There are a thousand ways to tell a story. This one follows a different way of experiencing time, one that guides our protagonists all throughout the twenty-two day expedition in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Following in the footsteps of the country’s nomadic people and the ancient Silk Road, Thomas Delfino, Léa Klaue, and Aurélien Lardy embark on an adventure to one of the most remote and still unexplored places in Asia: the Kokshaal-Too Mountains.
This dream team, with support from legendary high-mountain guides Hélias Millerioux and Jean-Yves Fredriksen, find themselves thrown into a world where Time and Space appear to stand still.
There are wild animals, of course, but just as wild are the mountain landscapes and weather patterns. Time accelerates when the riders drop in and make their first turns on the other side of the world, sketching stunning lines down truly immaculate peaks. This very personal adventure ingrains Kyrgyzstan and its culture into each of their hearts.
“Like a modern fable, composed by local musicians who wrote this story in three acts, we immerse ourselves into Kyrgyz culture, a nomadic, shamanic people with ancestral rituals that offer a glimpse into their unique way of life. Like an ode to Adventure, one that early explorers told through watercolors in their travel journals, encountering the wider World and its many people.”
The Kokshaal-Too region is part of the Tien Shan Range. Located on the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, these mountains are surrounded by Lake Issyk-Kul to the north and the Taklamakan Desert to the south. Access to the glacier valleys is extremely difficult, explaining why so few have ever been explored. This makes for an even greater challenge…
The highest peaks in the area are Dankova Peak (5982 m), Pik Cosmos (5940 m), and Kyzyl Asker (5842 m). The real difficulty is getting to the base of these massive peaks. The year-round snowline begins at 4500 meters elevation, and in the valley, the climate is far from hospitable. In such a hostile environment, where the land is almost impossible to farm, the region remains almost uninhabited.
The impetus for the expedition to Kyrgyzstan, curiosity defines Thomas, who has a voracious appetite for exploration and adventure. Vital ingredients to believe in this backcountry project to a region not all known for skiing. Thomas never gave up and remained true to character. He motivates everyone around him by playing the long game, by always finding a solution, and through his incredible smile that shines brightly all throughout Kyrgyzstan. Like an eagle, from afar he spotted these remote mountains and incredible peaks just begging to be explored.
Léa brings the feminine energy to this group of adventurers. This professional snowboarder has deep roots in the mountains. Originally from Switzerland, she is happiest when on a board. Léa stands up for herself with the best of them, is highly motivated, and doesn’t blink an eye when the time comes to shoulder a thirty kilo pack. On her strength and motivation, everyone agrees. Venturing off to the middle of nowhere in Asia, to a region where skiing is not a commonly used word, she took this challenge on with flying colors.
In the air with his paraglider, on land with his bike, or on snow with his skis, Aurél is a force to be reckoned with. The mountains are his playground, and when he decides to go for it, he rips! Climbing in the high mountains lights up this steep skiing addict. Venturing to little-known peaks in the middle of nowhere was an invitation he could simply not turn down. When this Chamonix native, fueled by adrenaline and ill-advised adventure, saw the chance to travel to the far reaches of Kyrgyzstan, he grabbed his gear without giving it a second thought. His joyous enthusiasm is contagious, and at only one point did he truly have a hard time: when trying to pronounce the expedition’s location, “Kyrgyzya or Kyrzygy, or something like that.”
Guillaume writes and directs documentary films that take a unique approach to exploration, adventure, and outdoor sports. He specializes in outdoor documentaries, and takes footage in some of the most inaccessible and unbelievable locations. Since 2018, he has been producing films as an independent director. With more than twenty years of experience and two-hundred climbing, paragliding, skiing, and mountaineering movies under his belt, Guillaume has created his own unique style and cinematographic universe. His films always offer an unconventional way to look at the mountains, center on storytelling, humor, and music, and have earned several awards at festivals all around the world.
Wave of Change, Zabardast, Shelter, Pierre stood behind the camera for these historic Picture projects. He knows the outdoor sports community well, and wears multiple hats as a videographer, cameraman, and drone pilot. It was only natural for him to partake in this project to document the adventure to Kyrgyzstan.
The photographer for this French expedition specializes in skiing and snowboarding photography, and for the past several years he has worked for the Freeride World Tour. After spending so much time in the mountains, Jérémy only uses natural lighting to capture what he sees, feels, and reality in its purest form. He followed the group with his experienced eye to immortalize the expeditions most memorable moments, both on skis and during the various trials and tribulations.
Hélias is one of the high-mountain guides, also known as guardian angels, of this expedition. Always motivated, extremely curious, and awarded the Piolet d’Or in 2018, you could say that he was the ideal candidate for the job. He travels all over the planet looking for new routes, and an expedition to explore the most remote regions of Kyrgyzstan was clearly made for him. Hélias embarked on this expedition with just the right group, which included a great mix of perseverance, consideration, humor, and mutual assistance. These qualities were vital for an adventure to the far corners of Kyrgyzstan.
Voted unanimously as the most reassuring person of the expedition, Jean-Yves, better known by his nickname, “Blutch,” is a truly rare force of nature. The expedition’s second high-mountain guide taking the group to Kyrgyzstan, he is crafty and resourceful; great qualities to have when you need to be self-sufficient in a place where no one has ever set foot. Whether crossing a river or carrying a pack that weighs more than he does, he never wavered in his mission to make sure that the group always went the distance. Blutch is a true Renaissance man whose many talents include skiing, climbing, paragliding, and playing the violin. In fact, is there anything that this man can’t do?
|High Five Festival||01/10/2023||Pathé Annecy||Annecy, France|
|Picture Outdoor Night||05/10/2023||Arkose Nation||Paris, France|
|Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival||18/10/2023||Tegernsee Castle||Tegernsee, Allemagne|
|We love POW POW||19/10/2023||Pathé Grenoble||Grenoble, France|
|Xplore Alpes Festival||20/10/2023||Le Coeur d'Or||Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France|
|We love POW POW||22/10/2023||Pathé Chambéry||Chambéry, France|
|We love POW POW||26/10/2023||Pathé Annecy||Annecy, France|
|Xplore Alpes Festival||27/10/2023||Le Coeur d'Or||Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France|
|Image Montagne Festival||01/11/2023||Espace Chambaud||Lons, France|
|We love POW POW||02/11/2023||Pathé Bellecour||Lyon, France|
|We love POW POW||03/11/2023||Les Toiles du Lac||Aix-les-Bains, France|
|Champéry Film Festival||10/11/2023||Palladium||Champéry, Switzerland|
|Rencontres Ciné Montagne||10/11/2023||Palais des Sports||Grenoble, France|
|Rencontres de la Cinémathèque de Montagne||25/11/2023||Le Quattro||Gap, France|
|Skimetraje||To be confirmed||Palacio de Baluarte||Pamplona, Spain|
|Graz Mountain Film Festival||To be confirmed||Congress||Graz, Austria|