Altai Mountain high rang, snow-capped peaks, torrents and glaciers from the backdrop spreads from the Russia border all the way down to Altai-Gobi province in the sought. This beautiful park starts from the very western point where the Mongolian Altai mountain range takes place with its beautiful highest, snow capped peaks.
Tavan Bogd means ‘five Saints’ which is called by names of five peaks. The highest peak is Huiten 4374m above the borders of three nations. The peak Nairamdal (friendship) is divided by three countries and this is the second highest peak.
The park stretches sought from the high peaks and includes the three stunning lakes of Khoton Nuur, Khurgan Nuur and Dayan Nuur. All three lakes are the source of the Khovd Gol, which eventually flows into Khar Us Nuur in Khovd aimag.
The tree lakes (Khoton-Khurgan, Dayan) are surrounded by beautiful mountains and full of life.
The wild animals as well as domestic animals coexisted with the humans. The wild animals like Ibex’s, Argali cheap, marmot, wolf, fox and many species of birds visible with the naked eye.
During the summer season local nomads like Kazakhs, Tuvan, Urianhai people spend their summer here, right in the heart of the park.
This nomad people kept their unique culture and hospitality. Still now they living like their ancestors, who have lived here thousands of years ago. It’s impossible on the way to go pass this nomad families, without unoffered cup of tea and food. Once you in the Ger (nomad’s tent) the host meets with warm welcoming and typical conversations between host and gust to get acquaintance. Women will set the table then will start pouring a cup of tea for everyone sitting at the table.
This very beautiful area with highest peaks and permanently covered with large glaciers (Potanii Glacier, the longest in Mongolia) tradition as well as hospitality of the people, attracts the attention of everyone who comes to Mongolia.
Olgiy – a provincial capital of the Kazakhs, stopping along the way to visit local Kazakh families – no drive in Bayan-Olgiy is complete without stopping for tea breaks. By then, will have opportunity to see the magnificent golden eagles known as winged weapons, which are used for hunting by the Kazakh people during winter times. The local Eagle Hunter’s families in the region so-called Altantsogts is famous for their eagle training expertise in not only Bayan-Olgiy but also the Western Mongolia.
These skillful Kazakh people use female eagles for hunting, as they are far bigger then male ones and much more aggressive. These eagles are trained to hunt foxes, wolves, rabbits, and wild cats.
The eagles are captured and trained at their young ages and since then in about 6-7 years, they are released back into the wild. You will learn and enjoy this unique custom of Kazakh nomadic people. We have chance to visit some Kazakh families and feel the great hospitality. Even we could try with a Kazakh Dombra (a traditional musical instrument with two strings) to show your musical talent to the locals. Upon arrival in Olgiy we obtain our environment, perhaps stop for a café at the Italian Coffee shop, then continue further west to reach Kok –Khotol river, where we camp for overnight.
Archaeological evidence from petroglyphs suggests that early in the Bronze Age, the inhabitants of the Altai Mountains depended primarily on hunting and fishing, only gradually shifting to a greater dependency on the herding of small and large animals. These included sheep and goats, horses, cattle and, at higher elevations, yak.
Bactrian camels seem to have entered the life of the herders in this part of Mongolia only at the end of the Bronze Age. By approximately 3000 years before the present, quasi-sedentary pastoralism was gradually replaced by semi-nomadic, horse-dependent herding involving periodic movement up the long valleys leading to the rich grassland of higher elevations and then, in cold months, down to the protection offered by lower elevation.
Today, we will drive about 120 km (4-5h) to the west towards TAVAN-BOGD National Park, through Ulaanhus and Sogoog Valleys.
Along the way, we’ll stop by ancient burial sites that date back 4000 years. Some of them have been excavated by Russian archaeologists and still remain open. We’ll make camp in the pristine White River Valley (Tsagaan Gol) near Tavan-Bogd. You will be provided with tents and other camping equipment like mattresses and blankets.
The base camp, at 3000 meters above the sea level, is the exact spot where you will see the shocking beauty of Tavan-Bogd—the eternal snow, high peaks, and enormous glacier spreading down the mountain.
In the morning we will leave the vehicle behind and load up the camels to start trekking towards to the northwest, the edge of the Potanina Glacier, at the foot of Malchin Peak (4050m). The crew’s supplies will be carried by two-humped camels. We’ll head about five hours, or 17 km, to see breathtaking, fantastic views of the mountains and glacier.
Our base camp on the edge of the Potanina Glacier will offer panoramic views of the mountains and is a convenient base for climbs and exploring the surrounding region on day hikes. This is great trekking—exploring a unique and far-removed corner of the world.
The Malchin peak is the non-technique climbing mountain; no need for special climbing equipment. This peak is about 4050 meters above sea level and divided by two countries— one side belongs to Mongolia and the other to Russia.
Today our mission will be to conquer one of the peaks of the Altai Mountains. The tremendous views of the mountains and glaciated peaks spread over three countries: Mongolia, Russia, and China. If today we are lucky with weather conditions, from the summit, we will be able to see Russia’s highest mountain, Belauho (5000 meters).
We will spend about three hours to get to the summit and less than three hours to go back to our camp.
Today, we make an early start for the walk up to our camp below our premier objective, Mount Khuiten. It is a 4 to 5 hour walk, following the right side of the Potanin Glacier, before crossing to the center. The views, looking back down towards the base camp area, are truly spectacular, with the glacier sweeping off into the distance. Altitude at advanced camp is 3600 meters.
We will need a rest day prior to making our attempt on the next two peaks, but it makes sence to take this at the advanced camp, where we will benefit from more effective acclimatization at the higher altitude.
Another early start today, even though our objective is only 5-6 hours or so away. We walk on the Glacier to climb Nairamdal Peak (4082m). This is the called “friendship” peak, which gets its name because it lies on the triple border of Russia, China and Mongolia.
The only opportunity that we could simple visit Russian and China on the same day without visas. This peak involves little more than an easy walk on glaciated terrain and we should be back in camp after 6 to 7 hours. In the afternoon, we focus on preparation for tomorrow’s highest peak challenges.
*Note : The schedule of this day is flexible in case of unforeseen delays. Thus, the completion of activities mentioned above is subject to change depending on the weather circumstances and the general travel status.