Meet the 2019 GHT trekkers

Posted on 22 Feb 2019

Meet the adventurers taking on Nepal’s trekking ‘holy grail’ from February 25. For those who haven’t heard of the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT), which is exclusive to World Expeditions, it’s the world’s longest, highest and most diverse alpine walking track.

The trail itself carves a path of more than 4500 km through the mighty Himalaya from Bhutan to Pakistan, and Brian and Dennis (pictured above) will be trekking the entire length of the Nepal section. That’s 1700 kilometres to cover over 150 days of continuous trekking!

It’s a representation of exploratory trekking at its finest, travelling from Mount Kanchenjunga in the east to Yari Valley in the west, both with gruelling challenges and rewarding feats to be anticipated – and World Expeditions is proudly the first to offer this fully-supported and commercially guided expedition.

Read on to learn more about the two trekkers who will be taking on this experience of a lifetime over the next five months.

Meet Dennis

'The mountains are calling, and I must go.'

Dennis echoes the words John Muir wrote in a letter to his sister in 1873 as the key reason he’s answered the call of the GHT.

“Ever since my first exposure to the great Himalayan mountain range and the people that live within, I have had a continual desire to return,” he says.

“I love the contrast between the excitement and vibrance of Kathmandu and the serenity, natural beauty and peacefulness of the mountains and its people.”

Also from Australia’s sunny state in the Sunshine Coast hinterlands of Buderim, Dennis’ last trip to the Himalayas was to Bhutan where he completed the Snowman Trek, crossing 11 high passes over 4500m on the mountainous borders that define Bhutan and Tibet.

“The Snowman Trek was the most physically challenging, mentally rewarding trek that I’ve completed, and it sowed the seed for longer exposure to the Himalayas and my thoughts for completing the GHT.”

The chance to return to the Himalayas with a new challenge on the horizon is one he welcomes.

“I think the remote east in Kanchenjunga and the two western most sections of Upper Dolpo and Rara Lake/Yari Valley hold the greatest appeal as they are off the normal trekking routes," he says, in answer to a question about which sections he is most looking forward to doing.

"I plan to keep my expectations modest and maintain an open frame of mind so that I can just enjoy whatever this great adventure presents.”

Dennis holds a theory that, like the people from the remote mountain areas of Nepal, you need very little to be happy and that true happiness can only come from within. It’s something Dennis hopes to truly realise when on this expedition.

“I hope to learn more about the people and how they live in this harsh but beautiful environment with very little in the way of worldly possessions as we know it in the developed world. In my previous experience, they seem to be open, happy and prepared to share what little they have,” he explains.

“Trekking for me offers a chance to distil your daily routine, remove the busyness and all the distractions, to enjoy the environment and live in the moment, take in the surroundings and apply a positive outlook to all the challenges along the way.”

Along with Brian, Dennis will join a select list of just 21 people who have completed this iconic trek with us since 2011. It’s no wonder Dennis has been the topic of discussion at his workplace!

“Those who know me have been totally supportive, though [were] initially surprised about the length of time to complete the trek and the challenges involved.”

During the Australian summer, Dennis may have drawn in some strange looks when donning boots, complete hiking gear and a backpack in tow, nevertheless, he’s making sure he’s up for the challenge ahead with frequent walks on every rise, hill and mountain he can find.

“I’m heading off to a completely different environment and daily routine – I just can’t wait!”

Meet Brian

Believe it or not, Brian has been heading to the Himalayas more times than there have been astronauts on the moon. For the curious Georges out there, only 12 humans have set foot on the moon’s surface and Brian’s travelled to the Himalayas 15 times. Though it could be more, and who can blame him?

“I stopped counting at about ten, because I didn’t want to know when I was doing my 13th.”

Falling in love with this part of the world time and time again, it was after completing the first three sections of the GHT back in 2017 – and with a bit of a nudge from his team leader – that Brian decided to enlist on the full traverse.

“The three sections in 2017 were so much fun and Bikash, the team leader, urged me to do more,” he recalls.

Hailing from the inner-city suburbs of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, Brian has been prepping for the epic expedition by regularly walking during the week and mixing it up on various terrains.

“Most days I walk up Mt Coot-tha, down the other side, up again, and back. Then in the afternoon, I walk 50 minutes to a shopping centre for a foot-long Subway vegie delight with all the vegetables (it only blows your head off for the first 100 times) to top off my nutrition.”

With many of his family and friends reacting to the news of Brian’s upcoming Nepal adventure with amazement and a tad bit of jealousy, Brian is most looking forward to abseiling off the west Col and traversing the high passes in Dolpo.

Brian says the most difficult trek he’s undertaken to date was an Island Peak expedition in 1980, when his group made it to the summit ridge. “We had the stunning view of the Nuptse-Lhotse wall but had to turn back because the cloud was coming in to obscure our path through the glacier. I believe that glacier is gone now.”

He can’t wait to be transported back to what he describes as a “medieval world” and to see the stunning scenery that he’ll slowly pass through. The chance to enjoy “the relaxation of life” along rarely-trekked trails and encounter communities that remain relatively unchanged today is something he is bent on experiencing.

Make sure to follow the World Expeditions Facebook page to get regular updates on Brian and Dennis' journey. Visit page >

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