Ski expedition Tavan Bogd, MONGOLIA
Mongolia is known for its immense deserts and steppes; however, in the west of the country, on the border with Russia and China, lies the large chain of the Altai mountains.
In particular, the Tavan Bogd massif (the five Saints) hosts large glaciers and the highest peak in Mongolia (Huiten 4374 m); the whole area is a national park, reachable from the capital Ulan Bator with a long two-day trip, by plane and then by minivan or jeep
This remote area can be visited by the curious adventures in the typical Central Asian style, traveling the tundra along large rivers, in the company of wild horses, and meeting the few nomadic tribes who live in the characteristic ger (yurts).
To reach the base camp we get help from local porters with camels. The base camp is located at about 3000 m on the glacier, and will be organized as to spend a week in full autonomy.
From here you reach the peaks, all above 4000 m, which surround the Potanin and Alexandr glaciers. Many ski lines are possible, from classic glacier route to the virgin steep slopes for the most skilled skiers.
*** ON REQUEST ***
Variations or extensions to the described program:
> Tsambagaraw 4208 m, beautiful mountain south-east of Ulgyi (2-3 days) with a long approach on foot;
> Harhiraa Uul massif, north-east of Ulgyi (in the direction of the large Uvs lake), with the possibility of ascending and descending the summit of Tolgtor 3801 m (2-3 days);
> on the Russian side: Ak Alakha glacier, from the Ukok plateau, with ascents to various peaks, including Russkyi Shator 4117 m and Ak Alakha 3650 m (4-10 days);
-> trekking expeditions on foot or on horseback (instead of ski);
-> tourist extensions: visit to the nomadic villages of the falconers (eagle hunters) and shamani, fishing on the rivers, hot springs.
Other programs in the Altai, Russian side (Siberia):
> for spring ski mountaineering: Belukha 4508 m, the highest peak of the Altai;
> for winter ski touring: SKIING IN THE LUZHBA POWDER.
Arrival in Ulan Bator. Transfer to the hotel. Guided city tour (optional). In the evening: welcome dinner. Overnight at Hotel.
Transfer to the airport and internal flight to Ulgyi. Continuation by minivan or jeep to reach the Tavan Bogd area in about 3 hours. Overnight in a ger (yurt) near the river Sogut.
We continue west until we arrive in the Tsagaan valley, populated by a few nomadic tribes, and then at the entrance to the Tavan Bogd National Park. Overnight in ger (yurt).
We meet the porters who will accompany us with the camels for the long trek towards the mountains. In the afternoon we arrive in sight of the peaks of Tavan Bogd, and we establish the base camp at an altitude of about 2900 m, at the confluence of the Alexandr and Potanin glaciers.
For 8 days we dedicate ourselves to the ascents and descents of the mountains crowning the Alexandr and Potanin glacial cirque. Among the possible objectives, the “5 Saints”, namely: Naraimdal 4192 m, Naran 3884 m, Chinggis (or Burged) 4068 m, Tavan Bogd 4014 m, the latter also called Friendship Peak, as it is located on the border point at the junction of Mongolia, Russia and China, and of course Huiten 4374 m (maximum elevation of the southern Altai and the whole Mongolia).
Other peaks, including: Malchin 4051m, Snowchurch 4071m, Ulgyi Peak 4113m, Shepherdess 3926m, and many unnamed, deserve to be considered for the beauty of the ski lines, some maybe never skied before.
The peaks can be reached from the camp normally within a day; only for the more remote ones it will be necessary to dedicate 2 days with an intermediate bivouac.
On the north and north-east sides of Huiten, and on the north side of Naran, several steep ski lines are feasible when in good conditions.
Return to the White River. Overnight in ger (yurt).
Transfer by jeep or minivan to Ulgyi (approximately 6-7 hours). Overnight in yurt-hotel.
Transfer to the airport and flight to Ulan Bator. Transfer to the hotel.
Transfer to the airport and boarding for the return flight.
Trip dates, Duration, Departure
The period of time given in the trip description sheet is indicatively the most recommended for optimun conditions for the planned activities. Different periods are possible, especially during season with special climate situations. Duration is referred to the “standard” programme as per description sheet, however it could change according to the local conditions and/or the team’s requirements. If the trip is included in the Scheduled Trips list (yearly planner), the departure date is the one given in the planner; otherwise it will be decided according to the requests we have received. In any case we suggest to contact us for more precise information. In customized trips, departure date and duration are established according to customer’s request
By means of the scores given in the trip decsription sheet we wish to provide an indicative assessment of the challenges to be expected, divided in the following three categories:
Grade 1: adult performing a minimum sport activity (4-8 hours/week), or teenager in medium fitness conditions
Grade 2: adult performing sport activity (8-16 hours/week) or teenager in good fitness conditions
Grade 3: adult performing regular sport activity (16-20 hours/week) or teenager in very good fitness conditions
Grade 4: adult only, regularly performing sport activity and intense training (more than 20 hours/week)
Grade1: no prior experience in the activity is required, just a natural predisposition
Grade 2: prior experience in the activity as beginner to medium level
Grade 3: prior experience in the activity at medium to high level, with regular practice since min. 3-5 years
Grade 4: excellent technical skills with long experience in the activity (more than 5 years)
Grade 1: no prior experience in adventure travel id required, just a positive attitude to adapt
Grade 2: prior, yet limited, experience in adventure travel, with a strong attitude to adapt and determination
Grade 3: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding
Grade 4: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding, strong determination to overcome unforeseen events
The type of accomodation as planned is indicated in the trip sheet (hotel, lodge, tents, etc..).
The means of local transfers are indicated as planned (flight, bus, 4WD vehicle, ferry, etc.). Some changes are possible in relation to the actual availability on site and/or the terrain and wheather conditions.
Service included and Prices
We do not have a price list. Quotes are sent on request only. Details of services included, excluded, or optionally available, will be specified in the quote and confirmed at the time of booking. Prices depend on number of participants and on the specific requirements of the group. They will be definitely set at the time of booking after definiton of all trip details and confirmation of dates. Special prices can be granted according to number of participants, and/or for pre-established groups, clubs and associations, guides with own clients, active athletes, tour operators and travel agents, journalists, physicians, rescue operators, schools, staff of organization running an humanitarian or research project.