Its half way through 2013 and I now live closer to the Himalayas than at any point in my life. Yet for 6 months I have only seen my offices or my front room. To inspire me to see more of these gorgeous Mountains I came up with a 6 month plan to Run, Hike, Bike and Ski the Himalayas .
I started the journey, or so I thought, by booking a cheap flight to Katmandu and finding a great deal at Dwarika Hotel. Super excited this has been a country I have wanted to visit since I heard they raced headless chickens.
The first thing that I noticed about Katmandu. It is cold. A good 10 degrees colder than Delhi where I had been training. And training for this challenge, in the 35 degree heat has not been easy. My 6 weeks of training previous to Nepal has been done on dusty Delhi streets and the grime causes my skin to react to the sweat and heat. Giving me almost permanent heat rash. A big Andy Murray fan I use the clearly very Scottish method of having ice bath after each run which makes me feel like a proper athlete.
Thankfully in Nepal my body adjusted quickly to the new temperature and I set aside the stash of steroid creams. Obviously now that I am a proper athlete I need to follow Armstrong role model and clearly illegal creams are the secret edge. Obviously I don’t tell the sponsors.
Milan arrived promptly for Stage 1 of my challenge. A bike ride. He flinched when I pointed out I had never been Mountain Biking on a mountain before. His fear soon passed when I raced past him in Katmandu’s traffic. Sunday in Katmandu on a mountain bike is a lot nicer than a week day in London on a Boris Bikes.
Once we left the city the views were incredible, my biking technique was not. Not steady or consistent I needed to unlearn every ounce of biking habits I had and start again with a smooth steady. Milan was a gentleman about me walking up hill but he did laugh when I fell in the mud.
Rushing down mountains we found tribes of women dressed ready for marriage and no men. One of most unique festival I have encountered.
In Feb I avoided the avalanches and skied Gulmarg and fell deep into powder. In March we white water rafted above Rishikesh and scrambled the mountain face. In Dharamshala I managed a trek and a run. In Tosh I fell three times on a hike. At Leh I did another bike ride and in Pangong lake I look a freezing dip.
A massive thank you to all my sponsors and to Duncan for my free Osteopath session.