Saturday, March 1, 2014

Almost Heaven in Kizil-Shoro

     Maybe you saw our frenzy of Facebook postings during our brief meeting with wi-fi technology in the city of Osh? Maybe our computers are not as useful as we thought they would be! From this bustling and vaugely dangerous city near the border of Uzbekistan, we made our way up the Ak-Buura river valley through an incredible 40 kilometer long steep-walled canyon to the tiny and remote village of Kizil-Shoro. Kizil means red, but we could never learn what "shoro" meant. Maybe "breathtakingly beautiful"?
Azuilkhan and Abdulakbar's home in Kizil-Shoro. Our gracious and chai-crazed hosts.
     We had heard that there was a possibility that there was skiing potential in this area, though skiers had never been here. Time for a little exploration! On the advice of our host family, we ventured up into the various jailoos located above town. Our tours included Bielle Pass, Mingh-Tkah and Mingh-Jlkah.
Mingh-Jlkah Panorama

     Our days began with a secret cup of coffee, boiled in our room, then potato soup with potatoes and "eagle" meat, and chai. We'd then head off into the mountain and into the bright sunshine. After 4-5 hours of hiking and skinning we'd find ourselves at around 4,000 meters of elevation, or around 12,000 ft. 
D skinning above Kizil-Shoro Village

      Everything about this place was heavenly for skiing . . . except the skiing! In additon to an amazingly thin snowpack, barely covering sharp, skibase-eating rocks, we found terrifying avalanche conditions.  We did manage to find turns everyday, some better than others, and actually had a great run down the North facing slopes above the jailoo at Mingh-Jlkah on our last day.
D and the boys of Kizil-Shoro

       This little blog isn't really in-depth enough to get into the nitty-gritty details of some of our adventures, but ask me when we get home about Deb's naked bath/rubdown at the hands of Azuilkhan, the breakfast porn DVD, or the 4 hour coal-truck ride back through the canyon to Osh city. I'll tell you a good story!
Blending in!

    Onward to the city of Kashgar, China. The bus leaves sometime between 7pm and midnight and takes 12 hours or 24 hours depending on who you talk to. We figure we have a 50/50 chance of making it over the border with our visas. Facebook, Youtube and maybe Google are unreliable or banned in China, so it may be a while before we are able to be in touch.


  1. So great to see the new blog additions! I'm speeches reading about your adventures and the awesome beauty of the country. Just tried to call you, thinking I might catch you before you got on the bus for China, but no luck. Thinking about you always and it's fantastic to see your pictures and read your posts. Good luck getting into China, especially after the recent issues there. I look forward to hearing from you whenever you can. You both look and sound wonderfully happy!! Love you both, Mom

  2. The beauty is rustic - your adventures are better than any Indiana Jones movie we've seen... love your gutsy bride and the awesome bravery of your unified travel quest for Babash Ata!

  3. And may I say - this is the best and most interesting Sunday morning Winni and I have shared in a long while. We have just read all of your blogs- seen your photos - and had to put on warm clothes while reading so that we felt warmer after seeing the photo of Kazil in his "burrito". We are blown away by your spirit of adventure.

  4. Thanks for checking us out Candace and Winni! Great to hear from you here! Check your Facebook messages for one from me and send me your email too if you can! Hope you are awesome!