LHASA to Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu Mountain Bike Tour

LHASA to Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu Mountain Bike Tour

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2 wheeler thrills on the roof of the world…

Tibet is an ideal destination for mountain biking just like it is for peak climbing and whirlwind historical tours. Tashi Delek Nepal Treks has designed a fantastic 2 wheeler thriller which is taxing on the body and mentally demanding for those diehard mountain bikers looking for adrenaline busting adventure trips in Tibet. Our biking trips will escort you on arid trails with super attractive views. If you truly enjoy high altitude rides and wish to accept the painstaking challenges of mountain biking, then our Tibet mountain biking trips were created exclusively for you!

Considered to be one of the world’s highest mountain biking trips, your physical abilities are tested to the core down here. The solid ridecovers a distance over 1100 kilometers from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, right down to ancient Kathmandu in the soul of Nepal, crossing six high mountain passes over 5000 meters. The Lhasa, EBC, Kathmandu biking trip is said to be extreme as you ride on the ‘roof the world’’ because of the length and the average altitude. Most think that Tibet is one of the most remote regions in the world, and this biking trip from Lhasa in Tibet, to Kathmandu in Nepal will quite possibly be a ‘life changing’ journey through time, scenery and the physical challenges. This fully backed up mountain bike tour takes us along the Friendship Highway to the ‘Roof-Top of the World’, Everest Base Camp, and gives us a thorough roll down in the world’s 2nd longest descent, and the former home of the Dalai Lama.

Our trip commences in Lhasa at 3,650m, as we traverse 1,100km over 5 panoramic passes exceeding 4,500m, concluding in the ancient Kathmandu Valley where the oxygen is rich and the lands fertile. Depending on your individual needs and stamina, we should average 70 km/day on our bikes. Our support vehicle will always be on standby if you want a day off from the saddle. The terrain is 80% tarmac road and 20% non-technical off-road.

This odyssey is for audacious bikers who are keen with interest in Tibetan culture with a backdrop of otherworldly views of the Tibetan plateau. On our journey through amazing Himalayan scenery, we visit some of the most significant monasteries of the region and come to understand the deep connection between Tibetan culture, religion and the misty mountains.

This tour will have a crew that will make up an experienced bike guide cum mechanic fluent in English, an equipment vehicle carrying all our personal equipment, cyclist support vehicle, and a bike mechanic with all the spares needed. We will also be accompanied by a professional Tibetan guide in Lhasa.

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Lhasa (3660m)

We have options to arrive Lhasa, or we can join the trip in Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive at Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian or any Chinese Cities. (Please see option detail on our ‘general information’ section) we will be met at Gonggar Airport by our Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities take a 1.5-hour drive along 93 km road leading to Lhasa lying at an altitude of 3660 meters. It’s advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa’s altitude. Drinking a lot of water is also good. Our first overnight on the roof of the world in Lhasa

Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang and Norbulingkha)

Your tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts you to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to Barkhor Markets can be quite a change from other visits as you roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, the tour for the day concludes as you return to the comforts of your hotel.

Day 3: Continue Sightseeing in Lhasa (Drepung monasteries and Sera monasteries on our mountain bikes)

Like the previous day, you experience invaluable insights during your visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans’ respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.

Day 4: Start the journey and drive from Lhasa to Khampa La Pass and overnight in tents (85km). (4794m, 80 km, 6-7 hrs)

Our Mountain biking blitzkrieg begins from Lhasa. Cycling past history-laden city of Lhasa, you will be biking crossways through barley fields, traditional Tibetan villages and rising and falling uphill slopes. Few kilometers ahead, a bridge appears across the river leading to the airport. Chinese soldiers can be seen stationed at the mid-point of the bridge. Turning away from the route to the airport, you have to skirt along another direction following rarely-visited sandy path to Khampa La. our trail zig-zags through a village of mud-walled houses and pastoral farmlands. You may attempt to interact with local villagers with the assistance from your Tibetan guide. This gives you an opportunity to glimpse into the lives of local villagers. Further ahead, the trail branches into a valley away from Tsangpo and then ascends. You will approach your first campsite on a rocky territory encompassing an area of width 30 meters and height 100 meters. After cycling for about 6-7 hours, you will eventually arrive at the foot of Khampa La (pass) at an elevation of 4794. At a peaceful site, you will camp for the night under a starlit moonlight sky.

Day 5: Cycle over the pass and ride along Yamdrog Lake. Camp by the Lakeside (70km) (4475m, 72km, 6-7 hrs)

This is a tough climb across the first of six high passes of the trip. If you find it too tough peddling up 4794 meter high pass you can always get on the support 4WD Land cruiser. Once you are on the top of the pass you have glittering views of Yamdrog tso (lake) and stunning summit of Nanzin Kangsa (7252m). A descent to deep turquoise Yamdrog Tso Lake amidst its exquisite mesmerizing views further accentuates the biking thrill. Nomadic herders and grazing yaks make interesting picture-perfect view en route. After lunch, you will ride along the shore of the lake on sandy roads for about 40km. The trail further continues along ridges in the valley wall with breath-taking views of towering snow-capped peaks as the backdrop. Sooner sheep pastures come into sight. Hereabouts you stop your cycling journey for the day; and set up camp after riding for 72 km up to Nagartse village at an elevation of 4475m.

Day 6: Cycle to Gyantse, visit the town and overnight in hotel (90km) 3950m, 35 km, 3-4 hrs)

Today it’s pretty easy and short ride to the top of Simi La at 4375m and then we ride mostly downhill into a wide sandy valley towards Gyantse. The trail crisscrosses barley field along the flowing river. Here, you will spot several military and religious sites. You can bask in the sheer pleasure of visiting Pelkor Chode Monastery, and Gyantse Dzong. Pelkor Chode Monastery has ancient murals, thangkas, chapels, mandala and paintings of 84 mahasidhhas in yogic posture. Gyantse Dzong was constructed in the 14th century and offers majestic view of both Gyantse and Nyang Chu Valley. Gyantse Kumbum is one of the major attractions of cultural interest in Gyantse. This ancient building houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. You will spend the night at a comfortable hotel in this town.

Day 7: Cycle to Shigatse and overnight in hotel (90km) (3900m, 90km 4-5 hrs)

After b/fast, today’s ride takes us on a tarmac highway following Nyang Chu River to Shigatse, the second largest city of Tibet. En route, you will encounter several trucks, cabs and pedestrians hurrying along the busy streets of Shigatse. There are internet cyber café, many well-resourced shop, restaurants etc. Tashilhunpo monastery, being one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet, is a major attraction of Shigatse. Our Overnight here will be in a comfortable hotel.

Day 8: Visit Tashilumpo Monastery and rest.

On this day we explore around and rest. We explore the local market and Tashilhumpo Monastery. This monastery is one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. This is where we haul up for the night after a pretty cool day.

Day 9: Cycle to bottom of Tsola and camp (80km) (4290m, 106 km, 8-9 hrs)

The road down here is lumpy and bumpy, loose and dirty, and the ride hereabouts can be relatively challenging. Following the Friendship Highway, you will gradually climb to the foot of Tso La where you stay the night in tented camps as we prepare for supper and some well earned rest.

Day 10: Cycle to Gyatso La via Lhatse and camp (90km) (4630m, 70 km, 5-6 hrs)

After a pretty comfortable eight kilometers ride, you get to the top of the Tso La from where you will have a clear view of the main Himalayan range. A brief stoppage at the top of the pass follows a thrilling downhill ride to the small town of Lhatse. After lunch at riverside the biking trail gains gradual climb to the foot of Gyatso La at 4630 meter where you camp for the night.

Day 11: Cycle over the Gyatso La Pass (5220 meters) and overnight in Shegar (4050m, 65 km, 7-8 hrs)

The Gyatso La at 5220 meters is located approximately 15 kilometers from the campsite, is the highest pass of this biking adventure. The trail to the top of the pass passes through steep and rough slope. From the pass it is steep downhill ride amidst stunning views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse & Cho Oyu. Riding past small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen make your journey even more eventful. We arrive at the small Tibetan Town of Shegar after peddling a few kilometers and reach our camping site for the night.

Day 12: Cycle to Ronbuk, overnight in tents (90km) (5000m, 24 km 3-4 hrs)

The trail cuts across by the banks of a river for first few kilometers which is fairly easy as you head toward Rongbuk valley. This ride gets quite enjoyable as your eyes relish the breath-taking view of glaciated valley. Yak-skin tents and grazing yaks can be viewed on the other side of the valley. Within few hours along Rongbuk Glacier, North Face of Everest becomes visible flaunting its unparalleled beauty. Rongbuk Monastery lies ahead 8 kilometers below Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 5000m, at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier.

Day 13: Free day in Ronbuk and visit Everest Base Camp – (5200m, 8 km each way)

After enjoying our well-deserved rest, you can indulge in the exoticism of exploring mystiques of Rongbuk glaciers. It is an 8 km each way walk along dirt road to the base of Mt. Everest. You ascend to the moraine and shortly encounter a nunnery ruined during the Cultural Revolution. A small hermitage is nestled in the vicinity. A few hours of ascent eventually brings you to the Everest Northern Base Camp. No matter how much difficulties and challenges you may face along the trail, once you see the mighty Mount Everest your tiredness gets washed away and you feel so much blessed as you savor this blissful sight. After your video cam has worked overtime and explored enough, you retreat back to your camp.

Day 14: Cycle to Tingri (hot springs) and overnight in guest house – (4350m, 75 km, 6-7 hrs)

Since it takes lot of time on a bicycle to reach to the top of Pang La, it is best to drive up to this pass and bike down to Tingri. The trail leading to Pang La is extremely rocky and bumpy. Soon after arriving at Pang La, you collect your cycling gears and start peddling down the steep trail. Shortly, a boulder comes en route and the trail gets rougher as it follows rock-strewn path. The trail descends to a series of sandy ridges which cut along the edge of a river gorge. Further down, you will meet a stream. This adrenaline-fueled ride continues past pristine hamlets and lush barley fields. After coming close to Tingri, if you look back you can catch a stunning sight of majestic Everest and Cho Oyu. The dirt road turns into a paved road as you will enter a small town of Tingri which is an unsheltered and windy settlement nestled underneath the enchanting Cho Oyu. Your overnight camp will be at a small village where you can take a refreshing bath in a natural hot spring and chill out before having supper and going to bed.

Day 15: Cycle to Tonla Pass and camp – (5200m, 67 Km 5-6 hrs)

A six kilometers downhill ride and a further seven kilometers uphill climb brings you to the top of the second pass, Thang La at 5200 meters. If you find it too much to peddle uphill you have an option of getting on the support 4WD Land cruiser. We spend the night in camps.

Day 16: Cycle to Nyalam and overnight in guest house (70km) (3750m, 3-4 hrs)

After spending some heavenly moments at the top of the pass you begin what we call ‘the worlds longest downhill’ biking adventure. A long pleasant downhill ride amidst superb mountain scenery brings you to a village near Nylam where you camp for the night at 3750 meter.

Day 17: Cycle to Zhangmu and overnight in hotel (30km) (900m, approx 1 hr)

Heading away from Nyalam, you ride along the steep road dropping down through the gorge. The trail meets a glacial stream and turns back crossing the river. A further 15 kilometers of cycling brings you amidst the verdant vegetation and a little further ride brings you to the Chinese border town of Zhangmu at 2300 meter. We crash out here for the night in a hotel

Day 18: Cross over Friendship Bridge and depart for Kathmandu (114 km) 7-8 hrs by bike, there’s also the option to drive to Kathmandu

Making your way through traffic and modern concrete block buildings perched on the slopes, you will head towards Chinese customs where you are required to handle re-entry formalities to return to Kathmandu. Once you are done with this official procedure, you advance towards 12 km descent to the river and the bridge to Nepal. The trail that follows at this point onwards is muddy, steep and rocky. You may encounter several jeeps on the way. After bidding your Tibetan guide and driver farewell, you will descend to the river valley. Initially, the trail gets rocky but later eases when it enters paved road after 20 kilometers of descent. Utmost careful safety measures should be adopted as there are chances of washouts occurring at any time while riding along this steep muddy trail. Further down, a village springs into picture. As you make your way to the entrance of the town, you will experience many speed breakers. The trail then opens into rich verdant valley with rice terraces surrounded by green hills. From Tatopani, we have the option of riding our bikes or driving down to Kathmandu if we are real tired. Overnight in the valley of the gods

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