Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel #GHT2018 FKT Attempt update

Pic Credit – Dean Leslie Wandering Fever/ Red Bull Content Pool

Ryan and Ryno are currently 6 days into their Great Himalaya Trail FKT attempt, and despite extreme weather conditions and late season snow falls, have already covered a staggering 279km and climbed a dizzying 17 958m. They have 22 days left to finish the 1400km route and beat the current record. The boys had to do a 3 day hike to get to the start of the route and have already been through the local villages of Hilsa, Gamghadi, Simikot, Jumla and Juphal. They have had some surprises along the way like villages on their map where they had planned to spend nights no longer actually existing, but the locals have been super helpful and generous in opening their homes to the boys and welcoming them to stay with them.

The weather has definitely made things more exciting for Ryan and Ryno, as the snow is unseasonably late and does make the going a bit tougher. They have had to buy ice axes and ropes to help with their travels and ensure that the attempt stays on track despite the conditions. The sheer size of the mountains has been incredible, with unimaginable ascents and descents into each of the valleys.

Ryan and Ryno are anticipating to be in Kagbeni by Thursday 08 March – apparently there is good internet and cellular access in this village, so they will be able doing a Facebook live crossing from there. Ryan and Ryno would like to know if you have any specific questions they can answer in the Facebook live crossing – please send them to me as soon as you can think of them and they will answer them all for youJ

To follow Ryan and Ryno live please visit http://www.redbull.com/ght2018, there are also articles and transcribed voice notes from the boys on the siteJ

The Great Himalaya Trail is not a single trail but rather a combination of various trails in either the upper (GHT High Route) or middle (GHT Cultural route) districts of Nepal stretching from the west to the east (or vice versa) end of the country. Ryan and Ryno will traverse the estimated 1400km route combining the High GHT and Cultural GHT to challenge the current recognised FKT (Fastest Known Time) of 28 days, 13 hours and 56 minutes, as set by Andrew Porter in October 2016. They will self-navigate in an attempt to find the best possible route to link up the 12 required check-points as set by Andrew.

The route that Ryan and Ryno will be taking is (based on Andrew’s current FKT):

  • Start in the village of Hilsa (CP1) on the Western Nepal/ Tibetan border and cross the following points (villages and passes)
  • CP2: Simikot at roughly 70km
  • CP3: Gamgadhi at roughly 143km
  • CP4: Jumla at roughly 184km
  • CP5: Juphal (270km) or Dunai at roughly 280km
  • CP6: Chharka Bhot at roughly 371km
  • CP7: Kagbeni at roughly 429km
  • CP8: Thorang La Pass at roughly 447km
  • CP9: Larkye La Pass at roughly 541km
  • CP10: Jiri at roughly 902km
  • CP11: Tumlingtar at roughly 1037km
  • Finishing on the Eastern Nepal/ Indian border at Pashupatinagar (CP12)

Similar to Andrew, Ryan and Ryno will:

  • not use porters/ mule-ing and carry their load themselves
  • stay in lodges and other local accommodation to keep their weight down
  • buy food locally as they travel
  • use a local Trekking company to meet up along the way to exchange kit and assist with issuing of permits