Route

Our route begins and ends in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. We’ll reach the city (Ust in Russian, Oskemen in Kazakh) by train and bus from Almaty, the closest inexpensive airport, and then cycle counter-clockwise through Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, and back into Kazakhstan. In each country we’ll store our bikes and gear, and take to the mountains for extended explorations by ski. The beauty of a cycling trip, or in our case a trip that includes cycling, lies in the flexibility we’ll have on a daily basis. How far to travel, where to camp, and what side trips to take are all easily scaled to need and interest. Hidden in the beauty of this mode of transportation is the fact that a cyclist is rarely really more than half a day from a hospital, hotel room, more food, or Internet, especially if they’re willing to take a ride. Only in places like southern Patagonia and Central Asia is this fact tempered by remoteness. The core route follows the roads closest to the main ridges of the Altai, while connecting the four closest border crossings that foreigners can transit. There are several side trips and loops we can add as time allows, but our focus will be on dedicating time to skiing – something we can’t show on the below map.

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