The Weight of Mountains

This may be the most beautiful piece of science education we’ve ever seen. In an age where quality moving imagery is almost assumed, and our media consciousness is saturated with landscape depicted in high-resolution, it is difficult to leave a viewer moved, let alone captivated for more than a few minutes. The difference, perhaps, is in the writing. This script is beautiful. I hope this film is being shown in science classes. We love mountains, and that is part of the reason why we are moving across the world to explore a distant range; what is learned in one high place is transferable to all places, high and low. The Altai are physical constructs just the same as any other range, and here is a story of orogeny and erosion told well.

“To gain an insight into the character of the landscape is no simple task, yet the aim of this film is exactly that. It is the hope of the filmmaker that whilst the language of geology presented here may seem intricate, the simple joy of observing will be no less diminished.”

Circling the Golden Mountains

The Altai Mountains lie in the heart of Asia, at the junction of steppe, desert, and taiga, and constitute one of the most pristine montane ecosystems on Earth. “Circling the Golden Mountains” is an attempt to circumnavigate the Altai by ski and bicycle and to tell the story of this region, its people and landscape, to as wide an audience as possible. Conservation across political frontiers is a world-wide concern, and here in the heart of Asia we find a vital laboratory. We intend to trace a 4,000-kilometer route through Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Russia, and to carry skis on our bicycles and execute between two and three dedicated multi-day ski tours in each country, with peak ascents and roadside missions as spring advances. We hold an absolute dedication to a light, fast, and low-budget aesthetic, and unless we hold to this style throughout, the route will not be possible.

Our budget remains extremely tight. All help is deeply appreciated!