(Last Updated On: October 12, 2009)
Ellis Smith of Blacksmith Adventures (and Thrillhead Creations before that) visited Kyrgyzstan last winter and it clearly made an impact. Along with other members of last year’s expedition, they are now trying to create a ski-touring company that will hopefully employ locals as guides in the future. What is interesting about this plan is that it seeks to take something that is by nature pretty selfish (skiing) and give something back to the world at large by changing an economy halfway across the planet.
Will it work? That’s the tough question, as it isn’t exactly easy to get to Kyrgyzstan, let alone go all the way there to so some ski mountaineering in an area that has a notoriously sketchy snowpack. Additionally, the people who might want to get there aren’t necessarily the type who will need a guide, perhaps opting to be self-sufficient and do their exploring on their own. Perhaps a guidebook, like C.R. Spooner’s guide to India’s Kullu Valley, would get more people to the area and support the local economy simply by bringing visitors. Or maybe the Tien Shan doesn’t need anything and is best served by staying just the way it is. What do you guys think?
For more info, here’s the website: The Kyrgyzstan Plan
The terrain and possibilities look well worth a visit, that’s for sure: