diary is an account of the first expedition by motor bike
to Mount Everest Base Camp. The expedition in August of
2003 set a world record for altitude reached offroad by
motorbike, at 17,225 feet (5,300 meters). The diary describes
the history-making trip in the words of Krishna Humagain,
co-organizer of the expedition and a part-owner of High
Mountain Wave Trekking/Rafting and Himalayan Off Road Adventure,
expedition left Kathmandu August 6, 2003, and reached the
northern base camp of Mt. Everest, in Tibet, below the Rongbuk
Glacer, 9 days later.
of the expedition, in addition to Mr. Humagain, included
expedition leader Henning Bitsch of Denmark, Ajs Smed Nielsen,
Christina Pedersen and Lisbeth Zaccho, also of Denmark,
and Anne Seel, of Sweden.
6 August 2003, Kathmandu - Nyalam, 190 kilometers.
injured my hand while riding one of the bikes a few days
before the expedition was to depart. The
injury prevented me from riding a bike during the expedition,
so I rode a bus leased by our company as far as the border
with Tibet. One of our clients, Mr. Carsten Lorenzen, a
Danish TV and radio reporter, joined me and my partner in
the bus. My partner, Tej Bahadur Jarga accompanied us as
far as the border to assist with immigration formalities
and luggage transfer.
driving at 5 a.m. from Kathmandu, loaded with with luggage
and spare parts. We stopped at Dhulekhel Lodge resort for
breakfast and also arranged breakfast for the five bikers
and our mechanic, named Kailash.
In spite of heavy rain in recent days, we did not have any
trouble getting to the Tibetan border. On arriving at the
border we used a local agent to expedite customs formalities
and transfer of our luggage to the other side, where a truck
and Land Cruiser were waiting for us. It took about 3 hours
to clear through Nepal customs, and then we headed to the
Chinese side, where we were screened first for the SARS
virus before reaching immigration. We
then were allowed to drive to Zhangmu. We had to ride 10
km through "no mans land" before the final border
checkpoint into China-Tibet.
was a big contrast between the Chinese and Nepal sides of
the frontier. On the Chinese side, uniformed men were standing
at the border, and no one understood English. The ride from
here was FANTASTIC for the bikers. Steep mountainsides were
covered in trees and shrubs, with sharp cliffs and waterfalls,
all wrapped in a mystic mist, giving a fairy tale atmosphere
to the scene. We
arrived at Chinese immigration and waited a long time, nearly
noodle soup and cold drinks while waiting for our guide,
Mr. Putsu, who arrived with the shocking news that Chinese
customs officials were asking for more than $12,000 U. S.
dollars as a customs deposit for our 6 bikes.I
was a bit worried to hear that, but our agent, Charlie,
told me not to worry because he had phoned a high official
friend in Lhasa to solve our problem.
asked for our passports and told to complete various forms,
and finally were allowed to take our bikes across the border.
After a few minutes our agent came and told us we did not
have to pay the exhorbitant deposit for the bikes. We all
were happy and had coffee before starting our drive to Nyalam.
We let the bikers go ahead. It started raining a little
but was still warm, so riding was still fabulous. Passing
about 3000 meters, the landscape became arid, like a rocky
desert. The temperature dropped to five degrees Celsius.
Nyalam (3600 m) in the evening and checked in to a very
simple guesthouse. I asked the bikers whether they had any
problems with their bikes, and all said they were loosing
power. Our mechanic investigated and found that the carbuerators
needed adjustment to compensate for the increase in altitude.
at a Chinese restaurant at 9:15 pm local time and had excellent