route rundown

‘coffee high’ is about to take off! my route follows a simple plan – head for the mountains. but these mountains are a bit different…

1] train to lanzhou – 20 grueling hours in a hard sleeper coach
2] bus to the hydroelectric dam near linxia, try and find a hotel, if not, camp
3] boat to the bingling buddhist art grottoes – a day of acclimatization
4] bus through the badlands to linxia – shouldn’t start skating at 2000m right away
5] expensive hotel in linxia – not all hotels accept foreigners, maybe i’ll be lucky and find a cheap one
rest day in linxia – not expecting much of this town on the edge of the desert
6] skate south! 40 km flat, then up up up
first week of skating 2000m to 3000m, rolling hills and grasslands – this will be my breaking in period, no need to push too hard

7] find the musicians on the grasslands – really, the middle of nowhere
chill for a bit, we’ll see what this place offers up
8] week two, skate the grasslands and along a river 3500m
9] week three – higher into the mountains, climbing, several 4000m+ passes, and a few short, fast downhill runs
10] week four – skate the grasslands around litang, 4500m! high in the mountains, but flat, open, rolling countryside!
11] week five – down to lugu lake, more 4000m+ passes and some major downhills, descent to 1800m
12] depending on my time and energy, skate or bus to lijiang, to shaxi
13] week six – chill in shaxi a few days, bus to dali, to kunming, train back to beijing…

plenty of time to relax, i have six weeks to do this, and if it’s really really cold, i might do it faster, it’s about 4 weeks’ skating distance, but i plan to take it easy. ok, skating 2000km isn’t really taking it easy, but everything is relative!