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Aqzau

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High above the tree line, a winter caravan of Kyrgyz nomads relies on sure-footed yaks to traverse a treacherous path down to the lower valley. At altitudes above 14,000 feet (4300m), winters in the Little Pamir last eight months or more, and snow can fall even in summer.

Avdegar

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We hiked for eight hours straight, with the full moon rising behind us. Here is Passu village and its glacier, seen from the Avdegar winter pasture (4000m). The Karakoram Highway snakes its way through the landscape. A memorable night sleeping out in the open. Karakoram, Pakistan.

Bactrians

InstagramTo The Snow
1400

One of this white out days where I couldn’t stay in. Momo, a young shepherd working for the Khan family, takes a group of Bactrian camels out of camp. Used for their wool, milk and transportation, Bactrian camels are the most prized animals of the nomadic Afghan Kyrgyz of the High Pamir – the world’s remotest high altitude community.

Buzkachi I

To The Snow
1100

I climbed up a hill, and then up a small tree and stood there, waiting  for the horses to come. That day, riders gathered on a snowy plain to play Buzkachi, a raw and ancient Central Asian horse game played since the days of Ghengis Khan. Tajikistan.

Choidjush

To The Snow
600800

A tea pot. Kyrgyz and Wakhi can drink up to 30 cups of salty milk tea daily, it helps with altitude dehydration. There is also a proverb that says that a Kyrgyz nomad will never walk, and always get on his horse, even when he goes to pee.

Cunay

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Flood-driven debris clogs the Maniqui River shallows where Cunay bathes. A great orange tip butterfly, common in the Amazon, casts a shadow on his back. Even in old age – Cunay is 78 – most Tsimane remain lean from walking miles a day to gather enough food to survive. The Tsimane of Bolivia get most of their food from the river, the forest, or fields and gardens carved out of the forest.

Fields

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“I had a book with me, I stole it from a Hollywood stall, ‘Le Grand Meaulnes’ by Alain-Fournier, but I preferred reading the American landscape as we went along.” – extract from “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac. Pine tree near Fields, Oregon, USA.

Gul Dista

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We arrived at night, guessing our way up a steep hill. There was a house but no light; we called out. Darvish eventually arrived, he remembered me from 12 years ago! He gave hay to our donkeys and invited us inside. We sat next to the fire. Gul Dista, his daughter-in-law, was drying her hair in front of the open hearth, quiet moment like many others. Summer 2017.

Irshad

From the SteppesInstagram
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My favorite place in the world, between states, sky and earth, defying borders. It was our second trip to Irshad pass. I went back 6 or 7 times, in snow and wind, excitement to my stomach, a fleeting vision of heaven and then we must head down into the valley.

Isortoq

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The 64 residents of the remote east Greenland village of Isortoq still hunt and fish but combine traditional Inuit foods with purchases from the supermarket, the large red building in the foreground. A favorite dish: seal dipped in ketchup and mayonnaise. In the middle of winter I lived here for 10 days, documenting the life of a hunting family.

Juma Boi I

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Juma Boi is grabbing a fish that he hit by throwing stones in the water. Even though the Pamir has a lot of fish in summer, Kyrgyz nomads are not especially talented with catching them using a line and a hook, seeing it as a pointless exercise – they are herders in their core.

Katchga

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Stubborn and strong. On an icy stretch, Katchga (meaning “beige”) the leading yak, refuses to go on, too slippery… 16-year old Nematullah, a Kyrgyz on his way up home, will have the last word.

Khairuddin

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After getting a shave from his dad, Khairuddin disposes of his hair in a ‘clean place’, such as this frozen river on the edge of camp. Although the Kyrgyz are Sunni muslims, their rituals also reflect other ancient traditions.

Lut

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According to NASA’s satellite data, the Dasht-e Lut desert is the hottest spot on Earth. The beauty of this desert is a major reason the UNESCO inscribed the Lut Desert on its World Heritage List. Iran.