Altai Trek + Eagle Festival LET'S PLAN YOUR TRIP
“Possible Malchin Climb-4025m and Visit Kazakh Eagle hunters”
Altai Mountains are the highest of three major mountain ranges in Mongolia, straddling the Russian and Chinese frontiers in the Far West. Mountains of eternal snow capped mountains and glaciers. In these remote regions live many nomads of ethnic minorities. The Kazakhs are Muslims, and speak an ancient Kazakh language, as well as Tuvans, who are Buddhist and shamanistic. This dramatic journey will bring us to Mongolia’s highest mountain region. We will trek to the Potanin glacier supported by pack camels and locals. We will then continue across the high Altai and trek into the lakes region, next to the Chinese frontier. Local Kazakh herdsmen will keep their priced Golden Eagles next to their yurts.
Brief Outline Itinerary
On this dramatic journey we use low impact traditional modes of transport. Our equipment will be carried on pack-camels, possibly also in addition, packhorses. We will fly to west Mongolia on an almost 4 hour domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar. We will transfer out to the mountain regions from Olgii, the Kazakh provincial capital, by 4wd Russian vehicles. Our crew will be Kazakhs and/or Tuvan. The local guide is multilingual at least: English, Mongolian and Kazakh. Possibly also Tuvan and Russian.
The Tsengel Hairhan Mountain is a standalone eternally snow-capped mountain, located on the way towards Big Lakes- Hoton and Hurgan. Only few hours drive from Olgii and you reach the mountain. In this remote region the traditional way of life has remained un- disturbed and there are many nomads of different ethnic minorities residing. For example the Kazakhs who are Muslims and the Tuvans who are Buddhist and shamanistic.This rock outcropping is the prominent feature beside the Tsengel Hairhan Glacier. You’ll be rewarded by great views, looking to the glacier. Your panorama will include remote views of the TsambaGarav and Twin Peaks behind you and the Altai Tavan Bogd Peaks to the front.
Arrive UB and Explore
Arrive at UB airport and meet by our team. Transfer to your hotel. Today we will do city site seeing tour. Explore Gandan Monastery, Buddhist center in Ulaanbaatar. See, Zanabazar Museum Chojin Lama temple. Lunch time in a typical Mongolian Restaurant The winter Palace Budda Big Statue on the Hill Central market (black) (one or two hours if we have time) Overnight in 3*/4*/5* hotel.
Fly to Olgii
After early breakfast, transfer to UB airport and fly to Olgii. Meet your local Kazakh guide arriving at Olgii airport. Have a lunch in Blue Wolf Restaurant. Visit the most interesting local museum of Olgii, with comprehensive information of flora and fauna of Bayan-Olgii as well as it colourful traditional costumes. Dinner with Kazakh Short Concert from local singers and musicians. Overnight in ger camp. (LD).
To Dayan lake (2400m, 4-5hrs)
Drive to Dayan Lake, near the frontier with China. We drive through the Hargant Valley, below Tsengel Hairhan Uul (3043m)- snow-capped mountains. Here live Tuvans. They are Buddhists, but of a Turkic speaking ethnic group. Their gers (yurts) are more like Mongol gers as opposed to the larger Kazakh ones. There are also some shaman practitioners among them. After picnic lunch,continue our driving and reach Dayan lake. Overnight in tent. (BLD). Visit Kazakh Nomadic Families and feel their grade hospitalities. Good fishing and stunning sunsets. Dayan lake is also home of many birds as duck,geese,swans and many others. Meet horses and camels. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
To Baga Turgen Uul (2150m-2400m, 6-7hrs)
We will load our equipment onto pack-camels and/or pack-horses and start hiking nearby western side of Hurgan Nuur and Hoton Nuur, where many Nomadic Kazakh families spend summer. Along the lakes, we see the beautifull waterfall, rock printings and some ancient Trukic stones with face. On the right side we see the snowcapped mountains with forest, which make the wall between China and Mongolia. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
To Hoton lake (2300m-2400m, 6-8hrs)
|Full day trek through the dramatic steppe valley along the river that drains from the Altai Tavanbogd massif, creating a series of beautiful lakes. Our impressive camel caravan comes out to the steppe valleys of the lake area. We pitch camp on the shores of Hoton Lake. The area is below the snow-capped Ikh Turgen Uul. We are now only 10km from the China border. These are the summer pastures of numerous Kazakh herdsmen. Their yurts are a bonanza of handicraft. They are a very friendly and hospitable people. A fishing rod comes in handy here. The largest subspecies of Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is easily fished here. The numerous Great Cormorants in the vicinity are a good indicator that there are plentiful fish in the lakes. Third day, Trek up a valley with patches of Larch forests and have a picnic lunch near the so-called Green Lake, After few hours trekking come to Bear Valley, where we will pitch camp. Overnight in tent. (BLD)|
Bear Valley (2400m)
Day hike towards 5 lakes, located at the altitude 3200m. Here you will enjoy snow capped high mountians, mountain lakes with blue-ice water, ice and snow, which are neighboring green grazes and colorfull wildflowers. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Altai Mountians crossing (2400m-3300m, 6-7hrs)
We have allocated two full days for the crossing of the Altai Mountain range, the total distance being 32 kms. We will pitch camp before the snowy area. Certainly big game such as Snow Leopards and its prey species live here, but they are extremely difficult to see. Perhaps you may see Altai Snow cock, the highest altitude living bird of Mongolia. We will cross the Altai at the highest elevation of some 3600m and have broad views across the Altais. We will be near the peak of Tsagaan Hairhan Uul (3662m). Overnights in tent. (BLD)
To Shiveet Khairhan-sacred mountian (2800-2500m, 5-6hrs)
Trek down to Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where the Tuva people live. Here we will now be able to view the biggest petrolgyphs from the period of the Huns (approx 200 B.C.). The Huns were the reason for the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to build the Great Wall of China. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Tavanbogd Massif (2500m-4025m)
First day, trek for 11 kms toward the base camp of the snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. Pitch camp next to the 20km long Potanina glacier – the biggest of the twenty glaciers in Mongolian Altai. Remain there for two nights. Tavanbogd means “The Holy Five”, referring to the five highest peaks, of which Huiten Uul is the highest in Mongolia, 4374 meters above sea level. Quite a considerable height at this altitude. It is a stunning setting with the awe-inspiring massif of high snow-capped peaks. Second day, for a full day we will make day hike to the Malchin Uul. These are non-technical climbs.Third day, trek back to Tsaagan River (White River). The pick-up vehicle(s) will arrive this camp side tonight. Overnights in tent. (BLD)
To Olgii (5-6hrs)
Drive via Ulaanhus over desert mountain landscapes, with the snow-capped Sogoog Mountain as a powerful backdrop and the Altai Mountain range ahead of us. On the way, we stop next to Kazakh Eagle hunter’s family and feel the grade hospitality. Staying with this family few hours, you will learn and enjoy this unique customs of the Mongolian Kazakhs. In the evening, arrive back to Olgii city and Blue Wolf Ger Camp. (BLD)
Altai Eagle Festival
Meet the Kazakh Eagle hunters. The rodeo of eagle hunting. A fantastic opportunity for photographers and adventurers alike to see these magnificent birds up close. There are approx. 400 eagle hunters in Bayan-Olgii aimag. The eagle hunters from around regions gather to test their finely trained birds in singular contests of speed and agility in these few days. During the festival we also see some Kazakh Traditional Horse Games like “BushKushi” (Try to take out from each other the goat skin on horseback),”Kiss woman on horseback”, “Pick up coins from the land on horseback” and others. In the evening we enjoy to have the Kazakh Concert with some traditional songs and music. Overnight in ger camp. (BLD)
Overnight in gercamp/local hotel. (BLD)
After breakfast, transfer to Olgii airport to catch a flight for Ulaanbaatar. Meet by our guide and transfer to 4* hotel. (B)
After early breakfast, Leave only foot prints & take only lifetime of memories home from your Mongolian adventure.