Ascending the Altai Peak

Explore the far west of Mongolia on horseback – observe Kazakh culture – hike through the Tavan Bogd Mountain Range, climbing its peaks and crossing the Potanin Glacier – return to Ulaanbaatar for a well-deserved foot massage!

Mongolia is a mountainous country. The Mongolian Altai Mountain Range stretches across nearly two-thirds of the country. Tavan Bogd is the highest range of the Altai Mountains. This mountain range lies at the meeting point of three borders, Mongolia, China, and Russia. The 4370m Khuiten peak is the highest in Mongolia. Though modest in terms of the world scale, it offers a challenge to any experienced climber, due to the technical nature of the climb. The 19km long Potanin Glacier lies at the foot of the mountain. The climate in this high mountain area can be extreme and since it is above the tree line there is very little vegetation, giving the surrounding landscape a barren appearance. Very few species have adapted to these harsh conditions and the area is characterized by tundra, lichen-covered rocks, alpine meadows and high mountain swamps.

To reach this remote peak located in the very western province of Bayan Ulgii, we will go by plane, jeep and on foot. This province not only holds some of the most spectacular peaks of the Altai Mountain Range, but is also a home to a diverse ethnic population with interesting culture and traditions. The Kazakh minority along with Tuvan people makes up the highest number of Ulgii’s inhabitants.

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar-sightseeing

Today you will arrive in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. This city, once the Buddhist and spiritiual heartland of the nomadic people of Mongolia, is now a thriving commercial and industrial centre. The monasteries still remain, even after the communist purges, yet they now rest alongside. Internet cafes, nightclubs and street teeming with rush hour traffic. However, Ulaanbaatar is still a capital where a grazing cow, a traditionally dressed nomad or a truck loaded with produce from the country can be found. After arriving in Ulaanbaatar you will be met at the airport and transferred to a 4 star hotel. After lunch there will be a program of sightseeing in the afternoon, including the Bodg Khan Palace, which is a series of beautiful traditional buildings where the last religious King of Mongolia resided. We will have dinner at a local restaurant and return to the for a well-earned rest.

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Day 2  Flight to Ulgii

You will be transferred to the airport for the morning flight to Ulgii. This is the center of Bayan Ulgii Province, the only Muslim province in Mongolia. About 90% of its inhabitants are of Kazakh descent, having arrived from the western part of China in the 1800s after the Mongolian Government gave them some land. The flight takes 3 hours. Your guide will accompany you on the flight. On arrival at the local airport our staff will meet you and drive you out of town for lunch. After lunch we will head west out of Ulgii, towards the Altai Mountains and set up camp on the way near Ulaan Khus Soum in the late afternoon.


Day 3 Oigoryn River – Tavan Bogd Mountain

This morning we will continue driving until we reach the Oigoryn River. This river lies near the foothills of Tavan Bogd Mountain. The entire area is within the boundaries of a National Park and is patrolled by park rangers. It is also a border area as Mongolia, China, and Russia all lie close to the peak of the mountain. We will make our base camp near the river. Our vehicles will remain at this base camp for the next 6 days while we continue on foot towards the peak.


Day 4-9  6 days hiking - Tavan Bogd Mountain – Potanin glacier

We will begin hiking towards Tavan Bogd Mountain. Meaning the 5 Kings it comprises of five neighboring peaks. Our camp will be at an altitude of 2900m at the foot of Malchin Peak. Our hike to this camp will take one day and our entire luggage; food and supplies, will be carried either on horse or camel back. Over the following four days we will climb at least two of the peaks. To reach the peaks we have to pass over a large glacier, which lies between our base camp and the mountain. This glacier is known as Pontanin’s Glacier. An intermediate camp will be made on the other side of the glacier and from this camp we will make our forays up the mountain peaks.


Day 10  Return to Oigoryn River

Today we will trek back to our original base camp on the banks of the Oigoryn River. Our drivers will be waiting for us at the camp with a hearty Mongolian meal. This is our last day of our trekking.


Day 11  River Khovd

Today we will get back into the vehicles and drive towards Ulgii. We will set up camp in the early evening outside the town of Ulgii, on the banks of the River Khovd.


Day 12  Ulgii – return flight to Ulaanbaatar

Today we will drive into Ulgii and take the local flight back to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival we will be met and you will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and the night. 

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Day 13 Sighseeing - evening cultural program 

Today will be a full day of sightseeing in the city including Gandan Monastery and the National History Museum. After lunch we will visit the Fine Art Museum and have some time for art and cashmere shopping. The evening program will include a Folklore show followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight will be at a 4- star hotel. 

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Day 14 Departure 

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure. 

Departure codes and dates:
NTM-005, 4-17  Aug, 2017

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD3.649

Single supplement: USD230
Prices include the following

2 domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.


Prices do not include

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.


Please note

Upon request, single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed.

Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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