Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Journey to Upper Mustang - The Lost City of Lo Manthang

Upper Mustang is the restricted region to the north of Jomsom and on the edge of the Tibetan plateau in the Annapurna Region. This ride is simply out of this world, following the Holy Kaligandaki River up into the breathtaking scenery of Upper Mustang. The scenery is simply awesome and the terrain some of the most challenging for mountain biking in Nepal.

You will push yourself and your bike to the limits on the rugged trails on route to Lo Manthang, the mystical walled city on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Passing over the high altitude desert region, this ride is also a photographer's dream, capturing masterpieces fit for the National Geographic along the way. Get swept up in Gompa's, traditional architecture and rustic homes along route. The region is rich in Tibetan Buddhism and the people live to a simple farming culture, harvesting this arid land and herding their precious livestock such as yaks, and goats.

This is sure to be an unforgettable journey for the serious Mountain Biker and the best bit; you get to have afternoon tea with the King of Lo!

So you want ride this incredible journey…. Read the following information. 

Trip Duration: 22 Days Kathmandu to Kathmandu
Trip Grade: Hard
2011 Departures: 24th September to 15th October

How Physical will it Be? Prepare Your Body and Your Mentality
Good basic endurance for 4-6 hours per day on the bike as well as carrying and pushing section. Make sure you are comfortable riding with a day pack and also carrying your bike uphill’s. A good dose of willpower in extreme climatic conditions such as heat, cold and strong winds is necessary. On the onward journey to Lo Manthang we have daily 800 to 1500 meters uphill at an altitude 3000-4200 meters to cope with so work on building your stamina before undertaking this ride.

Good riding skills are also essential; this is not a ride for beginner mountain bikers. Secure control of the bike, even on challenging trails is absolutely necessary.

Prepare your mental attitude to able to cope/tolerance unpredictable program changes and interest, respect and openness towards the country and the indigenous population and we are confident you will have a great trip.

Weather Conditions:-
In mid September the monsoon in Nepal ends. But short post monsoon rain showers are still possible on the south part of the Himalayan range. Mustang itself is very dry, desert-like and rain is very rare in this region. Typically, however, are strong thermal winds, occurring in the afternoon. During the day it can be quite warmwhile the evening and night temperatures, especially in Lo Manthang, may fall to near freezing. Snow fall is also a possibility.

Where will we Stay Overnight?
In Kathmandu and Pokhara we will stay overnight in medium class hotels in double rooms. In Mustang we sleep in traditional simple tea houses with close connection to the local families. Most are simple rooms with two beds and shared bathrooms. Hot showers are not everyday available. The guest rooms are rustic but very comfortable. Conditions are basic.

What kind of food will be Available?
The food is good but not very varied. It mainly consists of homemade chapattis, pasta, rice, eggs and lentils.For breakfast porridge, chapatti and omelets are served with jam. At noon we strengthen ourselves mostly with noodle soup. The main evening meal is normally rice, dhal and vegetable curry.

What about the Luggage?
During biking everybody is carrying his own day pack with the things needed for the day to the next accommodation, like camera, snacks, waterproof/windproof jacket, sun cream etc. The rest of the luggage is carried by porters or on an accompanying vehicle. You will be limited to 12 kg per person.
Which Bike and Gear to Bring?
A hard tail with front suspension is sufficient but on the free ride and downhill parts you will have a lot more fun with a full suspension bike. But this should not weigh over 14 kg and you should be comfortable riding it up long climbs. Top Quality mountain bikes can also be hired at our agency in Kathmandu.

In regards to cycling clothes, you should bring comfortable loose clothes that are practical in warm weather and easy to layer up in cold weather. An outer windproof/waterproof layer is essential and also some thermal under layers will be needed in the higher altitude. It will also help to apply a waterproofing agent to your shoes. In regards to shoes, SPD’s are great but make sure you go for the mountain specific types not racy shoes; you have to be comfortable walking in them on rocky surfaces and up hills. Don’t forget most import gloves and a helmet!

Included in the price:
Trekking permit for Mustang, trekking permit for Annapurna, transfers, flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, hotel with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara, tea-house or lodge with breakfast and dinner during the biking, German tour guide, Nepal bike guides, porters or support vehicle.

Not included in the price:
Return flight to Kathmandu, airport taxes, excess baggage when flying to Jomsom, lunch during the Biking, lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara, tips, entrance fees in Kathmandu..
For trip details please email info@himalayansingletrack.com

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