Ki­wis travel the Silk Road on skis

Movie of their ad­ven­ture will be shown at New Zealand Moun­tain Film Fes­ti­val

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

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.

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