Up early at ~6am. Our relaxed demeanour permeated. We weren’t on the road until 8am.
We continued up & over Kegety. Really beginning to feel the altitude and how it sucks the energy out of you. Or rather, how a lack of oxygen affects you.
I sliced my rear tire. We tried a few ways to save it. A waste. I had brought two extras so I mounted the bigger one, a 2.1 29'er Schwalbe Racing Ralph. (For the record: Furious Freds were the bane of my existence this whole trip. Were I to do it again I’d roll on Conti Race Kings or WTB anything.)
Also: this rear tire & tube held the rest of the trip!
We kinda regretted our early camp but dragged on. We had our first encounter with Dominic, an Irishman with whom I’d later spend much more time. The climb was amazing. Daunting. Grueling.
We lunched at the summit and scrambled down the face on the other side. That was wild. On the more rideable section, I got my second flat. A dynaplug meant we could keep my tubeless setup on my front wheel.
We ‘dodged’ a storm by huddling under my RAB tarp and made it up the second ascent (1ooom) on the route. We hoped to get further on the next descent a whopping 100km false flat down but were doing so in the dark . It was near freezing & frequent stream crossings were slowing us down. Both Max & Justin had some missteps in the dark & water. Wet. Cold. We wondered where we would camp.
We noticed a flashing light. Like morse code. Was it a racer? Who? Turns out: it was a local sheep farmer. We stayed in his yurt for the night, which was amazing but did cut our day short.