URCHFONT teenager Olly Gibb is getting ready for a challenging cycle ride through some of the most mountainous terrain in the world.

Olly, 18, is on a gap year between leaving Kings College, Taunton, and starting a course in marine biology at Newcastle University.

He and his friend Will Jasper, who lives in Westbury, will set out from just outside New Delhi, India, on February 25 and cycle 700 miles to Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

As well as the distance and the altitude, the pair will have to cope with severe cold, with temperatures in early spring dropping to minus ten degrees Celsius.

Olly said: “We will continue along the Great Himalaya Trail, the lower trail, until we reach Kathmandu where we have volunteered to work for the Disabled New Life Centre. We expect the trip to take seven to eight weeks.

“We will be travelling independently and camping or staying in guest houses.”

The trail crosses Nepal through the foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of 2,000 metres, rising at its highest to 4,519 metres. It is renowned for its beautiful scenery.

The pair will ride mountain bikes and will carry all their camping equipment and supplies in four panniers. Both will tow a single-wheeled trailer.

In the event of a mechanical breakdown, Will is a qualified bike mechanic and will be able to carry out running repairs.

Olly is the eldest of a family of four. His parents, Helen and David, are in two minds about the trek.

Olly said: “They are quite proud of me going on something like this, but at the same time they are worried for me.”

The pair are looking for sponsorship from local companies to help them cover their travelling costs. Anyone interested can contact Olly on (01380) 848474.

They will report back on their trek. Olly said: “This will give readers a genuine, firsthand account of how cycle touring works.”