When you think of the Himalaya, what comes to mind? The tallest, most challenging mountains on the planet; vast, desolate valleys, and beautiful mountain people all come to mind. Well, The Adventurists are trying to change that with The Rickshaw Run.
The Rickshaw run has been crossing India for 10 years now with over 8000 participants to date. Last year the guys at The Adventurists decided to up the ante and take the humble rickshaw to even greater heights, 5328m high to be precise.
What is The Himalayan Rickshaw Run?
Starting in Leh, a high-desert city in northern India, the Run follows the famous Leh-Manali Highway and Spiti Valley route to finish around 650 miles later in the foothills of Shimla. ‘Highway’ is a very loose term for the route you follow, which is only open for four months of the year and winds its way up and over three huge passes including the Tanglang La pass, at a dizzying height of 5328 meters.
Most visitors to The Himalaya will spend months trekking through the mountains or spending time acclimatising in one of the cities ahead of a bigger climbing objective. The Rickshaw Run gives you the opportunity to journey through this incredible landscape in only 1 week.
image: Thijs Panneman
Not for the feint hearted
Even though it sounds like a bit of a laugh, maybe something you’d joke about with your mates in the pub, The Rickshaw Run Himalaya is no joke. Firstly, the roads are steep and unstable. Second, there is a high chance of rockfall or avalanche. And finally, the humble rickshaw was never designed to be driven up to 5000m through gnarly mountain passes. The Rickshaw Run Himalaya is an unsupported event meaning that there will be no roadside assistance when, not if, your rickshaw breaks down. You will need to have some basic mechanical knowledge and a lot of experience on self supported trips.
If this sounds like you and you’re looking for the next big adventure, albeit a little out there, this could be the trip for you!
image: Thijs Panneman
The Rickshaw Run Himalaya happens in June, starting in Leh and finishing in Shimla, and then again in September in reverse. To find out more visit https://www.theadventurists.com/brochures/rickshaw-run-himalaya/