Photo Blast: High in the Himalayas

Andi Wittmann and Guido Tschugg head high into the Himalayas.
By Arne Reh

Our trip to the Himalayas in the summer of 2013 may seem long ago but the memories seem to get more special as time goes by.

Riding a bike on virgin dirt is definitely something that you remember for a while. Being surrounded by the incredible mountain ranges of the Himalayas makes you humble while meeting a culture that confronts you inevitably with your own western ideals shifts the mindset.

Photographer Carlos Blanchard was there to shoot Andi and Guido on the trip of their lives.

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The first ride
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
The first ride Guido and Andi ride in the woods above Manali. After a long flight to India and a day’s drive up north from New Dehli to Manali, we settled into our first ride on Indian soil. It was a moment of calm following all the travelling and gave us a great feeling of satisfaction. © Carlos Blanchard
Manali village
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Manali village Lead by Andi, the group returns to Manali. The villagers were very welcoming during our stay. We wish we could have stayed longer. © Carlos Blanchard
Local life
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Local life We always tried to get a feel for our surroundings wherever we travelled. Here, we catch a young person preparing food at a local kitchen during one of our stops. © Carlos Blanchard
Travel troubles
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Travel troubles We mostly travelled by car and 4X4 vehicles during our trip. Traffic jams were inevitable on the small narrow roads we took. This one was just outside Manali. © Carlos Blanchard
Fuel for the soul
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Fuel for the soul Lunch breaks were really welcome during our travels. Here Arne, Guido and Andi taste some local Tibetan cuisine. © Carlos Blanchard
Altitude riding
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Altitude riding Despite suffering the effects of acclimatisation at 4,200 meters, Guido and Andi found some of the best riding of the trip at altitude. © Carlos Blanchard
Breathe deep and go again
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Breathe deep and go again Andi and Guido catch their breath after a hike and get ready for another ride in the Sarchu camp area. © Carlos Blanchard
Base camp in Sarchu
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Base camp in Sarchu The Sarchu base camp was a welcome place to stay as it offered a few more facilities and luxuries than most of our camps. © Carlos Blanchard
Enjoying the views
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Enjoying the views The stunning scenery more than made up for the long hours behind the wheel. © Carlos Blanchard
On to Leh
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
On to Leh We moved on to Leh and spent three days there. Here, Guido roosts a dusty corner. © Carlos Blanchard
Sun setting over Leh
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Sun setting over Leh By the end of our first day in Leh, guided by the owner of the local bike shop, we saw this ridge line that offered us the last banger of the day. © Carlos Blanchard
Everyone needs rest
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Everyone needs rest After getting up to the mountains in the Himalayas, we set up camp each night. A motorbike provided a quick form of transport to bring in supplies if needed. © Carlos Blanchard
Altitude training
Lifestyle shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Altitude training Getting used to being in high altitudes was a job in itself. Even when you did acclimatise the early morning hit of being 4,000 metres above sea level still wasn’t easy as this photo of Guido Tschugg shows. © Carlos Blanchard
Soft soil
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Soft soil The guys enjoy the terrain above the city of Leh. © Carlos Blanchard
Big lines
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Big lines Due to the travelling schedule we set ourselves, it was hard to do all the things we wanted to on the trip. Sometimes you just had to choose the big lines an area could offer. © Carlos Blanchard
Tough hikes
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Tough hikes To get to the big lines, hiking was involved. Not such a big deal in low altitude but hard in high altitude. The hard work was worth it though. © Carlos Blanchard
Perfect planning
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
Perfect planning On such virgin terrain it can be hard to get a feel for what is underneath but planning was the key on each day we were up in the mountains. Andi and Guido’s riding skills made hard lines look easy. © Carlos Blanchard
One more time
Action shot taken during the filming of High in the Himalayas in 2013
One more time Guido gets in one last ride in the mountains above Leh before the end of the trip. © Carlos Blanchard
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