Mountain Biking in Nepal
Himalayan Bike Trekking concept designed by Snowy Horizon Adventure in synergy with Snowy Horizon Treks & Expedition is a powerful and dynamic mix of our trekking, climbing and mountaineering experience implemented on the Mountain Bike. It is a total experience combining, nature, body, mind and mountain bike for a unique custom designed experience in Himalayan natural, physical, cultural and spiritual environment.
The Bike Trekking a versatile concept designed for wide range of participants is a customized adventure, an ‘IKEA’ of Himalayan adventure concepts with unlimited, simple and elegant solutions.
- For athletes seeking personal challenge or off season cross training opportunities.
- For people using wheelchairs for their mobility to realize their dreams and goals and to make impossible possible.
- For bike riders, who would never consider trekking and will fall in love with Himalayas and Nepal after Bike Trekking with us and come back for more Himalayan adventures.
- For bike clubs helping members to extend their options for exciting and affordable adventure rides.
- For organizations looking for innovative training of their specialized workforce in physically challenging environment, team building, and corporate challenge for teams or individual employees.
- An absolutely ultimate event for charity causes encouraging participation, affording challenge and fun for participants; unlike trekking mountain biking dynamism is suitable to younger participants.
Snowy Horizon Adventure offers a range of bike trekking adventures from combination of classic Himalayan trekking with downhill ride through doing the entire trek on mountain bike to single trek mountain biking adventures. We also organize a combination of trekking, climbing and bike riding and combine it all into well rounded and exciting wilderness and cultural adventure.
Our Himalayan Dreaming mountain biking adventures focus on Annapurna Circuit area and Upper Mustang because these areas are rich in jeep roads and mountain and village trails suitable for exciting single trek riding. There is also a very quick and convenient way to get to your mountain biking trailhead by 30 minutes mountain flight and in case of bad flying weather we organize emergency drive to Jomsom.
We also offer great mountain biking finish to your every adventure with a special really cool bike ride in the Kathmandu valley with emphasis on the best cultural and visual aspect of the valley with Bhaktapur the cultural capital of Nepal and stunning Langtang sunrise spectacular playing the star roles. With our adventures being designed with western taste for adventure in the fore, there is simply not better way to go for an adventure holiday in Nepal. Our motto ‘Himalayan Dreaming’ simply reflects this fact.
Snowy Horizon Adventure difference is our mountaineering experience ensuring our biking clients absolute safety and comfort during high altitude riding without high altitude issues, which includes appropriate acclimatization and pace during all Snowy Horizon Adventure Himalayan Dreaming Mountain Biking Rides. Snowy Horizon Adventure’s expertise stems from both practical experience on many treks and climbs as well as sound academic knowledge and practice in exercise physiology with specialty in high altitude physiology.
Snowy Horizon Adventure works directly with clients providing competent, sound and honest advice on your adventure in clear English, ensuring that you will experience the most enjoyable holiday possible with your mountain biking adventure in Nepal. You will speak with a person, who traveled in Nepal and hiked and mountain biked your trek or climbed your mountain route and is familiar with the latest conditions on the trek.
Snowy Horizon Adventure mountain biking routes have been designed by Australian Professional climbers, mountain bike riders and trekkers with intimate knowledge of Nepal’s history and culture with western interests and tastes in mind as we spent bulk of our time in Nepal exploring planning and testing our offers. Our Himalayan Dreaming Adventures operate from our office in Kathmandu by the best possible experienced and qualified Sherpa Climbing and Biking Guides with genetically infused super human strength, endurance and warmth of character. Our policy is to pay full wages determined by NMA (Nepal Mountaineering Association) and cover all food, equipment and health insurance expenses for all our staff, which attracts the best people, your guarantee of safety and great personal experience. Snowy Horizon Adventure organizes, manage and operate directly from Kathmandu and do not exploit our staff. Instead we employ western style innovative management science, efficiency and logistics techniques to reduce the cost and keep prices as low as possible. You may find our prices slightly higher than budget operations but there is no substitute for quality and authenticity of experience.
Snowy Horizon Adventure believes in providing only high quality mountain biking adventure services in Nepal to ensure comfort and the best experience for our customers. The quality of accommodation and food in Nepal is different to those in western countries and we like our clients to feel comfortable even slightly outside their comfort zone and we will encourage quality over low budget options, which will allow genuine and complete experience and in the long run more enjoyable and stress free holiday.
We will provide quality mountain bikes (Giant, Trek or equivalent) and helmet. On the trek you will have a biking guide allocated to your team taking you on the best routes and trekking guide, who will be looking after other logistics including food, accommodation and transportation. Your luggage will be transported between your lodges and all that will be included in the price of your adventure. All you will have to do is to enjoy the ride.
Snowy Horizon Adventure Representative will meet your party at Kathmandu airport and transfers you to you hotel. As our standard option we accommodate clients in 3 star hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
For Trekking in Nepal and Nepal Mountain Biking Adventure clients our cost is calculated based on the use of public transport utilizing tourist bus services where available. All major cities and tourist destinations such as Pokhara or Chitwan are connected to Kathmandu by a network of Tourist Buses and we will use these services. Tourist buses are comfortable and safe way to travel. In Nepal roads are very winding and narrow and the traffic moves very slowly; tourist bus is almost as fast as private vehicle. For organized groups of 6 or more clients we will organize a private transportation
All our Mountain Bike Rides itineraries include all necessary cost for you to enjoy a care free adventure. All meals will include tea or coffee and the only extra expenses will be required for your personal expenses such as bottled drinks, snacks, souvenirs, alcohol if you really require, your daily fix of espresso, cappuccino, cakes and your outings in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Please check your itinerary for inclusions but in general we will offer the following:
- Airport welcome and transfers.
- 3 star accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Tourist Hotel accommodation in Bhatapur and Nagarkot on B/B basis
- Full board Accommodation in Lodges on twin share basis
- All meals (Breakfasts, Lunch, Dinner) during the trek
- Trekking Permit (National Park entry fee)
- TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System) Permit
- Necessary staff during the trekking including Experienced Trekking Guide
- Porter Service with 15Kg Personal Luggage allowance during the ride
- Surface transportation will be available as per itinerary
- Experienced Cycling Guide and Bike mechanic
- Airfare from Pokhara to Jomsom
- Good quality Mountain bike (Trek or Giant)
- Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment for all trekking staff
- Group medical supplies (First Aid medical kit will be available)
- Kathmandu Sightseeing with English speaking Tour guide
- Bhaktapur entry fee
- Guide in Bhaktapur (3h)
- Shuttle to Langtang observation tower
- All necessary documentation, office Service charge and Government Taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure information and advice
- Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu before departure
Whilst keeping the weight of your equipment to a minimum, it is better to have an item of clothing and not use it than to be cold! Please note that this is just a checklist, we are not asking you to bring everything on this list, much will depend on personal preference and the time you travel to Nepal or Tibet and hence temperature can range widely depending on the time of year and altitude.
We recommend using the layering principle and recommend that you always carry a warm windproof / waterproof top when cycling. Good quality cycling shorts, with a padded insert, are a prerequisite for comfortable riding. We will supply you a customized equipment checklist with appropriate climate briefing specifically tailored for your adventure taking in to account type of the trip, the length of the trip and the month of your trip.
We operate our Nepal Mountain Biking adventures in Annapurna and Upper Mustang areas, which are generally in rain shadow areas and during spring and autumn season with generally low probability of rain. The area is a high altitude with desert like climate with beautiful sunny days and chilly nights. This is very comfortable for cycling.
We provide mountain bike as a part of the package, however if you wish to bring your own bike it must be at least a mid-level Mountain Bike. Front suspension is essential. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your bike, please contact us. Your bike should be thoroughly serviced, in perfect working order and be cleaned before your trip.
You will be biking in trekking shoes rather than biking shoes for warmth as well as comfort of walking. We may jump off the bike and hike to a view or scramble up some rocks and visit Buddhist Gompas.
The following basic checklist should help you with your packing for any of our mountain biking trips. Please remember this is just a checklist and you do not necessarily need to bring everything that is listed below. Use your own experience and judgment to make your decision. Please note that this list is appropriate to a biking and trekking at relatively high altitude, with night-time temperatures of a little below freezing. For low level trips, with warm nights, it would be normal to take a lighter sleeping bag and less warm clothing. All our clients will receive detailed briefing upon confirming the trip. It will include trip specific clothing and equipment list along detailed itinerary and season specific weather information.
- Cycling helmet (mandatory and we will supply one)
- Biking glasses
- Stiff soled hiking/trekking shoes for cycling
- Base layer: Thermal top long or short sleeved depending on climate
- Mid Layers: Cycling top - long or short sleeved depending on climate
- Long sleeved lightweight fleece top
- Windproof cycling jacket
- Outer Layer: Lightweight waterproof breathable biking jacket
- Padded cycling shorts
- Baggy over shorts or trousers (for propriety for some conservative areas, we will advise you if appropriate)
- Biking gloves - long or short fingered depending on climate
- A cycling daypack with a minimum of a minimum 1L water bladder or 1L bottle.
- Sun cream
- Head torch
- Light jacket
- Off Bike Kit
- Training shoes/runners
- Merino Socks and sock liners
- Spare laces
- Trekking trousers/pants
- Lightweight shell/rain pants
- Icebreaker Merino 150 underwear briefs
- Icebreaker Merino 150 or lightweight 200 thermal bottoms (for early spring and late autumn high altitude rides only)
- Icebreaker Merino 200 shirt
- Icebreaker Merino 150 T-shirt
- Polar fleece jacket
- Waterproof Gortex jacket
- Warm down jacket (for early spring and late autumn high altitude rides only)
- Sunhat or cap
- Warm hat
- Light neck/face sleeve
- Thermal light gloves (for early spring and late autumn high altitude rides only)
- Cycling gloves
Personal Hygiene and Health
- Personal hygiene supplies.
- Sun cream SPF 30+
- Insect repellent
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Soap and hand sanitizer
- Synthetic towel
- Iodine tablet
- Hand wipes
- Riding Daypack - approx. 30L/1800cu in.
- Head torch/headlamp with spare batteries
- Basic First Aid Kit - refer to general list and specific itineraries
- Water bottles 1L (1 quart)
- Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag liner
- Thermarest or similar sleeping mat for camping trips only
- Travel clothes
- Camera, batteries
- Swiss Army knife (remember to pack sharp objects in check-in baggage)
- Trekking duffel bag for porter
Our biking adventures vary from easy fun ride on jeep road to high altitude hard ride in Upper Mustang crossing 4450m pass and along Annapurna circuit including Lake Tilicho, which is a technical ride, so preparations and skills required will be different.
The main requirement is the ability to ride mountain bike with confidence. On technical treks the guide will ensure that you are properly briefed, so please ask for help on the ride.
Naturally you require being in good health as even on easy ride there will be some uphill riding. On Upper Mustang and Annapurna Full Circuit high level of fitness is required and the comfort of riding uphill sometimes up to 600m a day will be required. Most of our bike rides are recreational so there will be plenty of time to pace yourself, so you can enjoy the ride. The pace at high altitudes will be slow uphill to limit possibility of triggering AMS Acute Mountain Sickness) and exciting fast ride down from the passes.
You should invest reasonable time before the trip for specific mountain bike training. The more riding you do before the more enjoyable adventure you have and more health and metabolic benefits you will gain from the trip. It is really all up to you.
Health and Vaccinations before your Trip
Ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit enough to join an adventure holiday. In line with this, please complete the relevant section of our booking form fully and honestly. You should also have a thorough medical and dental check-up before the holiday. You may need specific vaccinations when visiting some remote areas and this is explained in the information that we send to you when you book. For recommended and compulsory health requirements, please talk to your doctor or visit a specialized travel medical clinic.
Personal First Aid Kit
Although every trip carries a medical kit, it is advisable to bring a supply of first aid items for your own personal use. Base this on the following list, plus any special medications you may require. Please note that this list is appropriate for a long trip in a remote location and at high altitude. For a week's short hike, antibiotics and multivitamins are not necessary.
- Insect repellent.
- Iodine tablets
- Antiseptic cream.
- Sunbloc SPF 30+.
- Throat lozenges or hard sweets.
- Painkillers. Aspirin, Paracetamol etc.
- Anti-diarrhea (Diocalm or Immodium).
- Plasters (band-aids) and 'Second Skin' for blisters.
- Antibiotics. A broad-spectrum antibiotic (such as Ciproxin) suitable for a variety of infections. Please consult with your doctor.
- Re-hydration salts. (Gastrolyte).
- Dextrose glucose tablets.
- Multi-vitamin tablets.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
What is it?
Altitude sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amounts of oxygen. Normally, the higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available for the body to carry on normal functions.
Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2800m/9,200ft but this is different for everyone - there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at altitude thus it is vital you monitor your own health. Symptoms may be mild and subside/go away after a day's rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to death.
What are the symptoms of AMS?
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep or drowsiness
- Rapid pulse
- Swelling of hands, feet & face
Symptoms generally associated with more severe acute mountain sickness include:
- Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis)
- Chest tightness or congestion
- Coughing up blood
- Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
- Grey or pale complexion
- Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
- Shortness of breath at rest
At high altitude all people will experience some of the above symptoms in a mild form. If the body is unable to adjust to altitude these symptoms will persist and, if they are left untreated, altitude sickness may progress to High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Edema means simply fluid accumulation in your interstitial body tissues. Both HACE and HAPE can be fatal if ignored.
What are the symptoms of HAPE (fluid in the lungs)?
- A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
- Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
- Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
- Severe fatigue, progressing to coma
What are the symptoms of HACE (fluid in the brain)?
- Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
- Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Blurred or double vision/retinal hemorrhage
How to prevent it?
Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness - it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness by:
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration
- Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
- Drinking plenty of water – the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colorless urine
- Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
- Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m/2000ft above 2,400m/8000ft
- Sleep at a lower altitude when possible
- Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness
What is the treatment?
Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatise by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for acute mountain sickness (AMS) is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages.
The guide we book for your party has training and experience in AMS symptoms recognition, prevention and treatment. The guide will monitor your all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.
We ask you to cooperate with the guide by reporting any above described symptoms and allow your guide to undertake appropriate and timely action such as take a rest and have a drink or snack, help you to carry your day pack or change a pace, take extra day rest or descent if necessary.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest medication such as Ibuprophen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.
With severe cases of AMS our guide will contact our office in Kathmandu and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.
Muktinath Fun Bike Ride is a short accessible but physical level mountain biking adventure in Annapurna Circuit; versatile,awesome 3000m downhill or reasonably technical single trek ride to choose; paragliding in Pokhara, rafting Seti River Gorge and the total relaxation with in
Snowy Horizon Adventure Full Circuit Mountain Biking Adventure is a ride through Annapurna Circuit Himalayan Wilderness, Lake Tilicho, paragliding in Pokhara, rafting Seti River Gorge and to conclude the adventure, the total relaxation with Jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park.