Guinness World Record (GWR) Attempt for the Highest Altitude Cycle on Muztagh Ata 7,546m (24,902ft) (August 2008)
Whilst looking for another adventure in mid 2007 I was invited to climb a mountain called Muztagh Ata in western China. Doing the usual Google search I came across a link to a couple of guys who broke the GWR for the highest altitude cycle on this very mountain at 7,008m (23,126ft). So the fun began.
I organise a mountain bike and strapped it to my pack and started walking the streets and parks of Belrose in Northern Sydney. I had many people stop me and ask what I was doing carrying a bike. Wish I had a dollar for each time I was told "you supposed to ride it not carry it".
In July 2008 I packed up my 84kg of gear and headed for Islamabad in Pakistan. From there we loaded up our gear in a bus and headed up the Karakoram Highway (KKH) (The Old Silk Road) to Karimabad where we did an acclimatisation climb and camp to Ultar Sa Base Camp 4,000m (13,200ft).
From here we hit the Chinese border the first of many many military checkpoint checks we had to endure. After a night in Tashkurghan (Chinese border town) we head for Subash where it is a 12km hike to Muztagh Ata base camp.
During the next few weeks we load carried and acclimatised our selves on the mountain at camps 1, 2 & 3. I manage to carry the bike and ride it a camp 2 at 6,180m (20,394ft) with great difficulty. This was harder than I ever expected. I also meet a Lithuanian guy, Bruno, who was attempting the same GWR. He did summit with his bike but was alone and could only ride a short distance so missed out on the GWR.
I had to abandon my GWR attempt at camp 2 but still attempted to summit bikeless. I made it to 6,800m (22,440ft) before returning to camp 3 with frozen hands in -20C temperatures.
Once we all safely descended and rested at base camp (and my hands defrosted) we made our way to Kashgar (Western China), the end of the KKH and Silk Road. Following a rest day and exploring Kashgar, we boarded the bus for the 1,260km trip back down the KKH to Islamabad battling the landslides, cave ins, wash aways, rock falls, mud slides and crazy truck drivers.
It was a great adventure combining the Muztagh Ata GWR attempt with a trip along the KKH (Old Silk Road). The people we met in Pakistan and China were just like you and I. Friendly and keen to know about your life. This is a beautiful world we live in.
Here are the pictures and movies
Fit, fabulous and 50... Ooohh and a World Champion
24 hour Mountain Bike Solo Race (October 2006)
All my life I have watched great Athletes of the world and marveled at their achievements. I have, like every kid out there big and small, dreamt of one day becoming a world champion myself and experiencing that euphoria that comes with such an achievement.
At the tender age of 51 I have achieved this goal and experienced that euphoria. It has all been worth the wait. In October 2006 I competed in the World 24 hour solo mountain bike championships in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and took out the bronze medal to become the 3rd fastest 50+ year old in the world.
I want to encourage you all to pursue your dreams and become your own world champions in what ever you choose.
Have a look at my journey to the worlds and some R&R in Vegas following the race.
Here is a race summary
Here are the pictures
Ama Dablam (October 2005)
In 2003 I was completing a traverse in the Himalayas for the 50th Anniversary of the summating of Mount Everest when from the top of the West Col I spotted this beautiful mountain of rock and ice, Ama Dablam (6,856m (22,625f)). As we traversed round this jewel it began to grow on me. I shall be back one day to climb this beauty.
In October 2005 I was back. I joined 8 other climbers to have a crack at Ama Dablam. For our acclimatization we visited Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri (5,350m) to watch a brilliant sunset over Everest. We then crossed the Cho La pass (5,330m) and hit Lobuche East to attempt the true summit. All climbers, guides and sherpa's summated the false summit (6,000m) with the snow conditions to dangerous to go any further. We then headed for Ama Dablam in high spirits.
We then hit Ama Dablam. Base camp. The climb to camp 1 proceeded with ease as we were all acclimatized nicely. Camp 1 to camp 2 was the real challenge with mostly rock but a little ice and snow climbing. Exposure was extreme especially on the Yellow Tower. Camp 2 was reached after a long hard day of climbing with a fantastic sun set to reward us. Next day we headed up to camp 3. At 6,100m on top of the Grey Tower I took a small fall with the result of a tear my MLC (Medial Collateral Ligament) and bruise the Femur on my right knee. My climb was over. Back to camp 2 for me to rest up for 1.5 days on my own. Next day I watched the rest of the crew go for the summit. 5 climbers (4 of us missed out), 2 guides and 5 sherpas all summated.
I then filled myself full on anti inflame drugs ready to climb down on day 3. Day 3 climbing down, on my own, took 10 hours to reach base camp (camp 2 to camp 1 took 6 hours to cover 600m). It hurt. Then a rest day and 3 day walk to Lukla to catch a flight back to Kathmandu. Back home to the doctors in Australia with lots of Physio and training for the up and coming Adventure Racing season in 2006. A most amazing fantastic remarkable climb, to be remembered.
Already planning the next climb...
Here are the pictures
Everest 50th Anniversary (May 2003)
We flew to Tumlingtar in the east from Kathmandu and then hiked / climbed our way to / over Shipton Pass (4100m), Makalu Base camp (5000m), East Col (6100m), West Col (6135m), Amphu Lapsa (5900m) and then to Tengboche for the 50th anniversary party, and boy what a party.
We stared with 10 and finished with 8 climbers. One lady broke her leg and had to be rescued by chopper and my tent buddy, a Canadian, suffered heart problems at 3500m. He was choppered out and very sadly died several weeks later back with his family in Canada with heart complications.
We were stranded on top of the West Col for 3 days and 2 nights due to weather and ice conditions (was supposed to cross the West Col in one day). 1 night was without sleeping bags at -18C.....bloody cold night that one. Had no food and limited water after the first day (food and water was at the bottom of a 65 degree, 200m blue ice face, which we had to abseil down).
But in contrast the Amphu Lapsa crossing was perfect. A 12 hour day of ascending and descending to 5900m with 1.5 hours sitting in the sun on top with views of the east side of Everest right round to Makalu.
It was a fantastic trip of a life time.
Here are the pictures
All pictures Copyright 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 Trevor Kloeden
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