The frost crept up on me in the night. I wake to a frozen sleeping bag and tent. I'm reluctant to move but my wet sleeping bag is a poor insulator - there's little point staying in bed. Slowly I put on my ice cold layers. Defrost water bottles, make breakfast, run around, pack gear, run around and then wait for the bag to dry in the sun.
The Drying Sessions from James Rathbone on Vimeo.
I continue on the climb up to two thousand meters. Drum and bass once more serves as my soundtrack - certainly helps me push the pedals harder.
Before I know it I'm there! Surprised enough to mutter a “wasn't that bad” when I see the top of the pass. I stop for a rest and scan the landscape - surely there's more to come...but I cant see it. Down hill from here it seems. I melt some snow for water as all the spring outlets I come across are frozen. While I do so a kind lorry driver stops to warn me of the wolves all over the mountains around me. I'm beginning to get used to the idea - but his throat tearing charades act has me worrying once more.
In the town of ashkale some folks I meet tell me there are no wolves - don't know who to believe! On the edge of town I top up my water. The owner insists I don't camp and sets me up in the generator room of the service station. With my bed sorted I'm loaded with cay for the rest of the evening.
Got to get my act together tomorrow and do some distance. Otherwise ill be copping out and using transport sooner than planned - not good!