Himalaya Quest 2012

Chase The Rainbow/Himalaya Quest February March 2012

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek.
In February and March 2012 Neil Cottam & David Slater from Derbyshire and Wilco Voulon from Zwolle in the Netherlands undertook a difficult, and unsupported, winter trek on the Expedition Route to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
Flying in to Kathmandu at the start of February we had a couple of days acclimatizing to the time difference and the altitude before catching a bus to Jiri. From here we started the trek on to Lukla and through the region taking in such iconic places as Namche Bazaar before winding up at Gorak Shep. We then ascended to 5800m up the Pumo-Ri ridge to take in the sight of world famous Mount Everest summit pyramid (you know the one, the classic photo with the plume trailing away from the summit!). Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative and the summit was obscured with heavy cloud cover.
We then dropped down, via a very fun descent down a steep scree slope, to visit the Base camp itself. We spent an emotional thirty minutes taking photographs and enjoying the elation of achieving our goal after which we returned to Gorak Shep for a second night and hoped for a break in the weather; it never came and we decided to head down to Namche Bazar and on to Lukla for a return flight to Kathmandu. The trek will took us 19 days of hard walking on uncompromising terrain, and particularly the first seven days from Jiri to Namche. Very tough!
The other guys then be returned home, leaving me to prepare for "The Worlds Highest Mountain Bike Race", suitably acclimatized for the altitude I hoped.

The Yak-Attack, The Highest Mountain Bike Race in the World

The Yak Attack Starts with registration at the Kathmandu Guesthouse on March 2nd.
Commencing on March 3rd the race is a 12 day, Eleven stage event over 400km with 11000m of ascent! (but what goes up must come down! Whee!) With stages ranging from 17km to 67km; unfortunately not all the terrain is rideable and I will be shouldering the bike and hiking up some very difficult sections of 11km or more :( Why am I doing this??? :D
Only 30 competitors are allowed to enter; 15 Nepalese riders and 15 International riders. Only 8 international riders have finished The Yak-Attack unsupported in 5 years. My goal is to finish it, preferably unsupported but just to finish it will do.
I have no illusions about winning this event because I won't. In fact it's unlikely that an international rider will ever win it. The altitude problem is a huge barrier.

We have links for our chosen charities and JustGiving links for each one so that you can donate to our causes if you wish to. Please! :D

I will be blogging regularly on what we are up to and how our training is going before the event and hopefully during our time in Nepal too, that does depend on access to and reliability of the internet in Nepal though!
In the mean time we offer general updates and more images on our Facebook page available from the link at the side of the screen.
You can also follow us on Twitter at @HimalayaQuest

Matt Haynes will be looking after most of the blog content from the UK during the trip to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Welcome to Chase the Rainbow :)