At the moment I am on a lengthy layover in Duha its a airport somewhere in the middle east. I am en route from nepal to germany to finish building the red bull berg line slopestyle competition that i designed and then compete at the event.
So your wondering why I am coming from Nepal right? well let me begin to tell you why I was there. Myself, Zink, Sorge and Gareth buehller went to nepal to film the 2nd to last film trip for where the trail ends. I originally came up with the idea to do a freeride trip there 3 years ago when I was competing in the Fabien Barrel urge challenge out of a town called jomson in the lower mustang valley of the anapurna circuit. I saw in the far distance some terrain that looked promising for freeriding so when I got back from that trip I did some research on google earth and it looked like some promising terrain but still unsure if the actual dirt was soft or all just rock, so I locked it in the to do list vault. Until 6 months ago we had a meeting at freeride about the next couple of locations for this film called " Where The Trail Ends" I mentioned the idea to everyone and said the area itself was closed to foreigners until 15 years ago and it has the most intact buddhist culture in the world since it is right on the border to tibet. So if the riding Isn't very good then at least the cultural experiences will be rad! Everyone loved the idea and now here I am writing to tell you about it.
Travelling to nepal is by far the longest place I've ever had to travel to it takes two whole days of travelling to get to kathmandu and then we chartered two planes to take the crew and our gear to a high alpine town called jomsom thats sits over 10,000 feet that is one of the sketchiest places to fly in the world. From there we made our way in the jeeps to kaig benny where we crashed the night.
From there the adventure began with a 1hr jeep drive to be dropped off at the start of the trail that takes us deep into northern mustang valley towards the tibettan border. We walked the entire day climbing up to 14,000 feet and finally descending another 800 feet into a sleepy little alpine village that was by far the coolest village I have ever been to. Since the whole area has only been reachable on foot it has unchanged over the centuries. The people were surprised to see foreigners but still very friendly, it was very evident how hard life is for the locals, every hour of the day is spent working the fields, fetching water herding goats or doing any of the chores they need to to get done and it just really was surreal to step back in time like that. I've travel to a whole lot of places but this was the first time i really felt like I was staring back in the past, until i looked down and realized I was riding a specialized demo 8 lol!
But really if you ever think you got it rough or life is getting you down, go for a hike and stare one of the locals in the eye and all will be forgotten. Here we were freezing our bags off in all of our down gear and the locals are strutting around in the little clothing they have to make dinner by burning yak dung and to sleep on a dirt floor with local rugs and whatever yak hides they have.
The riding terrain looked awesome right outside the village but i was frightfully dissapointed when I hiked up a 1500 foot ridge line and dropped in with 40mph winds, I started out good in some fairly soft dirt but then it got super firm and started to get wayy outta control. I managed to get down the hill in one piece but was bummed that the dirt didn't work as well as I expected and wanted. But my sullen mood was lifted when I lifted my head up and saw all the local buddhists that were attending a funeral standing along the railing looking at me in wonder and they all clapped their hands, I quickly felt happy that I could brighten their day by showing them what I love to do even though I'm sure i looked quite alien to them.
From there we headed north east towards the tibettan plateau where the himalayas released their grip and gave way to softer soil and big lines that we kept being amazed the whole trip how good the terrain was. Everyone on the trip found rad chutes bunch of drops and even some sweet jumps and hips. I even found a line that i could repel into with my bike on my back which was super fun. The trip was by far the hardest trip I have ever done since we were camping the whole time and our base camps were at 13,000 feet which meant when we hiked big lines the air was getting thin and every step was very laboured.
All in all the trip was amazing, I have a new respect for the people of nepal and they cease to amaze me in how much tougher than you and I they are. The entire crew worked super hard to get amazing shots of riding and to also capture the locals every day lives was awesome as well.