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Great Himalayan Trail

The Highest Trail on Earth

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Great Himalayan Trail
The 4,500km Great Himalayan Trail is the adventure of a lifetime, if you are physically and mentally ready to pay the price to trek the highest trail on earth. Source: redbull.com

Robin Boustead is mapping the Great Himalayan Trail that spans roughly 4,500km through the mountainous regions of Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Tibet. The trial is not only rugged, remote, and long – it also has the dubious honor of being the highest trail on earth with an elevation gain and loss of over 150,000m. The highest point on the trail is 6,200m.

Great Himalayan Trail
Even an experienced trekker needs a rest on the 4,500km Himalayan Trail. Robin Boustead takes on the adventure of a life-time to map the entire remote route. Source: Redbull.com

Boustead started the mapping expedition in 2008 after decades of trekking the Himalayas with inadequate maps. “I was unimpressed with the maps of the Himalayas and I thought ‘why not try and improve them,’” Boustead told reporters. The latest earthquake in Nepal caused variations in the current map that Boustead vows to try to correct next year.

Great Himalayan Trail
The trail ranges from tropical ecosystems to rugged alpine environments. Source: worldexpeditions.com
Great Himalayan Trail
The trail will test your navigation and mountaineering skills says Boustead. Source: sudouest.fr

One of the biggest problems Boustead has encountered is the dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems found in the Himalayan region. Boustead warns that a trekker will experience everything from tropical to alpine conditions; testing both mountaineering experience and determination. According to Boustead the trail ranges from 400m above sea level at its lowest point to 6200m at the highest point. Depending on the exact route selected, trekkers could experience 3000m ascents and descents on multiple days. “No matter how tough you think it’s going to be, it will be tougher! But it is a great, life changing experience – you genuinely don’t come back the same person,” said Boustead.

Highest Trail on Earth
“No matter how tough you think it’s going to be, it will be tougher! But it is a great, life changing experience – you genuinely don’t come back the same person,” said Boustead.  Source: tourism.wildasia.org

Dutch is a regular adventuring jack-of-all trades— he is an alpine climber, trekker, hiker, rock climber, skier, snow shoer, kayaker, ocean swimmer, scuba diver, mountain biker, and sky diver to name a few of his pursuits. Along with being a writer for SBM, Dutch is a psychology doctoral candidate and a freelance writer of fourteen years. Dutch has participated in both supported and unsupported treks in the U.S., Asia, and Central and South America. When he's not adventuring, Dutch also writes investigative journalism and short fiction.

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