Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Texan in Tibet - Riding Day 8 Plan

"To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best."
- Margaret Thatcher

Sakya to Rongbuk - Everest, Baby!

The plan is to ride out from Sakya early and ascend the Gyatso la mountain pass.  At 5,248 meters/17,217 feet, this is the highest pass on this section of my trip and is said to be one of the nine most treacherous roads.  I think this is due to its altitude more than the actual surface conditions.  From there, I will descend back down to Shegar where I will have stopped on riding day three and then ride out towards the main road to the Qomolongma (Everest) National park.

I will be arriving in the Everest National Park area during the peak climbing season and as such, I anticipate pretty rough environmental conditions and really dusty air on the dirt road leading to the Rongbuk Monastery. The road from the monastery to the town of Rongbuk is said to be well-maintained blacktop.  Traffic will probably be a nightmare, but at least the road is paved.  The whole day's riding should only be about 255km/158 miles.  It's the traffic and repeated switchbacks that tend to lull riders into a sense of complaisance.  This grasshopper will have to focus.

Check out the interactive map and zoom in on the twisties just south of Tingri.

Rongbuk & Everest

Depending on traffic and the time of day that I arrive, I will try to hit the Everest Base Camp on this day.  If not, I will ride there on Riding Day 9 before heading back to Kyirong Town.  My night's accommodation will be at a basic monastery guest house at 4,980 meters/16,340 feet.