the clouds part
The only way to get here is a pass off to my left that we came over yesterday, the only way out, a pass to my right—which is what we’re going over today. The fact that we got ourselves here on our bikes, by ourselves, with all our gear just makes it that much better.
The skies cleared at dawn and for the first time on our trip the 19,000-plus-foot giants revealed themselves. Fog swirled in the valley as light danced across the hills.
We made our way around the first of three lakes, riding on super-narrow singletrack. One slip would send us into the glacial waters.
Jirishanca Chico, Jirishanca, Yerupaja, Siula Grande and Sarapo towered above us. We stood in awe as these lively mountains soaked up the sun and shed avalanches.
Higher we go, traveling south up grassy plateaus and riverbeds carved by past glaciers.
We reached the third and final lake before Siula Pass as a massive hail storm caught us by surprise. This day was ending early. As the ground was being covered in ice, we frantically searched for safe tent ground amid the ridiculous number of glacial creeks and flowing hillsides. Soaked to the bone, we threw the tent up and passed out for an hour.