A little bit of context
The Himalayas are a beautiful, rugged, remote experience - you'll never see mountains like this, nor meet a friendlier, harder working people than the Nepalese. We've been there, experienced it in a self supported walk to Everest Base Camp during the 50th anniversary of Mt Everest's first successful summit by Hilary + Norgay in 2003.
But there’s a problem
The high country villages of the himalayas face some pretty tough hurdles daily - heating + cooking, fragile supply chains, recovery from massive earthquake damage and a tough climate. They're also losing the next generations of youth, making it even harder for succession, farming or village viability.
"Sometimes I cry because they all have left...Two or three young people are missing in every house because of migration. After earning money, most do not come back. Only us old people, the grandmother and the grandfather, are living here. There is no one to help".
The high regions rely heavily on tourist economics, but are remote and hard to access. It's mostly done by foot or yak. Young people in the high country need enticing, viable + contemporary options to help keep them there with local economy alternatives. Energy infrastructure is fragile, relying on micro-hydro and solar + batteries. It needs STEM skills + local capability to support it, with beacon examples of local micro-ventures to inspire younger generations to see they can create local, vibrant businesses for themselves.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
If a trail can be walked by foot or yak, there's a pretty good chance it can also be ridden by a mountain bike (MTB) or its energised sibling, an electric MTB (eMTB).
We're an eBike adventure company, helping to evolve the ride by merging the best of battery technology, rugged electric offroad bikes and inspiring locations in places where energy security + economic development is challenging. We've got a local partner in Nepal that we've setup our QuietEdVenture alliance with. Ram Gurung has been running Himalayan MTB tours for a while and know's his way around the high country tea-houses, their energy infrastructure and spots to remember for the rest of your life. He's busily mapping distances between high country villages and taking an inventory of energy security solutions in place at villages he does his rides through, so we can identify the sweet spot for eMTB recharges.
We've identifed and tested the optimum solutions for getting portable power generation in place, keeping in mind this stuff needs to be carried into place on someones back or by yak. Over several years of eMTB riding, racing and energy autonomy tests, we've found the GoalZero Yeti range is great for portable, reliable power by boxing sunshine and making it readily available for use.
Here's a snapshot of a decent size solar+storage system that's still portable:
High country visitors carry camera gear + portable electronics that need recharges, so our power systems are designed to serve the needs of visiting tourists, tea house owners, locals and still be beefy enough to power up an eMTB recharge. We want to get 1-2 power nodes into each of our targeted villages to offer local energy security and create the viability of local employment through micro-ventures, helping locals charge passing visitors for their recharge. Think of it as each tea-house being its own energy company.
Once you have renewable energy in place, you transform lives - forests can be managed more sustainably, books can be read at night, power can charge communications + community infrastructure.
You can join us
We're building our first tour offering for a high country eMTB experience but before we can do it, we need to get portable, reliable power generation in place in the villages we'll be visiting and recharging from.
We're setting the bar for what we think is an achievable pilot of $25k - this will help us get the first round of power nodes in place, ready to help recharge visitor devices, our visiting riders and locals. For every power-node that we install, there's flow on benefits for local villagers and youth.
And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without
We're going to be running our PowerUp Partners wall at QuietEdVenture as a tribute to our supporters for donations of >$10 as our minimum requested effort, but let's not stop there;
For donations of $50-100, we'll be preparing a power-node plaque for each installation, so passing visitors can see who's helped move the needle for energy security in each village;
Donate $100-$500 and you'll go into our draw for an energy security system of your own, where you can see, touch and understand the value of portable solar power solutions in your own personal adventures;
For donor contributions of $501 or more, let's talk about shaping an experience as one of our inagural tour participants, where you can help co-design and participate in a heavily discounted high country eMTB experience.