Omar Di Felice

Winter Himalaya: My road to Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters

Omar Di Felice

Winter Himalaya: My road to Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters

Mountain Biking Collection by Omar Di Felice

19

Tours

135:53 h

804 mi

110,325 ft

For those who love cycling, adventure and, more generally, the outdoors, the idea of conquering epic mountains is certainly a strong driving force.
For years one of my main motivations has been the desire to explore some of the most remote places in the world, and to do so in the season I love most: winter. This undoubtedly was the reason, I sought out this path that would lead me to discover some of the most fascinating areas of the Asian continent, along the Himalayan belt in Nepal. One of the things that pushed me most was my curiosity about places such as the Mustang area (the last Tibetan bastion on Nepalese soil) which I had learned about through Terzani's stories and some spectacular documentaries.

Just like other adventures, once I was set on my legendary destination (Everest Base Camp), I began to study a route that would meet certain criteria: to keep me as busy as possible (at the end of the day, it would be 19 days of cycling) and to wind through the Mustang and Annapurna areas before climbing the Khumbu valley towards Everest BC.
At that point, having planned the route on komoot, I began to study the type of terrain on which I would have to move and I chose the most ideal means of transport to deal with it: a mountain bike.
My equipment choice had to reflect the big challenges around climate and changing weather conditions, dealing with the altitude, the arid and dry (but snowless) areas and the huge temperature shifts between 5000 meters above sea level and the lower valleys through which I would have to pedal.

The daily routine of an adventure comes into full swing after the first two days, when you acquire the rhythms and times of the places you are moving through. I've always found it relatively easy to adapt because you basically follow the rhythms of the day and light. Wake up, quick breakfast, and then off you go – putting adrenaline and emotions into your system is the best way to warm up!
The 8-10 hours spent in the saddle pedaling, taking photos and looking for the next place to stop, defined my days.

When I finally approached Everest Base Camp and the world's highest mountain began to emerge in front of me, I found myself mentally retracing the steps that led me there – taking my bike to one of the world's most symbolic places. I relived the years of sacrifices, the bets with myself, the doubts and difficulties.

I was moved, without shame, thinking about all this and it was natural to have Sara, my partner, there with me in spirit. She was the first to believe that all this would be possible one day.
This motivation was enough to go on, even in the most difficult moments: the memory of what has been and where you started from, is the strongest push not to let go when the game becomes, sometimes, damn hard.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • 09:39
    126 mi
    13.0 mph
    8,250 ft
    9,950 ft

    The first day always serves to enter the atmosphere of adventure. A humid and "hot" climate as in this case, which saw me pedaling across the sultry valley floor to Pokhara

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  • 09:06
    74.4 mi
    8.2 mph
    8,650 ft
    4,750 ft

    From Beni onwards the real adventure begins: dirt roads, impervious and muddy paths always with the nose up, direction Jomsom

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  • 04:12
    28.4 mi
    6.8 mph
    3,600 ft
    900 ft

    You enter the Mustang by climbing up to the almost 3000 meters of Jomsom. Now begins the acclimatization process for the days to come

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  • 02:38
    16.7 mi
    6.3 mph
    2,800 ft
    2,350 ft

    Acclimatization day: a few kilometers and some "ups and downs" of altitude to adapt the body to the best

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  • 07:10
    34.4 mi
    4.8 mph
    6,850 ft
    4,800 ft

    The first real Himalayan marathon, with three steps at an altitude of 4000 meters and the arrival in Chaarang, in the upper Mustang

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  • 06:59
    37.5 mi
    5.4 mph
    5,075 ft
    4,325 ft

    The sensation is that of pedaling on Mars, the scenery and the silence tell of a still uncontaminated land. Pure show

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  • 02:37
    16.6 mi
    6.3 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,825 ft

    After the very long climb to the Kora La Pass 4660 m to the border with China, a calmer day to give the body a chance to recover. Altitude is a nice burden to carry on your shoulders (and legs)

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  • 06:18
    43.9 mi
    7.0 mph
    7,050 ft
    6,675 ft

    All the Mustang backwards to reach Muktinat, the starting point for the climb to Thorung La Pass, 5416 meters, which will be one of the key passages of my Nepalese adventure

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  • 10:08
    8.59 mi
    0.8 mph
    5,875 ft
    3,050 ft

    I would dare to define today's experience as "cycle mountaineering". The long ascent to Thorung La Pass and the no less difficult descent to the advanced camp and the final stop at Thorung Phedi base camp

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  • 07:22
    13.5 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,225 ft
    5,475 ft

    One more day on ice and snow, climbing impervious paths and then descending to Manang from which I will start the long return crossing and passage to Kathmandu

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  • 07:31
    56.3 mi
    7.5 mph
    3,875 ft
    12,925 ft

    Through breathtaking canyons and uncontaminated woods: we descend again in altitude

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  • 09:29
    109 mi
    11.5 mph
    9,675 ft
    8,125 ft

    From -15 ° C yesterday, when we woke up in Manang, to + 35 ° C at the bottom of the valley towards Kathmandu. Stress day for my body!

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  • 08:45
    111 mi
    12.6 mph
    7,625 ft
    10,475 ft

    I start dreaming of Everest base camp: from now on the uphill road will project me towards Sagarmatha Park for the last days of climbing

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  • 13:51
    91.4 mi
    6.6 mph
    19,600 ft
    14,200 ft

    The hardest stage but also the most beautiful: 6000 meters in altitude climbing mountains and passes in the shadow of the great Himalayan peaks

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  • 07:53
    8.23 mi
    1.0 mph
    4,775 ft
    3,250 ft

    The work of carrying the bike on the shoulder begins in many of the sections crossed. Paths made very slippery by the mud and the first encounters with the local "fauna" :)

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  • 06:59
    11.8 mi
    1.7 mph
    3,300 ft
    1,375 ft

    Finally we enter the Everest National Park

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  • 05:20
    6.25 mi
    1.2 mph
    3,475 ft
    1,925 ft

    The snow colors the Himalayan trails giving that touch of magic to the trail up to Pangboche. A long day

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  • 05:30
    7.81 mi
    1.4 mph
    3,900 ft
    450 ft

    I see Everest for the first time and it is, finally, pure emotion.

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  • 04:24
    2.28 mi
    0.5 mph
    1,600 ft
    675 ft

    The last effort hides the greatest satisfaction: finally on top of my very personal "Everest"

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    19
  • Distance
    804 mi
  • Duration
    135:53 h
  • Elevation
    110,325 ft

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Omar Di Felice

Winter Himalaya: My road to Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters