The Take It To The Top VICE Expedition team reached Maida Adyr on Saturday. Here's the message we received:
We reached Maida Adyr base, essentially a campground 5hrs deep in the mountains. Luckily we had a loud, shirtless Russian to accompany us for the drive.
The team camped at base Saturday night, and was expecting to take a helicopter to the Djangart Region Basecamp yesterday, but bad weather kept them at Maida Adyr for another night.
No helicopter due to bad weather. Hopefully more luck tomorrow. Catan, baseball and hearts have helped pass the time. The only incident was being kicked out of a military base.
Kant Air Base
The team was probably booted from Kant Air Base, 20km east of Bishkek, as they passed through Kant on their way to Karakol.
According to the Kant Air Base Wikipedia entry:
In 1941, a Soviet Air Force base and pilot training school were set up near the city of Kant, based on a school evacuated from Odessa.
licensed for use through Creative Commons.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev at Kant Air Base.|
During World War II, 1507 Soviet military pilots were trained there and from 1956. The school also trained foreign pilots. Among its graduates were Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak and the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, as well as India's Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh and South Yemen Colonel Pilot Shakeeb Khobani.
In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, control of the air base was transferred to Kyrgyzstan.
In accordance with a bilateral agreement between Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed on 22 September 2003, the air base hosts Russian Air Force units.The official opening took place on 23 October 2003, making the facility the first new air base Russia opened abroad since 1991. The unit stationed there has been described as Russian Air Force's 5th Air Army's 999th Air Base. WorldNetDaily reported in 2012 that the lease was extended for 15 years.
Unless there's another game by the same name, the team played a card, board or video game version of Klaus Teuber's The Settlers of Catan game to pass the time at camp.
The game was originally published in Germany in 1995. Each player is a settler trying to get ahead as they develop colonies.
According to the Wikipedia entry, "It is especially popular in the United States where it has been called 'the board game of our time by the Washington Post. A 2012 American documentary film titled Going Cardboard (featuring Klaus Teuber) is about this game's impact on American gaming communities and what came of it."
What's next for the team?
If all goes as planned, the team takes a helicopter today to the Djangart Region Basecamp, where they will sort their gear, build caches and scout their approach to ascend Kyrgyzstan's Point 5318 mountain. Point 5318 is the Take It To The Top team's main objective, as it's the highest peak in the Djangart region and it's never been summited.
Stay tuned for more! In the meantime, you can track the team with our Google Earth module (You will need to zoom into Kyrgyzstan to see the latest location pings).
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