About this Expedition
Embark on a two week expedition in Western Mongolia as you make your way towards Potanin Glacier to examine any changes as a result of climate change.
Climb a non-technical 5,000 meter peak (Mongolia's third highest), meet nomads and follow the glacier's river to its end point: Hugan lake.
This entry level expedition will help you to hit 'pause' on life, reflect on the past year and meet incredible, like-minded explorers.
Difficulty level of
Footsteps Of The Nomads
Trek 150 kilometers
Trek through deep valleys and high mountain passes in the Altai Mountains.
Summit Malchin Peak
Climb to Malchin Peak for stunning views of Kazakhstan, China, Russia and Mongolia.
Live with Nomads
Eat and camp alongside with Tuvan, Kazakh and Mongolian nomads throughout the expedition.
Footsteps Of The Nomads
Research Potanin Glacier
Spend an evening with Kazakh Eagle Hunters, then trek to the largest glacier in Western Mongolia where you'll conduct important scientific research examining the effects of climate change.
Descend to White River
Descend 50 kilometers from the glacier to reach the 'White River', where the warmer temperature give rise to wild and lush valleys.
Live with Tuvan Nomads
Among the most elusive nomads in Western Mongolia, you will live among the Tuvan Nomads to learn more about their animist rituals, beliefs, and how climate change has hit their community particularly hard.
Finish at Hurgan Lake
Trek through steep valleys to where Potanin Glacier's river drains - Hurgan Lake. Meet Kazakh Nomads, who enjoy the summer season in the lake's surrounding pastures.
DAY 1: To Ulgii & to Altai Tavanbogd National Park
Catch an early flight to Ulgii, which is the most remote town of western Mongolia.
Try local restaurant for brunch.
Drive about 180 km via Tsengel over desert mountain landscapes. Explore numerous petroglyphs and Turkic stones along the Tsagaan Gol River basin. Bayan-Ulgii is rich in archaeological remains, as a reminder of the Bronze Ages and the time of the Huns and Turkic invasions. At Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where numerous Tuvan nomads live, in Altai Tavanbogd National Park. Shiveet Hairhan is sacred for the local people, and they don’t hunt there as a result it is inhabit for over 400 mountain ibexes. Shibeet Khairkhan Mountain Means “Carved Holly Mountain”. Meet local tuban people who prepare horses and camels to support our trek. Overnight in tents.
DAY 2: Tavanbogd massif
We a trek for the 16km towards the base camp of the snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. We will pitch camp next to the 20km long Potanina glacier – the biggest of the twenty glaciers in Mongolian Altai - and 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.. The other peaks are named Nairamdal, Ulgii, Burged and Malchin. It is a stunning setting with the awe-inspiring massif of high snow capped peaks and gorgeous view of all of them during the sun set and sun rise..
Day 3: Climb Malchin Ull
For a full day we will make day hikes to the Malchin Uul. It si the least highest of the five highest in Mogolia, which is 4050meters high and these are non-technical climbs. Wonderful view of all the peaks and Potaina glacier as well as Russian and Kazakhstan territory. This peak divides Mongolian and Russian Border. Stay in tents.
Day 4: Back to Tsagaan Gol Valley
Trek back to to the head of Tsagaan Gol valley where tuban people spend their summer. Tubans are shamans, and there are some tribe people who really practice shaman and they help sick people and do various shaman ceremonies. In the evening visit tuban family and get introduced to their culture, taste dairy products as well as milk vodka, which is distilled from the yogurt made from yak milk. They also do wonderful felt crafts. Camp nearby the family.
Day 5: Hike to the Khara Airikh Valley
Hike to the Khara Airikh Valley via ****Shiveet Hairhan Uul we will be able to view the biggest petroglyphs from the iron and bronze ages... Here we may have a chance to view Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) and pitch camp before the snow area of the pass to other side of Altay Mountains. Stay in tents
DAY 6-7: Altai Mountains crossing
We will cross the Altai at the highest elevation of some 3600m our trek and have the broad views across the Altais. We are here near the peak of Tsaagan Hairhan Uul (Sacred White Mountain/ 3662m). Arrive to a scenic valley which the locals call the Bear Valley..
We are now in a scenic area, where small streams develop into rives fed by the melting glaciers flowing down broad steppe valleys. Around are forested hills of larch forests and mountains. Along the rivers there are wooded and alluvial meadows with broad leaf forests. We will stay for two overnights and next day we will make day hikes in this stunning beautiful area.
DAY 8: To Green Lake
Trek down a valley with patches of Larch forests and reach the so called Green Lake, Camp at the mouth of the Aksu Valley, (White water valley, glacial river.)
DAY 10-11: To Khorimdik valley
Hike to Khorimdik valley to visit the host family and stay in provide gers alongside his ger. Do star hiking in a beautiful larch forested valley and enjoy the daily routine of nomadic families. Enjoy the mare catching and milking animals, making felt, making handcrafts, making dairy products.
12: To Ulgii
Drive to Ulgii through Hurgan lake and Khovd river valley, stop by some deer stones and balbals (Turkic stone man). Stay in ger camp neaby Ulgii and enjoy traditional Kazakh concert and beshbarmak which is traditional Kazakh meal.