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Nepal section of Great Himalayan Trail opens

Route covers 1,062 miles and takes 150 days to hike -- but it's just a piece of the full traverse

Nepal officially opened its section of the grand trekking route across the Himalayas that has been touted by "open source" trekking guides and mountain fanatics, according to Reuters.

The Great Himalayan Trail currently runs from Nepal's eastern border with India, near Mount Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, to Humla in the west passing through or beside Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks, Reuters said.

The 1,062-mile trail, which takes about 150 days to complete, passes through a number of national parks and protected areas and gives trekkers exposure to a range of cultures and lifestyles, the news agency quoted tourism ministry official Gyaneshwor Mahato as saying.

In October 2010, GlobalPost reported on the grassroots efforts to map and commercialize a complete route traversing the Himalayas under the same name.

Logging thousands of kilometers and hundreds of thousands of words, Depi Chaudhry and fellow guidebook writers Robin Boustead, Gary Weare and Jamie McGuinness are struggling to map and promote a commercial trekking route that crosses the Himalayas from end to end.

Billed as The Great Himalaya Trail, or GHT, the traverse will cobble together dozens of marketable legs to draw some of the 30,000-plus tourists who do the popular Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks in Nepal each year to other regions. The dream is that one day, a traverse of the entire route could be the life-long goal for every serious trekker in the world.

“I spend far too much time thinking about how to do it,” said Boustead, who recently completed a guidebook for the Nepal section of the GHT. “I have every intention of trying to do the first ever continuous walk — not taking a break for seasons, which is what has happened with the only other two attempted traverses. There's a very convincing case for creating a continuous trail that could be run over the course of a year or perhaps 14 months.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/nepal-section-great-himalayan-trail-opens

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