10.26.09

Tibet border to Everest Base Camp

Posted in China, The journey journal at 11:10 pm by Administrator

Emails from TC … also sent Oct 26, 2009
Second blog to go up.

Cheers

Ahhh mountains. Nic loves them and gets a huge smile everytime she sees one of them and thats lucky because riding up them at amazingly stupid altitudes needs something to make you smile. The border is at 1500masl and by the third day of riding we crested a pass at 5130masl. That was waaaaay too fast and as a result the 3 of us were smashed by the altitude. Not to the point of having to be airlifted out like the aussie guy that we met at the border hospital but it was painful. To the point that the last 300 horizontal m (50 vertical m) hurt so much more than anything did during the ironman in april.
It has been great though. We have a guide and a driver that follow along with us. They usually drive 5 to 10 km in front of us and then wait for us to catch up and then pull out the thermos of tea while we catch our breath. The 4wd also has a rack on teh roof for those occassions in the first few days when the altitude became too great and we had to blouse it and put the bikes on the roof. Those guys have been really good at looking after us and I have no idea why I didn’t get a car from the start. They even manage to hide their bordom at taking 8 hours to drive 60 km.
Our guide has been doing this kind of thing for 8 years and we’re only the 3rd group that he has taken in this direction. All the other groups think that the lhasa to kathmandu direction is down hill. Apart from the first 3 days they’re wrong. Each pass is balanced once you’re at this height and they seem steeper going the other way. Also so far teh wind has been fantastically behind us. The only thing that I’d suggest is a day or 2 more acclimatisation at arround 4000 or 4500 m. After we made it to the top of the first pass we had to get in the car and drive the last 30 km because I couldn’t see for the tears and we were all so dizzy from teh lack of oxygen that we didn’t want to risk trying to speed down a pass.
Also once we got off of the main highway to head into Everest base camp from Tingri the road was really rocky and the wind was so strong in our faces that we took the car again until we were close enough to the mountains that the wind was blocked a little. At everst base camp I started to switch into stage 2 of altitude sickness (not fun I can tell you) and so we got in the car and rushed down from the 5200 to a more sane 4300.
Anywya time for the internet time to be over so have to go but have many many more tibet stories so I’ll be back when we get to Lhasa (4 days) and tell them then.

Tc

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