Words: James Frampton |
The Kullu Valley all the way up to Manali and Solang Nala are beautifully terraced with orchards, mountains firing up into the sky. It is a valley of Himalayan proportions. When you wake up to a warm crystal clear day in Old Manali, everything is new and instead of “good morning” your hear “namaste”. Get fresh coffee and a big breakfast down your neck, grab your gear and go riding. The farmers work from low elevations to high up the sides of the mountains and new roads are regularly being constructed for modern vehicle access. Above this, the shepherds roam. Their cattle and goats make trails we could only dream of. These breathtaking mountains are littered with them. FR MTB MAG | 18
Photography: Sarah Framp ton
There are no motorway trails out here, when it comes to testing and technical this is mountain biking in its raw format. The biggest stumbling block for mtb exploration in the Himalayas was the amount of gear I needed to take. Not just bike, body armour, and helmet, but lots of spares too. It is not just about the baggage allowance for international air travel, it is the logistics of moving through India from Delhi and weaving up to Manali. Nothing is simple, need to get a bus? No problem, it leaves at the hottest time of the day and you have to lug your gear 500 meters through the Main Bazaar.
Issue # 19 - January 2014 SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION #2 Printed.