Sandes smashes Great Himalaya Trail record in extreme conditions

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel leave the Dolpa region behind as they make their way towards Thorong La Pass (5416m) and the Annapurna Region, Nepal on March 10, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Dean Leslie / Red Bull Content Pool

South African braves freezing mountains for 25 days to make history with Griesel.

Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel braved extreme weather conditions to smash the Great Himalaya Trail record with a new mark of 25 days, three hours and 24 minutes at the Nepal finish.

The South African trail running duo were confident of beating the previous mark of 28 days, 13 hours and 56 minutes set by compatriot Andrew Porter, but had to dig deep mentally and physically to do it.

Here is all you need to know about their amazing feat:

– The pair battled their way through sub-zero temperatures, frostbite and starvation from Hilsa to Pashupatinagar in Nepal along Porter’s earlier 1504km route.

– The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) is a combination of high and cultural route trails with a gruelling 70,000m of elevation gain and loss over the Himalayas.

Ryan and Ryno leave Kagbeni, Nepal in the distance and make their way to Thorong La Pass (5,416m) that forms part of the Annapurna Circuit on March 10, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Dean Leslie / Red Bull Content Pool

– They also had to overcome the fact that the route they had plotted before leaving turned out to be almost 200km longer than they had anticipated.

– Sandes, 36, declared: “This has been the biggest adventure of my life but incredibly challenging, especially mentally to just keep going day in and day out for so long. It has been humbling to meet these incredible people. I doubt anyone back home would have opened their homes to strangers as easily as the Nepalese citizens we met along the way.”

– Griesel, 38, added: “I had to keep taking my gloves off to read the maps and managed to get terrible frostbite on my fingers, which has been painful. One of the villages, a spot where we had hoped to get accommodation, was completely deserted. I honestly believe that if we hadn’t come across a monk and monastery that night we would have frozen to death.”

Ryan and Ryno complete their FKT attempt on the GHT –
Photographer Credit:
Dean Leslie / Red Bull Content Pool

– In 2010, Sandes became the first competitor to win all four of the 4 Deserts races across Chile’s Atacama Desert, China’s Gobi Desert, Sahara Desert and Antarctica.


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