Friday, September 21, 2018

Video: Meet the Wolfpack –– a Family that Lives and Runs in the Mountains of Colorado

This beautiful video takes us to Silverton, Colorado to meet the Braford-Lefebvre family, who live and run in the shadows fo the San Juan Mountains there. For them, the mountain trails are simply a way of life, allowing them to escape into the wilderness on their own two feet, running for miles at a time. One look at the epic scenery that is found in those mountains and you'll understand why they call this place home and why it is so special to them too. This short documentary is about family, love, mountains, and running. What more could you ask for in life?

Video: Just How Do Trails Get Made?

A great trail is one of those things we often take for granted. Pulling on a pair of good shoes, we set off from the trailhead, seldom even thinking about the work that people have put into creating and maintaining the route. This video takes us behind the scenes of those efforts to see just how trails get made. As you can probably imagine, there is a lot of work that goes into making our favorite paths as good as they are.

Gear Closet: The ZenBivy Light Bed Review

Over the past few years there has been a shift in how outdoor gear gets tested and made. In the past, large companies set the tone, creating new products that were released on a set schedule to meet seasonal demands, retail trends, and shareholder expectations. Today however, there are different paths to getting a new product on the market, including the use of crowdfunding. This approach has been used by small and medium-sized companies alike to get their innovative new item into production and out to the public in a more timely fashion. Just yesterday I posted a story about how BioLite is using crowdfunding to get its new Headlamp into the hands of customers early. Today, we have another piece of gear that is using a similar strategy, this time creating a new sleep system that could replace the mummy bag you've been using all these years.

The new ZenBivy Light Bed launched on Indiegogo last week, bringing a lighter version of the original ZenBivy Bed, which launched last year. At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss the ZenBivy as just another sleeping bag in a sea of sleeping bags that are currently on the market. But, the designers behind this sleep system actually but some thought into their design and have come up with a more comfortable way to get a good night's sleep in the backcountry.

What sets the ZenBivy apart from the competition its its approach to keeping us more comfortable on our backcountry excursions. While sleeping bags generally do a fine job of keeping us warm, they don't always move well with us when we sleep. Anyone who has ever tired to roll over in their bag has usually found this out and they're generally not made for those who like to sleep on their side or stomach. If you sleep on your back, and seldom move, chances are you have no issues with sleeping bag design. But how many of us prefer to actually sleep that way?

The ZenBivy ships with two distinct parts –– a quilt and a fitted sheet. The quilt is designed to keep us warm in the outdoors, just like quilts and sleeping bags from other manufacturers. The real innovation comes in the fitted sheet, which slips over your sleeping pad, providing a soft, comfortable layer between your body and the pad itself. The quilt can then be attached –– or not –– to the sheet, to create a system that somewhat resembles a traditional sleeping bag. The difference is, when you move about in your sleep, you can do so independently of the sheet of the quilt, just like you do in your bed back home.

Adventure Tech: GoPro Hero 7 Brings Improved Stability

Just like clockwork, GoPro has announced its annual updates to its line of action cameras, bringing some improved functionality and image quality to its already industry-leading designs. The new Hero 7 camera resembles its predecessor in many ways, but comes equipped with onboard image stabilization that the company says pretty much removes the need for using a gimbal when capturing footage.

Available in three versions –– the Hero 7 White, Hero 7 Silver, and Hero 7 Black –– the new cameras feature much of the same technology that we've come to expect from GoPro. That includes touchscreen displays, waterproof housings, voice control, and more. Prices start at $200 for the White edition, $300 for the Silver, and $400 for the Black, which is the flagship model that offers the best all around performance.

Packed with a 12-megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot 4K video at 60 fps, the Hero 7 Black was made for professional action video producers. It can capture footage in 8x slow-mo, has the ability to transmit live video over the Internet, and has onboard GPS tracking as well. It can shoot both video and photos in the high-dynamic range and is of course rugged enough to take anywhere.

But the true standout feature this time out is a what GoPro calls "HyperSmooth" video. This comes from a vastly improved stabilization system that is built right into the Hero 7. This technology is so good that GoPro claims you won't need to use a gimbal to capture smooth, stable video clips. Just turn the camera on, hold it in your hand, and point it at your subject.

Of course, there are a few compromises by going with the lower-tier White and Silver editions. For instance, the Hero 7 Silver can still shoot 4K video, but only at 30 fps, while the Hero 7 White drops down to 1080p/60 fps. Neither of these cameras feature the HyperSmooth stabilization technology either and have 10 megapixel sensors that perform a bit less impressively as well.

Still, GoPro says that this is their best camera line-up to date and are the products that will lead the company back to solvency. All three are available to preorder now and will begin shipping soon. Find out more at GoPro.com. And check out the video below for examples of the new cameras in action.


Himalaya Fall 2018: Fight at C2 on Manaslu Leaves One Climber Injured

It is shaping up to be a weird and wild autumn climbing season on Manaslu in Nepal. The mountain is the most popular 8000-meter peak this fall, with more than 250 foreign climbers attempting to reach its summit. A couple of weeks back we learned that due to restricted helicopter access, the teams were having a hard time getting supplies and gear up to Base Camp. Now, comes word that two individuals got into a heated brawl at Camp 2, sending one to the hospital in Kathmandu.

The Himalayan Times is reporting that the two men who were involved in the fight were both Chinese, and possibly business rivals. Apparently, witnesses saw two groups of Chinese climbers arguing back and fourth between one another when one of the men picked up a crampon, charged another climber, and stabbed him in the chest with the sharp spikes. The attacker then fled the scene while his victim was aided by medical staff.

The victim in the attack has been identified as Peng Tao. He reportedly received sharp injuries to his chest from the crampon spikes and was air lifted to Kathmandu to receive proper care. The wounds are not life threatening however and he is in no further danger. There is a good chance he'll return to the mountain to continue the expedition.

Apparently, the two men once worked together back in China, but one of them recently left the business where both were employed to start his own venture. It is suspected that this rivalry may be at the root of the argument which ended up leaving Tao injured. The incident was reported by Nepali police, but there is no word as to whether or not there will be further disciplinary action taken.

Meanwhile, team leaders in BC on Manaslu say that the teams are getting close to launching summit bids. In fact, the first climbers could top out as early as the middle of next week, weather permitting. We'll keep an eye on the schedule and see how things unfold. We could be just a few days away from the first summits of the fall season.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Video: Back Into Thin Air on Everest

The spring 2018 climbing season was the most successful ever on Everest, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't without its challenges. In this short documentary we join an expedition to the tallest mountain on the planet as climbers go in search of the summit of Everest. This is a 20-minute look at what it takes to climb the mountain, with some spectacular footage captured along the way.

Video: Pãobù - The Rise of Running in China

This video comes our way courtesy of our friends over at Salomon TV. It is a short documentary that charts the rise of running in China, a place where the sport was almost completely off the radar a few short years ago, but is now growing into a major recreational and competitive pastime. The number of races –– both on and off road –– in China has risen dramatically and now the runners there are getting far more competitive on an international level too. Find out more about this movement in the clip below.

Gear Closet: The BioLite Headlamp is Light, Bright, and Comfortable

One of my favorite pieces of gear that I spotted at the 2018 Summer Outdoor Retailer show was a new headlamp from BioLite. Considering the number of headlamps that are already available on the market, it takes something special for a new model to stand out in that crowded field. But as they usually do, the team at BioLite put a lot of thought into the design of their latest product, and as a result it turned out pretty special. Now, they've even made a surprise early launch of the device on Kickstarter, giving crowdfunding contributors the chance to get one well ahead of the spring 2019 launch.

Dubbed simply the Headlamp, BioLite's entry into this market space brings some intriguing features. For starters, it weighs less than 3 ounces (69 grams), making it incredibly easy to throw in your backpack no matter where you're going. Despite its size however, the Headlamp is also quite bright. It features four different settings, with the highest giving off as much as 330 lumens. That's a lot of light, particularly from a lamp that is this small. 

BioLite tackled the challenge of making the Headlamp comfortable to wear by creating a headband that is soft and highly breathable. The company says that materials that the headband is made of are "smart fabrics" that are durable and moisture wicking, while also holding the light snugly in place when wearing it on the trail. This holds true even if you're running, cycling, climbing, or doing some other highly active sport. 

The BioLight Headlamp is powered by a 900 mAh rechargeable battery that can provide a run time of up to 40 hours on its lowest setting or 3.5 hours on hits brightest output. Speaking of which, the device offers two different modes –– floodlight and spotlight –– which offer a beam distance of 16 meters (52 feet) and 75 meters (246 ft) respectively. The angle of the light can even be adjust using a simple, but clever, mechanism that is built into the lamp's housing.

Cyclist Hits New Speed Record, Riding 183.932 MPH on a Bike

Getty Images
We cover a lot of speed records in the outdoor space here at the Adventure Blog, but this one just might be the most impressive yet. This past weekend, while I was off riding a bike in Colorado, a cyclist was busy setting a new land speed record, hitting a mind-blowing 183.932 mph (296 km/h) on her bike.

Denise Mueller-Korenek made her record setting run on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, riding a bike designed to withstand the challenges of traveling at such speeds. To do that, it has specially reinforced tires and uses motorcycle rims, not to mention a custom made frame built to add additional stability and balance.

The ride began with Mueller-Korenek being pulled behind a car that helped get her up to a speed of 100 mph (160 km/h). From there, she drafted off of that vehicle over the course of 3.5 miles (5.6 km), reaching the new record speed over the final mile of the ride. During that stage of the speed record attempt, she completely pedaled the bike under her own power, with the support vehicle only serving as a wind break.

The new speed record smashes the old mark of 167 mph (268 km/h) and Mueller-Korenek says herself that the plan was to only go 175 mph (281 km/h). But, things went so well that she just kept picking up speed. The result was a new FKT that is far faster than what most of us will ever do in our cars, let alone on a bike.

Want to know what it looks like to go 183 mph on a bike? Check out the video below. 


Himalaya Fall 2018: Major Ski Expeditions Take Center Stage

While we're still early in the autumn climbing season in the Himalaya, most of the attention so far has centered around the commercial expeditions to Manaslu, Cho Oyu, and Dhaulagiri. But there are a few other notable climbs taking place this fall away from those busy peaks, including two that involve skiing a couple of 8000-meter peaks that aren't especially known for being particularly welcoming to skiers.

First, Russian climbers Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin have arrived in Base Camp on Annapurna, where they hope to ski that 8091-meter (26,545 ft) peak. The plan is to first climb to the summit without the use of bottled oxygen, at which point they'll make their dramatic descent provided the mountain is safe enough. Annapurna is well known for its avalanche danger, but the two men expect to at least give it a go should the conditions remain stable.

The duo are just getting settled in BC and will begin their acclimatization process soon, so it will be a few weeks at least before they launch their summit bid. Annapurna isn't the only mountain on their schedule either, as the Russians hope to knock off Everest, Nanga Parbat, and K2 next year as well.

Lazo and Pugovkin aren't the only alpinists looking to ski a major peak in the Himalaya this fall.  Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison are currently acclimatizing on Everest with the eventual plan of skiing the so called "Dream Line" on the 8561-meter (28,087 ft) Lhotse. This 700 meter (2296 ft) line starts at the summit of the mountain and descends through the Lhotse Couloir to the Western Cwm.

Despite being climbed and skied regularly, this particular route has never been done before –– at least not fully. Other ski mountaineers have come down the line, but usually have started at lower sections on the mountain. Nelson and Morrison hope to do it in full for the first time. The route is said to be extremely strenuous, requiring not only great skill as as skier, but also excellent physical conditioning.

We'll be keeping a close eye on these expeditions heading into the rest of the autumn season. Both will make headlines if the teams are successful. Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Video: How to Filter Water in the Backcountry

Staying hydrated is vitally important when in the backcountry, but you can't always trust the water that you find there, even if it looks clean. That's why knowing how to filter water while hiking and backpacking is such an important skill to have. In this video, the experts at REI show us exactly how we can make clean drinking water no matter where we go.

Video: HBO's Real Sports Investigates Climbing Everest

A few weeks back, HBO's Real Sports television program aired a segment on what it takes to climb Everest. The aim of this 20-minute piece was to inform teach those who don't know much about the mountain what it takes to reach the summit. But many in the climbing community found that the story missed the mark in many ways. Alan Arnette even shared his thoughts on the segment, and I tend to agree with him. Still, there are some decent aspect to Real Sports' covering the highest mountain on the planet, even if there were some missed opportunities and fear mongering going on. Now, the entire show can be viewed below. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think. Did HBO miss the mark?

Himalaya Fall 2018: Avalanche on Dhaulagiri Leaves Sherpa Missing

I've been off the grid in Colorado over the past few days, so I haven't had a chance to post many updates. We'll start to get back on schedule today however, with an update from the Himalaya. Unfortunately, the first story is a sad one.

The Himalayan Times is reporting that an avalanche hit Dhaulagiri earlier today just as a team of Sherpas was installing ropes above Camp 2. The avalanche swept down the slope, injuring several members of the team while sweeping away Dawa Geljen Sherpa, who remains missing at this time.

Search and rescue operations are underway, including a long-line helicopter which is helping to evacuate climbers. The helicopters that have been on the scene are also combing the mountain looking for the missing Sherpa. So far, there efforts have come up empty.

There are two teams climbing on Dhaulagiri this fall, including one squad that includes 79-year old Carlos Soria. None of the foreign climbers were involved in the avalanche apparently, and all are safe back in Base Camp at the moment.

Meanwhile, over on Manaslu –– the busiest 8000-er this fall –– things seem to be going according to plan. There have been few updates from the mountain, but we do know that ropes have been installed up to Camp 4 and that the climbers are in the midst of their acclimatization rotations. No word on if the food/supplies shortage had ended, but presumably the commercial teams have found ways to shuttle gear up to BC.

Cho Oyu is also seeing its fair share of climbers this season too. The teams that are there, including the Adventure Consultants, have started that acclimatization rotations as well. Most are now in Camp 1 or Camp 2, allowing their bodies to become accustomed to the thinner air ahead of their summit bids, which are still a few weeks off.

So far, the autumn season is proceeding about as well as can be expected. There are some major, non-commercial expeditions, that are just starting to ramp up that will be worth following soon. But for now, we have business as usual in the Himalaya.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Video: Efforts to Clean Up The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Now Underway

We've all heard tales about the massive Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how it continues to take over the ocean. Now, an ambitious effort is underway to begin cleaning up this massive floating island of plastic and other debris, with an organization called The Ocean Clean Up launching a high-tech approach to collecting and removing all of that trash. This past weekend, a ship set out for the GPGP in an effort to begin this long and difficult process. Find out more about those efforts in the video clip below.

Video: Get Your Mountain Biking Fix with Rachel Atherton's Winning Run at UCI Lenzerheide 2018

Lets face it, some of us like to ride mountain bikes while others can really shred it on the hill. Such is the case for pro rider Rachel Atherton, who is amongst the best mountain bikers in the world. In this clip, we get to go along for the ride as Rachel takes us down a wild and challenge course at this year's UCI Lenzerheide World Championship race. Most of us will never get the chance to ride like this, so the video is a lot of fun.

Attend Outdoor Blogger Summit on a Discount!

Are you an aspiring outdoor writer, blogger, or podcaster? Do you want to break into the travel writing market? Maybe you're a marketing professional working in the outdoor space? If you said yes to any of those questions, you probably should consider attending Outdoor Blogger Summit this year. And if you do, I can help save you some money on the registration.

What's Outdoor Blogger Summit you ask? It is an annual conference aimed at media and marketing professional in the outdoor industry. This year, the event will be held in Roanoke, Virginia and will feature a good mix of educational sessions, opportunities to get to know some top outdoor brands, fun activities, and networking with others who are working in this fun, but often challenging field.

If you're interested in knowing what will be happening there, check out the full schedule here. Things get started on Sunday, October 14 with registration and a "speed dating" event between attendees and brands. Then on Monday and Tuesday of that week the sessions and speakers will get underway with a full slate of topics, including how to manage social media outlets, learning how to work with a busy editor, and how to maximize your time as a freelancer. Yours truly will even be sharing some insights on how to get on more press trips, which can open up a whole host of opportunities.

Registration for the 2018 OBS is now open and if you're interested in attending, I have a discount code that you can use to get $100 off of your rate. Typically, the cost of attendance is $399, which includes two nights stay at Hotel Roanoke, an all access pass for the conference, several meals, happy hours, and a swag bag. That pice comes down to just $299 if you enter the code FRIEND-OF-KRAIG at the checkout process. That's a pretty great deal for anyone looking to meet folks working in the outdoor industry and network with others too.

You can find out a lot more by visiting the Outdoor Blogger Summit website. Hope to see you there!


More Than 800 New Tombs Discovered in Egypt

For archaeologists and historians, Egypt is the place that just keeps on giving. Earlier in the week it was revealed that more than 800 new tombs have been discovered near the village of Lisht, located in the central part of the country south of Cairo. Those tombs are said to date back more than 4000 years to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, making them potentially one of the biggest finds in recent memory.

The discovery was made through a joint effort between a team of researchers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. In just a single season in the field, the group was able to uncover and document 802 separate tombs, with the potential for more to follow.

The tombs, which have sat beneath layers of sand and dust for thousands of years, were first spotted by archaeologists on satellite images. Researchers looking at photos of the area could identify looting pits throughout the region, but weren't exactly sure where they went. As they examined photos taken between 2009 and 2013, more of the pits appeared in the photos. This prompted an on-the-ground search to discover what exactly was happening there in Lisht.

Once physically in the village however, it quickly became apparent what they were dealing with. Dozens of exposed tombs led to the discover of hundreds more, most of which have already been looted –– possibly multiple times over the years. Still, the research teams believe there is a lot that can be learned from the tombs, which were probably created between 2030 and 1650 BC.

As I've mentioned before, these types of stories are fascinating. Egypt, a place I've visited on a couple of occasions, is already a treasure trove of historical sites and monuments. Yet, there still seems to be plenty of other things to discover there. Using technology like satellite images, ground-penetrating radar, and LiDar, I won't be surprised if archaeologists don't come across more significant finds in the future. There seem to be plenty of interesting sites like this one just waiting to be rediscovered.

Find out more here or checkout the video below.


Himalaya Fall 2018: Ropes Fixed to Camp 3 on Manaslu as Teams Continue to Wait for Supplies

There isn't a lot of news to report from the Himalaya today, where the fall season continues to ramp up but isn't really in full swing just yet. Still, the teams are making their way into Base Camps across the region, and things are progressing on schedule, particularly on Manaslu.

The eighth highest peak in the world will be a busy place this autumn with more than 250 foreign climbers expected on its slopes. Many of those teams are already in place and are preparing to up the hill. To that end, the Sherpa support teams continue to prepare the way for the climb ahead and according to Seven Summit Treks' Dawa Sherpa, the ropes have now been fixed all the way up to Camp 3, meaning much of the work in installing the lines is already finished.

The mountaineers gathering on Manaslu are probably 3+ weeks away from a summit push at a minimum, but the rope fixing team is proceeding at a solid place. That will allow the climbers to start their rotations up the mountain, first going up to Camp 1, possibly spending the night there, then returning to BC for a rest before going back up to Camp 2. This is the traditional method for acclimatizing to the altitude as they prepare for their eventual summit bids.

One of the stories we've been following closely is the lack of food and supplies for the Manaslu teams so far this year. As reported a few days back, the Nepali government has restricted several helicopter operators for flying in the Manaslu region and as a result there aren't enough aircraft to safely transport the teams' gear and supplies to Base Camp. This has left many of the squads dangerously low on food and without their proper climbing gear, meaning they can't start their acclimation process until this situation is resolved.

There isn't much new to report on this topic either. The Nepali government says that it is working to resolve this crisis and get the backlog of supplies shipped to BC. But for now, most of the teams can only wait for the helicopters to start flying again.

We'll keep an eye on the emerging climbing season and continue to post updates in the days ahead. Hopefully there will be good news to report soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Video: Safe Haven - The Story of Building a Climbing Gym in Urban Memphis

Climbing can be an escape for many of us, both literally and figuratively. No more is that evident than in this video, which tells the story of an urban climbing gym located in Memphis, Tennessee. No one thought building a climbing gym in this setting was a good idea, and yet the team behind it went ahead anyway. Now, it is having an impact on the lives of those in the neighborhood, possibly showing those young people that they can escape too.

Video: A Journey to the Top of Mount Olympus in Greece

When we took field trips when I was in school, it was usually to a local museum or business. But in Greece, the student who attended the 2nd High School of Voula take a hike to the summit of Mount Olympus instead. This video, which was created by the students themselves, takes us along on that journey, which features outstanding images –– some captured by drone –– of this fantastic adventure. This doesn't look anything like the student films we produced when I was a kid either. We've come a very long way.

The Adventure Podcast Episode 33: Talking eBikes with Yamaha's Drew Engelmann

After taking a week off for the Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S., The Adventure Podcast is back with an all-new episode this week. Our guest this time out is Drew Engelmann, the sales and marketing director for Yamaha Power Assist bikes. We chat with Drew about his long career in the cycling industry, his thoughts on ebikes, and where those electric-powered rides are headed in the future. If you've been curious about ebikes or considering purchasing one, you'll want to tune in and listen.

Of course, we start the show off with some adventure news, including stories about the fall climbing season in the Himalaya, a new speed record on the Appalachian Trail, and a team of researchers who used Google Earth to discover a lost world in Africa. As usual, we also wrap things up with our gear picks for the week, which include new trekking poles from MSR and an amazing new inflatable stand-up paddleboard from Red Paddle Co.

You can listen to the show in your browser by clicking on the play button in the embedded version found below. Or, you can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. If you like what you hear, or have feedback, feel free to contact us on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or via email. We love getting questions, comments, and notes from our listeners. As always, thanks for checking out the show.


Outside Tells You How to Fund Your Next Adventure

Let's face it, going on a grand adventure can cost a lot of money. Often times the road blocks to pursuing after our big goals isn't motivation or preparation, but not having the funds to truly get our dream expeditions off the ground. If a lack of cash has been the one thing keeping you from launching a once-in-a-lifetime excursion –– never fear, because Outside magazine is here to help.

Outside recently posted an article to its website entitled "How to Fund Your Adventure," sharing some of the best grants that are available for those looking to raise funds to get their big idea off the ground. Each entry on the list include the amount of the grant of course, with most offering thousands of dollars, but also when the application deadline is, what the grant covers, and the level of expertise required. Some of the grants are awarded to experienced explorers, while others are aimed at helping newcomers get their first expedition up and running.

In total, there are 10 different grants to sift through on this list, although there are certainly many more out there to be discovered. Still, this is a comprehensive starting point for those looking for funding and include grants from the likes of National Geographic, the American Alpine Club, Grit & Rock, and others. The award money ranges from as little as $85 to more than $10,000, depending on the organization and the grant. Some have important stipulations to be aware of too, for instance the Nat Geo grant listed here is designed to assist those starting off their careers and thus no PhDs are allowed.

This is by no means a complete and comprehensive list of the grants that are available, and there are numerous others to be found on the web. For instance, Nat Geo has several others that aren't mentioned, but can be found on the organization's website. Still, it is a good starting point if you have a plan for an expedition and are looking for a little monetary assistance to get things started. Several of the grants listed in the Outside article also have multiple recipients, meaning they award the money to several individuals or teams, increasing the chance that you might be selected. The point of nearly all of these awards is to assist new explorers and would-be adventurers to get their project up and running, making just about any of us good candidates.

Check out the entire list here.

Inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race Pushes Cyclists to Their Limit

A new long-distance bike race, held in the remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan, not only turned a spotlight on the beautiful scenery found in that country, but also managed to push riders to their absolute limits along the way too. Dubbed the Silk Road Mountain Race, the event tasked competitors with completing a 1700 km (1056 mile) course that included 26,000 meters (85,301 ft) of climbing in under two weeks, passing through three fixed checkpoints while en route. Naturally, the event drew some of the top endurance riders in the world, but even they struggled with this remarkable new race.

According to ExWeb, less than a third of the riders who took to the starting line for the Silk Road Mountain Race actually managed to finish. Officially, just 29 of the 98 participants were able to complete the course, which runs through the Tien Shan Mountains region. The event got underway in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan and ended in the town of Chong Kemin. Along the way, riders passed through remote villages, through hidden passes topping out at more than 4000 meters (13,123 ft), and through rugged mountainous terrain.

The winner of the race was Jay Petervary, who managed to ride the entire route in 8 days, 8 hours, and 15 minutes. That was fast enough to beat second place finisher Bagoly Levente by 20 hours. The third place rider was Alex Jacobson, who crossed the finish line another 12 hours back. Canadian Jenny Tough took home the win in the women's division, as she was the only female to finish in the solo category.

If the grueling cycling route wasn't enough of a challenge, the riders had to be completely self-sufficient out on the trail. This is an unsupported race, requiring participants to carry all of their gear and supplies with them while racing. For Petervary that was not much of a road block, as he has ridden the legendary Tour Divide race on six separate occasions. Still, the Silk Road wasn't without its difficulties too, including rugged terrain, hot weather, and a remote setting that was far off the beaten path.

It looks like the Silk Road Mountain Race will be an annual event moving forward. If you'd like to know more and possibly sign up for the next edition, visit the race's official website.


Silk Road Mountain Race No. 1 // Teaser from Silk Road Mountain Race on Vimeo.