Features, News

Wild at Heart: Stefan Bocks flies the heart of Central Asia

Thursday 6 February, 2014

You’ve got two weeks for a summer holiday. Beach… mountains… bit of both? In Stefan Bocks’s case he chose mountains. Remote, distant, unflown mountains.

Boxi in space... From Cross Country 151

Boxi in space… From Cross Country 151

 

In July last year Stefan, ‘Boxi’, flew a solo, unsupported, 1,000km vol-biv through the heart of Central Asia, from Dushanbe in Tadjikistan to Lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan.

The route took him through the Pamir Mountains, a Central Asian mountain range formed where the Tien Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun Shan and Hindu Kush all meet. It is wild and remote terrain, populated by nomads and home to eagles, vultures and wolves.

For two weeks, flying alone, Boxi travelled by air, covering up to 230km in a day and flying above 6,000m.

It’s a first, of course, but it also breaks new ground again for style: lightweight, solo, tip-toeing through a landscape that is unforgiving at best and lethal at worst.

In issue 151 Boxi writes exclusively for Cross Country, describing how he completed the remarkable feat.

After having flown paragliders for 25 years I’m still humbled and inspired by the views on this day, flying at over 6,000m over the Pamirs is incredible. The rivers below are wild and completely untamed, the vultures are curious and the peaks awe-inspiring – and the further into this high desert I move the fewer vultures I meet – there is no sustenance for them here.

The full eight-page article is in Cross Country 151. Subscribe and never miss an issue.


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