The Road From Karakol, Kyle Dempster's great journey
Some people spend a quiet life, enjoying what they meet on their way, without wanting anything more. Some end up being satisfied because aiming higher is tiring and requires incredible energy. Some others always look to the horizon trying, day after day, to reach it and don't stop until they succeed... at least a little. This is the story of a great journey through the peaks of Central Asia, between rushing rivers and uninhabited places, in an area where the shy snow leopard still survives and the population is nomadic.
Some become nomads out of necessity, others are born with a mysterious force that drives them to wander the world in search of something, perhaps for themselves. This energy makes you sigh in front of a map of the world at 10, loads you a heavy backpack at 15 and leaves you on a sabbatical at 18, to continue that endless search for which you are destined. Being a nomad is an innate condition, from which one cannot escape, a state of mind that lasts throughout one's existence.
Kyle Dempster, a young and promising American mountaineer, was undoubtedly a nomad.
In the summer of 2011, the constant longing for pungent air and endless horizons that only a peak can offer, twisted into a crazy travel project: to reach the paths of ascent to some peaks of Kyrgyzstan by bike following the old Soviet roads that crossed the country. Republic of the USSR until 1991, Kyrgyzstan is one of the states with the lowest population density (in the world scale it ranks 189th), the ideal place for an adventure in close contact with the most extreme nature. Kyle Dempster, with a bike and a trolley to which he entrusted all his climbing equipment, dived body and soul into this crazy idea of travel.
He crossed rivers in flood, passed uninhabited valleys, cycled on collapsed roads, crossed paths traveled for the last time decades before by who knows who, tears and laughs, suffered the cold and enjoyed every moment to the fullest. His bike trip through the most remote Kyrgyzstan was as intense as the drums of Led Zeppelin's Ramble On, as adventurous as the pages of a Jack London book, as overwhelming as a poem by Alda Merini, as sweet as a melody by Agnes Obel.
During this adventure the young Californian made a short film, The Road from Karakol, where he talks about himself and the strong emotions of an experience at the limit. The camera captures moments of despair and moments of extreme euphoria, nights in a tent under the great Asian sky and Kyle naked just before crossing a flooding stream. A homemade documentary that transmits great energy and tells how that continuous research never runs out.
Five years later, in August 2016, Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson attempted another great feat: the ascent of the north face of Ogre II, in Pakistan. The two climbers were last seen standing in the middle of the untouched rock wall. Their bodies were never found, but I am sure that their nomadic souls now roam among those inaccessible mountains, in one of the most pristine and wonderful places on Earth, continuing the search...
Enjoy this video as we did, perhaps dreaming of new departures.
ITA - Ho 32 anni e sono piemontese, anche se da qualche anno vivo e lavoro in Lombardia. Dopo un inizio da totale inesperto in questo campo, mi sono avvicinato al mondo dei cicloviaggi e della bicicletta sempre più. Oggi posso definirmi "cicloviaggiatore", e assieme all'altra mia passione - il videomaking - non mi fermerei mai! Cyclo ergo sum, pedalo quindi sono, per cercare di capire perché andare in bici sia così bello, terapeutico, ricco... E ogni volta che provo a capirlo, non ce la faccio, e sono costretto a ripartire sui pedali!