Sun’s Out, Gear Up!

Summer’s in full swing, and we hope you’re soaking up the sunshine (with sunscreen, of course) after a (hopefully) refreshing spring. Here in Nepal, the pre-monsoon is keeping things interesting with some surprise showers – just another twist in the ever-unpredictable mountain weather!

This Adventure Season

This season, the HAL team has scattered like hungry squirrels at a nut buffet – each on their own epic quest! Vivek’s on a mission to get Laughing Sherpa (adventure & expedition meals, because who wants a grumpy person on the trail?) the recognition it deserves. Sudeep, meanwhile, is attempting to turn HAL into an employee-owned company by year’s end. Talk about lofty goals! He even managed to squeeze in a Helambu and Langtang fastpack with Winnie, who flew in from Hong Kong to train for her upcoming Gobi March (a 7-day, 250km footrace). We wish Winnie gazelle-like legs and an iron stomach! Speaking of epic journeys, Srijan is already knee-deep in the wilderness, on his way to explore the mythical Upper Mustang region. Wishing him clear skies, good yak encounters, and enough fuel to navigate those mountain passes.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun (or Lost)

Speaking of time flying, can you believe we’re nearly halfway through 2024 already? Feels like just yesterday we were wiping snow off our tents. If you’re itching for some action-packed adventures, we’ve got two fastpacks lined up for the latter half of the year: the Manaslu Fastpack (Sep 14 – 29, 2024) in Nepal and the Snowman Fastpack (Oct 5 – 19, 2024) in Bhutan.

Both are part of the World Fastpack Series by HAL, which is basically us taking our non-competitive fastpack awesomeness around the globe, just like you requested!

Wild Wild East!

Mingmar Bhote hails from Hongon, Sankhuwasabha, which sits smack dab in the middle of Makalu Barun National Park. When he’s not tending to his farm, you might find him crossing the border to Kimathanka, Tibet (although thanks to COVID, those trips are currently on hold) in search of work.

Last September, Sudeep embarked on a recon mission to connect a trail from Kanchenjunga North Base Camp to the main trekking route for Makalu Base Camp. To navigate the notoriously disorienting Malun Pokhari section, Sudeep enlisted the invaluable guidance of Mingmar. Let’s just say the next few days involved sleeping in caves, surviving on a diet of buckwheat and somare (fermented cheese made into soup, an acquired taste), battling the elements, and navigating bear territory – all to finally emerge victorious on the Makalu trail. Read Sudeep’s full trip report to relive this epic (and slightly smelly) adventure.

HOSI Helps Reach New Heights (Literally!)

We’re stoked to have supported Avash, Anjan, and Prateek on their incredible journey to Thorung La (5416m) in the Annapurna Conservation Area with our Himalayan Outdoor Safety Initiative (HOSI).

Last year, HOSI helped a camping team (led by a local outfit) deep in Dhaulagiri valley to initiate a successful rescue right before the French pass, where they were hit by a snowstorm. HOSI is an ongoing effort by HAL to provide Nepali outdoor enthusiasts (and outfits alike) with resources and devices for safe and rewarding high altitude adventures.

Kayaking the Mighty Mekong: A Tale of Sun, Sweat, and Maybe a Few Sand Ants

This year, to celebrate HAL’s monumental 10th anniversary, Seth and Sudeep decided to commemorate the occasion in style – by battling the mighty Mekong River in Cambodia with nothing but kayaks and (hopefully) enough sunscreen. Did they encounter any epic rapids or swirling whirlpools? Did the heat leave them with impressive (and slightly concerning) swollen lips? You’ll have to dive into their trip reports – Seth’s here and Sudeep’s here – to find out! Just be warned, there might be a few sand ant cameos along the way.

Everest fever!

Get the inside scoop. Michael, who helps HAL create custom weather forecasts for all high-altitude adventures, shares his initial thoughts on the weather patterns that could affect climbers on Mt. Everest this season.

Beyond Fastpacking: Adventures for All

Sure, HAL might be known for Nepal fastpacking adventures, practically writing the book on hurtling through the Himalayas (though the publisher’s still waiting, mountains and all). Yet, We cater to more than just speedy trail ninjas. We’re all about human-powered adventures – the kind designed by outdoor guides who actually enjoy spending time outside. Think trekking through rugged landscapes at a leisurely pace (or a not-so-leisurely pace, we don’t judge), running scenic trails with a healthy dose of hills, scaling Nepali peaks with enough time to appreciate the view, and bike-packing to new horizons without feeling like your lungs are about to explode. You get the picture.

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