Crossing the Atacama Desert to the Summit of Ojos del Salado with the Crossworx Zero290

One must be a little crazy

Peter Schaft decided to cycle solo 350 km through Chile’s driest desert, then climb the tallest volcano. He wasn’t sure why he chose this. But it changed his life.

Crossworx Zero290 FTW

Equipped with his trusty CrossWorx Zero290, which had previously carried him to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Peter embarked on his expedition. With the assistance of CrossWorx, his bike underwent a thorough overhaul to preempt any technical challenges during the tour – ensuring seamless performance throughout.

Into the Dessert

Peter commenced his adventure from the picturesque sunrise at Puerto Viejo beach. Enduring four days of relentless desert heat. He pedaled onward, accompanied by a support pickup delivering essential sustenance. Undeterred by the harsh conditions, Peter conquered portions of the peak. Peak wise covering up to 100 km and scaling 2000 meters of elevation daily. Finally, he reached the basecamp nestled by the serene Laguna Verde at approximately 4000 meters altitude, where he meticulously prepared for the impending ascent.

Taking time to savor and rejuvenate, Peter seized the opportunity to luxuriate in the beauty of a stunning turquoise lake infused with soothing hot springs.

The ethos of “climb high, sleep low” governed Peter’s approach to high-altitude mountaineering. Amidst the camp, Peter and his CrossWorx Zero290 stood out as focal points, as it was uncommon to encounter mountain bikers striving for the summit. Thus, the ascent to the peak commenced shortly thereafter. Enduring countless grueling hours, he finally reached the final high camp at 5270 meters, preparing meticulously for the pivotal day ahead.

Thin Air ahead

By this point, both rider and bike had endured considerable toil, with acclimatization to the thin air and chilling temperatures demanding patience. Peter utilized this period to further refine the weight of his Zero, ensuring he carried only the essential gear.

Subsequently, they advanced the bike to an altitude of 6,200 meters, laying the groundwork for optimal conditions on summit day.

The only way is up...

At 3 a.m., the ascent to the summit commenced. However, unforeseen obstacles arose – Peter had to wait an hour for his companion, and the presence of snow compounded the already arduous conditions. Undeterred, Peter pressed on. After enduring hours of exertion, he reached the crater’s edge.  After all the pinnacle of Ojos del Salado at 6893 meters – with his cherished Zero strapped to his back.

Never surrender

Guided by two seasoned mountaineers, Peter inched his way towards the summit, traversing lava sand and navigating across a glacier. Amidst darkness and biting cold, the weighty 20kg burden on his back urged him to surrender. Yet, today was not the day. The exact motivation that fueled his perseverance remains known only to him, but ultimately, he prevailed. With sheer determination and the steadfast support of his guides, he ascended the summit, the unstable Zero strapped to his back.

Peter achieved the unthinkable. Tears of elation and relief cascaded down his cheeks.


Becoming Famous

Few have accomplished the feat of lugging their bike to nearly 7000 meters, yet Peter now proudly stands among them. Upon returning to basecamp, he was met with applause and heartfelt congratulations – he and his Zero had become legends.

This expedition has not only showcased Peter’s extraordinary physical prowess but has also left an indelible mark on his soul. And his CrossWorx Zero290 will forever remain his steadfast companion, ready to accompany him on whichever path his next adventure unfolds.

Respect the Downhill

In the end, Peter seized every opportunity to carve through the terrain with his bike’s cleats digging in. The gentler route to the high camp sparked a sense of trail exhilaration.

That’s precisely why he embarked on this journey.

At Crossworx, we are absolutely thrilled that Peter chose to include us in his adventure, and we eagerly anticipate the possibility of accompanying him on future endeavors.

Thank you, Peter!

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