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Woman to ride up Everest

Published: 01 July 2003

Updated: 24 November 2014

You may have had fun tackling some Alpine twisties on a continental tour but motocross rider Annie Seel is going one better. She will attempt to set an official record for the highest ever motorbike ride by taking a Honda XL250 up Mount Everest next month.

Seel was invited to join a Danish team that’s making the assent up to the Northern base camp on the Rongbuk glacier, 5150 meters above sea level.

But base camp was not enough for the 34-year-old from Täby, Sweden, so she’s decided to strap on an oxygen tank, rap up in thermal kit to keep out the minus 10 degree temperatures, and take the bike up to the advanced base camp at 6400 meters.

Danish rider Henning Bitsch invited Seel on the trip when he saw her in the 2002 Dakar rally.

" I finished the Dakar in 54th place but I was the only 400cc production bike to get to the end, " explained Seel. " By the time I got there I had a broken bone in my hand and a badly bruised leg and the only way I could think to describe the race was to call it the Everest of the motorsports world. Henning read my comments in an article and invited me to go to Everest with him. "

While doing some research for the trip Seel discovered that there is an unofficial record held by a Japanese guy who claims to have taken his bike up to 5250 meters, just higher than they would get to at base camp, so the decision was made to carry on up.

The Nepalese Government has banned imports of new bikes for the last 10 years so the team will be using a fleet of Honda XL250 trail bikes borrowed from tour organiser Himalayanoffroad.com. The bikes are already set up for use at altitude but Seel plans to put on studded ice tyres for the trip.

The expedition sets off from Kathmandu, Nepal, on August 6 taking the long route to base camp to allow the riders to get accustomed to the altitude. Weather permitting they should be attempting the run to advanced base camp just under two weeks later.

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