We’re back! After some ‘bumpy times’ over the past few years due to you-know-what, we are so happy to report being able to return to helping people fulfill their dreams in the Himalayas in 2022. Before bragging about the adventure dreams we helped people with in 2022, we want to encourage you to consider joining us in Nepal this coming year. We have organized trips ranging from the classic Annapurna Circuit Fastpack (April) to a semi-technical Langtang Lollipop (October) for those who don’t mind a little adrenaline at 15,000ft. To see a complete list of all of our fastpacks, please click here or scroll further down for a list with dates.
We are also launching some new initiatives including vegan friendly options, a net-zero Emissions Pledge, and continuing our HAL grant model. Below is a little recap of 2022 and more of what we are planning for 2023. We would love to hear from you whether you are an alumni from a past HAL trip or considering your first trip to Nepal.
Highlights from our 2022 Adventures
Namun Pass (~4900m) Exploratory Trek: We kicked off 2022 in early spring with an itch to get closer to Lamjung Himal which is near the start of the Annapurna Circuit (frequently the first big peaks you can see if the skies are clear on day 1). HAL guides Sudeep and Srijan visited some rarely visited villages and crossed the remote Namun Pass and after some pretty crazy trail sections. They returned safe and sound, with smiles on their faces to Kathmandu, seeds for future trips in the area firmly planted in their brains. For pictures on facebook, please see: #lamjunghigh
Chulu East Summit Attempt (6,000m): Next was an alpine effort in June ‘Reclaiming our Mountains’, again in the Annapurna Range. Over the years, our guides have helped adventure enthusiasts from all over the world explore the Himalayas. One thing we realised is there are not enough fellow Nepalis in the mountains. We put out the call to fellow Nepalis with a ‘Pay as you want’ model and four intrepid Nepalis (Team Chunariya) signed up. June found us heading to Naar Phu, a remote high altitude part of the Annapurna Circuit to explore the Tibetan villages and to acclimatize to high altitude before heading west to tackle the Chulu East. True to the Himalaya, not everything goes to plan during the alpine climb. The team turned around just short of the summit due to deteriorating conditions but all returned safe and with some good experiences under their belt. Special thanks goes to HAL climbing guide Niraj Karki for leading the trip and keeping the spirits high when at times temperatures and temperaments were low.
Manaslu Circuit Fastpack: We have almost a decade long history with Manaslu; Seth participated in the Manaslu Trail Race with some serious mis-adventures in 2013, Sudeep and Seth set a very slow fastest known time in 2015 around the Manaslu circuit, and Sudeep took part in the trail race in 2016 organized by Trail Running Nepal.
This was the first year for HAL organising a fastpack around Manaslu. And what an adventure it was! October is usually a great time for the Manaslu Circuit – but unfortunately not in 2022. Although the weather forecast sided towards rain and clouds we were hopeful that it would clear up as we gained altitude. However, as we made our way up the trail, the rain only got heavier and the trail conditions began to deteriorate. We stayed in Deng for two nights to reassess the developing situation; changing weather and trail conditions. After consultations with our expert weather forecaster Michael Fagin and more study of the trail conditions, the team regretfully had to turn back. However, all was not lost – some amazing times were still had, including some fun climbs above Kathmandu on the Kathmandu Valley Rim. Trip report >>
The far west, Humla and Limi Valley: Everest and Annapurna seem to get all the attention – but the far west of Nepal is a wild and remote area with few roads, high mountain passes, and endless vistas. Building on our experience of leading a custom trip in 2021, November found us trekking for 25 days across the far west of Nepal. Adventures included flying to a remote airstrip in Simikot, following the Mugu Karnali river to the Tibetan border, crossing two, Himalayan passes and much more. Trip report >>
And in other news
Himalayan Adventure Labs Grant – We would like to congratulate Rahan Poudel on completing the project report on “Assessing the viability of bicycles as an alternative means of transportation in Kathmandu Metropolitan City”. Rahan is the recipient of 2022 ‘Himalayan Adventure Labs Grant’ at National College, Kathmandu University. The goal of this grant, under the partnership between HAL and the National College, is to fund research projects in the tourism and conservation sector, and try to bridge the knowledge gap between academia and the industry. Under the partnership, HAL provides funding for one research project each year in areas of tourism, conservation (wildlife, nature, heritage), sustainability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
A net-zero emissions pledge – HAL signed up for the Global Climate Action to halve emissions by 2030, and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. We are developing HAL “Net-Zero” plan which will be released in the first quarter of 2023.
HAL 2023 trips
- Annapurna Circuit (April 15 – 30, 2023)
- Manaslu Circuit – ‘The mountain of the spirit’ (May 2 – 17, 2023)
- Everest Three Passes (September 14 – 30, 2023)
- Langtang Lollipop (October 7 – 21, 2023)
Remember, our fastpacks are:
- Feel free to time yourself, but this is not a race.
- Go at your own pace and in solitude if you want, or run with the group.
- We set up regroup points every morning and carry radios. There are options for all.
- We don’t ask porters or mules to carry our loads.
- You will need to carry a small pack, but it can be light.
- All lodges will have plentiful food and warm blankets.
Have a good mix of hiking and optional running.
- We do a lot of fast hiking, usually during the first half of the trip as we are climbing and getting used to the high altitude.
- The second half of most trips involve a lot of running once we are over the pass.
- You are always welcome to hike.
Include cultural components.
- Visit temples.
- Learn how to cook Dal Bhat.
- Practice some Nepali words.
- We are always looking for new experiences.
- Why race past these opportunities?
- We donate 10% of proceeds to a Nepal-based charity.
- Nothing can be guaranteed in the Himalaya, but we mitigate our risks.
- We have a high altitude physician on call and include multiple comprehensive first aid kits, and satellite phones.
- We follow an approved acclimatization schedule.
- We contract with an expert weather forecaster whenever we cross a pass.
Reinforce back country skills.
- Learn back country navigation including traditional map, compass, and also GPS navigation using your offline phone.
Are all-inclusive in price.
- We don’t want you to have to worry about anything once you are in Nepal. We cover your food, lodging, permits, tips, desert, charging, hot showers and much more