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Jun 28 2016

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Far, far away and recovery

Calm winds, mild temperatures, fresh legs and a desire to explore some new terrain…  This was the mix that came together this weekend to push further than had been attempted in quite some time.  Satellite image work had revealed the possibility of a prize beyond Karatyu Lake.  White cliffs, rolling terrain and several structures near the end of the known Atyrau universe.  A group set off on the most direct route to minimize thinking and maximize time to stop, take photos and make mistakes before time got away from us.

Nine riders made it out to Karatyu Lake when two decided the “about 80kms total-ish” comment and past experience told them this might not end well.  The rest gathered up and headed out with plenty of water and food to brave the desolate unknown.

Navigation went well for most of the ride.  The junction to drop off the old shoreline was reached and we searched for the White Cliffs.  Very obvious on satellite images, very subtle on the ground.  Not as impressive as we hoped but the track was good so we pressed on.  A small navigational error resulted in one of the most interesting stops of the day.  A large camel had decided to take a quick rest from which it would never return.  Dubbed Dead Camel Mountain we found it partially eaten and relaxing near an old shell-hash beach.  Dead Camel Beach served as a nice stop for a turnaround and reestablishing the plotted track.

Dead Camel Mt

Dead Camel Mt

Near the end of the exploration limits we came upon a berm with a dugout cellar and mud brick walls on a concrete base.  A few photos and suggested names kept us occupied long enough to fuel up and head back.

Farthest NW point. Toxey Cabana

Farthest NW point. Toxey Cabana

Not merely content to find one new peak but another navigational opportunity led us to the real find of the day.  Mt Everest!  A lone massif on the steppes with white capped peaks and a prominant face we all donned oxygen and attempted the summit.  A few seconds later we were successful!  The greatest natural topography conquered we decided to call it a day and head back to town.  Total of 85kms give or take depending on when you started your GPS and we were back to finish strong!

Summit of Mt Everest

Summit of Mt Everest


Recovery

Such a long eventful day of riding took most of our energy and left us longing for the simpler days.  A new rider joined us to mercifully give us an excuse to take it easy.  Thanks to Graeme for his kindness and we look forward to many more days on the bike.  We did reward him with a summit on Mt Fuji for his trouble.  Shoes optional!

Shoeless on Mt Fuji

Shoeless on Mt Fuji

 

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