The Road From Karakol: A Tribute to Kyle Dempster

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Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Kyle Dempster, who went missing on August 22nd from Pakistan’s Ogre II along with climbing partner, Scott Adamson. The search was called off yesterday. As a tribute, here is Kyle’s contribution to the bikepacking community, perhaps the most personal and inspiring bikepacking film ever made…

From The Alpinist: “Since August 28, a search has been ongoing for Kyle Dempster (33) and Scott Adamson (34), two American alpinists missing on the Ogre II in Pakistan, last spotted partway up the North Face on August 22. A storm arrived on August 23. This morning, after continuous days of cloud and snow, the weather finally cleared, and two Pakistani military helicopters, with climber Thomas Huber, were able to make an extensive aerial search, without finding any trace of the climbers.”

We didn’t know Kyle personally, but contributors and sponsors of this site did. We are sorry for the loss that his friends and family will be feeling. As Kyle is in our thoughts we highlight one of most (if not the most) inspiring bikepacking films ever created — Kyle’s self-made The Road From Karakol. It documents Kyle’s attempt to set out by bike across Kyrgyzstan’s unforgiving back roads. His goal – ride across the country via old Soviet roads while climbing as many of the region’s impressive peaks as possible. He was alone. He carried only a minimalist’s ration of climbing gear. Ten Kyrgyz words rounded out his vocabulary. He’d purchased his bike just weeks before and had never bike toured. Part meditation on the true spirit of adventure and part epic travelogue, The Road from Karakol is the story of a unique spirit who pedaled to the road’s end and decided to keep going…

Remember there is just one question in this life: When the road comes to an end… will you keep pedaling?” -Kyle Dempster

Road From Karakol Film, Kyle Dempster

  • Road From Karakol Film, Kyle Dempster
  • Road From Karakol Film, Kyle Dempster


  • Scott Felter

    Huge loss. Kyle was a massive inspiration, and The Road from Karakol is one the finest stoke-inducing films ever made.

    You will be missed.

  • Al Toid

    I ain’t countin’ him dead yet just cuz a search was called off!!!!!

  • Eric Parsons

    Rest in Peace Kyle. Your spirit will inspire on.

  • Ludo

    I met you in Kyrgystan on the bike. We were both excited about where we were. A great moment.

  • Josh K

    This guy is one of the great inspirations.

  • Gazzah

    I’m sitting here having just watched this, completely overwhelmed with emotion! This film is a masterpiece, May mother-earth take care of this kindred spirit. Kudos to you Kyle, where ever you may be.

  • Silent Majority

    what an honest, earnest, positive human being. tomorrow my life will be better because of Kyle

  • viajero en bici

    I was struck by the part of the video where he is getting ready to cross the river and acknowledges that he might die. He tells his family and friends that he loves them and that, if he does die, he’ll do it doing what he loved. It reminds me of the saying, “Better to have lived and died than to have never lived at all.”

  • Stephane Bertox

    Quelle inspiration! Magnifique hommage.

    Great tribute

  • Jimmy

    Its true. That is the best bike film I’ve seen. Im truly saddened. What a legend. If he doesn’t reappear, he died doing what he loves best, and will remain larger than life.

  • Max Dilthey

    Oh no… I remember this video. I remember it so well because it showed the other side of bike touring, that dark moment where you’re not sure if you’re capable of something. The toughest part of the trip is facing your own self-doubt, sometimes. I was thinking about this video on tough days on my last two tours, trying to pull myself back out of negativity to see the brighter side of things.

    A beautiful video. It’s heartbreaking when a great light in the world goes out.

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