So I have finally caught up with the European time zone despite being back at work in the 3 Valleys approximately 28 hours after landing from the long trip home....
Having spent 2 years listening to Will telling me how great Kyrgyzstan was I finally got a team together to go & have a look. We flew into Bishkek where a minibus was waiting to transfer us straight to Karakol, on the South East corner of lake Issyk-Kul.
The hazards of driving in Kyrgyzstan - North shore of lake Issyk-Kul
Karakol Mal Bazaar (animal market)
How do you take your cows home from the market?
Having spent a few hours in Karakol we then moved on to Ichke Jergez where a 'home stay' had been arranged with a local family for the night.
Loading up the 'Waz' (ex-USSR ambulance) for the drive to Ichke Jergez - our driver Schumacher starts the engine by touching 2 wires together!
Dinner at our host family's home
New team member!
Starting the 2 1/2 hour skin up to our yurt from Ichke Jergez - the local name for the main summit behind the yurt translates as : "Mountain of the gentle slopes"
Kas, our local guide
Horses taking the strain of our heavy packs
First taste of yurt life - lunch!
After a quick sorting of kit we headed for a reconnaisance run up the main shoulder behind the yurt to a bump on the ridge known as the 'Lunch Spot'.
First turns in Kyrgyzstan powder - tricky on first acquaintance as the snowpack consisted of powder over a loose sugar base - press too hard on one (or both) skis & they dissappear off looking for Australia!
A mellow run through the trees to finish Day 1
Back at base