This day is the 6th day on the Shingo La trail and we are finally going to cross the pass. For me, the 5000m (16400ft) pass will be the highest point I've ever been to. after one or two days, we plan to reach the Manali Leh Highway.
After the first climb, we can ride a bit further into the valley. The cloud are already revealing the weather on the other side of the pass.
On such high altitude everything is gray, but there are still small flowers between the rocks.
Though the impressive scene, the cold wind make us leave the area soon. We agree with the horseman to carry our luggage down to the campsite on the other side. The way down was not so steep, but blocked with many rocks and mostly impossible to ride. Going down there was nearly as much effort as the ascent.
The following day is rainy, and we only a go for a few kilometers before giving up and setting up the tents again. The next day is clearer, but it is excruciating hard to push the bikes over the blocked trail. At this point I am wishing I did make the Shingo La crossing at all. The valley gets steeper at the end, and I manag, to break the small trail with my foot again. Again, the other foot and the bike as counterweight saves me from falling.
At the end, there is a construction site for a road which is planned to lead to Padum some day. I think there are at least ten years, to make the Shingo La trek as we did. The longest singletrail, I've ever ridden has now come to an end. Another hour on a small road, we finally reach the village Darcia which is on the Manali Leh Highway and has some small restaurants.
In retrospect, this was the most amazing bicycle touring/bikepaking/bike&hike experience I ever had. Though I was cursing and regretting it on some points on the way, I am currently preparing a off road trip in Kyrgyzstan for two months. What I learned, it that a low weight of your gear and bike is the most important key to have fun on the trail. As a mountain biker, I can tell, that a bike with a lot of travel would not have worked to make this trail significantly more rideable.
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