It’s already been 16 months since we left the UK, 13000km cycled, 20 countries visited and 5 months spent rock climbing. After our Chinese visa was refused in July 2017, we had to take a flight from Kazakhstan to Thailand. Nevertheless, we haven’t given up our dream of cycling the entirety of our journey.
In June, we’ll head back to Central Asia. In Kyrgyzstan, we are planning an expedition into the high mountains of the Karavshin. From Osh, we’ll carry all the gear for big walling on our bikes to the entrance of this remote valley. To reach the base camp, we’ll swap the bikes for donkeys. Once there, we’ll settle down for one and a half months of vertical adventures. We are hoping to climb a few big walls needing multiple days on the face and other day climbs. If conditions are favourable, we have our eyes on Slesov Peak (4240m) by Perestroika Crack for which the two Frenchmen Pallandre and Pouzadoux received the Piolet d’or in 1993. An 800m route with hard free climbing that would be a stern test for us. We’ll then get back on the road through Russia, Mongolia and China before continuing our trip in America.
Our adventure hasn’t got a planned end. We live comfortably with the minimum. However, this expedition requires replacement of some of our used equipment and a few specific items for which we are looking for partners. This blog post is based upon a document made for potential partners. We though some of you might be interested in reading it.
The tables below give an overview of what we have already spent and details of what we still need to acquire or replace. To make it clearer, we’ve put them together into 5 groups:
- Base camp
Admin & total
Are we ready ?
We have been specifically training for this expedition since November 2017. Our 4 months pedalling through Central Asia with two weeks of cycling above 4000m weren’t restful but we had to get back climbing. We started with two months of sport climbing in Crazy Horse Buttress, Thailand. We then cycled 920 kilometres in 10 days to let our fingers and forearms recover fully and give our lungs some exercise. We reached Thakhek in Laos where we spent two months on magnificent limestone. To replicate the conditions we’ll be climbing in, we set ourselves off for challenges: fast and efficient ascents of all of the multi-pitches of the area, climbing as many routes as possible in 12 hours, climbing the maximum number of routes at our limit…To train our crack technique and get back to trad climbing, we will head to the sandstone cliffs of Liming in China (cycling through Laos and Vietnam). We will also work out our systems for efficient hauling and practice the more technical aspects of big wall climbing.
We met in Yosemite just before Adam set off to climb El Capitan and Noémie was cycling solo from Canada to Mexico. We then moved together to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc where we spent all of our free time in the mountains. Glacial approaches, mixed routes, skiing, long alpine routes and high altitude bivis. Being British, Adam grew up in a strong trad culture. After falling in a crevasse at the age of 15, he started being really aware of the importance of self rescue techniques and keeps practices regularly. Together, we are a solid and quick party. As everyone who spends time in the mountains we have faced a few dangerous and unexpected situations due to the weather, rock falls, stuck ropes… We know the risks and turning back is always an option. Prudence is our master word.
This expedition is a logical step on our journey that started 15 months ago on the British roads. Living outside, cycling, climbing, and repeat. This being said, it also means that we’ll be going for more expeditions like this in the near future and keep on sharing our adventures hoping to inspire others tackle their dreams.