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New epic trekking route set to open in the Himalaya in 2011
Known at the Great Himalaya Trail, this new route will run approximately 2800 miles through some of the most remote and stunningly beautiful locations on the planet. The snow capped peaks of the Himalaya will tower above hikers as they pass through Bhutan, Tibet, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, on a route that will be an epic undertaking from beginning to end.
The trail will begin in Namche Barwa in Tibet and extend all the way to Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. It is estimated that it will take roughly 150 days to hike the GHT from end to end, although it will also be broken up into seven sections, which can be completed in 18 to 35 days depending on which segment a trekker elects to do. Much of the route will be inaccessible by road, but will instead pass through remote villages that will allow for resupply, while giving backpackers a chance to immerse themselves in the unique and fascinating local cultures.
To date, only the route through Nepal is complete, although work continues in each of the other countries in an effort to be ready by February 15 of next year, when the first trek, led by adventure travel company World Expeditions will get underway. Those interested in joining the inaugural trek can book the entire route or one of the seven subsections now, although space is limited and demand is expected to be high. Trekking the route independently is being discouraged at the moment due to the number of permits and visas that are required.
For Nepal, the Great Himalaya Trail is an opportunity to expand the options for adventure travelers who already visit the country in droves. But for the other four countries along the Great Himalaya Trail, the new trekking route gives them a chance to begin to tap more fully into the growing adventure travel market that has, for the most part, eluded them. With the travel industry looking to rebound this year, the hope is that in 2011, long distance trekkers will be ready to take on this new route, and bolster their struggling economies in the process.