Do I need a visa for Nepal
Yes, nearly all nationalities need a visa to visit Nepal. A 15 day visa is US$25, a 30 day visa is US$40, or a 90 day visa is US$100 (this has to be paid for in foreign currency, US$, AUS$, Euro, GBP etc) can be obtained upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, for which you will need 1 passport sized photograph and a pen (On a busy day it can take well over an hour to pass through passport control, especially if you do not have a pen to complete the forms) The necessary documents will be given to you either on your flight or are obtainable in the airport. Visas can also be arranged in advance at your nearest Nepali embassy.
How do I get to Nepal.
Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. There are a number of airlines that fly there including Emirates, Qatar, Jet, India, Turkish. Most flights either go via the middle east or India.
How do I get from the airport to Kathmandu.
Depending on traffic, it is an approx 30 minute ride into Thamel (Kathmadu’s tourist district). A taxi will cost around $5 and can be booked at the taxi counter inside the airport.
If you have a reservation, most hotels in Thamel will collect you from the airport if you ask in advance.
Can you recommend a hotel in Thamel
The International Guesthouse in Thamel is the official hotel of the 2016 Yak Attack.
Riders booking in advance will receive a 15% discount on the room rates and free airport pickup on arrival (please request at time of booking).
To reserve a room please contact the hotel directly and mention that you will be taking part in Yak Attack.
Where does the race finish?
The race finishes in Pokhara on the 15th of November.
The following day (16th) all riders and bikes will be transferred back to Kathmandu, arriving mid to late afternoon.
I will be travelling with my bike in a bag / box. What will happen to that during the race?
It is not possible to take your big bag or box along during the race. Nearly all hotels in Kathmandu have a secure luggage storage facility where you can store your bike bag and any extra luggage not needed during the race.
How do we get to the race start?
There will be a coach transfer from the International GuestHouse for both riders and bikes to the race start location in Besi Sahar on November 4th.
What is the accommodation like during the race?
As the race progresses into the mountains, accommodation will be in teahouses. These are typically basic rooms centred around an eating place. The rooms will be basic but clean and comfortable, hot showers might not always be available and western style toilets very scarce.
When the race enters Upper Mustang, accommodation becomes more basic with riders being split between 3 or 4 hotes.
We review accommodation annually and only select the best available for the area we are staying.
Once the race is over, riders will be able to relax in the luxury of a resort style hotel on the lake side in Pokhara for 1 night.
On what basis is the room sharing ?
Whilst we use the biggest and best guesthouses in the area, accommodation is still very limited and thus so are room combinations. However, we endeavour to accommodate couples in private rooms and keep friends together.
Rooming will be on a twin share occupancy and due to limited facilities, single occupancy is not available.
What will the weather be like?
Yak Attack must have the most varied weather extremes of any race on earth. For the first 3 days, when the trails often drop below 1000m, the day times can be blistering hot, with temperatures up to 35C.
4 days later, when crossing the Thorong La pass at 5416m, temperatures as low as -20c and deep snow could be encountered, and a day later riders will be back in a sub tropical climate.
What will the food be like?
Set breakfast lunch and evening meals are included in the race entry fee for the duration of the race. The food is invariably quite basic and includes such things as Dahl Bhat (boiled rice and lentil curry), noodles, potatoes, pasta, soup, bread, egg and porridge, but is all freshly cooked and typically high carb.
I am a vegetarian / vegan. Can you cater for me?
Yes. Most dietary requirements can be catered for. There is a section on the application form to let us know of any specific requirements. Given plenty of notice it is usually possible to fulfill most requests but in the unlikely event it is not possible we will let you know before confirming your place.
Are soft and alcoholic drinks included in the cost?
No, but these can be purchased separately from the hotel/ teahouse
What kind of bike is best for Yak attack
Your bike must be in good working order and of a suitable quality for coping with a seriously tough off road trail. Most people ride hardtails with front suspension, although full suspension is growing ever more popular and a couple have even done it on singlespeed fully rigid! !! We would recommend fitting new brake pads before starting the race and a new chain if the old one is showing any signs of wear. Once leaving Kathmandu, spares are not readily available so it will be necessary to bring these with you.
Am I fit enough to complete Yak Attack
We get this question the most for all our events and it’s the toughest to answer. Take a look at the stage distances and elevation profiles then try and gauge if you could ride this in less than 10 hours. Then judge whether you can do this for 8 days ? Only you can really know if you are up to the task, but if you have any concerns or need advice then we are here to help. Just ask!
Will there be bike washing facilities each day?
In most of the locations we visit, fresh water is both sparse and precious, so we ask riders to keep bike washing to a minimum.
Streams and rivers are also sources of drinking / cooking / washing water for many locals so we ask riders abstain from using these for cleaning bikes.
The easiest way would be to enlist the (paid) services of the race mechanic, but if you prefer to clean your own bike then you must also bring your own cleaning equipment.
Will there be a bike mechanic?
Yes, there will be a bike mechanic based at the hotels. A bike clean and lubricate can be booked in advance at a cost of $300 for the 10 sessions via the application form. This will also entitle the rider to a reduced fee of $30 per hour for additional repairs that may need to be carried out. A bike clean and lubricate can be booked on the day at a cost of $40, with additional repairs at $40 per hour, but priority will be given to pre-booked clients.
Will there be back up and a doctor available?
There will be a fully qualified doctor based at the hotel / teahouse and a first aid team will (wherever possible) be sweeping each stage in case there are any injuries during the race. Please complete the medical section on the application form as comprehensively as possible so that our doctors are armed with all the correct information relating to your medical history.
Is it possible to take a non-riding companion?
Of course!! We would like nothing more than for you to have your family or friends along to support you.
We provide luxury 4wd vehicles for companions to travel in whilst accompanying the race. However, vehicles can only travel as far as Manang and from here, companions will have to travel on foot, the next 2 stages to Muktinath including crossing the Thorong La pass. In Muktinath vehicles will be waiting to continue the journey into upper mustang.
Whilst, it is not always possible for the vehicles to follow the exact course or keep up with the riders, we endeavour to give companions the best overview of the race as possible.
Companions enjoy the exact same services as included in the racers package, and the cost is the same.
The event is supported by TORQ; what's the deal?
Our nutritional partner, Torqfitness are offering discounts on all products purchased up to and during the race. They are also able to give advice on the best products to suit your needs training for and during the race. Contact us for more details
What time does the riding start each day and how long should we expect to be out for?
As the mornings can be quite cold, the race will generally not start until 9 am, unless conditions dictate otherwise. On average we expect the faster riders to be riding for around 4 hours per day and the slowest ones to be twice that time, some days will be shorter and 1 or 2 maybe longer!
Will there be race briefings each day and are these mandatory?
Yes, each evening riders will be briefed on the following days stage. It is very important that ALL riders attend this briefing from a safety prospective as important information regarding weather and trail conditions will be discussed, together with details relating to start times, route deviations etc.
Briefings will generally be carried out before dinner at 7pm but timings etc will be displayed on the race notice board in a prominent position in the hotel.
Are there any vaccination requirements for Nepal
The following vaccinations are recommended for people visiting Nepal but it is advisable to check with your GP as to what you may require:
Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.
How is the race route marked?
Each rider will be sent .gpx files to the exact course at least one week before the race commences. All riders are expected to upload these to their GPS device and use this information to navigate the course. In addition to this, the route will be physically marked with prominent markers at regular intervals and any ambiguous junctions etc.
What language will the race briefing be conducted in?
The race briefings will be conducted in English, and it is very important that all riders are able to understand instructions given during the briefing.
It looks like the race is going to be hard on the body. Can I get a sports massage during the race.
Yes. You can prebook a10 x 30 minute session package for $400 via the application form.
It may be possible to book a massage on the day at a cost of $50 per 30 minutes but this will be subject to availability after all prebooked sessions have been completed
Do I need insurance to enter YakAttack
Yes. The race is held in a very remote area of Nepal. In the event of an emergency, helicopter evacuation maybe necessary. This is a very expensive procedure so it is essential that all competitors have insurance that will cover this and any medical treatment that may be required.
Proof of insurance will be required by October 1 2016. Any riders without adequate insurance will not be allowed to race.
Can you recommend an insurance company
Yes. We have partnered with World Nomads insurance who can provide insurance for residents of over 150 countries. Please use the panel below to receive a quotation
Do the race hotels have WIFI?
Wifi is not readily available at many of the places we stay and when it can be found, it can be infuriatingly unreliable and slow.
As a general rule do not expect much internet access between Kathmandu and Pokhara !!
I am fit and up for the challenge but I'm not an experienced racer. Would YakAttack be suitable for me?
Yak Attack is one of the physically and mentally toughest mountain bike races on the planet. We would not recommend or allow anybody without adequate mtb experience to participate in this race.
Other races in our series are more suitable for the less experienced rider.
All applications are reviewed on their own merit, so if you are unsure as to whether your experience is suitable, submit a form and we’ll give you an honest answer.
Im fit and I enjoy mountain biking but I'm not confident on extremely technical terrain. Will YakAttack be suitable for me?
Whilst there isn’t a large percentage of technical riding, there are some extremely rocky / fast sections that could catch a less technically adept rider out.
Descending the steep rocky trails from the top of Thorong La is not the time to find out you are not that confident on a mountain bike !!
How do I apply to enter the race?
All potential riders need to complete to application form which is available from the homepage, dropdown menu or here – Application Form. Once we have received your completed application we will contact you with details on procedures of how to secure your place in the race. Please fill in details on the application form as thoroughly as possible as this will help us to make a speedy decision on your application.
How do I secure my place in the race?
Once we have received your application and it has been accepted then a deposit of $500 will ensure your place in the 2017 race is secure (full details will be emailed at the time of acceptance). Please note, this is a NON REFUNDABLE deposit and is a statement of intent that you are definitely wish to take part in the race. We will make preliminary bookings based on this, which will incur costs. The deposit CANNOT be refunded at a later date if you change your mind!
What payment methods do you accept for the deposit or balance in full?
At the moment , we can accept bank transfer or Paypal payments. Full details will be included in the application acceptance letter
How much luggage can I take with me for the 8 days?
Riders and companions are restricted to 1 piece of luggage for the duration of the race. This can be up to 80ltrs in capacity and must not weigh anymore than 20kg. This will be strictly enforced.
Bags must be clearly labelled with the riders name and easily identifiable to the owner.
Can I download the race rules and regulations?
Yes, you can find them here – Yak Attack race rules
Do you have a Facebook page?
Yes we do and it is updated on a regular basis with news from all our races.
Just follow this link – TheYakAttack
Why is YakAttack more expensive to enter than many othe rmountain bike races.
There are 2 major reasons for this.
Yak Attack takes riders into an area where there is no vehicular access. For stages 4,,and 5 everything (including the riders luggage)has to be transported by porters, even over the 5416m pass. With 1 porter per rider obviously involves a massive amount of manpower. Also with vehicles not being able to traverse the pass, they must make a 4 day round trip to meet riders on the other side.
Yak Attack also takes riders into an extremely remote and hostile area of the Himalaya. Rider safety is paramount for us so for this reason we only use the most reliable and reputable of logistic companies who implement stringent safety procedures. In 9 years of running the race, we have never had to use helicopter evacuation, but in the unlikely event it is necessary, we are equipped to instigate it without delay, but obviously all the necessary safety measures come at a cost.
The Kingdom of Upper Mustang is a restricted area for which a special permit is required. The cost of this permit is $500 per person.
What happens to my bike when the race is finished?
The bikes will be transported back to Kathmandu from the race finish venue in Pokhara along with the riders.
How do the riders return from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
A private luxury coach will transport riders back to Kathmandu. The journey is 200km and will take approx 8 hours. There will be a lunch stop which is included in the entry fee.
All riders, bikes and luggage will be dropped off at the International Guesthouse in Thamel.
Can I download more information about Yak Attack and Nepal in general?
Yes, you can download our Yak Attack information pack in a PDF version here
Can I purchase an official Yak Attack race top?
Yes, we still have a few 2016 designs which can be viewed here.
The tops have been designed and manufactured by PrimalWear and you can find a sizing guide here.
If you are entering the race, the official Yak Attack 2017 tops can be purchased via the application form.
Otherwise please contact phil@theyakattack with your required size and quantity.
Will the mechanic have a range of spare parts?
Yes, the race mechanic will have a range of spare parts for sale at local prices (which due to import costs are higher than UK, European and USA prices). However, it is advisable to bring and specialist spares and at least 1 spare tyre with you.