Every year Gravity Bolivia organizes one of the premier international mountain biking races in Bolivia and the world: The Jacha Avalanche Race! This takes place in the beautiful village of Sorata, just 3 hours away from La Paz, and it is an extreme avalanche style race at high altitude with beautiful scenery you can only find in the Andes.
Sorata comes from the Aymara word “Shuru-Ahta” which means glowing peak, refering to the snow covered peaks of the Illampu Mountain at 6424m. This race is full of diversity, from giant skree slopes and alpine ridges to technical rock chutes and forested tracks, all in a gorgeous valley and through small communities where life maintains its traditional essence.
The Jacha Avalanche takes its name from the Aymara word “Jacha,” which means big, so this quite literally is the big race! And in the Andes, big means starting above 5000m and riding downhill over 2000m on each sweet, sweet trail. It’s easy to see why riders come from all over the world to race this 2-day epic. — and most come back for more as soon as they can. We have had racers from Canada, Brazil, Peru, USA, Germany, Australia and New Zealand all astounded at the trails and the fantastic race vibe. (Though we ride hard, we are more about having a good time than pushing people off the trail!)
We have 1- and 2-week options that build up to the competition and feature most of our favorite rides in Bolivia. With this package you can join other riders and see the diversity of the Bolivian landscapes and her amazing people. This is the event of the year for riders in Bolivia, and it is easy to see why!
• Race with locals and other passionate riders from around the world!
• Ride the best trails in Bolivia as you train.
• See the diversity of this amazing country and her people.
Experienced riders wanting to see the best rides in Bolivia and culminate their experience in the Bolivian race event of the year! An incredible MTB holiday!
Day 1 – Arrival and Welcome Dinner
We will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. You can go to the workshop and build your bike or let our mechanics do it before meeting other riders and your guides for dinner.
Day 2 – Illimani Rover
Day 3 & 4 – Cactus Trails – Urmiri 2 Days
Day 5 – Takesi
Day 6 – World’s Most Dangerous Road
Day 7 – Moon Valley Explorer
Day 8 – Scree
Day 9 – Secret Single Track
Days 10 & 11 – Choro 2 days
Day 12 – 15 – THE MAIN EVENT!
DAY 1 – Practice
The hills and mountains surrounding Sorata quite simply have some of the best downhill singletrack mountain bike riding in the world. Gravity has been riding in this area for more than 15 years and continues to find new trails and tracks of world-class quality. If you are an experienced singletrack rider you will LOVE the riding around Sorata.
All the rides feature incredible mountain scenery of the Illampu and Jancahuma massifs, as well as passing through authentic Bolivian rural life, fields and villages. The rides in the area feature unbelievably long stretches of flowing downhill singletrack as well as a variety of natural and man-made stunts of varying levels. We will explore the different riding options and stop to practice and repeat various sections in order to push our skills under the guidance and coaching of the Gravity guides as well as using this as an opportunity to get some great photos. At the end of our first day, we go back to the Altai Oasis, a beautiful eco-lodge where you can have dinner and relax before a good night’s sleep.
DAY 2 – More Practice
Today we will be up early, have breakfast at the hotel and head to the trails again. All of the rides feature 2000m or so of vertical altitude loss and each run is shuttled by jeep. Where the riders are more experienced, fit and acclimatized we can often hit 3500m or more of vertical descent in a day. There are harder options, including big jumps and gnarly near-vertical scree slopes, as well as options to bomb down rough dirt roads with occasional short cuts onto easier singletrack. At the end of the day we will head back to the hotel, for some well-earned grub and a quiet night, in preparation for the race.
Day 3 – Race Day 1
After a nice breakfast we will pack up and head to the starting point for our first day of racing. This trail is called Loma Loma, and it’s an amazing freeride trail. The first half follows a beautiful alpine ridge in the shadow of the majestic Illampu Mountain. But don’t get caught looking around as it is both physically and technically challenging.
Today’s amazing trail is about 16km long and finishes at the small river below the town of Sorata.
Day 4 – Race Day 2
You know those trails where you get to the end of the ride and you think…..That is why I love riding! This is one of those, well….at 30km of riding it feels like a couple of those! Starting high in the barren steeps of the mountains surrounding Sorata we ride through loose and quickerthan-feels-right scree, to flowing trail sculpted out of Sorata’s tacky dirt and down into vegetation, before pushing on to the small town of Sorata where everyone is treated like they got podium by the friendly locals. All the riders will be welcomed with an incredible home-cooked “apthapi” meal that different families prepare to proudly show off the delicacies of the area. After a few beers and a fun and friendly awards ceremony we pack up for the 3-hour drive through the beautiful altiplano to La Paz, chatting with new friends, taking in the views and thinking back on a week you’ll be telling friends about for years!
And as you drift off in your comfy hotel bed, it will all seem like a dream, but no….it really was that epic.