Yak Attack - Breathing thin air

After a rest day in Manang the following stage saw us head to the foot of the Thorong La Pass, Thorong Phedi.

After resting in Manang and having a good walk up a nearby hill my altitude related sickness had cleared and i felt pretty good… after a few pedal strokes into the Manang to Thorong Phedi stage the lack of oxygen kicked in and my legs instantly started to burn and my breathing was hard.

The stage started through the streets of Manang heading out the older parts of the town and straight into a hike a bike upto a village higher up on the hillside… for the walking part i could still stay with the Nepalese but soon as the trail became vaguely rideable i was again treat to a lesson in hill climbing… the slopes were so steep i couldn’t even imagine riding them.

The days finish lay 972m of ascent higher up the valley and the trail was amazing to ride… very flowing and it was great to spin the pedals rather than grinding them.

The skies were filled with Ravens and Vultures and the peaks bounding the trail were spectatcular.

With all the non Nepalese riders behind me on the trail and the Nepalese guys far ahead I was left alone to enjoy the the scenery and the trail.

The stage itself was pretty short at 17km but the altitude and climbing made sure i got my moneys worth finishing 2hrs 41mins later.

Thorong Phedi was busy with trekkers, everyone getting ready to up and over early the following morning across the highest pass in the world, Thorong La at 5416m above sea level.

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By Paul Errington