Blake, Mike, Jock and Chris dropped us an e-mail to see how we could help out with a trip to Kyrgyzstan to explore the countries prospects. Checking out the 18 ski resorts, helping to educate local guides backcountry saftey and to help develop the winter tourism. While also exploring the further reaches of the tian shun above the Karakol for untouched freeride lines.
They will also be producing a short ski film showcasing Kyrgyzstan’s snow, terrain and culture as well as the development ofwinter tourism around the country. Scheduled to be screened at NZ mountain film festival 2014 and our Big Shakeout festival.
"The terrain, while perfect for freeride skiing and snowboarding, makes lifedifficult in this part of the world. Lacking the oil or infrastructure of its neighbours, and a huge portion of its landmass buried under permanent ice, thereare few sources of income for the traditionally nomadic people. A painful successionfrom the Soviet Union and two further revolutions further weakenedthe economy, the third poorest in Central Asia.While the country is home to a handful of ski resorts, relics of Soviet controlprior to 1991, even greater opportunity for tourism lies in Kyrgyzstan’sendless backcountry. Mountain roads and alpine villages provide spectacularand easy access into freeride terrain among the best on earth.While a huge amount of effort has been put into training local guides for summerhiking, lack of training and avalanche awareness leaves many afraid toventure into the mountains in the winter"
A little about the team:
From Wanaka NZ, Blake has been skiing in the backcountry since a teenager. Having featured in last seasons HarroArt production “World Heli Challenge - the Movie” Blake will be coming into the trip fresh from 2 months filming with All Us In Winterland in BC, Canada.
Skier / Photographer, Age: 25
Having grown up skiing the Australian snow fields and Victorian Alps, Jock has gone on to ski throughout Japan and North America. For the last two seasons, based in Jackson Wyoming, he has extensive backcountry experience in the Teton and Yellow Stone National Parks.
Snowboarder / Photographer, Age: 26
Mike has been involved in the winter sports industry for the past 10 years, with extensive freeride experience on both sides of the lens from seasons in Verbier, Japan and New Zealand. Mike’s signature style has featured in magazines in the UK and Japan. From Carlisle, UK
Skier / Photographer / Filmer, Age: 21
Chris is a competitive freeskier turned photographer. Growing up in Wanaka NZ, he has traveled around Canada, USA and Europe competing and filming. Chris’s short films of his travels have shown us he has what it takes to capture our Kyrgyzstan adventure.
The guys have taken a Zhota Tent with them for camping while out on the trail as well as a selection of our lightweight kit, including the Gamma and Manta head torches, Titanium Mugs and the Filo down jacket.