Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mt Everest

Wow what an awesome sight! It was supposed to be an easier day today but the roads are woeful. Corrugation on the gravel plays havoc with the mind. No respite km after km. Good news is we are here and what a sight to see. Takes your breath away.
Staying in a guest house just below base camp. Pretty basic dormitory accommodation but as an alternative to camping will be a welcome bed.
Tomorrow will be a short one and a late start. Apparently if weather is clear we can get some incredible shots of Mt Everest early.
Been a couple of hard days riding and everyone getting tired. Couple of easier days will be nice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tough Day

Was a really tough day today. Rolled out around 9 in very cool conditions on our way to Everest. Climb was 1100 mts over 23 kms on gravel finishing at 5200 mts! Not a lot of air at that altitude so needless to say quite a few didn't make it. Took a photo of my Garmin as my evidence of conquering the beast! Good view of Mt Everest at the top. Gradient not much the issue, just lack of oxygen. I rate it up there with d'Angrilu in Spain in terms of toughness.. Descent was 35 kms but badly corrugated and far from pleasant. Couple of stacks but no injury to speak of thank goodness.
Tomorrow we venture to Base Camp which is another 900 mts climbing but more gentle I'm told.
Looking forward to a good sleep tonight. Reckon we earned our money today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 5

Just pulled into Shigatse where we'll spend our last night in a hotel before our next stint out camping. Great days riding today, very flat 95 k's and a glorious day. We've come down again to just under 4000 mts after climbing over 5000 mts on our last pass.  Air pretty thin up at that level but lungs coped quite ok. Photo is of Cormac Troy and I at the top of the pass we did yesterday just a tick under 5000 mts.
Cross another small pass tomorrow but we won't climb up too high again for a couple days as we edge closer to Base Camp. We're due in there on 1st but there is talk it may be closed for Chinese 60th Anniversary celebrations so we be adjusting itinerary to get in earlier.  Been a good break to get in a hot shower these last couple nights. We camp now for about the next 5 nights. Trip is really well supported by a team of 10 Tibetans and Nepalese. Every break they have our food organised and in camp tents all erected. Great bunch of people and very friendly even though they cannot understand us or we them!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Camp Day 2

I was 23 kms and a climb to nearly 4800 mts! All went well with everyone over the top ok. The Toowoomba boys were all up in the first few and was an hour or so for the last of our crew to reach the top.  Was a cold wait as it started to snow and our warm gear was in the van back with the main bunch. The local Tibetans at the top took pity on us and herded us into their shelter. Everyone really friendly but you do have to keep a bit of an eye on your gear as we've been warned it can walk.
We're camped down a bit lower at 4500 mts. Couple of the crew are having some altitude issues so doctors have been dishing out medication. Touch wood I've been good with only some mild headaches. Maybe the altitude training back home is paying off. The climb today felt quite good with no real issues on the way up.
Just in the mess tent and sleet starting to fall...must be cold! Seems to rain of a night and days holding off for us making for good riding.
Got a great bunch of people with plenty of laughs. Next couple days reasonably flat apparently so will be a bit easier. One more night of camping after tonight before we bunk down in hotels for the next couple nights. Everyone looking forward to a hot shower and charge up all the phones and nav gear. 
Really enjoying the experience. Already getting glimpses of the Himalayas and is truly spectacular.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Camp 1

Arrived safely to camp 1..ride of 80 odd kms out of Lhasa along the Friendship Hwy. Nice site beside a stream where we all took the chance to hop in have a very very cool wash!
Nice flat ride but road had a lot of glass and bindiis off road. We all suffered punctures...11 in all! A record for this tour company apparently.
Travelled through quite a few villages today and had time to get to know the locals while punctures were being fixed. Kids flocked to us from everywhere which was a bit of fun...very cute.
Weather is kind. A bit showery out of Lhasa but fined up to a brilliant day...quite a contrast to the dust storms back home in Aus. So far temps been in the 20's. This is our first night outdoors so will be interesting to see how cool it gets in the tent.
Tomorrows ride only about 60 kms but a pretty significant pass to cross first up. About 1000 mts climb over 17 km I'm told so we'll see.
Looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight so don't think it'll be too late before I hit the hay.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lhasa Update

Here we are on our last day in Lhasa before we head out tomorrow morning towards Mt Everest. First day will be 90 kms of reasonable riding.
This photo is taken in front of the Potala Palace which was built in the 7th century. It is 115 mts and 13 stories high. The 5th Dalai Lama extended it to its present size and became his and successors main residence. It's an amazing piece of architecture. The tombs of many of the Dalai Lama are also housed here.
We have been here 4 days now and everyone has acclimatised well. Some slight headaches is about the worst we've had.
Food here is really good. Quite spicy and heavy on yak meat but nice. The locals are a really friendly happy bunch and quite intrigued by us. Looking forward to getting out in to the villages from here to meet a few more. Lhasa is full of pilgrims who come here to pray. Some really interesting customs and dress of all the different people from various parts.
Tomorrow we start on the serious stuff of doing what we came here to do. Moving out of 4 star luxury to 18 days on the road and climbing to some pretty incredible altitudes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Acclimatising before our big ride

Visited local markets in Lhasa Tibet today in the old town. Lots of good trinkets but wasn't tempted just yet.  Up at 3600 mts here but no altitude issues for anyone as yet. Couple more days in Lhasa before we head out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Streets of Kathmandu.jpg

Amazing place! Some great sights..traffic rules non existent but seems to work.


Here we are after a long flight. All going well. Just going down for a briefing about tomorrow. We fly to Lhasa Tibet tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

T minus 2 hours

Time to go...wish us luck!
Greg Gunther
(P) PO Box 1222 Toowoomba Qld 4350
(M) +61418987252

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fat Yak and Wagyu Dinner

Getting all set up for our final sell out fund raising dinner tonight. Hope to raise enough tonight to crack the $30k mark for the 3 Toowoomba trekkers. 
Support has been amazing...thanks to all.
Greg Gunther
(P) PO Box 1222 Toowoomba Qld 4350
(M) +61418987252

Saturday, September 5, 2009

T minus 10 days

T minus 10 days

Only 1 more altitude session left and tapering for the final week. This Wednesday night we celebrate with 80 friends at a fundraising dinner where we hope to add a few more valuable $'s to our charity. It's not too late to help..go to All donations gratefully accepted.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It's now less than 2 weeks until we leave for our epic MTB ride through Tibet and Nepal via Mt Everest Base Camp.

The fund raising has exceeded all expectations. Special thanks must go to the Vanriet team and their friends who have just been awesome with their enthusiasm for the cause, Fitzpatrick Financial Planning and Beachy-Head Insurance Brokers. Between them and the many others who have donated we have raised in excess of $15k which is by far the most successful campaign I have ever been involved with....thank you everyone for your kind support. Together we will make a difference in the way we treat children's cancer.

While I am away I will be regularly updating my blog with hopefully some pictures as well if I am up to the technology! Please note the site and check in when you get a chance to see how we are going.