Category Archive for "Kyrgyzstan"

An Artful Home — Kyrgyzstan Yurt Art

I remember the day we purchased this wall hanging in Kyrgyzstan. Wanting to acclimate a bit further before hitting the snow, it was our third day in the country after over 40 hours of traveling to get to Karakol. We had hired Azamat, an English-speaking guide from the area, to drive us around and show us the local culture of the Issyk Kul region. Local kids playing on a sheet of ice: Me, walking from one of the sights… for the life of me, I cannot find a name for this strange, deserted museum/shrine. It was massive – with tributes to…

The Arslanbob Experience – Ski Kyrgyzstan

When Sean tells stories from our trip to Kyrgyzstan, there’s one piece of his account that always makes me smile. He recounts how that trip marked his first time ever riding a horse—let alone riding a horse to access backcountry terrain. I found these photos the other day from our time in Arslanbob, which show us—on horseback—amidst a massive line of children and adults from the village that walk daily to their own backcountry “ski hill” to hike for lines and work on their ski skills. We had gone to this community with the intent to give them backcountry gear…

5-Star Travel on a Budget, Busby Style

One of the most common questions we get is, “How do you afford all your travel?” For starters, we work with a lot of rad sponsors/partners that believe in what we do. Secondly, we SAVE. Like it’s our job… because, well… it is our job. We forego things at home in Montana so that we can add more to our travel fund. Those new jeans you see on sale? To us, those jeans represent a night at an authentic Moroccan kasbah this February. When we drive our veggie oil-fueled VW Golf into Glacier National Park, we take the money we would have…

Post-Kyrgyzstan New York City Nightmare

Last week, Sean and I traded our comfortable, small town—where we can acquire a $1 can of Rainier at our local watering hole—for high speed life in New York City, where a drink runs easily $12 or more, and doesn’t feel quite worth it. Needless to say, the trip was a shock to our mountain-lifestyle, but yet, our five-day adventure was insanely better than the last time we visited the city… allow me to explain. It was January (2013), and we had just reached the end of a 2-week ski/ride expedition in Kyrgyzstan—a democratic country located south of Russia and…

Exploring Karakol

We’ve posted quite a bit about Kyrgyzstan, but honestly—with over 5,000 photos, there are so many stories to tell!  Let me break it down for those of you who are just joining us (or those of you who are completely confused about our itinerary): We flew into Kyrgyzstan after a layover in NYC followed by 36+ hours of travel/layovers/no sleep. I posted some general pics from that first day, as well as some pictures of the following day when we woke up at the crack of dawn to see the Karakol animal market. I also told you a bit about the Eagle Man. The day after…

Driving in Kyrgyzstan

Sean and I found that driving in Kyrgyzstan—no matter the length of the trip—was always an adventure. The photos in this post were taking en route from Karakol to Bishkek before we flew down to the southern part of the country. So many obstacles! In this first photo, please take note of the oncoming traffic, the traffic going our direction and the width of the road. I had the front seat for this experience—all you can do is pray that the universe will tip the cards in your favor…  and then snap a photo to remember the “fun”! These are typical Kyrgyz cemeteries……

Finding the True Spirit of Skiing in Kyrgyzstan

March 20, 2013
Sean

In my last post, I mentioned that snowboarding—to me—is an art form. But after this trip, snowboarding is no longer the sole focus of our international adventures—the people of Kyrgyzstan taught me that snowboarding and skiing should be basic. They taught me about what I believe is the true spirit of skiing. In the simplest form, a snowboard or a pair of skis is a toy with the ability to create happiness, fun, and laughter. More importantly, it actually bonds people together through a mutual love for the sport and the mountains—all from two sticks or a simple board. When…

Artistic Expressions in Kyrgyzstan

Every so often, it’s nice to get a good dose of culture shock.  It’s a way to ground my views on life. In the winter sports realm, it’s a way to see mountains with a new perspective. A recent expedition to Kyrgyzstan did just that—and after seeing the country’s newly found/remote skiing subculture firsthand, this trip conjured a few new realizations as Mollie and I immersed ourselves in the Central Asian culture. 12th century Karakhanid Mausoleum Viewpoints of the west/America In the past, my expeditions were focused solely on discovering new lines and riding them in a unique and aesthetic nature. Experiencing…

The “Sunday Market,” redefined

December 29, 2012

On our first morning of exploring, Sean and I went to the Karakol Livestock Market, one of the largest livestock markets in Central Asia. The sun was barely up and there was a slight blue tint to the world as the daylight was breaking. I felt it necessary to edit these photos in black and white, because truly, I felt as if we’d taken a step back in time. Couple that with the fact that we were still experiencing culture shock in a big way and you have a formula for an intense first day. Activity starts in the wee…

As the eagle flies…

December 27, 2012

This is Talgar and his 9-year-old Golden Eagle, Tumara. Talgar is one of only about 50 remaining Eagle Men in Kyrgyzstan. Yes, you read correctly; the job title is actually Eagle Man. Talgar is an Eagle Man by trade, a tradition passed down in his family for generations. Years ago, a village’s Eagle Man was treated like a king. To be able to hunt with one’s eagle meant that one could potentially bring in enough game for an entire village. Today, with the advent of grocery stores and meat markets, eagle men are less relevant. But yet, Talgar is humbled…

Our first days in Kyrgyzstan: Culture shock and awe

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, everyone! We hope today brings you mountains of joy and good times with family. Over here on the other side of the world, Christmas isn’t so popular in a country that’s approximately 80% Muslim… but rest assured we’re counting our blessings this holiday season—we are so grateful to be able to experience Kyrgyzstan’s dynamic culture. Before I start sharing our photos, I want to address a common question: Where is Kyrgyzstan? Allow me to enlighten. It’s a country in central Asia bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,Tajikistan and China. If you’re one of the many that thought Kazakhstan was a made-up…

The 36-hour Endeavor

December 23, 2012

When I left off, I was saying how we didn’t have any TV entertainment for the whole 10 hour flight… Yeah that was horrible. I don’t consider myself a TV addict or anything… We don’t even have cable at home. But seriously? I hadn’t even packed a book because I was banking on having movies! Oh well– three games of Scrabble, 1 game of Settlers of Catan and lots of staring at the TV screen willing it to work later, we made it. True to airport form, Moscow’s was stifling hot, and again, I found myself stripped down to my…

And so it begins… (with a gaping hole)

December 23, 2012

Holy crap that took forever. I have never spent so much time traveling to get somewhere in all my life. Let me start at the beginning with the first half of the story… Sean and I left Waupaca first thing on Wednesday morning in a rental car we’d picked up from Appleton the night before. We had a smooth drive down to O’Hare in Chicago and flew soon thereafter to New York for an overnight layover. We stayed at the Hampton Inn JFK (pretty decent hotel with nice shuttles). Before we’d even arrived at the hotel though, we noticed that…

The Next Busby Adventure: Kyrgyzstan

December 20, 2012

Not a day goes by without Sean and I questioning why we decided to take a trip to Kyrgyzstan. We knew we wanted to take a backcountry ski/snowboard expedition to Asia, and it would have been so easy to go someplace like Japan—but easy isn’t always the route we take. One thing is for sure: Kyrgyzstan won’t be “easy.” Located in central Asia below Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan was known a few years back for the revolution they were going through. Today, the country is the first democratic nation in central Asia (perhaps the only?), and although they are still figuring things…