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TR: Kooks go Krazy in Kyrgyzstan (lots of pics)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pics by me and Mike R

Back in the summer, Offpisteskiing updated his website for this season's fun 'n' games. My interest was piqued by a solitary reference to Kyrgyzstan. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing later and this trip was he result of that. It was a great trip, culturally. The skiing was pretty good although I managed to pick up flu just before we went which restricted things a bit for me. Still, lots of fun was had, and some lifelong memories made!

We arrived in Bishkek in the middle of the night and our mildly psychotic mini-bus driver delivered us to Karakol by 9am. We were recommended to visit the animal market, which is a highlight in the area. Lots of interesting sights:



We saw up to 6 sheep being loaded into the boot of a Lada. Also seen: 2 cows in the back of a VW Golf







After this we loaded up into a "Waz" driven by a dentally challenged Russian known locally as Schumacher. He had an offputting habit of stopping every 10km to check he still had 4 wheels.


This took us up to the trailhead at Ischke Jergez where we stayed with a local family for a night before heading up to the Yurt.

Homestay: Sheep with skis


Schlep up to the yurt. Fortunately we had horses to carry our make-up bags


This was a bit of a sufferfest with flu


Nice when you get there though


Nice and cosy in the yurt


Loo with a view


Hard to see where the land ends and the sky begins


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 25-03-12 13:12; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I finally got off my sickbed and got some skiing in. We got 3/4 of the way up the left-hand ridge of the big peak in this photo:



Evidence of me actually skinning:


fo real


Offpisteskiing shows how it's done


The team did its job and ruined those tracks in short order


Paul has first crack


Nick picks up the baton


Tom looking good


temporarily


Bonus powder day!!!


Nothing wrong with a bit of meadow skipping


Retour yurt


Nice sunset that evening


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 25-03-12 13:13; edited 2 times in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Last day. Time for a quick lap before heading back down the trail. Yes - I actually skied:




Mike managed to break a Fritschi. However, a bit of duct tape and some cable ties got him through 6km of schmoo/elephant snot back to base


Centre: our attractive Yurt hosts


Local kids took a fancy to someone's shades


Bubblewrap is just as fun in Central Asia


Back to Bishkek




Every well-dressed Bishkek resident gets themselves down to Colin's




Eurgh. We drank this place out of beer... then vodka. Somehow Simon got us all up at 2.30am to get our flight. Ugly scenes


That's all folks!!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 25-03-12 13:01; edited 1 time in total
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Arno, wow!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great pics, great adventure, did you get your shades back Toofy Grin
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Arno, meadow skipping pic is brilliant. all really really Cool
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
awesome
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Great stuff Arno. You got me wishing I was along.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
best thread ever! Loved it. Actually have tears in my eyes.
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WTF is that growth out of your right hip Wink

Camera bag???
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
yup - camera bag
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Arno, SLR? Did it 'bang'or get in the way??

Nice TR, you've definitely tried some new stuff this year, Japan next Wink
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
cool!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
kitenski, DSLR. it was fine there - pretty unobtrusive and it was easy to get the cam when i wanted it
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well done chaps brill photos as well Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Agreed, prob best thread I've read on snowheads. Gives me the yearning to travel again.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
thanks for the comments, all

Shimmy Alcott, we were all pretty close to tears on the final morning... mostly down to minging vodka hangovers!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
First few pics made me think you were up at Glencoe for a week wink

Seriously though, great pics and brilliant to see some proper culture mixed with some great skiing. Shame about your bug Arno, all better now?
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I like the fact that you fully embraced the local approach to engineering in your Fritschi repair.

Glad you enjoyed the skiing, too, despite the flu!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What an amazing trip - thanks for sharing
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Wow, the pictures of the kids are just wonderful. Such a shame you were poorly. Would you return?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Arno, Fab report and photos as usual... you have me thinking i need to get a big camera bag !
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
shoogly, mostly better. still coughing a bit. we had 2 doctors on the trip with quite an impressive arsenal of drugs so that made life easier!

Frosty the Snowman, I think I would return. the area were were in looks glorious in summer. big open planes with pointy mountains rising out of them. trekking, horse riding, hunting with eagles and yurts seem to be pretty popular tourist accommodation at that time of year too. the only question mark is how bug-infested it gets. bugs really do my head in
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Cool certainly different to an average ski trip
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Strong work. Where's the photos of the goat curry on the terrace? And I hope you bought a nice shiny suit and still have your Colin's carrier bag.
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fatbob, would have loved a bit of goat curry. food was mostly pretty bland, although some spicey borscht did necessitate a rush to the loo tent late one night Confused
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Arno, Great TR and stunning pics - love Miss bubble wrap! Sorry to hear you were crook. What was the skiing like?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
BobinCH, skiing was interesting. it was a very continental snowpack which meant you had a base of about 1-1.5m of facets and then powder falling on top. fat skis with rocker made that a lot easier to ski than anything which let you sink (I was suitably equipped of course Cool )

when we arrived things were very unstable so we had to stick to relatively low angle stuff. lots of natural avvy action on anything steep. i think we were a little unlucky with timing from the point of view of skiing steeper stuff. March apparently is the worst month for stability and there had been a wind event shortly before we arrived which made things worse. the terrain had a lot of potentially interesting options. as it was, we had some very enjoyable skiing, but teh gnar was off limits for us
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks,, great report Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Great stuff Arno! Definitely makes me fancy a trip to somewhere far flung and exotic.

How did you even begin to organise logistics, accommodation and find out where to go touring? Were you with a guide (or guides)?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
mountainaddict, offpisteskiing (AKA Simon Christie) organised all that for us, in conjunction with the operators of the yurt, an outfit called 40 Tribes Backcountry (google for details)

I just had to turn up and ski

I don't think independent travel is too hard there. everything is pretty cheap so for getting around you can reasonably take taxis everywhere. locals are friendly and although there is a bit of bargaining over prices there didn't seem to be an inclination to profit excessively from tourists. not much English spoken. Russian and maybe German will serve you better if you don't speak Kyrgyz
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