himal-race-logoA phenominal 33 day race from Kailash to Annapurna via Humla, Jumla and Dolpa covering 1,000 km of trails, 70,000 m height change passing 13 cols above 5,000 m.

UPDATE: 2nd Nov.

17 Stages completed, 730 km of running +26400 et -27100 m of elevation change, the runners have arrived in Charka, the last village in Upper Dolpa.
The race standing so far:
01 Phu dorjee Sherpa 113h 11′ 7”
02 Deepak Rai 117h 52′ 00”
03 Wouter Hamelink 122h 30′ 36”

07 Virginie Duterme (première femme) 130h 14′ 42”

On this day (2nd) the race goes to Sandak then n the 3rd over to Lower Mustang when they finally get to stay in a hotel in Jomsom.

UPDATE: 26th oct. Mid-race news report: Athletes fall ill in the Himalayas.

Learn more at the following sites: http://www.extremerunners71.com/ http://www.endurance-mag.com/endurance/index.php http://www.basecamptrek.com/french/trails-nepal-vtt.php

Mount Kailash in Tibet with Tibetan Dzong (fort) in the foreground

Mount Kailash in Tibet with Tibetan Dzong (fort) in the foreground

Shey Gompa Dolpo

Shey Gompa in inner Dolpo

The view of Annapurna 1 from Annapurna base camp nepal

The view of Annapurna 1 from Annapurna basecamp

Read more information about the Himal race 2010 below


Mont Kailash – Shey Gompa – Annapurna Base Camp

On the path of the white clouds

From 07 october to 09 november 2010

819 km (890 km real), +32.830 m, -32.400 m in 22 stages

“Himalaya… The ” Kingdom of Snows “. A word. A sentence.

And already the invitation in the journey is imperative.

Himalaya… The highest chain of Mountain of the World. The Mountain Continent.

And there, no question of  journey because the adventure invites itself.

Himal… Mountain, when the Sanskrit wins immortality in black on white.

The expedition spirit opens on the virgin face of a conquest which wants to be unique.

Race… And the  competition spirit escapes on the Paths of the Sky.

Annapurna- Sagarmatha, a route without concession, outside for ever lost time.

Journey, adventure, expedition, competition …

Himal Race, it’s not only that… The inspiration of each one will be his breath of life, his reason for existing and his need to punctuate an odyssey become philosophic.

Namasté in Himalaya.

In the country where the Horses of the Wind never finish their race…”

After “Chasing the wind horses” in 2002… After “On the steps of snow leopard” in 2007… We will start again “on the white clouds trail” in 2010. A new “transhimalaya” between Tibet, Dolpo and Népal ; from Mount Kailash, Shey Gompa to Annapurna Base Camp. A race against elements, a battle against the time : 880 km, +32.130 m, -31.700 m in 23 stages. A new periple, and like always different and unique: that’s what Himal Race is like.

Himal Race 2010 – Mont Kaïlash – Annapurna Base Camp is the official name of the race. “On the white clouds trail” is his spiritual appelation, called from a book by Lama Anagarika Govinda. The idea of this appelation is from Jérôme Edou, co-director of Base Camp Trek & Expédition, katmandu’s agency that will organise the race in nepal and Tibet.

Himal Race 2010 will take part from  Mount Kailash (Tibet) and Camp de Base des Annapurnas (Népal), through High Dolpo (Saldang, Shey Gompa), Dho, Charka, Hidden Valley and optionnally the Dhampus Peak (6.012 m). If for political reason we will not be allowed to go Mount Kailash, Himal Race 2010 will be held between Everest and Annapurnas Base Camp by Cho La, Gokyo Ri, le Renjo La, le Tashi Lapsa, la Rowaling Valley, Bigou Gompa, le Kang La, la Haute Vallée du Langtang, le Ganesh Himal, le Tour du Manaslu, le Larkya La, la Vallée de Nar Phu, le Khang La, le Tilicho Lake, le Nissang La and will achieve round Annapurnas.


Aims of the Kathmandu Declaration

  • To protect effectively the mountain environment, its flora, fauna and natural resources.
  • To reduce the negative impact of man’s activities.
  • To respect the cultural heritage and dignity of local populations.
  • To stimulate activities which restore and rehabilitate the mountain environment.
  • To encourage contact between mountaineers of different countries through friendship,
  • mutual respect and peace.
  • To spread information and knowledge in order to improve man’s relationship with the environment.
  • To use only resources which respect the energy needs of the environment
  • And the elimination of waste products.
  • To support mountain countries by way of development with a view to environmental conservation.
  • To expand access to mountainous regions without difficulties of  political nature.

Himalaya ” Running the Sky “

Bruno Poirier is the creator of the Annapurna Mandala Trail. He is also the instigator of Himal Race and Everest Lafuma Sky Race and  the author of the book: Himalaya – Running the Sky (Editions V02). “Knight of the Wind” since 1992, it totals to date: 9.210 kilometers through the Nepalese Himalayas, or 326,500 meters of elevation gain and 318,450 m of negative. It hopes to achieve in 2010, the 10,000 km on the Paths of Heaven …

In 1994, from October 21 to December 1, with Paul-Eric Bonneau, Bruno crossed the Himalayas from east to west, Pashupatinagar to Mahakali, pressing closer to the highest mountains in the world weather conditions … After these 40 days of effort, they will earn 2100 kilometers and 55,000 meters of elevation gain.

During the “zero issue” of the Annapurna Mandala Trail, Bruno ranked 5th in 32 h 05’50 (290 km + 12,250 m – 11,950 m). In 2001, he finished in 4th place in 38 h 36’07 (325 km + 14,500 m – 13,500 m). In November and December 2001, he was bound in solitary Base Camp of Annapurna than Sargamatha to recognize the course of Himal Race. During these 22 days of running and walking, he has traveled 1300 kilometers in total 45,000 meters and 44,000 meters positive negative.

In Himal Race Version “competition” in fall 2002: 950 km + 37,000 – 37,500 m in 117 h 32’37, Bruno was “ordered” Knight of the Wind, 4th in the name. At the Everest Sky Race 2003, he finished in 5th place in 38 h 02’23 (205 km, 13,000 m – 13,000 m). In November 2005, he ranked 3rd on the Annapurna Mandala Trail, 43 h 07’53 (320 km, 12,500 m – 15,800 m), editing the previously more difficult (snow, two crossings over 5,000 m, 8 steps instead of 10) since its inception in 2000. And then there’s Mandala 2007 … A single edition with mytical stages (Sama Gaon – Larkya Bhanjyang – Dharapani) around the Manaslu in Nar Phu valley and between Base Camp and Tilicho Jomoson. After the 292 km (+ 15,010 m – 12,710 m), he ranked 4th … Finally, last year, he finished 3rd in 38 h 06’05 (260 km, 12,500 m and -13,870 m)

Himal Race : Generalities

The Himal Race 2010 is organise for the logistic by Base Camp Trek and expeditions, french speaking agencie based in Katmandu. The race director is Pure Gurung. The race quota will accept 30 runners, included 25 occidentals. Himal race is open to men and women over 23 years old.

The Himal Race is open to men and women over 23 years of age filling the eight criteria of selection. 1. Experience of mountain running; 2. Experience of multi-days running; 3. Experience of “high” height (4.000 m) or test of hypoxie in laboratory corresponding to a height of 5.000 m; 4. Time on marathon (less than 3:15 am for the men; less than 3:30 am for the women); 5. The level RD (rather difficult) in mountain running (climbing) ; 6. Experience of orientation race (reading of card and handling a compass); 7. The obligation to know to rope down; 8. To be titular a diploma or a document specifying that you followed first-aid worker’s forming. If one of these criteria isn’t performed, you’ll necessarily have to perform it before the deadline of registration.   The particular cases will be studied by the selection committee.

This selection will be made all year long, from June 1st, 2008 till June 30th, 2010.  From the moment the competitor answers eight criteria of selection, or is on the way to answering it (tests, current evaluations or to come), and his registration form is complete, he is considered as officially registered on Himal Race. This officialization will be confirmed to him by mail. 30 runners will be selected for the unique edition of the Himal Race.

The competition is in stages (multi-days running) and it will be run on footpaths over a maximum distance of 900 km with 32.500 m of positive uneven and 32.500 m of negative. The challenge is divided into 22 or 23 stages of race in line and 3 days of the walking linked (100 km, + 1.000 m and – 5.000 m).

Competitors will be able to run and walk using poles/sticks but taking care not to injure anyone.

Competitors are solely responsible (complete autonomy) for beginning each stage, using a card marked with the departure point and arrival point. Between these points, the competitor will choose its route by respecting the instructions of the director of the race, the points of control or obliged passage. Competitors will be able to run and walk using poles/sticks but taking care not to injure anyone.

At the end of the first stage, two groups will be formed: Group 1 (competitors in positions 1-15) and Group 2 (positions 16-30) and two starts will be arranged as of the beginning of stage two. It should be noted that these groups will change throughout the race, since the competitor’s classification will be used to form the two groups.

In Nepal the only way to get around is on foot and consequently there is a local population which runners may call upon to ask for assistance during the race. Certain areas are however deprived of village and human life. The competitor will have then to trust in its view of orientation and not to count that on its own analysis of itinerary. The ” original ” itinerary of Himal Race is not marked out, a good reading of the maps will be thus of primary importance. On the other hand, depending on choices made during the race, you could do many more kilometres or spend much more time trying to find the right trail. This however, is one of the charms of such runs in the wilderness.

Obligatory equipment

Each competitor on Himal Race must be in possession of certain compulsory items from the beginning to the end of the race. Bag checks will be carried out during the race. The absence of any compulsory item from a competitor’s backpack will incur a penalty of two hours as well as the requirement of having a complete pack before being allowed to continue.

List of compulsory equipment : backpack, sleeping bag (-20° extreme), survival blanket, headlamp with spare batteries, whistle, mirror, rocket of distress, first-aid kit containing a tape, drugs personal, one-litre flask, snap hook, three (3) meters of cord, compass and 3.000 calories of survival rations.

The organisation will study the possibility to equip each competitor with a walkie-talkie. The sticks are strongly advised. For the remainder of personal equipment, the competitor is free to carry what he wants.

Race numbers

Each competitor will be given two clothes, numbered cards (bring pins). One MUST be worn on the chest (26 by 22) that’s to say, on the upper body, the other must be attached to the backpack. The competitor’s number as well as the sponsors of Himal Race must be visible at all times: any infraction of this rule will be punished by a two-hour penalty.


In the event of a competitor retiring from the race, specific instructions will be given for each stage since conditions will be different for leaving whether. Having abandoned the race, the competitor will have to wait for the following pack, which will accompany him to the finish of the current stage. At this point, he/she will no longer be involved in Himal Race and will be required to return his/her race numbers to the race director before returning under his/her own steam to Kathmandu. It should be noted that in the event of abandonment, the competitor will not be able to use the “helicopter rescue” insurance. Except if incurred due to a retirement which is not medically serious. Medically serious retirements are: fracture, broken limb, heart/respiratory problems, and acute mountain sickness.

Runners’ Solidarity Charter

Throughout Himal Race, a solidarity charter is in place requiring competitors to help other runners who are in trouble. Non-compliance risks elimination. In the event of mountain sickness, heart/breathing problems, after-effects of a fall or hypothermia, the runner in difficulty must warn the nearest person. If this is another competitor, he/she must stay with the injured party and administer first aid, providing he/she is capable. To restart, the runner must await the arrival of a member of the organisation. Any time lost will be deducted at the end of the stage. If another runner arrives on the scene, he/she must contact the technical team. The time lost during this return journey will be deducted from his/her finishing time and he/she will also receive a one-minute bonus for every five minutes spent during this aid-run. The runner will be responsible for measuring time lost whilst helping the injured/sick competitor. The race directors will trust this assessment.

Any breach or deliberate misinterpretation of the content of this charter will be penalised by immediate disqualification without appeal. The disqualified runner will be excluded from the race and will have to return to Kathmandu by his/her own means.

Removal from the race

The doctors at nepaleases hospitals and the race doctors are authorised to remove a competitor from the race if they consider him/her to be unfit to continue the race. Their decision will be final and without appeal. Each Himal Race competitor will undergo a full medical check-up. If he/she is affected by mountain sickness, in a state of advanced fatigue or too weak psychologically, he/she will not be allowed to continue in the race. Every year the mountains in Nepal kill simple hikers who have failed to respect the rules of walking at altitude. Runners on Himal Race will be moving two or three times faster than a hiker and will quickly reach the critical altitude for mountain sickness (3.500 m). After the start, each problem will be judged on it’s own merits. Depending on the place where the competitor is removed from the course, if it is impossible to wait for the rescuers, the rescue will take place by the nearest road or airfield, either on foot, by mule or by being carried. Helicopter evacuation may only be possible rapidly, dependant again, on the scene of the incident.

Penalties and disqualification

Any breach or deliberate misinterpretation of the content of the “Runners’ Solidarity Charter” will result in immediate disqualification without the right of appeal. The disqualified runner will be excluded from the race and will have to return to Kathmandu by his/her own means. Seven other situations can lead to time penalties, also leading to disqualification in the event of a second offence. These are: absence of any compulsory piece of equipment for Himal Race (two-hour penalty for each missing object as well as the requirement of having a full complement of equipment before being able to continue); any obstruction of the official Himal Race sponsorship on the numbered cards (two hours); failure to pass through or clock-in at any of the various check points (four hours); breach of course director’s instructions (four hours); land-based assistance (six hours) except that provided by a competitor; non-respect of the environment or the local population (immediate disqualification) – see chapter “Aims of the Kathmandu Declaration”. And finally, non-respect of conditions imposed during the linked stage (immediate disqualification)

Apart from this, the runner is considered a responsible, adult sports person.

No time limit will be imposed on competitors but for safety reasons, he/she must complete each stage within one hour of nightfall, that’s to say, around 17:00. In the event of late arrival, no penalty will be imposed and the competitor will be allowed to continue the following morning – providing his/her physical state is acceptable.


During the race the competitor is independent and must manage his own food and water. He/she may prepare supplies before departure or stock-up during the race. . Except certain sections and certain stages of the race,  a village is passed approximately every thirty minutes. For snacks, one will find biscuits, chocolate bars and chocolate tablets or even a dal-bat (lentils and rice) between 10 am and 12 noon.

Water is not a problem. It can be found in every village and consider also streams, brooks and rivers. Water is available at least every fifteen minutes. However, it must be treated with Micropur (purifying agent) before consumption (one tablet for a litre of water). Because of this, there is a one-hour waiting period before it can be drunk without risk. A twin-bottle-belt is thus ideal. While one is being purified, the other is drinkable. It is also possible to buy bottled water but at a cost of 30 – 120 rupees (3 – 12 francs / 33p – £1.32 / 50c – $2) per litre depending on the altitude.

During the ten days of Himal Race, the organisation deals with accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Lunch is the competitor’s responsibility. Anticipate 300 rupees (30 francs / £3.30 / $5) per day. It should be noted that except for tea, all other drinks consumed by the runner (bottled water, soft drinks, beer) are at his/her own cost.

During the Himal Race 2010 (23 stages and 3 days of transfer), the organization is responsible for housing, breakfast and dinner for participants, except on stage where it will the runner will have to prepare his meals and set up his tent. As such, four personal supplies will be implemented throughout the course. Bags (3 to 5 kg) for various personal supplies will be prepared in Kathmandu (Day 3). They will be transported by Base Camp on sites. In these personal bags, there will be a priority for food. Clothing, batteries, medicines, fuel … may be added to the condition not to exceed the weight to be imposed by the organization.

  1. marco melchiorri says:

    Dear sir

    I want news for the date open inscription of Himal Race!

    Many thanks

    best regards

    Melchiorri Marco

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