Video: Joey Schusler & Crew Take On Tibet Self-Supported in 'The Kora'

Nov 13, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  

"High in the Himalayan hinterlands of southwest China, three majestic mountains soar above sprawling floodplains that spill into the country’s sweltering lowlands. Over the centuries, various Dalai Lamas have ordained these towering peaks as sacred, and the Tibetan people who inhabit this isolated region revere them as granite gods. A pilgrimage around the base of these 19,000-foot-high giants is considered a holy undertaking, and those lucky enough to finish this arduous circuit—known as the ‘Yading Kora’—hope the effort will purify a lifetime of negative karma. Inspired by this time-honored rite of passage, three adventurers set out to complete this kora on mountain bikes, carrying everything they need to survive the 10-day mission themselves."


46 Comments

  • + 34
 The fact that a video of this quality will be forgotten in the huge amount of edits, is a bit sad actually. It deserves some attention and space. Huge respect both for the trip and for the execution of a beautiful video.
  • + 11
 As always, Joey's trips are always mindblowing and incredibly well filmed. This guy inspired me to start bikepacking. This is the best way to travel and discover new places.
  • + 6
 Can't believe I am watching this! I have thought about this route for years. The mountains of west Sichuan are really special. Thanks for the inspiration to get back out and explore the big mountains of China!
  • + 5
 Joey Schuler edits are right up there with semenuk in my MUST watch category.
  • + 2
 Cheers!
  • + 3
 Stunning and impressive movie, unbelievable landscape shots and great videographics! As already mentioned here, that work deserves more attention on pinkbike. Hope to see it on VOD.
  • + 1
 Cheers!
  • + 2
 I have watched many impressive videos about trekking , climbing and riding in China/ Tibet region.
The cinematography and narration are top notch.
One of the most touching examples of mountain culture I have watched.
  • + 1
 Thank you kindly! Its an absolutely stunning and enchanting part of the world to be able to showcase in film.
  • + 1
 First off let me say that this video is AMAZING, INSPIRING, and BEAUTIFUL, like all of Joey's videos. But, with that said, the Kora route, which circumnavigates the mountain, is only around 20 km long. I love the backcountry. I love epic, BIG adventures. And I love bikepacking. But, and maybe I naive here, but why would someone choose to do this route in bikepacking? Village guesthouses in that area of the world are awesome and part of the cultural lesson on a trip like this. Also, with the amount of hike-a-biking that they seemed to do, it seems being lighter and just going in for a long day ride might have been best. And lastly, and the biggest argument for me not organizing a trip like this and instead doing it a different way; is that area of China is amazing. SO much to see. SO many amazing mountains, cirques, alpine lake, etc. Why not expand your range a little? Maybe, they did all of this and just didn't video that part of it. Maybe, i'm just a weirdo a*shole for being slightly negative here. I dunno, on something like this, an exotic foreign location, I always go macro over micro.
  • + 2
 Hmm. The trip reports + maps I've read shows 50 - 65kms length. Are these inaccurate?
  • + 1
 It's totally rad and would totally do it on a mountain bike. This is PinkBIKE not pinkHIKE. Cheers.
  • + 6
 Hey there @jdegaetano Since you were not on our trip, and have no idea what our route actually was, I would really appreciate it you just asked me some questions before spraying to everyone on Pinkbike about that our route was only 20km long, and that we did the trip in the completely wrong style according to your expert opinion... You have not done this route, you were not with us on this trip, and this comment is completely unfounded, negative, and rude. The route you see in the film, and depicted in the Bike Mag feature story (which it appears you have not read), is a custom route we put together after much planing, and taking the knowledge we've gained from many previous trips of this nature. The route was approximately 150km that we did over the course of 10 days, circumnavigating all three of the main peaks, as well as many of the surrounding mountains. This allowed us enough time to create the film and photographs, while still covering some ground each day, and seeing the area thoroughly. With the route being at around 15,000ft - 16,000ft for the majority of the loop it was definitely rough at times! But the trails we found up there were some of the best I've ever ridden on a bike packing trip. Yes, there was a lot of pushing to get up there, but boy was it worth it. If you are into hiking, then go for a hiking trip, but I love this kind of mountain biking. Thanks for the the guest houses "tip" too - unfortunately aside from the one village we rode through at the beginning this was an extremely high alpine trip, with zero settlements, villages, guesthouses, or teahouses along it, and was exactly the style of trip we were looking for. While our route was only 10 days, we were in China/Tibet for nearly a month. We were able to see plenty of other things, and meet many great people along the way thanks for Brice's ability to speak mandarin.
  • + 3
 Impressive. Brice's pronunciation is still "big-city good"; tip of hat to that
  • + 1
 Haha that's awesome. It was cool to be able to communicate with people while we were there. Always makes a totally different travel experience.
  • + 2
 Ah. The familiar joy of pushing and carrying a overladen bike through the mountains while getting soaked and freezing your nuts off.
  • + 1
 If you love it, then you love it!
  • + 2
 Love your videography work Joey!! Keep them coming! Huge inspiration for both riding and video work!
  • + 1
 Thanks a ton! Appreciate it.
  • + 2
 This is top drawer quality stuff! Some serious shredding on fully loaded pack mules! Sketchy AF! Nicely Done!!
  • + 2
 Sketchy indeed, especially when you add in the high altitude factor. Thanks for the comment!
  • + 1
 @joeyschusler: one of the best vids I've seen to date. A shame that it will be diluted in the swamp of content out there. Keep the good stuff coming Joey!
  • + 2
 @Golden-G: Ehhh, such is life and art! Thanks for the kind words.
  • + 2
 That was amazing. I was completely mesmerized throughout the journey. Good story telling!
  • + 1
 Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed.
  • + 2
 Joey makes the best edits and this one was no exception. Thanks for sharing the adventure.
  • + 1
 Cheers guys!
  • + 3
 Everything about these 13 minutes is perfect!
  • + 2
 quality production and thoughtful tone. Proper mountain biking!
  • + 1
 Is it a multi episode kind of movie...?? I think we all want more of this and see the end of the adventure
  • + 2
 Impressive good quality movie! I'm gonna share it !
  • + 2
 Thanks for this video. A great video! I liked it a lot,
  • + 1
 Just a routine job for Joey, a routine marvelous movie as always. Great job mate, great adventure.
  • + 0
 So good! Hats of the toe videographer(s) for sure.

Also, am I the only one that can’t stand Vimeo? It barely (rarely) works in Safari or Chrome. I don’t get it.
  • + 2
 Amazing journey, filming, and exceptional editing. Wish it was longer.
  • + 2
 Beautiful!!
  • + 2
 Beautiful video!
  • + 2
 Very entertaining Smile
  • + 1
 Wow!
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