Extending over 1,700km and with 88km of vertical ascent covering altitudes of up to 7,000m, the route navigates through some of the highest mountains in the world, including Makalu, Everest and Kangchenjunga, with challenges including jungles, glaciers, forests and desert, technical ascents, crevasses, abseils and landslides.
The adventure will see Philippe aim to become the first person to run the entire high route – the equivalent of 40 marathons in 40 days – while battling temperatures from -25 degrees Celsius to +35. On day 30, he will also complete a speed ascent and descent of Baruntse (7,129m). Ultra-runner, climber and wife of Philippe, Anna Gatta will also run large sections of the trail totalling 670km with 39km of ascent – the equivalent of 16 marathons – in addition to providing logistical support.
Anna commented: “When moving fast in the Nepali mountains, I enter a rhythm – a state – beyond any other feelings I have when trail running elsewhere. I forget about the time, since I know I will have to go on until sunset. I forget about the world outside and instead I feel that I wake up inside. Sharing a big part of the complete Great Himalayan Trail adventure with Philippe will take me to another level – an ultimate challenge – mentally and physically. It will change me.”
The Gattas will send updates to the Berghaus website following their departure on September 20.