Kiwis travel the Silk Road on skis
Movie of their adventure will be shown at New Zealand Mountain Film Festival
A group of New Zealanders who spent four months skiing the famous Silk Road included a trip to the home of skiing on their journey. The group of former Canterbury University colleagues, which numbered 12 at its peak, travelled by road from Beijing to Venice, skiing at commercial skifields and ski touring where possible. Lawyer Blair Smith, who will be talking about the trip with Dave Johns during the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival in Wanaka, said one of the first stops was the Altai Mountains in the far west of China, an area often touted as the birthplace of skiing. ‘‘There’s some rock paintings that are 10,000 years old, which arguably show people on skis. ‘‘It’s very cool. The mountain culture in that area is still pretty much untouched – they still use skis to get around.’’ The motivation for the trip was to come up with something no one had done before, from a skier’s perspective. ‘‘What’s the most epic road trip
Remote: Nick Begg on an old Soviet era chairlift in Uzbekistan.
Road trip: The Kiwi skiers packed into an old Russian van in Kyrgyzstan.
Where: Wanaka between July 5 and July 9 and Queenstown on July 13 and July 1.4 Including: Great films, awards night, New Zealand and international guest speakers, workshops, adventure gear trade show, art exhibition, film editing competition and heaps of giveaways. More information: filmfestival.co.nz. White ride: Madeleine Martin skiing powder in Uzbekistan.