First Ascent Trailer

First Ascent Trailer

Published recently, here is a trailer from out main sponsor First Ascent/Eddie Bauer: It’s a hell of a loop, but the Be First-sponsored team of adventurers ticked the first winter circuit around the world’s largest fresh-water lake by mountain bike. The multi-national team of Chris Pike, Maikey Lopera, Federico Pisani,...
Adventure, Teaching, and Giving Back in Russia

Adventure, Teaching, and Giving Back in Russia

Interview by Josh Wilson, photos by Maikey Lopera. SRAS: You have earned an MA in Russian Language and Literature and are now pursuing additional graduate studies in the subject. Your experience inside Russia has included internships and volunteering in Irkutsk, study abroad and work experience in Vladivostok, mountaineering in Kamchatka,...
Pedaling through Adversity

Pedaling through Adversity

“The beginning of the trip was much harder than we had anticipated. We struggled for 3 days just to reach the lake.” On the morning of February 25 we hauled all of our bikes and panniers down 5 flights of a narrow staircase out into the courtyard of the Baikaler...
Latest entries

TV news story

TV news story aired in Irkutsk…  

Listvyanka to Irkutsk by bus

Day 37 — Listvyanka to Irkutsk by bus In Listvyanka we stay in the same guest house and get up early in the morning to catch the bus that will take us to Irkutsk. Turns out that we had some confusion about the departure time of the bus and have an extra couple of hours...

Day 36 —Bol’shoye Goloustnoye to Listvyanka Circumnavigation complete!

We get an escort out of town from the MCHZ guy — great guy — and he explains what he knows of the conditions from there to Listvyanka. On the whole, I think the balance of the day favored riding over pushing, but it was close. We make what proved to be a good decision...

Day 35 — Krasny Yar Cape to Bolshoy Goloustnoe

Since leaving Olkhon Island, our progress on the ice has been slow. We’re still in good shape, as Maikey always points out, but we’re concerned about making the progress we need to lest the last days turn into epic pushes.

Day 34 — South of Krestovsky Cape to Krasny Yar Cape

“Well, the dogs are finding these ideal conditions.” Yet another challenging day on the ice. Some riding, some pushing, some wiping out, almost in equal proportions.

Day 33 — Olkhonskie Vorota Straight to south of Krestovsky Cape

When we got into camp the night before, the dogs knew what was up — they dug themselves a shallow hole in the snow, curled up, and bedded down. That’s how they spent the night, and they basked in the morning sun as we packed up to head out.

Day 32 — Khushir to Krest Cape, south end of Olkhonskie Vorota Straight

The final leg is underway… Coming into Olkhon Island is a big milestone. It is on the western shore, particularly on the run into the island, that we have started to feel like we are actually going to pull this off. All along, conditions have been a huge unknown and the possibility present that it...

Day 31 — Khushir rest day

Olkhon Island is indeed beautiful and being there one can understand why for some it is site for all sorts of spiritual practices.

Day 30 — Zunduk Cape to Khushir

A couple inches of snow fell during the night, covering the beautiful blue ice we stared at yesterday. We woke up to partly cloudy skies and the cloud cover thickened through the day.

Day 29 — Pribaikalsky National Park to Zunduk Cape

Great riding conditions — some headwind, some tailwind even. We felt on schedule, at least the schedule we set a couple days earlier and decided to set up camp at Zunduk Cape, which would position us for a short day the following day into Khushir. We went into a bay behind the cape seeking some...

Day 28 — Zavarotnaya to south of Rytyl Cape, border of Pribaikalsky National Park

We took off for the day on the receiving end of more Siberian hospitality — a bag of 6 fish to take with us, and an outright refusal to accept any money from us for the use of the house and firewood. On route we were trying to locate border station for a possible interview...

Day 27 — Cheremshany Cape to Zavarotnaya

Ah, the painful paradox of the wind — blows the ice smooth and free of snow, but also us to a standstill at times.