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Chang Tang



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Wheels of Fortune
Photograph by Galen Rowell

This was our logistical challenge: to trek across 275 miles (442 kilometers) of the northern Chang Tang—a lonely, often hilly steppe—with no opportunity to resupply. Inspired by the overland sledges used by polar explorers, we designed a ricksha that could carry our tents, sleeping bags, clothes, and camera gear, plus a slingshot, bear mace, and four celebratory cans of beer. Three prototypes and almost $20,000 later, we took delivery of four aluminum rickshas. They handled pretty well, but could have used a few extra horsepower.




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