02 May 2007

May Day from above

A view from a small ice dam, a diversion from the main trail, which starts at the Al Archa National Park visitors’ area outside Bishkek and works it way up to a glacial field at about 4,000 meters in elevation. In what is apparently an annual ritual, between 50 and 80 hikers made the round-trip, non-technical climb on May first. Three of us climbed to small waterfall where we met a local trail guide and photographer, who was maybe in his early 40s, with bright, white teeth, an infectious smile, and a small potbelly. He showed us the stills and video he shot earlier in the day of a herd of mountain goats that he followed for about two hours. After sharing his adventures and a few laughs with us, he took off running down the trail that would later walk in short, measured steps Mehtinks I met a master.

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