After gaining about 500 meters from the road, the border guards caught up with us. Luckily, we were 500 meters above the road and a few kilometers away, and the guards were not to anxious to leave their Lada 4x4 or the road. They shouted and whistled at us, but we played deaf until we arrived at the top of the ridge, and at that point we lost sight of them until we would arrive back at the observatory later that evening.
From Karakol, we drove 40 minutes to Ichke Jergez for a night with a wonderful local family, and then surfed the back of a flat-bed truck up an already melted-out mud road to the start of an hour long tour to the yurt, known as Jalpak Tash. The location is pretty much unbeatable, all things considered, from the views of the mountains above to the lake below.
Intense warming & a few avalanches made for some of the most fun, smoothest pow skiing I've done in a long time, which is what this video features. I apologize to anyone looking for sickter-richter huck-tack-u-lar GoPro footage, but I had just as much fun with this crew on this terrain as I've had doing anything else in Central Asia, and that's all that matters.