RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 is expected to take place in the Pokhara region of Nepal, situated in the northwestern corner of the Pokhara Valley, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley. The Seti River and its tributaries have dug impressive canyons into the valley floor, which are only visible from higher viewpoints or from the air. To the east of Pokhara is the municipality of Lekhnath, a recently established town in the valley.
In no other place do mountains rise so quickly. Many believe Pokhara to be the most beautiful place in the world. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1,000 m to over 7,500 m.
The climate is sub-tropical but due to the elevation the temperatures are moderate: the summer temperatures average between 25–35 °C, in winter around 5–15 °C.
In the south the city borders on Phewa Tal (lake) (4.4 km² at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level), in the north at an elevation of around 1,000 m the outskirts of the city touch the base of the Annapurna mountain range. From the southern fringes of the city 3 eight-thousanders (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu) and, in the middle of the Annapurna range, the Machapuchhre (Nepali language: Machhapuchhre: ‘Fishtail’) with close to 7,000 m can be seen. This mountain dominates the northern horizon of the city and its name derives from its twin peaks, not visible from the south. The porous underground of the Pokhara valley favours the development of caves of which three prominent ones can be found within the city: Mahendra, Bat and Gupteswor. In the south of the city, a tributary of the Seti coming from Fewa Tal disappears at Patale Chhango (Nepali for Hell’s Falls, also called Devi’s or David’s Falls, after someone who supposedly fell into the falls) into an underground gorge, to reappear 500 metres further south.
RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 will begin just outside Pokhara. The distance will be approximately 250 kilometers over seven days. The altitude is not expected to go much above 11,000 feet, and the course will venture close to a region called Mustang. Competitors will sleep in both tents and tea houses supported by highly regarded Sherpa along the way.