This is what some of Altai’s countless unskied slopes looked like a few weeks ago. Something tells me that most of them are too remote to ever become crowded ski resorts, but you never can tell.
Farm animals walking freely through the village, snow-eating cows, buildings that blend in with the natural backdrop, washing hung out to dry in the snow, and a cheeky sheep that stuck its tongue out at me when it spotted my camera…
One day, investigating photographing possibilities for sunset, we scouted around a cliff that jutted out scarily over the other end of this valley. We trudged up and down through knee-deep snow, perching on the cliff edge, wondering. The backdrop of the magnificent peaks was appealing, and there were infinite possibilities, but in the end I opted for this view – and a shorter and easier sunset walk 😉 – after which I discovered that the clamp knob on my tripod head had become stuck, maybe frozen into place. Best to head off for the van, I decided, and let it warm up again before trying to undo it. A nice chat with Vadim and Natalya followed, with Natalya astounding me with her ability to interpret between Russian and English.
The wish tree: of religious significance for some, in a number of instances an endeavour of artistic or social value, and for others a tourist attraction.
Seeing these branches weighed down so heavily in a deserted winter setting brought to mind the burden of the wish tree.