This is a weeklong Himalayan high altitude mountain biking or cycling expedition organized by the Youth Hostel Association of India. There are many youth hostel India national programs every year and this is one among them. The experience that you gain is something incredible.
YHAI National Himalayan Mountain Biking Leh itinerary
(LEH-LAMAYURU – SKURBUCHAN – SAKAR-2 – HENISKOT – FOTULA PASS – LAMAYURU – LEH
Day-01: Reporting At Leh (11,500 Ft.) (Jimmy Guest House)
Day-02: Acclimatization & Orientation (Transfer To Main Base Camp Lamayuru)
Day-03: Equipment Distribution & Bike Trial Riding
Day-04: Ride to Skurbuchan (43 Km, 9750 Ft,)
Day-05: Ride to Sakar-2 (38 Km, Via Sanjak, 10.550 Ft)
Day-06: Ride To Heniskot(Chulungthan) (25 km.Via.Khangral ,11.400 Ft)
Day-07: Ride to Lamayuru ( 27 Km, crossing Fotula Pass 13,450 Ft. )
Day-08: Transfer to Leh Camp.
Day-09: Camp breaks after Breakfast (09-00 a.m.)
Leh to Lamayuru – Day 1
Day one of the mountain biking expedition in Leh was more of travel from the main base camp at Leh to Lamayuru camp (starts from day 3 in the above itinerary list). On reaching Lamayuru camp we practiced for a while and went for an acclimation ride at Lamayuru village, just before sunset. The national mountain biking expedition event organized by the youth hostels association of India, YHAI is exceptionally good. Read More on – Leh to Lamayuru mountain biking.
Moonland to Skurbuchan – Day 2
Day two of the mountain biking expedition is from Lamayuru to Skurbuchan via Domkhar. The first 5 kilometers are all downhill, covering Moonland and multiple hairpin curves. The rest of the route is all flat, on the banks of the Indus river. We stopped at Domkhar for lunch and visited the Rock Art sanctuary. Post lunch we continued our cycling all the way to our next campsite at Skurbuchan. More on – Lamayuru to Skurbuchan
Skurbuchan to Shakar via Sanjak– Day 3
Day three of our cycling, from Skurbuchan to Shakar was another exciting one. Cycling next to the Indus river, the amazing landscape, cycling through the apricot farmland, river crossing, cycling next to the stream, cycling downhill and extremely tiring uphill followed by camping next to the stream. More on – Skurbuchan to Shakar
4000 years old Domkhar Rock Art Sanctuary
Domkhar rock art sanctuary is located at Domkhar village in Leh, next to the banks of the Indus river. The place is known for artwork that was made by travelers in pre-historic times. People in this region grow apricot and apple, which is the main source of income. This place is for those who love the historic artwork by our great ancestors. There are numerous rock-carved figures, thought to date back between 2000 and 4000 years.
Sakar to Haniskot – Day 4
Our stay in a guest house next to the stream at Sakar was great fun. We explored the place and started cycling, crossing small villages, till we reached national highway 1. The landscape around is so beautiful and looks like a painting with high contrast. The landscape is so unique, the soil erosion forms unique structures, untouched by humans. The mountains in the background, the green patch in between, and the river in the foreground look very much like the one from our primary school painting class textbooks. On day 4 we covered a distance of 38 kilometers from Sakar 2 to Haniskot via Sanjak. More on Sakar to Haniskot
Kanji – An Extraordinary village with some amazing people
Kanji is a Himalayan village that is incredibly secluded. The settlement is roughly 12 kilometers from Haniskot, which is located on the NH1 Kargil-Leh route and is only accessible for four months of the year. Kanji is well-known for its harsh scenery and the perilous path between Haniskot and Kanji. More on this remote village Kanji.
Haniskot to Lamayuru via Fotu La – Day 5
The first half of the day is all uphill cycling all the way to Fotu La (pass) also called TV tower. The view from this place is breathtaking. It was drizzling and was super cold. From here it is all the way downhill to Lamayuru with a viewpoint in between. It was so cold that my fingers were numb, literally frozen, and couldn’t even change gear while riding. Did not have to press hard on pedals as it was all downhill. By the way, Fotu La s the highest point in this high altitude mountain biking expedition organized by the YHAI – Youth Hostel India.
Mountain Biking video playlist
Here is the complete playlist of High altitude mountain biking or the Lamayuru cycling expedition. You will get a feel of how the place is and how enjoyable the place is, showing some of the extreme landscapes.
Mountain Bikes used
If you are with Youth Hostel then the gear cycles or MTBs will be provided and is part of the fee that you pay. Else, here are some of the mountain bikes that I would recommend – Firefox, Decathlon BTWIN, Polygon. I have been using Polygon and you may want to check how good it is in the blog post Cycling at Turahalli Forest.
Here is a playlist that I have created for each of those days and the 2 off-track places that we covered. One of the best cycling expeditions I have ever been to and made many new friends.
That’s was my experience of traveling to this place. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter.