This mountain bike tour offers the world's longest and steepest descent – a non-stop downhill that begins on the Tibetan Plateau and winds 150 kms down to the fertile rice fields of Nepal (an unbelievable 4600m descent!).
We will ride more than 1,100 km through Tibet on crushed stone roads and over spectacular mountain passes. The high point of the journey comes when we arrive at the monastery of Rongbuk and see Mount Everest Base Camp (5200m). This is the only trip in the world where you can visit Everest Base Camp with a bicycle! It was here on the North Face that Reinhold Messner began his successful solo ascent of Everest in 1980.
We stay overnight during this journey in hotels and in tents. An experienced crew of guides, cooks and drivers from both Nepal and Tibet provide for a smooth operation. The tours are available between the months of April and October and feature 15 full days of biking with full logistical support.
This mountain bike experience will also bring you into contact with three religions (Buddhism, Lamaism and Hinduism) and act as an introduction to the mysticism of Tibetan culture, the friendliness of the people and the daily culture in villagers' lives.
The Highest; the Longest
What makes the Trans-Himalayan highway so special? Again, it's the highest road in the world, averaging an altitude of 4,500 metres above sea level as it traverses the Tibetan plateau. Secondly, the route boasts the world's longest continuous descent, which of course means that you'll face the world's longest uphill if you are heading in the opposite direction. Best of all to mountain bikers is the sense of isolation and awe-inspiring scenery. They must also face an onslaught of zigzagging mountain passes and endure a constant battle against breathlessness.
Expect to cover 70 to 100 km per day. Be sure you have clothes for all conditions: remember that you are above the clouds and it can be very sunny and bright. It can also snow, rain, hail and become very, very cold at the drop of a hat. In fact, it's all character-building stuff and after one week you'll be more resilient to the harsh conditions.
What's the biking like?
Children carry baskets of yak dung home. The dung will be used as insulation on the walls of their house and, come winter, will be burnt as fuel. Yaks are everything out here: yak skin tents and canoes; yak milk, butter, curd and cheese; yak steak; yak wool sweaters; even yak urine as a medicinal remedy for exposed cuts.
After eight or nine days and 600 km of pedaling, you should find yourself around the town of Pelbar and the entrance to the Everest National Park. It's here that you will probably leave Highway 318 for a few days and head south to Everest Base Camp. By now you are carrying at least 50 per cent of the following ailments: knee ligament damage, saddle rash, backache, a very sore backside, cramps in your feet, a runny nose, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, headaches, nausea, dry eyes, a dusty cough, insomnia, lethargy, sunburn, frostbite, altitude sickness - not to mention any injuries you might have incurred from falling off your bike!
Fear not! For all these maladies combined cannot stop you now. Behold the Pang La, the mountain pass which rises before you! You grit your teeth, you meditate, you turn 'Eye of the Tiger' up to 10 on your Walkman; you do whatever you have to do to get into the groove, to get that Lance Armstrong vibe and hunker down for the next four or five hours to tackle this monster.
The Mount Everest
Conquering the Pang La is God's fee for allowing you to witness one of the planet's most stupefying vistas. After no less than 42 switchbacks and a rise of 900m in altitude, with your weary thighs bursting at the seams, you finally reach the cairn at the top of the pass, adorned in colourful Buddhist prayer flags. Suddenly the curtain is pulled back to reveal the row of Himalayan peaks you have been chasing. The Mount Everest!
You are now feeling physically and mentally ragged. Those last four or five hairpin bends were accomplished on willpower alone. You might well find an emotional tear freezing on your weather-beaten cheek as you finally dismount and gaze in awe at the white bowling pins before you almost close enough to touch: Makalu (8463m); Lhotse (8516m); Jachonggangri (7985m); Cho Oyu (8210m); Shisapangma (8012m); and the one that Tibetans have for centuries been calling Chomolungma ("Mother Goddess of the World"), at 8850 meters above sea level - Mount Everest.
Book with confidence
Over 1258 bikers from 61 different countries have ogranized Lhasa to Kathmandu bike tour with us since 1998. Success rate is above 96%.