Expeditions: Crampons and Spokes

Outside magazine, August 1995


Expeditions: Crampons and Spokes
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard)


This month, mountain guides Peter Bogardus and Shepard Kopp say, they'll bring exploratory mountain biking to new extremes by pedaling to remote peaks in western China. They're calling the expedition the Celestial Traverse. "We're not the first to think that mountain bike and mountaineering make for complementary modes of adventure,'' says Kopp, "but we're raising the stakes.'' Besides bagging 16,000-foot peaks, the team hopes to complete an 800-kilometer bicycle crossing of the roadless Central Tian Shan range. Among the obstacles: no sign that even a herder's path exists, and icefall portages.

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