Mercedes Benz have released their latest promotional video; it’s called Riding On Thin Air, and to say it’s stunning is an understatement. They have taken two of the worlds top mountainbikers and their M-Class SUV way up the Himalayans.
Finding something extraordinary to film when you’re working with someone like mountainbiker Kelly McGarry is not an easy feat. Best known for his breathtaking downhill footage escalating in a flip over a 72-foot-long canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage 2013 with currently over 22 Million views on YouTube, his sport has taken him around the world for the past 10 years. But he had never been to India. Nor had he ever been that high up or that remote with his bike as to where they were taking him and his friend of eight years and fellow rider, Jeremy Lyttle: Khardung La.
Khardung La is located in the area of Ladakh north of Leh, the largest town nearby. Long known as the highest vehicle-accessible mountain pass in the world at 18,380 feet (5,602 m) as claimed on the signboard at the top, the actual elevation is about 800 feet lower. But let’s not split hairs: it’s simply pretty high up. So high, in fact, that altitude sickness is a serious health concern and Jeremy had to seek medical attention but thankfully recovered quickly.
The area is remote and most vehicles passing are military trucks. Kelly and Jeremy, both from Queenstown, New Zealand, enjoyed the comfort of being transported up the mountain in a Mercedes-Benz M-Class and although the bike rack never arrived they found a solution that got bikes and riders safely to the top.
The film team involved the town of Leh and its locals, who were happy to participate, and the film is just as much a nod to the stunning countryside with its friendly inhabitants as well as to the sport that requires skills and training.
Their ride down is captured brilliantly, and is stunning, hair raising, and even humorous in places.
Check out the breathtaking video below, and head on over to here to read more about, and see extra pictures.