It's hard to believe we've made it all they way here. After almost 30 hours of transit across the world and not sleeping for two days (save a few upright airplane naps), Team Flow has touched down in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe.
We are delighted to report that all the luggage made it through the several transfers to this little airport in Central Asia. Four ski bags, five duffle bags of expedition equipment and over 350 lbs of clothing donations
came off the carousel, a headache for security personnel checking the baggage tags but we rolled out of the terminal triumphant, with everything accounted for.
|Turkish Airlines waived over 350 lbs of checked baggage fees to get these clothing donations to Tajikistan|
The team has to give a big shout-out to Turkish Airlines who agreed to let us check all 350 lbs of clothing donations free of charge. Their willingness to back this project prompted support from their codeshare partnerss United Airlines and Air Canada, who both agreed to match the excess baggage waiver for their portion of the journey. After a lot of emails, phone calls and last minute hurdles, every piece of donated clothing from Whistler Blackcomb, MEC and friends in our communities has made it to Tajikistan. The clothes will be mostly distributed through the Gorno-Badakshan Province Jamoats, the village councils representing the towns we will be travelling through on our way to and from the Fedchenko.
|View from the top floor of the Poytakht Hotel, Dushanbe|
Our local fixer, Saidali Gaibuldaev of Pamir Guides, greeted us at the airport at 5 a.m. and loaded our mountain of duffles, ski bags and backpacks onto the roof of his trusty Landcruiser. After checking in at the Poytakht Hotel and sitting down for a relaxing breakfast, we took a few hours to settle in. Sleep came more easily to some team members than others, and by lunch time it was back to the all-important last minute preparations.
|Shopping at the Green Market, Dushanbe. Food for 30 days on a glacier can be a complicated affair|
Managing 30 days worth of food for five hungry ski mountaineers is not as easy task, but with no food caches on this trip we have no other choice. Breakfast consist of muesli and oatmeal with powdered milk, dinners are a rotating menu of ramen noodles, pasta and rice with dehydrated meats and vegetables. Lunches are a mix of breads, cured meats, cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and chocolate snacks. Water will be purified from streams during the approach and exit of the glacier, and melted from snow once we are travelling on the ice. Each of us also needs to carry four liters of fuel each for cooking and melting drinking water.
It will be a monstrous burden to shoulder, especially for the approach onto the toe of the glacier. However, once on the ice our sleds will lighten the load by allowing us to drag majority of our gear and supplies. We have tried to get the best information we can on the conditions of our entry and exit, but at this point we will just have to wait and see.
From Holly, Emelie, Selena, Zeb and Vince, we'd like to thank you for taking an interest in our project over the last few months. You can stay updated on our movements on the Flow of the Fedchenko Facebook page, provided by our inReach SE two-way satellite communicator.
See you on the other side!
|Did you know 'barf' means 'snow' in Tajik? Must be why we say "puking snow"|