Flashes of The Altai
Three childhood friends set out on a bikepacking pack-rafting traverse the Mongolian Altai, a remote range of high glaciated peaks with silt-laden rivers draining from their heights. See the route, watch the film, and check out a few more photos and details from the trip…
Mongolia – The name conjures images of Ghengis Khan and the Mongol Empire, the largest empire the world has ever known. It is a land of extremes, home to the coldest capital city in the world and the intense heat of the Gobi desert. Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth, yet has a rich and ancient history. The unique culture and astounding natural beauty has a mysterious allure, and we felt ourselves drawn to it.” – Mason Lacy
Mason Lacy, Sam Seward and Joey Schusler set out for the far western corner of Mongolia to combine mountain biking and packrafting in a self-supported adventure into the unknown. Never having attempted a mountain bike to packraft link-up, they decided it was a great idea to travel to one of the most remote and sparsely populated places in the world to try it out.
The goal was to traverse the Mongolian Altai, a remote range of high glaciated peaks with silt-laden rivers draining from their heights. The only inhabitants of the region are Kazakh nomads, the last people on earth who continue the tradition of hunting with golden eagles. Ancient standing stones carved over the millennia stand guard over the landscape.
Twelve days in the wilderness, riding over high passes loaded with gear, surviving raging whitewater, drinking fermented mare’s milk, and battling the elements, this was not an adventure these young lads would soon forget.
The highlight of our trip may have been staying with Bakashan, a famed nomadic Kazak eagle hunter, who resides in the Altai mountains of Western Mongolia with three generations of family all together in a large ger. While we may not have been able to communicate with words, the stoke and fun factor was really high staying with them before setting out on our 12 day self supported bikepacking/packrafting mission.”
Film By: Joey Schusler
Editor: Joey Schusler & Thomas Woodson
Motion Design & VFX: Paul Harrison (Shotgun Infinity)
Art Direction: Drew Pautler (Good Fortune Collective)
Post Production Sound: Keith White (Keith White Audio)
Expedition Logistics: Mason Lacy, Sam Seward, & Canat Chiryazdan
Supported by: Yeti Cycles, Smith Optics, Outdoor Research, ENVE Composites, SRAM, RockShox, Skratch Labs, Big Agnes, Revelate Designs
Media Partners: Bike Magazine, 5 Point Film Festival
Stay tuned for more on this trip from BIKE Magazine and make sure to follow the adventures of @joeyschusler on Instagram.