MTB Backcountry Tibet

MTB Backcountry Tibet

  • October 11-21, 2018
  • 11 Days
  • $3150 CAD/person
  • Descend/Climb Ratio: 60/40

A high-altitude backcountry mountain biking adventure through Eastern Tibet featuring challenging climbs, massive descents, and breathtaking scenery! Immerse yourself in local cultures and feast on delicious Chinese and Tibetan cuisine as you travel through remote villages, and discover ancient trails high on the Tibetan Plateau.

This incredible journey begins and ends in Chengdu, China, a modern city bustling with 14 million people! Travel into the foothills of the Himalayas to Kangding, a mountain town in the Kham region of Tibet. Ride amazing singletracks through the Tagong Grasslands and traverse technical trails all the way around Mt. Yala, a holy mountain worshiped by local Tibetans. Seek enlightenment while climbing towards the Minya Konka range, known as The King of the Sichuan Mountains. Finish with an incredible 30km singletrack descent off of the Tibetan Plateau, before heading back to Chengdu for a final feast and celebrations!

This trip is suitable for fit riders with at least strong intermediate technical skills. The majority of the riding is at elevations above 3500m. Six days of riding will take you above 4000m, and one day will take you to a maximum elevation of 4700m! The riding is roughly 40% singletrack, 30% dirt road, 20% free-riding, and 10% hike-a-bike.

Trip Overview

    Day 1 - Arrival

    • Fly into Chengdu International Airport (CTU), transfer to Fraser Suites Hotel.
    • Explore the city, visit local markets and ancient temples.
    • Meet the group and guides over dinner and drinks.

    Day 2 - Travel to Kangding

    • Settle in for a scenic 6 hour drive through the Sichuan Basin and up to the historic trading town of Kangding.
    • A virtual time warp, everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people.
    • Check into Tibetan guesthouse and build bikes before a traditional group dinner.

    Day 3 - Panpan Mountain Ride

    • Breakfast and Shuttle up to the trailhead in the Panpan Alpine Valley.
    • Start with a gentle 8km acclimatization climb topping out at 4200m!
    • 17km singletrack descent, riding right back to our guesthouse for apres drinks.

    Day 4 - Tagong Ridge Ride

    • 90 min shuttle to the trailhead outside the highland nomadic village of Tagong.
    • 15km switchback climb and long ridgeline traverse with views of Yala and Gongga mountains in the distance.
    • 12km freeride and singletrack descent back to valley bottom, short bus ride to our next accomodation, a traditional family run Tibetan homestay.

    Day 5 - Yala Mountain, North Pass

    • A short shuttle to an enchanting Buddhist village before climbing a mixture of singletrack and grassland freeriding, with some hike-a-bike.
    • From the top of the pass it’s an exciting 12km singletrack descent to tonight's campsite in the valley below.
    • There are several kilometers of technical rock riding in the bottom half of the descent, which is easily walkable for those who lack the technical confidence.

    Day 6 - Yala Mountain, East Pass

    • Today is a feast for your senses as you ride and hike-a-bike into the alpine wonderland of Mt. Yala’s back side.
    • Max out at 4200m before descending into flowing alpine singletrack which carries you 20km down valley, surrounded by massive rocky peaks.
    • Hot springs are a welcome reward before tonight’s dinner, followed by a shuttle to our accommodations at the famous Zhilam Hostel.

    Day 7 - Rest Day, Kangding

    • At 2600m, Kangding is the perfect place to enjoy a day of rest and cultural experiences.
    • Chill out at a chic cafe downtown and enjoy the city vibes, or head out on an optional trek to a picturesque grassland above town.
    • An early dinner will be enjoyed before driving to our next guesthouse.

    Day 8 - Yulongxi Valley Ride

    • After breakfast, depart directly from the guesthouse for a 12km ascent to a 4500m pass above, with the option of a 4700m summit.
    • One of the most unique climbs you’ll ever do, following a surreal river valley up to a waterfall before joining up with a high mountain road to the top of the pass.
    • Take in the majestic views of the Minya Konka range before descending 20 km’s to tonight’s accomodation at a local semi-nomadic family home.

    Day 9 - Zemei Pass

    • Another big climb to a pass at 4550m with even closer views of the Minya Konka Mountain Range.
    • 1300m of descent awaits as you choose between a fast switchback road ride or a steep and exposed technical singletrack trail which was pioneered by some of our group during last years trip!
    • There’s an optional afternoon trek to a monastery at the base of Minya Konka's west side glacier, a great appetite builder before dinner.

    Day 10 - Zemei Valley Ride & Shuttle to Chengdu

    • An unreal 30 km descent today has us literally riding down off of the Tibetan Plateau - One of our favourite rides anywhere in the world!
    • Experience multiple climate zones in one ride as we descend out of the alpine highlands and into the deep canyon valleys below.
    • Shuttle back to Chengdu (3.5 hrs) for a hot shower back at the Fraser Suites Hotel, and a big city celebration dinner with plenty of Western food options.

    Day 11 - Departure

    • Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at the Fraser Suites Hotel.
    • Transfer to Chengdu Airport and depart.
    • We recommend booking an additional night at the Fraser Suites Hotel, before and after this trip, to make the most of your experience - there’s so much to see and do and taste, in this amazing city!

What's Included

  • 10 nights of shared accomodation
    • 2 nights at Fraser Suites Chengdu, a 5-Star Hotel with all the comforts of home
    • 1 night of backcountry camping
    • 7 nights in traditional Tibetan homestays and guesthouses
      • Private room supplement available only at Fraser Suites - inquire for pricing
  • All meals! From dinner upon arrival to breakfast before departure
  • Bottled and/or filtered water for the duration of the trip
  • Local english speaking Tibetan guides
  • Professional, certified, and experienced Wandering Wheels guide
  • Trip planning and packing assistance
    • We'll send you a detailed trip packing list and all the important information
  • Bike maintenance support and cleaning service, plus access to our full tool kit and repair stands
  • All transportation, including airport pick-up, in private shuttle vehicles with professional drivers
  • All activities and park entrance fees as per itinerary

Not Included

  • Flights to Chengdu International Airport
  • Mandatory travel & medical insurance with helicopter evacuation coverage
  • Bikes and riding gear
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers
  • Souvenirs, laundry, other items of personal nature
  • Chinese Tourist Visa
  • Skill Level 3 / Fitness Level 4
  • All-mountain/enduro bike recommended