From 0 to 6,680 m. An E-Bike expedition to the world's highest volcano.
09.12.2016 | Travels
The preparations are under way. And in January we're ready for action. Three Delite mountain bikes will tackle the Ojos del Salado in Chile. And right up there: our colleague Sebastian Gerl.
The tour starts at the Pacific in Caldera, and runs 400 km inland from 0 to 6,880 metres above sea level. Straight across the Atacama desert, through gorges, and over passes at a height of 4,500 m. Initially on tarred roads, then on gravel and corrugated tracks, steep mountain paths, and finally the summit climb without any paths at all. Almost perfect conditions for a Delite mountain bike.
In past years, two expeditions with normal bicycles have already attempted to reach the peak of the Ojos and that of the second-highest volcano in the world. Both were cut short well below the summit, at approx. 5,300 m. Through the combination of muscle power, electricity, powerful motors, and new materials, this team intends to get to the top.
A camera team from the German TV channel SWR will accompany the group on its journey. A 45-minute documentary about the journey will be shown on Sunday evening in the coming year at peak viewing time. We look forward to it.
The expedition starts right on the beach south of Caldera, a small town on the Pan-American Highway. Towards the east, the team will face the giant sand dunes of the salt-laden Atacama Desert, deep gorges with temporary watercourses, endless gravel roads, extremely high passes, and steep descents.
The Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world, is a mighty 6,883 m high. Its peak is accessible only during the moderate temperatures of the summer months between December and March. A 4x4 can get up to only 6,400 m. That is where the real adventure begins. Man and technology must become one in order to achieve this maximum performance.
Day 1: Coast – Solar plant = approx. 115 km
Day 2: Solar plant – Camp 2 = 100 km and 2,000 m altitude
Day 3: Camp 2 – Camp 3 at the foot of the Ojos = 125 km and 1,500 m altitude
Day 4: Camp 3 – Ojos Refugio 1 = 18 km and 700 m altitude
Day 5: Refugio 1 – Refugio 2 = 4 km and 600 m altitude (5,800 m)
Day 6: Refugio 2 – Summit = 5 km and 880 m altitude
The three expedition participants first got to know each other in August this year on the Tour de Diabetes, a charity E-Bike tour right across Germany. The team consists of the photographer Mike Fuchs, the general practitioner Jörg von Hübbenet, and the Riese & Müller employee and E-Bike technician Sebastian Gerl.
The person behind the idea of another photographic expedition is Mike Fuchs, age 37, from Berlin. He has already sought challenges like this in America, or on skis in the Arctic. He brings his adventures all round the world to life by means of live postings with text and images. And so for this expedition there will also be live tracking and live reporting on all social channels and in a blog.
Jörg von Hübbenet, age 67 and resident in Brazil, is taking on the role of the supporting doctor. The true underlying drive for his participation, however, is his passion for landscape and travel photography as well as for biking.
Representing Riese & Müller, the 31-year-old postgraduate working student Sebastian Gerl, from Darmstadt, is accompanying the group.
The expedition's E-Bike: the Delite mountain.
Once Markus Riese and Heiko Müller found out about the expedition from Sebastian Gerl, they immediately agreed to sponsor the feat by contributing top-of-the-line Riese & Müller E-Bikes. After all, tough riding conditions call for an E-Bike that is up to any challenge – the Delite mountain.
Intermittent power supply, heat during the day, cold at night, plenty of sand, salt, and rocks for a distance of 400 km and a gain in altitude of 6,880 metres. The Delite mountain and the three riders will have to cope with all that, and probably much more.
The only thing distinguishing these three E-mountain bikes from the commercial version is a reinforced front wheel fork. The DualBattery technology with 1,000 Wh ensures an enormous range, so that the almost complete unavailability of sockets in the desert presents no problem. With the assistance of the high-torque Bosch Performance CX motor, metres of altitude become centimetres. Thanks to Control Technology with full suspension, the Delite mountain can conquer any terrain. So bring it on, Ojos del Salado.
We wish the three participants every success and an exciting journey. We will of course keep you up to date.