OutThere Adventurers

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After setting a worlds first and creating a new record category on Sep 2, 2003 by traversing three of the worlds highest passes in 14 hours and 44 minutes, OutThere Adventurers embarked on creating another new record – that of traversing four of the worlds highest roads in a single day - Marsimik La, Khardung La, Tanglang La and Chang La. But, unlike the 2003 effort when the record was set in a solo effort, this time the record was attempted by a group of six motorbikers. The successful Expedition conducted on July 31, 2004 created a new record category – “The first team to traverse four of the worlds highest roads in a single day.”

Putting things in perspective ... a look around the world
So, what is so special about a bunch of crazy motorbikers riding up into the wild yonder? Let us try and put things in perspective. Our Planet is divided into seven continents – North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Antarctica, Oceania and Asia. In the one fourth of this Planet that is covered by land, are also some great mountain ranges. In every continent. Let us take a look at the highest points in each of these seven continents.

So, what's the big deal?
Let us look at the OutThere Adventurers World Record Challenge. For one, this route is considered by many as one of the toughest motorbike rides in the world! The four passes traversed by the Expedition team thus creating a new world record are the four highest roads in the whole wide world. The altitudes of these passes are:

Marsimik La
The highest motorable road in the world
5,680 m
18,632 ft
Khardung La
The second highest motorable road in the world 5,604 m
18,380 ft
Tanglang La
The third highest motorable road in the world 5,360 m
17,582 ft
Chang La
The fourth highest motorable road in the world 5,290 m 17,350 ft

When we look at these altitudes alongside the highest peaks in the seven continents we find that all the four passes are higher than the highest points in Europe, Oceania and Antarctica. In fact Marsimik La is just 700ft short of the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest point in the African continent. That leaves the two American continents (and of course the mighty Himalayas) with points above the altitudes being travelled by the team during the Challenge.

Not only does the fact that these passes are higher than most points on the seven continents, altitudes beyond 18,000 feet is considered by mountaineers as the Death Zone beyond which there is no possibility of the body acclimatising to the elements. The body gradually starts deteriorating and finally with prolonged exposure (which in some cases may be mere hours) slips into a coma and then...death!

The OutThere Adventurers World Record Challenge was a tough experience for both man and machine and stands proud as the first adventurers in the world to have successfully realised their dream. The members of the team do not claim immortality by being successful, but then, the key to immortality is to first live a life worth remembering. And this Challenge is sure an event worth remembering and hopefully, proves to be an icon for future adventurers to walk into the unknown, carving their own footsteps in the sands of time.

The Route
The Expedition was flagged off from India Gate, New Delhi on July 21, 2004. The OutThere Adventurers World Record Challenge was conducted on July 31, 2004 starting at Pang at 00:40 hours and 23 hours and 25 minutes later, the team had completed the Challenge and had created a new world record.

The distance between Leh and Pang via the four passes was 638kms, which is tough to cover on a single day, even in the plains. And on this Expedition, there were treacherous roads, high altitudes, lack of oxygen and raging rivers to be negotiated, completing the Challenge in about 24 hours of continuous and treacherous riding.

Much before the time the sun decides to take a peek on the eastern horizon, the team would have scaled the first pass – Khardung La. Retracing the road to Leh and then on to Karu, the team will scale some steep roads to the fourth highest pass in the world - Chang La (chances are that it will be snow bound around this time) and then go on, across Pangong Tso, to stand atop the world's highest road - Marsimik La which is bound to be snowbound. After a few short minutes savouring the awesome heights and rugged environment, the team will retrace to Sakti from where they will go on to Wari La, the fifth highest pass in the world. Back to Karu and on to Upshi and Rumtse along the meandering Indus before climbing on to the third highest pass in the world, Tanglang La, way after the sun has set. According to estimates, the team will ride into Tanglang La around ten at night. After crossing Tanglang La, the team carries on to Pang to complete a successful Expedition, riding non stop for nearly 24 hours and creating a new world record.

How did the team travel?
The attempt at the four highest roads in the world was made on six state-of-the-art TVS Fiero FXmotorcycles. TVS Motors associated with OutThere Adventurers on this Expedition and not only provided the six motorbikes but also sent a fully loaded service and support team headed by Victor Obed, General Manager, along with the Expeditioners to ensure a trouble-free Expedition. And needless to say, nothing was beyond them and nothing was too much to handle.

And the TVS Fiero FX motorbikes travelled on TVS Tyres. An unbeatable team which combined with the humble humans ensured a successful attempt at a new world record.

Authentication of the effort
There was an Indian Army Junior Commissioned Officer who accompanied the Expedition team authenticating the effort. He was maintaining the detailed log book listing the places reached and the time. The logbook was also countersigned by police/army/ITBP/GREF personnel the team crossed on the way. The times were logged on a HH:MM:SS format. Extensive photographs and videos were taken all along the way to further substantiate the claim.

The promotions
The successful completion of the Challenge and the setting of a new world record generated a lot of interest in the media all over the country. Three media teams accompanied the Expedition team on the date the Challenge was attempted - one crew from NDTV India, one from NDTV 24x7 and the third from Auto Car, the magazine.

The Expedition team is now travelling around the country meeting members of the press. The clippings from the press are being collated and will soon be put up on the site for your perusal. Give us just a couple of more days.

The documentary film produced by us was aired multiple times on TEN Sports and was widely acclaimed for the quality of production and the sheer grit and determination of the six motorbikers who undertook the Challenge.

The Limca Book of Records has officially recognised our effort and have given each of the six motorbikers a certificate proclaiming the Challenge as a world record. Unfortunately, the Guinness Book of World Records did not entertain our claim since they felt that our attempt was a speed record on a 'public' road and anyone wanting to break this record would put other people on the 'public road' at risk.

We accept their contention and are now embarking on a record attempt keeping Guinness guidelines in mind. Click here to read about it.

There have been some wonderful photographs captured during the journey. Click here to take a look at the pictures and click here to take a look at some of the clippings from the immense media interest that was generated, both before and after the Expedition. You could also read a detailed account of the Expedition written in the inimitable Patrick Kerr style.

The Dream Team

Chandan Lahiri
Chandan Lahiri
Chandan was the Expedition Leader. He created and currently holds the world record for traversing three of the highest passes in 14:44 hours. Chandan gave up a 20-year advertising career to set up OutThere Adventurers, an organisation involved in promoting adventure sports.

Patrick Kerr
Patrick Kerr
Patrick is also an adventure professional and runs Indian Safaris, an outfit involved in organising fishing trips across the country and around the world. Patrick was the co-Leader of this Expedition.

Michael Williams
Michael Williams
Mike was another member of the team from the communications fraternity. When he is not travelling somewhere in the Himalayas, Mike runs one of India’s premier film production organisations – IMAK. He was also responsible for filming this Expedition for telecast on television. Mike had also earlier participated in the Raid de Himalayas.

Sarosh Cooper
Sarosh Cooper
Sarosh is another die hard adventurer and motorbiker who has extensively toured the country. He joined the Dream Team from Mumbai.

Burgess Cooper
Burgess Cooper
Burgess is an IT Security specialist who enjoys the thrills of the cat and mouse game between the hackers and the security specialists besides having a passion for trying off beat mountain roads on his dirt bike. He has undertaken many motorbiking expeditions in the Himalayas. He is also a PADI certified Scuba diver.

Saurav Gupta
Saurav Gupta
Saurav is an entrepreneur and a print specialist who lives and breathes motorbikes. He can rip apart and put together his Suzuki Shogun which he incidentally swears by.
This is a short 11 minute edit of the the action-packed one hour documentary that was produced on the expedition and subsequently telecast on TEN Sports.