The Forbidden Kingdom

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A region rarely visited with stunning mountain peaks, true mountain people and a mystical sense of being on a different planet.

  • 16 days / 15 nights
  • Upper Mustang - "The Forbidden Kingdom"
  • 16 passes above 3500m
  • 290km, 9500m of ascent
  • Led by 5 times Yak Attack Champ
  • Contact us with your chosen departure date
  • Grade 5; high level of fitness required
Duration: 16 days / 15 nights Location: Nepal Price: From $2750

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met at the airport by one of the Yak Attack Team and transferred to a 3*+ hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. There will be time to unwind and unpack etc. before an informal evening meal with the rest of the riders and crew.

Day 2

Following a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, riders will be issued with their Yak Attack merchandise; this will include a kit bag for transporting belongings during the tour and a Yak Attack race jersey. There will then be time to check the bikes over with one of the Yak Attack crew on standby to assist with any mechanical issues. The afternoon will be free for a relaxed sightseeing ride around some of the sights that Kathmandu has to offer. An early evening group meal will leave ample time for packing belongings for an early start the following morning. Bike bags and all luggage not required during the tour can be left at the hotel.

Day 3

The Yak Attack team will load the luggage and bikes onto the support vehicle whilst the riders have breakfast at the hotel.

We will leave Kathmandu at 8am for the 7 hour drive to Pokhara. We will stop along the way for lunch above the Trishuli River, arriving in Pokhara by mid afternoon, leaving plenty of time to explore the relaxed lakeside city.

Day 4
Route: Fly Pokhara to Jomsom. Ride Jomsom to Kagbeni 10km, 250m of ascent

Today we will have a morning flight to Jomsom which will take around 25 minutes. Upon arrival we will rebuild the bikes, and then embark on the ride to Kagbeni which is around 10km with around 250m of climbing. We will be riding from Jomsom along the glacial river, the Kali Gandaki. Kagbeni is the gateway to Upper Mustang, has a labyrinth of narrow alley ways to explore and the infamous Yak Donalds to enjoy a yak burger or apple cider!!

Day 5
Route: Kagbeni to Muktinath, 10km, 1100m of ascent

After the breakfast we will start the ride up to Muktinath. Don’t expect any downhill riding today as the trail consists of 10km uphill with 1100m of ascent. The effects of the increasing altitude and steep climbs means it could take as long as 3 hours before we arrive at our destination, which is at 3900m. During the ride we can enjoy views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Following lunch at the hotel we can embark on a short hike to explore the famous Hindu temple of Muktinath.

Day 6
Route: Muktinath to Samar, 29km, 1350m of ascent

The real riding starts here!! We will need an early start today and after a couple of kms we will be riding through a beautiful village and start the climb up to Gyu La Pass at 4066m, 7km from Muktinath. From the top of Gyu La we will be dropping 1200m on technical but fast single track all the way to Chhusang. We will cross the Kali Gandaki and again start to climb for our destination of the evening, Samar. This will be one of the toughest climbs of the whole adventure, but there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the breathtaking views all around.

Now that we are in Upper Mustang, our accommodation for the evenings will become more basic.

Day 7
Route: Samar to Ghami, 28km, 1100m of ascent

Today we have five passes over 3800m. These are; Bhena La, Yamdo La, Syanboch La, Nya La and Ghami La. The trail will be tougher than previous days but the climbing won’t be as steep as that to Samar. After breakfast we will start the ride which is immediately uphill but we also have some fast downhill during the day. We will stop at Ghiling for lunch, where it will take a maximum of 2 hours to reach Ghami with another 5km climb and one long downhill before the hotel.

Day 8
Route: Ghami to Lo Manthang, 26km, 1080m of ascent

Today we only have two passes to cross. The first one has the longest ascent of 4.5km with the second one not as taxing. Today is slightly easier than the previous two days, but the high altitude makes 26km feel like 52km!! About halfway we pass through the beautiful village of Charang where we will stop for lunch, taking some time to explore before continuing the ride to Lo Manthang. We will check into the hotel, and if we arrive in time we will take a walk down to the village to explore the ancient walled city. Lo Manthang is a colourful village with spectacular views all around. In the middle of the village we can also see the Kings Palace, where the last King of Lo Manthang lived.

Day 9
Route: Kimaling; Choser Loop, 21km, 600m of ascent

An optional easy day riding today to explore Kimaling, the village above Lo Manthang, close to the Chinese border. We will also ride out to Garphu to visit the ancient cave dwellings and a monastery where Tibetan people used to live many years ago! If the weather is clear, from here we can see a very nice panorama of Nilgiri and the Annapurna mountains. The day has very little climbing with most of the trails being flat and we will be riding through remote villages which are as if time forgot.

Day 10
Route: Lo Manthang to Ghami via Dhakmar, 21km, 900m of ascent

Today we have more than 50% of single track which is often quite technical so you will need to have good handling skills to enjoy this day to the max. Again we have two passes which are Chogo La, 4280m (the highest pass in the trip) and Mui La, 4170m. During the 6.5km from the beginning to the first pass we might need to push a few sections because of steep and rocky single track uphill. From the top of both passes we have some steep descents with rocky single track, these sections are only suitable for adept riders, less technically skilled riders are recommended to push! After 15km we will reach Dhakmar and from here we will follow jeep tracks all the way to Ghami. Again we can enjoy mountain views, colourful landscapes, monasteries and the longest mani wall in the world!!

Day 11
Route: Ghami to Chele, 32km, 1300m of ascent

Another long and hard day on the bike with the same passes we crossed going up in to Lo Manthang! Its unavoidable that today we have to retrace the same trails we traveled up but we will be taking some shortcuts whilst going down. These shortcuts will have some really fun and fast sections and also amazing front views of Nilgiri and Annapurna mountains. From the hotel a 7km climb takes us to the Niy La pass at 4010m which is the longest climb of the day. After the pass we have fast downhill to the village Ghiling. From here we have another 4km climb to Syangboche La at 3850m, followed by a few minutes of downhill to Syangboche village and again a 3km climbing up to Yamda La Pass at 3850m. From here the trail undulates for a while before a long downhill trail takes us to Chele.

Day 12
Route: Chele to Marpha, 35km, 950m of ascent

As we start the descent out of Upper Mustang the air gets thicker and the riding gets easier, but there are still a few tough climbs to tackle. The first 3km from Chele are downhill or flat all the way to Chhusang. After this we will cross a metal bridge from where we can see the river coming through a natural tunnel. From Chhusang the trails will be undulating until Kagbeni. From Kagbeni we will again be riding along the Kali Gandaki riverbank which is flat but we could encounter very strong head winds all the way to Marpha.

Day 13
Route: Marpha to Tatopani, 43km, 550m of ascent

Today has the longest distance,the longest downhill and the most fun riding of the whole trip. The first 20km of trail takes us through a wide valley where you can enjoy forest sections, single track sections and a suspension bridge crossing to the village Lete. From here we have more than 20km of very rough downhill. Here we could encounter traffic so we will need to be careful and vigilant during the descent. After arriving in Tatopani, we will check in to the hotel and make our way down to the natural hotsprings for some rest and relaxation and a few beers if that’s your thing!!

Day 14
Route: Ride Tatopani to Maldhunga, 35km, 550m of ascent. Drive Maldhunga to Pokhara 70km

The last ride of the trip! Being back at lower altitudes will make the riding seem easy and the trail undulates all the way to Maldhunga. The first 21km to Beni is jeep track and then from here we will be riding on broken tarmac. As soon as we arrive at Maldhunga the Yak Attack team will pack the bikes on the vehicle and we will drive to Pokhara which will take 3 to 4 hours. We will stop en route for lunch and after arriving in Pokhara we will check into the hotel with plenty of free time for exploring and shopping!

Day 15

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport and take an early morning flight to Kathmandu. The flight takes around 30 minutes and once back in Kathmandu we will transfer back to the hotel and there will be ample time for more souvenir shopping and packing for tomorrows departure.

Day 16

Transfer to international airport or continue on with own itinerary.

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