Offroad motor biking adventrure
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Everest base camp
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P.O. Box 10115, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4700770 / 4700870 Fax: +977 1 4700769

Editor's Note:

This 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, Kathmandu.

The expedition left Kathmandu August 6, 2003, and reached the northern base camp of Mt. Everest, in Tibet, below the Rongbuk Glacer, 9 days later.

Members 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.
I 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.

We started 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.

There 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 three hours.

We ate 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.

We were 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.

We reached 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.

We dined at a Chinese restaurant at 9:15 pm local time and had excellent food. Next page >>>

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