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Gareth Talbot avatar
Gareth Talbot

Gareth & Gemma's Himalayan MTB Challenge page

Manali to Leh Himalayan mountain bike challenge for Jane Tomlinson Appeal because it's tough and for a great cause

117 %
raised of £1,500 target
by 51 supporters
  • Team members: Gemma Talbot, Gareth Talbot
  • Event: Everest MTB Challenge, 19 Sep 2015 to 18 Oct 2015

Jane Tomlinson Appeal

We raise funds locally to give back locally

Charity Registration No. 1113894


Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Gemma and I are all booked and in some serious training to complete what can only be described as an epic bike tour, hopefully raising some money along the way for an excellent cause (, so again thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.

What lies ahead of us both is a daunting prospect but an exciting one too, below is a brief summary if what we can expect during our trip.

  • One of the most spectacular journeys in the world; crossing six passes, including two of the highest road passes in the world!  
  • Mountain scenery of the Indian Himalaya and magnificent wild camping Ancient Buddhist monasteries and gain insight into the culture of Ladakh. 
  • An exhilarating 2000m descent from the Khardung La back to Leh! 

11 days of cycling through the Indian Himalayas riding an average of 60km a day over 11 days riding over 6 spectacular Himilayan passes with extended periods of riding at altitudes over 4,000 metres above sea level reaching a high point of 5,600 metres! With a fantastic 2,000m decent thrown in too.

To get to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, we embark upon one of the world's most spectacular bike rides across the Himalaya. Our journey starts in the state of Himachal Pradesh, around Manali, which is surrounded by beautiful pine clad valleys with rushing mountain torrents and flower-strewn meadows. We have time here for acclimatisation rides. Leaving Manali we cross the Rohtang Pass into Lahoul, a semi-desert land, protected from the summer monsoons by the Himalayas. The people here are Buddhist and although the land is perhaps less barren, the lifestyle and villages are very similar to Ladakh. From Lahoul we cycle over the Baralacha Pass which takes us across the Himalayan Range and into Zanskar. The scenery becomes more barren as we cross the Lachalung La and the Nakli La into Rupshu and on to the Changtang Plateau. We spend a night at the high altitude Tsokar Lake, an area inhabited by Tibetan nomads with their huge herds of yaks. Our final pass is the Taglang La, one of the highest road passes in the world, which brings us into Leh. As a final challenge we have a day ride to the Khardung La, the highest motorable road pass in the world. 

But were only riding I hear you say how hard can that be, well;

The surface of the roads over the high passes is often nonexistent and there will be rough sections and maybe muddy sections crossing the high passes, particularly the Rothang and Taglang La. The altitude should not be underestimated and presents a considerable challenge. Some of the riding will be at above 5000m and there will also be some steep and long climbs

Moving onto the altitude, as we are doing a fair chunk of our riding at altitude we have been given the altitude warning to read in preparation for our trip, eeeks!

Altitude Warning;

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be lifethreatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately. On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude. A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

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