In September 2019, I once again took part in filming RideThePlanet Project
movie. This time our team travelled to Ustyurt plateau in the western deserts of Kazakhstan. We were quite tight on schedule – only 6 days available for shooting, and the most time consuming part was searching and exploring lines, waiting for suitable windows in weather and proper lighting. There was no time for building man-made features. The uniqueness of this location – insufferable bright light – made any filming efforts before 2 PM almost impossible. Daily temperature peaked at 42 C° – that’s September in desert for you!
During exploration of the first location, Sor Tuzbair
, seeing all these alien white slopes we were stoked at first, thinking of the endless possible ways to ride down to the former sea bed. However, then we noticed ubiquitous deep rain ruts at the bottom of the slope. You have all the drops and stepdowns at your disposal, and almost none of them have clean landings and escape zones. Seeking for rideable features was both challenging and interesting. In the end I have found some thrilling natural lines, and only a light touch was necessary to adjust them to my needs. Some unstable rocks removed here and there, and you are free to send drops that mother nature has created for you. Shame they weren’t big enough!
Our second location was Boszhira
, a place of immense beauty, where hundred-meter-high cliffs and canyons rise above absolutely flat desert. Every day we spent there I witnessed some kind of optical illusion in the surrounding landscapes – their scale seemed to change constantly throughout the daytime due to shifting lighting. We’ve spent 3 days in this unearthly place.
The desert left impression of being something very deceitful. Sunny weather, 30 degrees and pleasant breeze can suddenly change in mere minutes, and you’ll find yourself saving gear and tent from gusty wind, while trying to escape from fine sand that gets everywhere.
Because of the extremely hard desert surface rolling resistance is so low that you can imagine yourself traversing on mountains of asphalt. GoPro couldn’t locate GPS signal in these places, and we were unable to measure the speed precisely. The speed at the end of the slope felt around 70-75 km/h. Ustyurt isn’t like any location I’ve been to. Sometimes nature creates landscapes so otherworldly that you just won’t believe your own eyes. Reaching remote places like this takes huge efforts, logistically and mentally, it requires an entire expedition. It’s so cool that our team made it.RTP Authors: Konstantin Galat and Daria Pudenko
RideThePlanet - the first Russian media project on action sport and travelling brings together best athletes and mountain guides, professional filming team, action photographers and journalists. Link
on full film without english subtitles.Big thanks SR Suntour!
Foto: Konstantin Galat
Translation: Vsevolod Okulov