Whichever way you go, in reality crossing Nepal is anything but vague – it is tough, it is wild, it is enormous and it is humbling. Read Lizzy’s open letter here with her reasoning why there is no FKT (fastest known time) for the Great Himalaya Trail.




For my 2017 journey I had a fairly simple rationale – to make an independent crossing of Nepal keeping as much to the high mountains as possible.

The Nepal-Tibet border roughly follows the line of the highest part of the Himalayan mountain range. So where I had choice in route I generally followed the more northerly option. This set my starting point as Kanchenjunga Base Camp and my finish point as Hilsa and its footbridge across the Karnali marking the border with Tibet.

This is arguably the highest independent route across Nepal to date. I completed it on my 35th day, solo and self-supported.

In this context “independent” denotes a route avoiding glaciated terrain and thus not requiring mountaineering support, namely Sherpani Col, West Col & the Amphu Labsta between the Barun and the Khumbu, the Tashi Labsta into the Rolwaling and Tilman Pass into Langtang. Here “self-supported” means no external support, I sent two small resupply bags ahead to Syabru Besi and Kagbeni and had no pre-determined meeting points. Also in this context “solo” simply means that I made the entire journey alone and unaccompanied over any section. I had 5 wild bivvies, for the rest of the journey I was staying in the local communities and deeply grateful for their support and hospitality. Of course in many regions there are people traveling on the trails. The time I was totally alone was during the 48 hour crossing from Pho, Upper Dolpo into Mugu – an incredible and humbling experience.

In effect I followed much of the High Route of the Great Himalaya Trail as defined by Robin Bousted and mapped by the Himalayan Map House with detours to avoided the glaciated passes.

My route could be refined further to keep closer to my rationale – in particular taking a more northerly route between the Tinsang La and Sermathang via Panch Pokhari, following a new route from Phakding through to Dudh Kund and into Rolwaling, and the higher route from Piplan to Kharpunath in Humla. The logical starting point would actually be the Jhinsang La and the border with Tibet to the north-east of Kanchenjunga Base Camp. However, given that this requires a glacier crossing and mountaineering equipment my choice was to start at Kanchenjunga Base Camp.


Read more about my 2017 story here …






I define my route by the passes crossed, rather than villages passed through, as in this situation it gives a better indicator of the overall route.

Start: Kanchenjunga Base Camp, 5143m – 15:00 NPT Thursday 5th October 2017

Finish: Hilsa, bridge across the Karnali, 3647m – 14:57 NPT Friday 10th November 2017

GPS was logged hourly using a Delorme Inreach satellite tracker. This was primarily for security, rather than to record the best GPS track given the constraints on battery power.


START: Kanchenjunga Base Camp (north) – 5143m

Ghunsa – 3595m

Nango La – 4776m

Lumbha Samba – 5139m

Salpa Bhanjuang  – 3500m

Surke La – 3085m

Narukung La – 3200m

Taksindu La – 3870m

Lamjura La – 3530m

Chordung – 3690m

Tinsang La – 3778m

Kanja La – 5187m

Khurpudanda Pass – 3710m

Pang Sang Pass – 3850m

Magne Goth Pass – 2936m

Myangal Bhanjyang – 2975m

Larkya La – 5135m

Thorung La – 5415m

Pass – 3710m

Bhima Lojun La – 4460m

Jungben La – 5550m

Niwas La – 5120m

Mo La – 5027m

Shimen Pass – 4260m

Khoma Pass – 4460m

Nengla La – 5368m

Yambur La – 4813m

Nyingma Gyanzen La – 5563m

Ridge Pass – 5450m

Yala La – 5414m

Chyargo La – 5150m

Chankheli Lange – 3594m

Nara La – 4560m

Chor Lagna – 4107m

FINISH: Hilsa – 3647m