range from Namche Bawa in Eastern Tibet to Nanga Parbat in Pakistan at the western end. As of June 2011 it has been completed and fully documented in Nepal and Bhutan.
The upper route passes from East to West through established trekking areas of Kanchenjunga to Makalu Barun, Solukhumbu (Everest Region), Rolwaling Himal (Gaurishankar), Helambu, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dolpa, Rara Lake and Humla currently finishing on the border with Tibet at Hilsa.
The trail route was first walked and documented in Autumn 2008 and Spring / Summer of 2009 by Robin Boustead and his team (Pema Tsiring Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa and Karma Sherpa).
Walking the full trail requires excellent logistics and planning. It also requires anywhere between 57 and 160 days to complete depending on route and walking speed. Consequently, most people will walk sections of the trail over different seasons.
It's safe to say that the trekking permit system in Nepal can be confusing. For the popular treks, usually only a single National Park permit plus a TIMS card is necessary.
Restricted Area Permits
Conservation Areas and National Parks
Fly to Kathmandu International Airport, or travel overland from India or China. Depending on the section you trek, it maybe necessary to arrange permits in Kathmandu. This requires a working day (including Sunday) and arranging through a registered trekking agency or outfitter.
From Kathmandu travel either with internal flight or by road to the start of the trek.
It is never a good idea to walk alone. Nepal is generally thought of as safe for travellers and reports of attacks or robbery are not common, but do happen occasionally. There are annually reports of solo travellers going missing, possibly slipping from the trail or getting lost in remote terrain. These kind of accidents are less likely to happen travelling in a group.
Do always carry a map, compass, whistle, torch and other safety gear while trekking. Always inform someone about where you are going and when you should be expected to return.
Depending on where you leave the trail you'll need to walk to the road head or local airport to be transported out.