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How to: Hike-a-Bike Thorong La, Annapurna – Yak Attack.

How to: Hike-a-Bike Thorong La, Annapurna – Yak Attack.

Other than “Which bike?” and “How to train?” the question I get asked the most about Yak Attack is how I carry my bike over Thorong La.

I have written a few times previously that my preferred method for this most testing of stages is to porter my bike attached to a rucksack.
In past years I used an Osprey Atmos 35, this year I’ll be using and testing the 2017 model Osprey Stratos 34 (release date is February 2017).

You don’t want too much kit in the pack, the less you can carry the easier life will be. I just stuff my sleeping bag and down jacket in for some padding.
A pair of walking poles will make life on the hill a lot easier too (these can be bought cheaply in Kathmandu).
I prefer to invert the bike. The lodge at Thorong Phedi has a handy wall to rest the bike on which makes the whole process much easier.
Whether you choose to use a pack or to shoulder the bike make sure to practice at home first. You don’t want to be messing around in sub-zero temperatures, in the dark, at 4am trying to remember what to do. Keep it simple.
Also make sure that the bike is well balanced on the pack. It might feel great for ten minutes in the back garden but after 3 hours of tough hiking it might feel horrendous. Go out and practice on some hard terrain.
(If you click on the individual images they will open up bigger in a new window)

A simple webbing strap passes through the front wheel and the chain rings for stability. I used an old belt.
You want to mount the bike to the pack with the drive side facing outwards.
For an easier life lower the saddle and have the crank arms horizontal.

The sleeping mat webbing straps at the base of the pack secure around the top tube
I utilise the small bungee strap, that is normally used to secure walking poles, around the seat tube.
Another simple webbing strap passes through the grab handle on top of the pack, through the front triangle, and around the seat tube and crank arm (also below).

Ready to go.

You are looking to sit the pack comfortably onto the hips with the waist belt. Very little weight should be felt through the shoulders if the the bike is balanced and the pack straps are all tensioned correctly.

I have now uploaded an accompanying short video to the YouTube channel, you can watch it here:
How to: Yak Attack Hike-a-Bike

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About The Author

Neil Cottam

Neil is the founder of Chase The Rainbow. He has spent a lifetime exploring the outdoors, from a childhood climbing trees and scrambling his bike around old pit heads to hiking in the Himalaya and backpacking around Europe and Asia.

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