Feb
24
2011

Altai Expedition, July (17 days)

13 July 2013 to 29 July 2013

Price : $3997 AUD

Book this trip NOW only ten places available and it sells out fast

Part payment $200 AUD now secures your place in the expedition and you can fix up the balance
in three easy equal instalments 12, 9 and 6 weeks before departure




(This is an exploratory trip)

The Altai Expedition takes us to a remote and beautiful corner of
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, amongst the snowy peaks forming the
border with China. This is a closed area, requiring special permission
to enter. Luckily we have a good relationship with the Mongolian border
patrol (it helps that they are usually the brother, cousin or uncle of
our local wranglers). You may even end up with an impromptu lesson in
stripping and assembling an AK47!

This is a mountainous region, and the weather can change rapidly,
bringing snow at any time of year. On the bright side it is more often
warm and sunny. Terrain ranges from open plains to dense forests, alpine
grasslands, and high snowy peaks, with crystal-clear rivers and lakes.
It all makes for beautiful, but challenging, riding country. And
Mongolia’s increasingly rare wildlife can still be found here, when it
has been driven close to extinction elsewhere. Keep an eye out for
Asiatic ibex (we have seen over 60 in one herd), elk and argali mountain
sheep. Elusive snow leopard, bears and wolves are here too but you will
be very lucky (some may say unlucky!) to encounter them.

The local people are ethnically a mix of Mongolian and Kazakh. Their
generosity and friendliness to strange foreign horse riders has to be
experienced to be believed. There will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy
their hospitality during our journey, including seeing their hunting
eagles.

We start off riding across open country and through valleys inhabited
by nomadic herders and then begin to climb in to the mountains. After
riding in to the National Park as far as the 4WD support vehicle can
accompany us, we set up a base camp, with our large ger (or yurt, the
traditional felt tent used by the local people) to retreat to if the
evenings are cool. You will have the opportunity to help erect the ger
(in fact it is culturally not the done thing to watch and not
participate). From this point there are no roads and barely a game trail
to follow, so we will need to load up the pack-horses (or camels), and
be fully self-sufficient.

In 2010 we mounted our first Altai Expedition and ventured in to some
spectacular country, but that just made us want to go back for more.
There are several options in terms of potential routes. We will have
plenty of time to try different trails if the terrain proves too
difficult. Each evening we will pore over maps and discuss possible
routes. Your input is welcomed.

This is most definitely an exploratory trip, so you need to be
prepared for some longer days and hard riding. The rewards will be great
– to ride where few people, even locals, have ever travelled. We will
travel fast and light, much like the local people, stopping when we
reach a suitable camp site, and cooking simple meals over an open fire.
And then sit around the camp fire and be amazed at the brilliance of the
night sky!

For experienced riders there are some great spots for a gallop (and
these horses can really move!). The area is also famous for it’s khun
chuluu (literally ‘man stones’), ancient pre-Mongolian stone statues of
Turkic origin. It’s not all about going hard every day, so there will be
the odd rest day – read a book, enjoy a hike, or just take it easy.

This is a remote and mountainous region, with demanding terrain.
Therefore it is essential that you are fit and active and willing to
take on a challenge. If you are not familiar with the outdoors, or are
unsure whether it is the right trip for you, we are happy to discuss it.

Book this trip NOW only ten places available and it sells out fast

Part payment $200 AUD now secures your place in the expedition and you can fix up the balance
in three easy equal instalments 12, 9 and 6 weeks before departure




———————————–

Trip Outline
Day 1 (13 July)
Meet for dinner in Ulaanbaatar
Day 2 Fy to Ulgii, drive south (4 hours), meet the horses and take an introductory ride
Days 3 to 5 Ride up in to the mountains of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, and establish a basecamp
Days 6 to 11 Day and pack horse-supported longer rides to explore the surrounding mountains

Days 12 to 14 Ride back down from the mountains through The Pass of Death*
Day 15 Final ride, drive to Ulgii
Day 16 Fly back to Ulaanbaatar
Day 17 Transfers to airport

*That’s just what we like to call it, because it’s so steep!

————————-

Highlights

* Great riding country – open plains, alpine meadows, and forest, with a
backdrop of dramatic snow-capped mountains.

* Wonderful horses – these are the ideal mountain horses, sure footed
on the steepest trails, but able to take you for a gallop that will
leave your legs shaking. You will want to take them home with you!

* Fascinating culture – meet the local people and experience their
traditional nomadic lifestyle. Not as part of a contrived tourist
experience, but a genuine meeting of cultures.

* Archaeological sites – keep an eye out for ‘man-stones’ ancient stone figures from the pre-Mongolian past.

* True remoteness – this area has no tourism development, with it’s often unfortunate consequences.

* Pack horsing – the only way to get in to this area is to use pack horses.

* Rare wildlife – the chance to see Mongolia’s wildlife in the best way possible, on horse-back.

* Community project – contribute to the development of a sustainable village vegetable garden.

* Build a ger – learn how to erect a ger, as we set up our mountain basecamp.

If you would like to find out more about this ride, please contact us.

Book this trip NOW only ten places available and it sells out fast

Part payment $200 AUD now secures your place in the expedition and you can fix up the balance
in three easy equal instalments 12, 9 and 6 weeks before departure




Written by Rick Rakauskas in: |

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