the dan milner photography blog: tales of an adventuring photo chimp

May 19, 2013

The Toughest MTB trip Yet? Watch this space.

Filed under: bike, photography — Tags: , , , , — danmilner @ 10:28 am

‘Learn to duck’ seems to be the most common retort on hearing about my forthcoming mountain bike trip to Afghanistan.

On the 5th June I’m heading  out to the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan to shoot the first ever MTB traverse of this wild, remote and rugged region, accompanying the legendary mountain biker, Matt Hunter, Bike magazine editor and 2 Anthill Productions filmers. Ahead of us is a 3-week camping trip that will kick off with 3 days of jeep travel overland from neighbouring Tajikistan, and then a 12-day MTB ride through one of the World’s last remaining true wilderness areas.

And wilderness it is. No roads. No cafes. No Hotels. This is no trail centre shoot. And I’m strangely excited and concerned. But my concern is not that we’re “in Afghanistan”.

afghanistan-wakhan-corridor

The Wakhan Corridor is a tongue of Afghan soil that stretches north. It might as well be a million miles from the harshness of war. Instead it has its own challenges for us and the small population of nomads that inhabit the area -16,000 ft passes to cross, washing opportunities presented only by freezing rivers, snow at any time of the year and relentless dust-laden winds. Sounds like fun eh.

I’ll be using Mountain Equipment kit to keep out the cold, Mavic clothing while on my Yeti 575 bike, and shooting with a combo of the Leica M9 set up (portable at 16,000 ft) and lightweight Nikon D600 for the 70-200f4 long lens/motordrive action when needed and the Zeiss 18/3.8 lens.

So if you think my recent non-stop run of work, travel and editing has taken its toll on my blog updates of late, then get ready. You’ll get nothing in June. But to keep you going, here’s a shot of one of the craziest lifts I ever took with my bike, suspended 70 ft up, on the Italian island of Elba, taken while shooting a story (and video) there last month…

Now how firm is that grip? At times like this I wish I'd been to the gym more often. Leica M9, Zeiss 18/4.

Now how firm is that grip? At times like this I wish I’d been to the gym more often. Leica M9, Zeiss 18/4.

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