The Quint In Tibet: Riding to Mt. Everest Base Camp
Filmed and narrated by Rohith Ashok (TollFreeTraveller) for The Quint
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
There’s nothing like a long motorcycle ride amid serene mountains and open landscapes to free the soul. And if that ride takes you almost up to Mt. Everest, it’s a bucket-list item waiting to be ticked off.
The Quint was invited by Royal Enfield to ride to Mt. Everest North Base camp in Tibet on a Royal Enfield Himalayan sometime in October. Rohith Ashok (TollFreeTraveller on Youtube) volunteered to do this ride to Rongbuk, the base camp of Mt. Everest.
It was an ambitious 10-day motorcycle expedition from Kathmandu to Tibet. The original plan included visiting three base camps: Everest base camp in the North in Tibet, the Cho Oyu base camp, and the Shishapangma base camp. However, with changing weather conditions and paucity of time, only the Mt. Everest base camp was covered.
Crossing into Tibet meant all the 10-11 bikes in the group and their riders had to have their documents in place. After two days of riding in Nepal - from Kathmandu to Trishuli and then to Timure - with challenging road conditions for the most part, Tibet was a surprise.
The roads were all good tarmac and well marked. Of course, one has to shift to the right (China drives on the right of the road). The landscape is similar to what you see in Ladakh for the most part. It’s after all the same Himalayan range.
The first stop in Tibet was at Kyirong town. There the group stocked up on Chinese currency and supplies. Royal Enfield had done all the legwork of getting the papers in order. The support vehicles were swapped on the Chinese side as only the bikes were allowed through at the border (and they had to be pushed across for a short distance, according to the rules).
The ride thereafter was all on smooth tarmac, even over high mountain passes. At Rongbuk, one had to switch to electric buses a few kilometres before the base camp. This is one of China’s measures to ensure minimal damage to the glaciers around Mt. Everest.
Watch the video for glimpses from the ride.