SOME EXAMPLE PROJECTS...
Going downhill with the Devil.......
Most of the time when we went downhill we were forced to load the Devil's Sled* and it's contents into/onto the packs on our backs, adding a further 8-10kg to our loads. But on one occasion, on an easier angled slope, we let it run with us. We were in stitches - it was like having a playful puppy following you down the hill: rolling over, running past you, pulling at you on the lead and, at one point, sliding between my legs as I went!
*So named as it weighed a mere 666g empty
Downhill with the Devil
Going downhill with the Devil.......Most of the time when we went downhill we were forced to load the Devil's Sled* and it's contents into/onto the packs on our backs, adding a further 8-10kg to our loads. But on one occasion, on an easier angled slope, we let it run with us. We were in stitches - it was like having a playful puppy following you down the hill: rolling over, running past you, pulling at you on the lead and, at one point, sliding between my legs as I went!*So named as it weighed a mere 666g emptyPosted by Huw Kingston on Saturday, 21 April 2018
More fun in the Fann.......
Bluebird day, powder and a mountain range to ourselves.....
(Best seen in full screen)
Here's a gallery of images to give but a small flavour of our ski tour in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan.
Weighting for Powder.........
Busy ploughing through all the Tajikistan images. Meanwhile here's Dave Cowell and Richard Emerson showing it is possible to ski Central Asian powder with 25+kg on your back
The Mug celebrates 40 years in my possession next year. Might be time for a party for it!
Looking forward to being one of the presenters at TEDx Athens on June 2nd
Though a bit concerned I got the invite when the theme is 'Ordinary' ........
Ο Huw Kingston στο TEDxAthens 2018
🚨🚨 Ο Huw Kingston θα μας βοηθήσει να βρούμε τη δύναμη να κάνουμε τα αδύνατα, δυνατά. Ως λάτρης της περιπέτειας, έχει αφοσιωθεί στο να βελτιώσει το περιβάλλον και να σώσει τον πλανήτη μας. #makingitpossibleΠρόλαβε το εισιτήριο σου με 20% έκπτωση: http://ordinary.tedxathens.com/Posted by TEDx Athens on Thursday, 12 April 2018
It's not a long time to be away from the news but coming out of the mountains after 3 weeks it reaches us of more sadness in Syria from the tyranny of a dictatorial madman and the response to it led not by a dictator but certainly a narcissist madman. In less than 2 weeks I'll be in Jordan, bordering Syria. I can only hope the desperate refugee crisis already in that country is not piled upon by this latest cut.
Here in Tajikistan we've been pleasantly surprised at every turn by this former Soviet republic, by the landscape, cleanliness, food and most of all by the warmth of the people. In the limited time and discussions had it seems as close to a benevolent dictatorship (although I hesitate to use that word) as could be. Interesting too to hear of steps taken in this overwhelmingly Muslim nation to ensure fundamentalism doesn't take hold. Men with long beards and women covering their faces are disallowed (I rather like the picture of Police wielding trimmers not truncheons.......)
This year is the Year of Tourism Development in Tajikistan and yesterday we met with the Minister for Tourism to hear plans and to give him our thoughts, at least on adventure tourism. An interesting discussion.
We also took time to visit some local museums where we discovered perhaps the original thong/flip flop/jandal from centuries ago!
Then last night we were hosted at a magnificent restaurant with traditional (and not so traditional) dancing and singing and of course vodka. It is perhaps good we're leaving tonight; I might be developing a taste.....
I know, shocking pun but a better sentiment than 'When the shit hit the Fann'
What a journey. What a bloody incredible and incredibly tough 12 days traversing the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan. A privelege to be the only people in a whole mountain range and to be (we believe) the first people to ski through the Fann.
We crossed 3 passes, the highest at 4750m, and climbed up and skied down a few things en route. We had everything from knee deep fresh powder to bottomless slop and our little sled's were pulled up angles we never thought possible. We had nights down to - 20 C and days that burnt the insides of our lips and we camped in some of the finest mountain vistas available.
Massive thanks to Dave Cowell, Richard Emerson and Anthony Schnabel for your company and skills in ways many and varied.
Thanks too to Outdoor Agencies, Osprey Packs
MSR - Mountain Safety Research - Australia, Sea to Summit - Outdoor Gear and the legendary Eraj of the Artuch Tajikistan Central Asia Travel Company for your support and involvement.
A few phone snaps here. Looking forward to downloading images in a couple of days when back to UK.
Travels with our donkeys.....
We're on our way back up with a little help to the snowline....
When in Central Asia...
This morning we leave again into the mountains after relaxing and being looked after like Kings by Eraj and his crew at Artuch, an alpine camp built by the Russians in the 70's and now being done up. There is a warehouse containing hundreds of brand new Russian ice axes, pitons, crampons and any amount of climbing paraphernalia left untouched since the Soviet Union fell apart in 1992.
We all have sore heads this morning, not from the altitude but from the vodka. Last night was though a fascinating insight into the politics and culture of this country since independence, since the civil war and today as this moslem country ensures islamic fundamentalism is held at bay.
Artuch Tajikistan Central Asia Travel Company
Fun in the Fann....
A metre of fresh snow brought us down from our first week long foray into the spectacular Fann Mountains of Tajikistan. Got up to 4000m, skied a neat little peak and then 2 days tentbound. The fresh snow meant avalanche danger too high to go higher so have headed down for a couple of days to restock before heading back into another part of the range for 10 days or so.
Tajiks we've met when out of mountains are unfailingly friendly.
No facility to download pics from cameras but here's a few phone snaps.
We're on our way to the Fann Mountains in a bloody luxury Lexus! Leaving behind Dushanbe and the world's biggest flagpole (165m). Last decent dinner fittingly in the Taj Indian restaurant (Taj- Tajikistan - Taj Mahal - gettit?)
Also leaving behind the internet for a week or 2. ....
Be good to be in the mountains
Delivered to Dushanbe
After pulling out all the old luggage tricks at Heathrow we managed to get all our gear and ourselves to Dushanbe (via Istanbul), the capital of Tajikistan, at dawn today. A bit of an explore, lunch and sort gear ready to head to the mountains tomorrow.
First visit for any of us to any of the former Soviet republics.
Come on Ant, pull yourself together!
The night before we fly to Tajikistan this happens.....
Taj Team and earlier snow than expected....
Ant and I arrived from into a white UK yesterday. Didn't expect snow until we flew to Tajikistan on Wednesday! Now in Bristol with Dave and Rich - the team is complete