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Mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan
A Film By Franz Walter

“This is where the mountains are so high there is no wind in the valley. Where the stars shine so bright because there are no roads or towns. Where the writer Aitmatow once wrote in his beautiful, powerful language. Where the people look Asian, Siberian, Russian and all so different. This is where we are heading.”

A “Tyndýk“ is the name of the opening in the roof of a yurt where the smoke from the fire escapes. A Tyndýk is also part of the sun on the national flag of Kyrgyzstan. It’s a symbol of nomadism. In 2010 filmmaker Franz Walter accompanied mountaineer Ines Papert on her expedition to Kyrgyzstan. Together with two friends, she attempted to accomplish a first ascent of the southeast face of Mount Kyzyl Asker in the high mountains of Tien Shan. Their summit attempt failed just below the summit.

One year later Ines returned to the mountain. This time she was joined by her 11-year-old son Emanuel, who went as far as base-camp. Tyndýk tells the story of combining this family trip with the expedition told through the eyes of a child.

Kyzyl Asker ExpeditionTyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz Walter
“From here there are five mountain ranges to China; twelve to Kazakhstan. It is a beautiful and wild land of snow covered peaks, riverbeds winding through green valleys, herds of sheep with their herdsmen carefully watching, and nomads spending their summer in yurts.“

Franz tells us a little more about the direction for Tyndýk: “The film takes place in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. And of course the main aim is to document Ines Papert’s attempt at a first ascent. But I also follow the travels that Ines and her son Manu undertake in Kyrgyzstan; I accompany them on their various activities, and I give a feel for Kyrgyzstan’s vastness.”

“I hope that the audience will relate to what it means to Ines and Manu to take a trip, and how vital it sometimes is – especially as a child – to break out of the known into the unknown to discover new things.”

When asked what he hoped to accomplish with the film, Franz continues: “It was all about telling a story that has more substance that a short clip about the expedition. I wanted to counter today’s fast-paced Facebook and Twitter world with something a bit calmer, unhurried. Today, professional alpinists are already posting a quick picture from base-camp, they’re tweeting about their summit success from the peak. In my opinion so much depth is lost in that process. Tyndýk is a story that will captivate with its quiet nuances, not with its fast-pace and thrills.”

Tyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz WalterTyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz WalterTyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz WalterTyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz WalterTyndyk Kyrgyzstan Photo ©Franz Walter

Franz Walter is a creative nomad. Born 1980 in Nuremberg, Germany, he studied Media Technology at the Technical University of Ilmenau, where he began his search for a way to combine tech and nature, thinking and doing throughout his life. Shortly after graduation he founded nanuuq, a tiny creative consultancy for athletes and emerging brands.

As a photographer and filmmaker he explores the relationships of landscape and human activity. He also is the creator of madebynomads, a small group of future-friendly storytellers and indie publishers which he founded with Frank Kretschmann in 2013.

The outdoors have always been an important part of his life, being introduced early on to canoeing. He quickly added kayaking and traveling, which took him to such remote places as the Tatshenshini and Colorado rivers. Nowadays he is an all-rounder, with journeys taking him from the Guyanese jungle to the Kyrgyz mountains.

Franz currently lives the Allgäu foothills of the Alps.