Mountain Bike Route

Mount Everest Base Camp

A 950km Route
And Over 9,500m Vertical Climb



Any mountain bike route that includes Mount Everest Base Camp, covers over 950kms, includes over 9,500m vertical climb and crosses the Himalayas is going to be pretty awesome.

But this Epic route must be the Daddy of them all!

Key Data

• Lhasa (Tibet) to Kathmandu (Nepal).

• Mount Everest Base Camp.

• Crossing 6 of the World's highest mountain passes at over 4500m altitude.

• Sampling the local culture and visiting the major monasteries along the way.

• All finished off with the second biggest down hill in the world.

Intro

Now you can crack this Mountain Bike Route on your own - and many people have and do. . . .

But if you want to pack in as much as you can into your time and have your baggage carried for you into the bargain then hook up with one of the many treking companies available. Terra firma travel is a good example of one of these companies with a wealth of experience of this Mountain Bike Route. They save time, speak the language (all important when dealing with Chinese officials; deal with phaff of admin support and leave you more time to focus on reaching Mount Everest and all things Himalayan.

This Mountain Bike route usually takes just over 3 weeks in the saddle, starting and finishing in Kathmandu.

First off is the flight north east to Lhasa over the vast Himalayan mountain range - keep your eyes peeled for good views of Mount Everest during the flight. You should expect about 3 days of acclimatisation in the Tibetan Capital as you are now at 4000m.

The home of the Dali Lama, there is more than enough to fill your time in Lhasa with Palaces, Temples and Monasteries - all achieved at a leisurely pace on your mountain bike. Make sure you fit in the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Sera Monastery before this Mountain Bike Route heads south west over the first of the passes - the Khamba La Pass, at 4769m.

The Route

During the route, expect to sleep in all manner of styles, from camping out to hotels. By the start of your 2nd week you should well on your way with another high mountain pass under your belt - Karo La Pass 5100m. This is quickly followed by the Sim La Pass at 4330m as you wind your way towards the town of Gyantse.

The route from here to Lhazi is fairly flat and largely agricultural and should give your legs a bit of a breather. However, you still to scale the Tso-La Pass, at 4505m, which is at the top of a strength sapping 10km climb. The reward - an awesome 8Km downhill section that takes you into Lhazi and another overnight stop.

Tibet

The next step is into the Himalayas proper and on to Mount Everest Base Camp.

Difficult climbs made even more challenging by the high altitude are the norm now. Leaving Lhazi behind the Mountain Bike Route now climbs to the Gya Tso-La Pass 5220m one of the highest passes on this trek. With the altitude comes two problem; cold and high UV exposure. This brutal bit of biking finally leads down to the town of Shegar and some of the best views on he route.

Over the half way point now and time for a diversion from the main Lhasa to Kathmandu route. Mount Everest looms large and North Base Camp is now within reach. Yet another pass to negotiate, the Pang La Pass 5200m but the views this beauty spot provides are literally the high point of the trip.

From the Pass summit the Himalayan behemoths of Mount Everest, Cho Oyo and Makalu fill the horizon. The Mountain Bike Route descends to Tasi xo offering another hairy switch back downhill.

Everest

Refreshed by the overnight stop you now ascend to the Rongbuck Base Camp. This is quite a slog altitude and thin air making the muscles work 4 times as hard as normal. Following the new rulings in 2004 you can't actually approach the Mount Everest Base Camp by bike and the final 1000m is covered on foot. But the effort is well worth it!

Mount Everest Base Camp bagged, the Mountain Bike Route returns to its south westerly heading and crosses the Lamna La Pass 5030m, The road conditions here are not great and vehicles are few and far between. That makes them great for mountain biking. This is a beautiful and remote area of the Himalayas with fine views of Everest and Cho Oyo.

The Lalung La 4910m and Yakri Shong La 5050 m passes quickly fall under the tyres on both paved and dirt tracks. Tibetans in typical dress, remote villages with Yaks and Sheep pepper this outstandingly beautiful scenery and massive mountain peaks.

Nepal

The Yakri Shong La is the sixth and final pass of the route. From here on in, technically speaking . . . It's all down hill.

What lies ahead is one of the longest downhills in the world taking us into Nepal. Beurocracy plays its part here with the Chinese customs point at Xhangmu before crossing into Nepal 10km further to the south. The town of Kadari complete the Nepalese Customs formalities.

You'll notice the temperature change now as the altimeter drops below 2000m. You also exchange the Tibetan Plateaux for the rice paddy fields as the route takes you along the side of the Bhotkosi River. The route continues downhill to the Dolal Ghat Bridge and then on to Dhulikhel. With only 40kms to Kathmandu the Mountain Bike Route comes to a close - but what a journey;

• Lhasa to Kathmandu

• Mount Everest Base Camp

• Crossing 6 of the World's highest mountain passes at over 4500m altitude

• Sampling the local culture and visiting the major monasteries along the way

• all finished off with the second biggest down hill in the world (forming part of the Himalayan Mountain Bike Race route)

And well worth the title of No1 Epic Moutain Bike Route!