Running the Tien Shan
On September 18, 2016, I ran - somewhat stonkered - through the city gates of Osh, in the southwest of Kyrgyzstan, having run just over 900 kilometres in 25 days from the northeast city of Karakol via the Tien Shan mountains, solo and self-supported. The expedition took me through some stunning and challenging landscape, using ancient nomad trails and incredibly rough tracks, accessing mountain passes up to 4000m, while I carried all of my supplies on my back, weighing in at about 12kg.
Along the way I camped wild in my tiny tent or accepted incredibly generous hospitality from yurt-dwelling nomads, and experienced weather ranging from 35 degree heat, to thunderstorms, to proper snow. This adventure was, for me, as much about mountain running and pushing the absolute limits of my physical capabilities as it was about exploring the largely isolated and unheard of culture of the Kyrgyz nomads, and exploring a country where 25 years after Soviet rule still exists largely in poverty. I met some truly wonderful people and had so many experiences that I will cherish forever, and I am eternally grateful to have been able to have such an incredible adventure.
In film: Mountains of Heaven screened in renowned adventure festivals around the world, and I'm delighted to finally share it with you online:
Some of my favourite images: