Leave for a 9-day- self-sufficient trek in the high mountains of the Altai, on the Kazakh land.
Peaks covered with snow, clear lakes, lush valleys… You'll trek in one of the most remote area of the world, followed by a caravan of camels.
Day 1Arrival in Ulan Bator and visit of the city
Arrival at the airport, meeting with our driver. Transfer to your hotel, settling in, and rest.
Appointment at 12 o'clock at your hotel with your guide. He will take you to the restaurant of your choice.
Let's immerse ourselves in the heart of the Mongolian history, in the wonderful National History Museum. Three floors of a rich, glorious, violent and noble past, from prehistory to Soviet period, including the creation of the great Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan.
At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh: folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.
Day 2Arrival on the Kazakh land
Ulan Bator - Olgii
We embark on our flight towards the Mongolian Far West. We fly over the central lakes and the Western mountains, then arrive in Olgii.
We arrive in the capital of province that is the most Westerly in the place of the world that is the farthest from the oceans. Olgii is located at 1636 km (1,02 mile) from Ulan-Bator, at 1710 metres (1,06 mile) above the sea level. Principally Kazakhs live there and its atmosphere is very influenced by Central Asia : many signs written in Arabic, mosques and their cupolas pricked up to the sky.
Olgii - Shiveet Khairkhan
We ride across mountain landscapes and see many lakes. On the way, we stop many times to enjoy the exceptional view on the Shiveet Khairkhan range and its snow-covered peaks.
We reach Shiveet Khairkhan, a sacred mountain for the Tuvas living in the area. Because the mountain is sacred, it's forbidden to hunt and you may have the good chance to see an ibex early in the morning.
Day 3Let's start our trek in Altai Tavan Bogd !
Shiveet Khairkhan - Tsagaan river
Visit the site of Tsagaan salaa. On 15 kilometres (9,32 miles), we can observe about 10000 rock paintings on the rocks that cover the southern bank of white river, "Tsagaan Gol".
We start hiking in a valley full of edelweisses and wild flowers where many Kazakhs nomads have set up their camp. We pass close to an old Kazakh cemetery where we find sculptures with human shapes. The view on the Tavan Bogd Mounts and their snowy peaks is spectacular.
We cross the Tsagaan River to reach our camp facing the Tavan Bogd (5 saints). The location is spectacular and the snow-covered peaks around us are a great source of inspiration.
- Day 3
Day 4 - 5Glacier and ascent of the Malchin
Tsagaan river - Potanine glacier
We leave the camp to reach the Potanine glacier, 2900 metres (2,17 miles) above the sea level in the deep heart of the park. We set up our camp and acclimatize.
We stay in the same camp to do during the day the ascent of the summit of Malchin (4037m). We cross bogs to get closer to the base of the mountain. We will have a beautiful view on the valley and the snow-covered Tavan Bogd and Potanine glacier. We start the ascent of Malchin, which lasts about 4 hours (+2 to go down). We must be vigilant because the stones are likely to move when we walk and it is not uncommon that they slide down the slope. Snow possibility. From the top, we have a view on neighbouring Russia and on China. We will also enjoy the breathtaking view on the deep blue mountain lakes.
The ascent is facultative.
- Day 4Day 5
Day 6Back to the banks of the Tsagaan River
Potanine glacier - Tsagaan river
We resume our trek towards Shiveet Khairkhan by the other bank of the Tsagaan River. We walk along the glaciers where you can admire the moraines ice and permanent snow. We pass outside yurts hosting Tuvan families. We climb a hill to reach the lake where we camp. The lake is surrounded by many mountains and we enjoy seeing goats walking on the peaks.
- Day 6
Day 7 - 8Crossing the pass of Altai
Tsagaan river - Altai mountain pass
First day: little morning walk to reach the base of the pass. We walk at the hillside and walk past winters Kazakh yurts to reach a group of Kazakh families sheltering. We set up our camp on a hill overlooking a clear river.
Second day: hike through the hill to reach the pass. We may be able to see some marmots along the way. Then, we begin the difficult ascent of a snow-covered pass with a small path zigzagging through the rocks. From the top, we have a beautiful view of the valley, and the yurts we saw yesterday will soon be seen as tiny as white dots. We descend into a valley dotted with colourful flowers and cross many very refreshing sources. We camp near a river in a valley called "The bear's valley".
- Day 7Day 8
Day 9A small green lake in the middle of the valley
Altai mountain pass - Tahilbai valley
We go back down by the Takhilbai Valley to reach the green lake, a small mountain lake where we can swim in very clear and cool water. We cross several rivers before reaching a marshy area that we circle along a small path in the mountains. In the last metres, we enjoy a view overlooking the lake. The landscapes are composed of lakes, forests of larches, and many rocks. This wild and remote area is scattered with many natural sources, excellent for swimming. There may be mosquitos !
- Day 9
Day 10Discovering the area of Sirgaal
Tahilbai valley - Khoton lake
After crossing a rustic wooden bridge, we cross several rivers before trekking through the valleys scattered with bogs. We pass near the military barracks of the Chinese border and camp near Lake Khoton, from which we'll have a view on the very arid mountains contrasting with the lake.
- Day 10
Day 11Last day trekking on the banks of Lake Khoton
Khoton lake - Khurgan lake
Pleasant day hiking on a shady path filled with trees. We will see many herds of goats and yaks peacefully grazing nearby the yurts. View of the beautiful Khurgan lake. Then we find a more arid steppe in the last meters before arriving at our camp, near the river located in a basin.
- Day 11
Day 12Olgii, the Kazakh capital
Khurgan lake - Olgii
After 9 wonderful days trekking together with the breeders, it is time to head back to the capital city of the Province: Olgii.
Visit of Olgii Museum that shows an exhibition about the fauna and flora of the area. We discover the Kazakh culture, notably with traditional costumes and with a Kazakh yurt built in the museum.
We settle in a Kazakh yurts camp where we can enjoy some comfort. The Kazakh yurts are very different from Mongolian yurts : larger, decorated with embroidered colourful hangings around the yurt, and canopies and small curtains over the beds.
Day 13Return flight to Ulan Bator
Olgii - Ulan Bator
We embark on our return flight to Ulan bator.
Arrival in town and transfer to your hotel where you can rest a few moments.
Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go and shop in the centre of the city.