Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) - live tracking

15 Mar 2018 14:39 #72983 by Stijn
I see there's some noise being made about the claims of a GHT FKT attempt: www.himalayanadventurelabs.com/2018/03/14/on-open-letter-to-ryan-sandes-and-ryno-griese-why-you-will-not-be-breaking-the-fkt-on-the-great-himalaya-trail/

I guess this is one of the problems of sponsors getting behind these efforts and needing marketable achievements to put out there. Your thoughts, Andrew?
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15 Mar 2018 15:32 #72984 by Viking
Now that is interesting!

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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15 Mar 2018 19:12 #72987 by WarrenM
So I'm certainly not one to try weigh in on any comments around what that person has posted, however there has been that window that appears each time I have checked their tracking to follow their progress and admittedly I have just closed the window without reading it properly each time, I've read it properly now that I have read the gents letter, and Ryan and Ryno do outline the route differences and what route they will be following etc, see below pic off the site.

Either way this is a fantastic achievement in my books, I'm certainly following the guys daily progress, and Andrew's regular comments and his previous trip report is certainly educating me about the region, which has just been great.

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15 Mar 2018 21:42 #72988 by AndrewP
Thanks for the link.

I have not seen this one, but have seen a lot of others building up to it.

Overall, I have to agree. If you do your research, it is obvious that people who attempt the GHT try to get in as much time as high up as possible. Thats the spirit of the adventure.

Robin Boustead had his work cut out keeping me off the high ground, but I am grateful to him for keeping me alive. I was just not experienced enough at the time to take the higher lines Lizzy Hawker has taken. I did at least almost double the high ground taken by Sean Burch and thus at least raised the game as much as I could.

Ryan and Ryno have thus far taken the lowest possible line at every opportunity. I have scanned through the entries on the database mentioned, but you cannot work out detailed routes for everyone. So, when I suggested a week ago that they are on track for the lowest GHT, it was within the context of this article. Doing the lowest GHT is not a record I would want.

Now, I do not know why they are there in winter, which is not making it easy for them. But, that cannot be used as an excuse.

I have spoken to them a few times in the build up, but do not know them well. So, how much of the choice is down to them vs sponsors I do not know. And, in fairness to them, in South Africa, many of our FKT's are very open in terms of route choice and here it is considered a clever move to skip the hill or find a path where others bashed through thickets.

It will be interesting to see how it pans out. Especially as the South African public and hence the fan base are largely ignorant of these details.

Fundamentally though, you cannot compare a route that took in 50km of ground at 4000m to a route that took in 700km of high ground.
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15 Mar 2018 21:47 #72989 by AndrewP
@ WarrenM
The specific issues with the wording are: its not a currently recognised FKT. And, I did not specify checkpoints as a definitive requirement. The points are there to give a comparison only so that it is possible to compare their time to mine. I have asked Red Bull to reword it, but thats another story.

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16 Mar 2018 08:17 #72992 by WarrenM
Thanks for the note Andrew and the clarity, I hope that they do correct any wording that you are uncomfortable with, it would be the right thing to do on their side.

As you mentioned Andrew I'm one of those that fits into the largely ignorant South African Public with regards to the GHT, but I'm certainly learning, and I'm certainly more interested now to see how this debate pans out.

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16 Mar 2018 09:44 #72993 by Stijn
My take on it is that they are at least trying to be clear & honest about the "dumbed-down"* variation they are doing, but due to the greater public not being too familiar with these details, this is eroding the achievements of those who have done more technical, higher-altitude routes before them. I'm guessing that if there weren't any sponsors to please, they may still have chosen a similar route (since they want to do a fair amount of running), but wouldn't have made such a fanfare about the GHT FKT and would just have sold it as a massive adventure by 2 mates in the Himalayas.

*Please don't get me wrong when I say dumbed-down. What they are doing is still a monumental effort, of course.
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19 Mar 2018 08:34 #72998 by AndrewP
They took a bit longer to get to Jiri than I expected. They may have been on tar, but a 1000m hill is still a 1000m hill. Anyone who has done a hill this size on tar, please raise your hand.

Today they are rocketing along again.

Jiri used to be the starting point for trips to Everest. For a, while they will be off roads and the paths will even be signposted. Tourists are all over. It is a lovely area and they should enjoy the next 100km or so.

Chuckle. chuckle. chuckle.

The Jiri to Gudel stretch has a higher ratio of vertical ascent/descent than I have ever found in the berg. Its a bit like trying to do 50km by running up and down the bit of Rockeries Pass by sticking to the bit between the Nguza Pass turn off and the escarpment.

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19 Mar 2018 09:18 #72999 by ghaznavid
From Facebook:

Ryan Sandes wrote: "The mental strength for Ryno to still be going is kind of ridiculous. If you could see the condition he’s in, he doesn’t even look like he can get to the breakfast table – never mind an ultramarathon through these mountains. I think it’s a combination of pure will, determination, and extreme stubbornness. There’s a general concern at how far that goes. How far does he take that before he physically can’t anymore? Does he do lasting damage, or does he push through? That mental strength is pretty intriguing."

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19 Mar 2018 10:51 #73000 by AndrewP
Ryno has a normal job like the rest of us. I am also sure he did almost all of the route planning. So, while Ryan was training, Ryno was staring at maps and a computer screen. I really do salute Ryno
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