I made a vlog video every day on the trek. It has an episode for each day, and follows the ups and downs of long distance trekking in the remotest corners of the most amazing place on earth. The first episode premiers on YouTube on Saturday, but here's a trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POHhwrogJ8U&list=PLiM-TFJI81R_X4HUrRDjwSJmK-MpqC1dW

The concept of the Great Himalaya Trail is to follow the highest elevation continuous hiking route across the Himalayas. The Nepal section stretches for 1,400 km (900 miles) from Kanchenjunga in the east to Humla in the west. It winds through the mountains with an average elevation of 3,750 m (12,300 ft), and up to 6,200 m (20,300 ft), with an average elevation change of 1,600 m (5,250 ft) per day. The route includes parts of the more commercialised treks, linking them together with sections that are so remote even the locals seldom hike there.

Proof: https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/reddit/

Comments: 197 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

sup3rk1w143 karma

Wow, just wow. I am so jealous! What was the cost of the whole trip?
I have been looking at going to Nepal for first time next year and doing the Annapurna area.
Edit: I saw someone had answered my question. World Expiditions charge $37K (AUD).

davebrophy44 karma

I was planning to add it up, but very approx:

Logistics: $3,000 (8 resupply packages brought from Kathmandu to points along the trail)

Mountaineering guide: $2,000 (we met the guide to assist us over the five technical passes, but the rest of the trek we hiked solo)

Permits: $800 each (including $500 for a week in the Upper Dolpa region)

Helicopter rescue: $3,500 (oops)

Food: $1,000 each (backpacking food brought with us from the UK)

Spending money: $3,000 each (to cover guest houses and food along the trek)

jwarner9515 karma

$1000 in food over 154 days? That’s insane!

davebrophy25 karma

Wait, that $1000 is just for the backpacking food. We brought enough backpacking food for 60 days, so about $16/day. You can see a full breakdown on the "Food" sheet on my planning doc:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k

In the end we only camped for about 30 days, so we didn't need all that food. When we were staying with locals we were spending about $25/day each on accommodation plus food. Less in the remote regions - more in the commercialised regions.

davebrophy12 karma

$1000 in food over 154 days? That’s insane!

However I'm interested... did you think $1000 was expensive for 154 days of food? Or cheap?

thewitt331 karma

[deleted]

davebrophy1 karma

Yeah that would have been cheap. It was only for about ~60 days so not that cheap.

thewitt331 karma

[deleted]

davebrophy5 karma

Ugh Iceland is off the chart amazing. Do yourself a favour and do the Laugavegur hiking trail. It's seriously cool. I did it a few years ago:

https://goo.gl/photos/D8T8A6bnxd93CoJE8

phantomalive1 karma

We visited for one short day there. Only had time to go up one hill. How long was your stay there? We've pretty much nixed Iceland from future travel due to the costs there, but I think we might consider it once we're a little better off in the future.

davebrophy1 karma

Oh I only stayed a couple of weeks in Iceland... did the trek and left. I really want to go back and do a long distance trek all the way across the country...

thewitt331 karma

[deleted]

davebrophy1 karma

We camped - not sure about the cabins. I think you have to reserve a space? Not sure.

Mechanized_Miasma1 karma

Helicopter rescue: $3,500 (oops)

Gave me a chuckle, what happened?

davebrophy5 karma

Yeah so I'd just crossed some seriously dangerous steep exposed snow slopes without crampons, so going back wasn't really an option. Got to a river and the bridge from the guidebook didn't seem to be there... hiked up a side valley to see if I could get across that way - got across but the route on the way down was too overgrown.

If I had gone back I would have had to cross the really dangerous section again, and also be 10 days late meeting Mathi at Makalu Base Camp (she was meeting me on day 30, and at that point was already hiking).

So I used my trusty Garmin InReach Mini to contact the logistics company. Gave them a lat/long for the pickup and drop off, and they got a couple of quotes. $3500 for a 10 minute ride, and they dropped me off part of the way up the Makalu Base Camp trek where Mathi was having a rest day. Perfect timing.

Not proud of having to call the helicopter. $3500 and heaps of CO2. But there was definitely a non-zero chance of me slipping and falling off a cliff if I hiked out, so I took the less risky option.

A friend of ours who did that section a few weeks earlier got stuck in the same region and spent $9000 on his helicopter ride, because it failed to find him and had to come back twice... Perhaps I got off lucky.

Retireegeorge1 karma

Are they doing something about that part of the trail, the need for crampons, the non-existent bridge etc?

Also where was your guide at that point?

davebrophy2 karma

... and the need for crampons is really just a matter of the conditions on the day. We started in April where there was still plenty of snow and ice around. As spring turned to summer there was less and less snow on the passes.

davebrophy2 karma

We only had a guide for the five technical mountaineering passes, so this section I was hiking solo.

This part of the route is very remote so not often attempted by trekkers or locals. Remember the GHT is only attempted by a handful of people each year, so there’s nobody really looking out for or repairing things like missing bridges in the really remote parts...

pandasaur71 karma

Helicopter rescue. What happened? (If u dont mind)

reachvenky1 karma

What about $4000 deposit to bring back your shit and waste?

davebrophy5 karma

Not sure what you mean.

All the plastic waste that we brought into the mountains we packed out and our resupply porter brought it all back to Kathmandu. About 5KG in the end. I had planned to bring it all back to the UK instead of putting in the trash in Kathmandu, but I was already over my baggage allowance going back and was charged $40/kg in excess baggage, so it went in the trash in Kathmandu.

reachvenky2 karma

I read that they collect and $4k deposit to ensure that all bring back the garbage. They did not collect and refund it?

https://www.satoriadventurenepal.com/garbage-deposit-and-refund.html

davebrophy6 karma

Looks like that's for if you're climbing one of the peaks... We were just trekking over the passes.

davebrophy17 karma

World Expiditions charge $37K (AUD).

Yeah I think that's for a fully supported trek where you have guides showing you the way and porters carrying all your gear and cooking for you. Different vibe for sure!

davebrophy6 karma

Yes, I'd highly recommend the Annapurna circuit trek for your first taste of Nepal. That's what I did the year before the GHT.

sup3rk1w11 karma

Thank you for your reply. What sort of of alpine skills do you have? Would they be needed for the GHT? I had been looking at getting into solo hiking about 3 years ago, but a move to a different country and then seriously injuring my back has put me back a lot - hence the Nepal trip. Nothing says I'm not going to roll over in life like a trek in the highest area of earth.

davebrophy5 karma

I've done a bit of ski touring and ski mountaineering, so I have basic crevasse and avalanche avoidance / rescue skills, but I'm by no means an experiences mountaineer or climber. It's really only the five technical mountaineering passes that you need real skills, and we used a climbing guide for those sections.

NocturnalWaltz14 karma

Cool! What was the story about needing a helicopter rescue and how did that work?

davebrophy45 karma

Yeah so I'd just crossed some seriously dangerous steep exposed snow slopes without crampons, so going back wasn't really an option. Got to a river and the bridge from the guidebook didn't seem to be there... hiked up a side valley to see if I could get across that way - got across but the route on the way down was too overgrown.

If I had gone back I would have had to cross the really dangerous section again, and also be 10 days late meeting Mathi at Makalu Base Camp (she was meeting me on day 30, and at that point was already hiking).

So I used my trusty Garmin InReach Mini to contact the logistics company. Gave them a lat/long for the pickup and drop off, and they got a couple of quotes. $3500 for a 10 minute ride, and they dropped me off part of the way up the Makalu Base Camp trek where Mathi was having a rest day. Perfect timing.

rex84993 karma

Did you ever find out why the bridge was missing? Or were you just in the wrong spot?

davebrophy6 karma

As you can see in the trailer video, bridges are often just logs spanning the river. If they're not used regularly they can easily be washed away...

davebrophy4 karma

Haha and maybe I just didn't find it!

Beastybrook8 karma

Do you have a lighterpack that we can see?

davebrophy12 karma

I didn't use lighterpack, but I have a pretty good gear spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k/edit?usp=sharing

All the weights are accurate for my gear, some of Mathi's might not be correct. Check out the other sheets for the spares we kept with the logistics company in Nepal, the route and other planning stuff.

davebrophy8 karma

We had eight resupply locations along the trek, where a porter would bring us the backpacking food, fuel etc for the next section.

This gave us the opportunity to swap gear out, get replacements from the spares cache and send stuff back.

For the very high sections (Makalu Base Camp on over the 6,000m / 20,000ft passes), I swapped that Zpacks 20F sleeping bag for the Feathered Friends Snowbunting. I swapped back at the next resupply location.

jack4allfriends3 karma

What mountaineering gear of your list did you actually need? Any thought about what was unnecessary or you'd change? Like not to buy, rent out on the way..

davebrophy6 karma

It really depends on the conditions, and the time of year you do it.

Also if you're taking a guide for the technical sections they'll bring the required gear - e.g. the descent from West Col involves a 200m rappel, so you need to bring a 200m rope.

I made the mistake of not taking my crampons and ice axe on the very first section (when I was completely solo), which made for some very dangerous exposed snow traverses. Not fun.

LastManOnEarth31 karma

Holy shit, 10 lb bw on the GHT?

davebrophy1 karma

Oh how I wish it was 10lb 🤣

davebrophy1 karma

10kg = 22lb

davebrophy1 karma

Wait all those weights are in kg, so about double in lb...

riptide7475 karma

Were there any days you got sore from a particularly difficult part and didn't want to continue?

davebrophy6 karma

Oh god yes. There was one section I remember in particular where the soles of my feet felt bruised. I've never had this feeling before and every step was really painful. I never thought of giving up though... We weren't on any strict time schedule, so we were free to take rest days whenever we wanted, so if we had problems we just took an extra rest day to recuperate. Obviously we had to wait until we found a town to do this... didn't really want to be digging into our limited backpacking food for rest days.

riptide7473 karma

I'll be doing the Mount Blanc hike in June and really hope I don't have anything like that!

davebrophy3 karma

Oh cool I did the Summer Haute Route and the Tour du Mont Blanc a couple of years ago: https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/summer-haute-route-2018/

pragmatichuman5 karma

Looks epic.

Did you encounter any health issues along the way? And if so, how did you deal with it?

Also, how much did you spend? ( Just a rough ballpark.)

davebrophy6 karma

We were really lucky. Mathi got ill with flu symptoms for about a week but no other illnesses on the trek at all. Injuries were also pretty lucky. When we crossed that crazy river Mathi bumped her knee on a rock which was quite nasty... she ended up popping back to Kathmandu for an MRI the next week when we got to Syabru Besi... It was just a sprain though, and she was back on the trail in 4 days.

AgentElman4 karma

Was it open wilderness, a well defined trail, a well maintained trail?

davebrophy9 karma

There were sections of well maintained trail, and sections of complete wilderness. The GHT route follows several of the more commercial trails, and links them together with really remote sections. Because the GHT takes about five months to complete, you're hiking most of it outside the normal trekking high-season, so even the popular sections are usually very low on other trekkers.

The Annapurna Circuit section is probably the most trekker friendly, with well marked trails, and trekking lodges every few hours. We skipped the Everest Base Camp side-trek because that region was so commercialised - we hiked up the next valley along to the Cho Oyu base camp (and didn't see a single person the whole way).

Also, going from Makalu Base Camp we trekked for seven whole days without seeing another human. This was while we could see Everest in the distance, at the time that famous queue for the summit photo was taken. Nepal is incredibly varied with super commercialised trekking ares right next door to complete wilderness.

davebrophy4 karma

In terms of actually following the trail on the ground, 80% (90 days?) of it was a well defined trail that you could follow easily. The other 20% (30 days?) was more challenging with no markings on the ground, and a very rough route from a GPX route that I copied from the paper maps. This proved pretty much perfect though - we very rarely made major navigational blunders.

bkothito3 karma

Did you do it before #visitNepal2020 or during? Also did you try local foods along the way? If yes what was your fav food/s?

davebrophy8 karma

Did you do it before visitNepal2020 or before?

Not sure what that is... never heard of it. We did the trek from April 15th to September 15th 2019.

Also did you try local goods along the way? If yes what was your fav food/s?

I was partial to a plate of momos (dumplings). Actually usually two or three plates. I ate literally as much as I could for the whole five months and still lost 15% of my body weight. 80kg at the start, 68kg at the end.

xsopaul1 karma

Could you explain why you had to get heli rescued?

davebrophy9 karma

Yeah so I'd just crossed some seriously dangerous steep exposed snow slopes without crampons, so going back wasn't really an option. Got to a river and the bridge from the guidebook didn't seem to be there... hiked up a side valley to see if I could get across that way - got across but the route on the way down was too overgrown.

If I had gone back I would have had to cross the really dangerous section again, and also be 10 days late meeting Mathi at Makalu Base Camp (she was meeting me on day 30, and at that point was already hiking).

So I used my trusty Garmin InReach Mini to contact the logistics company. Gave them a lat/long for the pickup and drop off, and they got a couple of quotes. $3500 for a 10 minute ride, and they dropped me off part of the way up the Makalu Base Camp trek where Mathi was having a rest day. Perfect timing.

Not proud of having to call the helicopter. $3500 and heaps of CO2. But there was definitely a non-zero chance of me slipping and falling off a cliff if I hiked out, so I took the less risky option.

A friend of ours who did that section a few weeks earlier got stuck in the same region and spent $9000 on his helicopter ride, because it failed to find him and had to come back twice... Perhaps I got off lucky.

sissipaska1 karma

A friend of ours who did that section a few weeks earlier got stuck in the same region and spent $9000 on his helicopter ride, because it failed to find him and had to come back twice... Perhaps I got off lucky.

What if the logistics company removed the bridge, causing all these rescue flights..

Just kidding.. maybe.

davebrophy1 karma

Hahaha well it would have been about a ten day hike for them to even got there, so it would have been a big operation!

kievanr3 karma

First off, congratulations. Trips like this are currently just dreams to me.

How do you plan such an extensive trip?

davebrophy2 karma

Wow well planning for this trip was pretty much a full time occupation for me from December 2018 to April 2019 when we started the trek. Basically I googled the fuck out of it, made a basic itinarary, bought the maps, worked out a GPX route, worked out which locations we could most easily get a resupply, how much food we'd need, temperatures, gear, resupply porters, permits etc etc etc. Check out the other sheets (Spares, Route, Orders, Permits, Food etc.) in my planing doc for some of my notes:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k/edit#gid=1760925745

davebrophy1 karma

Also check out the stuff I wrote on my blog during the planning:

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/

tortortee3 karma

How much did it cost?

davebrophy5 karma

I was planning to add it up, but very approx:

Logistics: $3,000 (8 resupply packages brought from Kathmandu to points along the trail)

Mountaineering guide: $2,000 (we met the guide to assist us over the five technical passes, but the rest of the trek we hiked solo)

Permits: $800 each (including $500 for a week in the Upper Dolpa region)

Helicopter rescue: $3,500 (oops)

Food: $1,000 each (backpacking food brought with us from the UK)

Spending money: $3,000 each (to cover guest houses and food along the trek)

davebrophy5 karma

...so basically it cost a lot, but if you think two people for five months it's not that much... especially if I hadn't got that helicopter 🤬

tortortee1 karma

US$ ?

davebrophy2 karma

Yeah that's USD.

TheFunkwich2 karma

Did you go straight to altitude? Or train at altitude?

davebrophy4 karma

No training at all really... just took it pretty slow... didn't rush anything. The first week when I was heading to Kanchenjunga Base Camp at 5,000m (16,400ft) I took three rest days instead of the usual one, just to make sure I didn't overdo it on the altitude... It's a marathon not a sprint...

EkJourneys2 karma

Congrats on the achievement! Also wanted to add that Pass the Pigs is the ultimate thru hiking game!! Very rare to come across someone who has played before.

Ever lose a pig? I'm always terrified of dropping one on trail!

davebrophy2 karma

Hahaha we sent pass the pigs home at one of the resupply points. Got rid of literally everything we didn’t need. Packs were soooooo heavy.

We literally discussed the pros and cons of whether we send the dental floss home for hours. Hahaha

Other things to get the chop on that gear list were:

HMG Stuff Pack
Exped Evazote foam pad 4mm, cut to shape of pad
Vargo Titanium Bot Hanger
Sawyer gravity feed attachment
Shower bottle cap
8 x 5g ESBIT fire starting tablets
Dental floss
Garmin Fenix 5, velcro strap and compass
Sony ICD-TX650 digital voice recorder
Purple Panda lav microphone (it broke)
Pass the Pigs game
Ear plugs (4 sets)
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion (did most of the trek without a spare pair of hiking socks)
Cerium SV down jacket (swapped for the lighter Cerium LT from my spares)
Goose Feet Gear down pants, Goose Feet Gear down socks (when the temps got hotter we send the cold weather gear home)
Outdoor Designs Windiush Cap (lost it somewhere on the KBC trek)
Salomon Trail Gaiters High (the didn't stay attached very well so I swapped them for my more substantial gaiters)

Also about half way we realised that resupplying with camping food was relatively easy on the trek, so we removed some of the backpacking food from the resupply packages. We removed the RX Bars and Huel which after two months we were a bit fed up with (see the "Food" tab in the planning sheet).

Norgeroff2 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

davebrophy3 karma

Haha I had a spare toothbrush delivered in one of the resupply packages! Can't remember the colour but I totally missed my nice electric toothbrush.

onefoxstudio2 karma

What made you quit your job and start hiking ? What were you looking for ?

davebrophy5 karma

Well I've been contracting for the last five years, so if I take time off I don't get paid... so I've been planning on taking a good chunk of time off to do some major adventures for a while. I'm currently in Chile - just got back from a month in Antarctica 😬

smtgcleverhere1 karma

Wait - what were you doing in Antarctica? Do we get another AMA?

davebrophy3 karma

Yeah I made a vlog of the Antarctica trip, which will go out on Youtube directly after the Nepal videos finish... so expect another AMA in four months!

thewitt331 karma

[deleted]

davebrophy1 karma

aaaah that's the next adventure! I'm currently working on getting that vlog ready... it'll go live after the Nepal vlog is finished!

Ski mountaineering basically... https://www.facebook.com/dbrophy/posts/10159276734319418

narphu2 karma

Wonderful place Nepal is! You mention you only used guides for the high altitude passes (I'm assuming in the Makalu region). How did you bypass the guide requirement in the Kanchenjunga and upper Dolpo regions?

davebrophy2 karma

Yup. Had to pay a $20 surcharge at the Ghunsa for the KBC section, and we never even saw a checkpoint in Upper Dolpa. We were looking for it as we left Kagbeni and expected to be stopped, but nothing.

We had all the correct permits though - even the $500 Upper Dolpa permit!

narphu2 karma

$20 surcharge to hike Kanchenjunga solo? Didn't realize there was that option. Does that apply to other restricted areas?

davebrophy3 karma

Haha I think it's an "unofficial" option 😉

davebrophy2 karma

... but once the checkpoint staff see that we're experienced hikers with all the correct gear I think they're a bit more OK with us not having a guide. Especially when we explain the route!

corlito2 karma

Any top picks for hikes for someone going there in a few weeks? Only have base camp on the itinerary for now 🤔

davebrophy10 karma

My recommendation is skip Everest Base Camp. We could have gone there as a 2 day side trek but we didn't really like how commercialised the Everest region is.

The Annapurna Circuit has a much nicer vibe. If you want a longer trek, do the Manaslu trek then the Annapurna.

bcgulfhike3 karma

Or if you really want to see EBC do the Three Pass Loop (with a side trip if you must to EBC). On the loop you get great views of Everest for many days from various angles too.

davebrophy2 karma

Yes the three passes is an excellent variation. We did two of the three passes. Annoyed we didn't do the third too because it would have been easily possible. Not sure why but it's just not the route Robin drew on the map... It was only after that section that we realised going via the pass would have been a much better option.

sonfer2 karma

Are you over hiking now? I remember being very done with hiking after the Annapurna circuit. Congrats by the way, sounds like an amazing experience. Nepal is stunning.

davebrophy4 karma

No way! I'm planning the Greater Patagonia Trail this winter... should be the same sort of thing through Chile...

RzzB0 karma

With a break at Christmas of course!

davebrophy1 karma

Ha yeah maybe! 😬

APicketFence2 karma

Ever see or hear anything spooky?

davebrophy3 karma

Haha not really spooky but yaks and cows would occasionally be milling around directly outside the tent when we woke up in the morning... That was rather scary the first few times...

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crunkadocious1 karma

How did you afford it? To not work for so long?

yawfox1 karma

Hey, I just want to know.... How do you do all this? What work do you do that you can earn and get 154+travelling days leave. How about responsibilities back home with family etc etc. How do you manage alllll that??

davebrophy3 karma

I've been working remotely and travelling more or less full time for the past 8 years, so I don't really have a home to be away from.

I finished a five year software engineer contract a couple of years ago and I've been taking a break from paid work and concentrating on open source software since then (www.github.com/dave).

I saved quite a bit when I was working as a contractor and didn't get paid holidays so I never really took holidays for five years.

Also I rent my apartment in London out and that gives me a little bit of income while I'm travelling, but I've taken quite a chunk out of my savings over the past couple of years.

lor3nzzo1 karma

First of all congratulations for this achievement. I'm sure it was an awesome experience and I can't wait to see the videos.

How did you decide to do this over other routes? Which were your resources for the trail? Was it easy to follow the trail?

I have checked this trail in the past and saw that there are some ideas to extend it over the borders of Nepal such that it will span across the entire Himalayan range. Do you know anything about these plans? Are there any maps or resources for the trail outside Nepal?

davebrophy1 karma

Thanks! Why this trail? I trekked the Annapurna circuit the year before and loved Nepal so much I wanted to go back and do something bigger... this is about as big and gnarly as Nepal has to offer!

Resources... take a look at some of the blog posts I posted about my planning:

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-sources/

Basically I cobbled together everything I could find to make the “Route” tab on my planning sheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k

... then I created a GPX route for each day of the itinerary:

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-gps/

... that proved remarkably accurate considering I was mainly copying it from paper maps.

Sections outside Nepal? Yeah they’re interesting... last time I looked into this, none of the non-Nepal sections were continuous e.g. it’s basically a collection of shorter hikes. This could be interesting but not really what I’m looking for.

Robin Boustead basically invented the GHT and created the maps... he’s a very nice chap and we had a very useful phone call with him while preparing... you can check his site out here:

https://www.greathimalayatrail.com/product/ght-digital-map-set-nepal-bhutan-and-india/

iFixDix1 karma

What was your favorite section of the hike? Looking forward to my next trip back to Nepal someday after I did the Manaslu and Annapurna circuit together a few years ago...

davebrophy1 karma

I really liked the Dolpa section. That and the Makalu bit.

mountainsandrocks1 karma

How did you get your other gear to the sherpas? You mentioned you switched sleeping bags, did you pay them to buy you a new bag and then bring it to you? Or did you somehow deliver that bag to them before you started the trail?

davebrophy1 karma

Check out the "Spares" tab in my planning sheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k

... all this was numbered and left with our logistics company www.mactreks.com in Kathmandu, along with the eight pre-prepared resupply packs.

If we wanted to swap something out, we'd send them a message with the items we need, and they would add it to the resupply pack. The porter would then pick it up and bring it to the trailhead.

The porter sometimes had to spend two days on a bus then five days hiking to get to the resupply location, then the same in reverse to get back to Kathmandu, so this was quite a logistical nightmare, and expensive even at only $20/day...

Check out the "Porter" column on the "Route" tab of the sheet for my approximation of what he would be doing on each day!

shinayasaki1 karma

hey, that was some good quality footage. What camera gears did you use? also, how did the local treat you in general?

davebrophy5 karma

Haha all shot AND edited on my iPhone. Most of the editing was done in the evenings in Nepal, and I did some final fixes after I got back. All in LumaFusion, which is an amazing app!

The locals in Nepal are amazing. Never found a single person with an attitude in the whole five months.

shinayasaki1 karma

neat! as an apple hater, I'd love to know which model was it? Thanks.

davebrophy2 karma

Shot all the video and did most of the editing on a iPhone 10s Max. After I got back I upgraded to the 11 Pro Max, and finished off the editing on that.

arklifeisbrutal1 karma

How often you walk pass someone on the trail?

davebrophy2 karma

There were loads of locals in the lower sections. Not so many trekkers, even in the popular regions because we were outside of the trekking season. One section we didn't see another human for 7 days!

Animalion1 karma

Was there any item(s) that you regretted not packing?

davebrophy1 karma

Sure, on the first section I really should have taken my crampons and ice axe. Ended up doing some very dangerous traverses that would have been a piece of cake with the right gear.

stosshobel1 karma

How did you like the part west of Annapurna? Was it very different than the more famous parts to the East?

davebrophy3 karma

Yes, the Dolpa region was utterly spectacular, and we were blown away. Totally different landscape as you move into the rain shadow of the Annapurna mountain range. Desert, sandy terrain... Those vlog episodes are totally amazing.

Dolpa sections starts on day 120: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZrMlmAe1HU

stosshobel1 karma

Cool it's definitely a region that's on my radar. How about far Western Nepal? Like Rara Lake and west of that

davebrophy2 karma

We didn't actually make it to the Rara lake - we were short on time... but Dolpa was definitely the best of the west. Humla wasn't quite as good.

TheGamingPotato321 karma

Why?

davebrophy6 karma

Why not?

pumpkinbro3001 karma

What do you eat to keep you energized through the day when hiking?trail mix?

davebrophy1 karma

Yeah we had trail mix, Pro Bars and RX Bars. The Pro Bars were amazing and I’ll be using them on all future hikes. RX Bars not so much haha.

MonJcfarland1 karma

Did you see any or hear of any Snow Leopard sightings?? Loosely planning a Nepal trip and as an ecologist I’d probs shit my pants with excitement to see one!!

davebrophy1 karma

I think they’re very rare unfortunately.

NotAFederales1 karma

As a fellow backpacker, how did the altitude effect your day to day, beyond the obvious exhaustion and cold? Were there any weird gear hacks you had to learn?

davebrophy3 karma

The altitude sickness symptoms can be easily mitigated by climbing slowly and adding rest days so we never really had any problems with that.

General lack of oxygen isn’t something that can be avoided though, so we were constantly out of breath and moving slower and slower as the altitude grew.

Gear hacks? Hmm we realised pretty quickly that the water was often far too silty for a filter so we sent that home at the first resupply and used chlorine tablets for almost the whole trek.

Dizzy_Buttons1 karma

Dave! Well done!! I had a look at the spreadsheet you provided a linked to and Im very impressed with the amount of detail and planning you put in to this. Where would one learn to plan something like this without having to suffer the usual trial and error? :D

davebrophy1 karma

Ooh not sure how you’d learn to plan this... I guess just by doing lots of smaller trips? I’m planning to go into a bit more detail about our trip and write some trail notes...

Jizzus-Christ1 karma

Hey man you wanna ride?

davebrophy1 karma

Prefer my feet 😉

Sadburner1 karma

I hiked the Appalachian Trail SOBO in 2018-19 and I’m looking for my next long distance hike. How was resupply logistics? Did you just have package drops or were you able to shop? What was the longest food carry you had to do? This is awesome btw man

davebrophy1 karma

Yeah so we weren't confident about restocking with backpacking stove compatible food along the trek, so we made sure we had enough food for all the camping sections. In actual fact we could have survived with about half what we took because it turned out that instant noodles were available more or less everywhere. We were carrying 10 days of food at some points, so heavy packs unfortunately.

We had eight resupply locations along the trek, where a porter would bring us the backpacking food, fuel etc for the next section from Kathmandu.

This also gave us the opportunity to swap gear out, get replacements from the spares cache and send stuff back.

e.g. For the very high sections (Makalu Base Camp on over the 6,000m / 20,000ft passes), I swapped that Zpacks 20F sleeping bag for the Feathered Friends Snowbunting. I swapped back at the next resupply location.

T0WERM0NKEY1 karma

What was your highest altitude?

davebrophy2 karma

The highest point was Sherpani Col at 6,200 m (20,300 ft)... amazing views from the top!

We crossed it on day 39: https://youtu.be/_yb0PJCsFe4

kayjeckel1 karma

Wow that is HiGH HIGH up! And to think that's just trekking, not technical mountaineering! Getting so pumped for my trip to Nepal this upcoming October/November. I have hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Te Araroa, but I have heard this is the toughest thru-hike there is. Congrats!

davebrophy1 karma

Ooh wow I was thinking about the Te Araroa... how was it?

kayjeckel2 karma

New Zealand is made up of the North Island and the South Island. I hiked Southbound, starting at the top of the North Island. All the amazing, Lord-of-the-Rings glorious epic scenery is in the South Island. There's lots of cool shit in the North Island but it's not on the Te Araroa (except for Tongarrio Crossing which is just a dayhike or the Whanganui River which is a float trip). So in short, the Te Araroa was a fabulous thru-hike but I'd recommend only hiking the South Island and adding side trips along the way. Also, I feel your pain about the unexpected helicopter ride. My partner and I got in over our heads, getting stuck on a sandbar between rushing rivers and had to hit the SOS button and get a chopper ride out of there. The best and worst part of the TA was: water water everywhere. Clean, clear, beautiful water every day in the form of rivers, lakes, estuaries, bays, oceans, waterfalls, and hot springs. Just watch the river crossings :-D Another question: do you recommend getting a porter or guide while in Nepal if you are an experienced backpacker? Also did you buy Travel Insurance?

davebrophy2 karma

If you’re doing one of the popular trekking routes (Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit etc) then a porter / guide definitely isn’t needed. Trails are well marked on the ground, paper maps and mapping apps. The maps.me app is excellent and I’d recommend this as your primary navigation assistant.

Most regular travel insurance will cover the standard trekking routes in Nepal. We had issues because our route went over 6,000m but most routes don’t go this high... read the small print though.

kayjeckel1 karma

Do you think the Annapurna section is packed with people during Oct-Dec?

davebrophy2 karma

I’ve not actually been in the autumn season, but I’ve heard stories about the guesthouses being very busy / full in the peak seasons. Might be best to avoid the peak times. I did the Annapurna Circuit the year before the GHT, in May/June which is just outside the peak time. Weather was great and all the guesthouses have plenty of space.

hihoesilver1 karma

Any stories from locals that were interesting to you?

davebrophy2 karma

Yeah there was a great story about one of the high passes...

NYINGMA GYANZEN LA 5,570m (18,200ft)

All the locals laughed when we called it that... turns out years ago one of the locals named NYINGMA GYANZEN was asked what the pass was called... he thought they were asking him his name... so the pass is forever named after him on all the maps.

Apparently he’s still around but we didn’t bump into him :)

We cross it on day 137: https://youtu.be/6Y-K_zIcjws

FIRE__SALE1 karma

What was the Visa situation like?

davebrophy1 karma

I’m a UK passport holder, so this might be different for other nationalities... but I got a 90 day visa on arrival and our logistics company helped with the paperwork to extend to the maximum 150 days.

I overstayed the visa by about 20 days, so had to pay a fine ... I think it was about $50 plus $3 per day so just over $100.

dragos-d1 karma

Did you have any problems with the wild animals?

davebrophy2 karma

Not really... The Yaks were a bit scary at first - they usually stand their ground if you pass them on the trail... The locals just throw stones at them and they scatter... We realised that just pretending to pick up a stone and making a throwing action was enough to get them running... so by the end no problems at all.

dragos-d2 karma

Glad you were able to travel without having to attack animals for safety.And also,thanks for replying,i wasn't really expecting you to see my comment!

davebrophy2 karma

Trying to answer all the questions! (Have to get on a flight later today so might be offline for a while).

Yeah in terms of animals there's very little that wants to kill you in Nepal... Heaps of other things that want to kill you though (rocks, ice, snow, weather etc haha).

URawesome4151 karma

Congratulations, that truly looks amazing. I'll be heading to the region in July, and hope to do a 10 day hike. What was the weather like over there in July (and for the rest of your trip)? Was there anything out of the ordinary or unpredictable?

davebrophy3 karma

For us, monsoon arrived properly on July 11th, so if you're east of the Annapurna mountains you'll probably be getting wet. Depending on the altitude you're trekking at it'll probably be pretty hot too.

My recommendation is to take a good sturdy umbrella. We found conditions were far too hot for waterproof clothes to be effective - within 5 minutes you're as wet inside from sweat as you are on the outside. We bought crappy umbrellas from a village along the way and they were soooo much better.

Obviously you have to be careful and not use them in the wind, but as soon as it's windy you can usually put your waterproof jacket on and not get so hot.

shivaliksisodiya1 karma

Do you use GPS or any other sort of things to locate yourself while hiking ? How do you find the way on unknown terrains,do you got any kind of map with you? Thanks.

davebrophy1 karma

I did a bunch of blog posts about navigation during my planning... Maybe have a read of them... In the end we used maps.me 99% of the time, and ViewRanger the other 1%. We never used the paper maps. The flashcards I made were nice to look at occasionally but hardly ever relied on them. Basically maps.me is really all you need for navigating most trails in Nepal.

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-methods/

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-gps/

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-flashcards/

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-apps/

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/navigation-emergencies/

https://www.wildernessprime.com/expeditions/great-himalaya-trail/communication/

shivaliksisodiya1 karma

Q - Why didn't you choose Google maps as an option ?why Maps.Me?

davebrophy2 karma

maps.me works completely offline, and has offline routing along hiking trails. Very simple, fast UI. It's amazing for trekking.

ManojAbhiram0071 karma

Congratulations on this! I'm curious about the weather. How cold was it and were there any parts of the trek where the weather was really harsh and you had to stop there coz you couldn't proceed?

davebrophy1 karma

Not really - we had great weather for most of the trek. I tried to work out the average temperature for each day based on the altitude... Check out the "Overnight temperatures" tab on my planning sheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W6Nbe-NhahaRc2Mqn5_lRELf0l7R-Pgjgh27r_chu0k

... they were relatively accurate. There were a few days when we had lots of wind, and had to camp in more sheltered spots.

The monsoon was pretty light last year so we only got really wet every day for a week or so.

Retarded__Penguin1 karma

Where did u throw the trash that accumulated throughout the hike? :)

davebrophy2 karma

All the plastic trash that we brought into the mountains was carried with us to the next resupply stop and given to our resupply porter and taken back to Kathmandu.

Originally I had planned to take it all out of the country, but this proved too expensive because I was well over my baggage allowance and excess cost me $40/kg! So we put it in the trash in Kathmandu.

Retarded__Penguin1 karma

Wow really nice!! Too many people thrash the places they hike :( Should take you as a example :)

davebrophy2 karma

Yeah we got depressed whenever we saw trash. Unfortunately it seems to be mostly the locals that drop litter... The don't seem to understand that it's not going to just disappear.

thundatiddies1 karma

Did you ever experience any danger by means of other hikers or experienced hostile locals?

davebrophy1 karma

Never. Not a single local had even the faintest attitude. Everyone was lovely. Nepal is a very special place filled with beautiful amazing people. Yay Nepal.

Broke_Trickster1 karma

Through your trip did you ever regret your decision of coming there?

davebrophy1 karma

Never! It was amazing from start to finish!

serpentjaguar1 karma

Have you seen the snow leopard?

davebrophy1 karma

No but we THOUGHT we saw a mountain lion... We got really scared and worried ... and it turned out to be a goat. hahaha

serpentjaguar1 karma

It's actually a quote from Peter Matthiessen's 1978 book, "The Snow Leopard." Shortly after his wife's death in 1972, Matthiessen was invited --no doubt at the behest of friends-- to accompany noted biologist George Schaller on a two-month expedition in the the then-very-remote Dolpo region, to look for blue sheep. Matthiessen was heavily involved in the study of various forms of Buddhism and writes pithily and at length on the subject in said book, while also wrestling with his grief as it arises in each moment.

The original quote is this; "Have you seen the snow leopard? No! Isn't that wonderful?"

davebrophy2 karma

Aaahhh I started reading this book but it was a little slow so I stopped after a few pages...

Crazedchef-1 karma

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

davebrophy2 karma

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow

African or European?