Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wild Riding in Khentii Mountain

Visit the sights and sounds of Ulaanbaatar before leaving for a 10-day trek on horseback through the Khentii National Park. It is a chance to discover the most remote and beautiful areas of the Khentii Mountain range. Deep in the forested valleys, you will discover the hidden jewel of the area – Khagiin Khar or the Black Lake, truly wild and remote. Bears, wolves, red deer, moose and other wild animals are the only inhabitants of this strictly protected area.

Day 1

In the morning we will head east of Ulaanbaatar, reaching Khentii National Park after a 3-hour drive, where the landscape consists of green, forested hillsides, and spectacular granite cliffs. Many herders live in this area, and you can see yaks, sheep, goats and horses grazing in this peaceful valley. After lunch in our horseman’s ger at the Bayanbulagiin adag, we will hike through lush meadows for a couple of hours towards the Tuul River valley. Then, we will have dinner and camp on the Tuul River bank.

Day 2

After a substantial breakfast, we will saddle our horses and prepare for the linear ride, while the packhorses are being loaded. As we start, we will ride into the valley along the base of mountain ranges. You will soon realize that you are slowly leaving civilization behind, entering the wilderness - birds, marmots and other ground squirrels nestle in the surrounding area. After 4 hours of riding, we will reach our campsite for the night. It is called Khukh chuluunii gol.

Day 3

Today, as we follow the Tuul River, we enter dense pine forest, at the southern tip of Siberian Taiga. Throughout the three-and-a-half hour ride, we will see Golden eagles, woodpeckers, and other birds. We will arrive at the Chequstein River, where we will camp for the night.

Day 4

Leaving the Tuul Valley behind us, we will enter tundra forests. This environment is typical moose habitat, and you will see so many marks of this magnificent animal that by the end of the day, you will be able to detect their presence like an expert! After an hour of riding, we start to ascend a mountain through deep forest noted for its abundance of wolves, bears, deer and moose. Reaching its top, we overlook and descend to the breathtaking Black Lake. We will set up camp on the yellow sandy beach of the Lake.

Days 5-6

After 3 days of riding we will enjoy a deserved rest at the lake and let our horses rest. There will be ample time to swim, fish, hike and explore the abundant wildlife of the area.

Day 7

We will saddle our horses and ride to 3 wonderful smaller lakes further on in the valley, the ‘three pearls’. The most adventurous of you can climb the surrounding mountains and admire the superb panorama. We will spend the night in a valley nearby.

Day 8

After breakfast we will ride through Khongoryn River valley. Riding down the stream for 4 hours, we will ford the river. After a couple more hours, we will come across a mountainous forest of birch, pine and age-old cedar. We will spend the night camping in the forest, close to a stream.

Day 9

We will make a steep ascent, and an even steeper descent across the Khaviragiin Pass, which lies at the eastern shoulder of Altan Olgii Peak. Translated as ‘Golden Cradle,’ this 2646m mountain is one of the highest peaks of the Khentii Range. We will continue riding towards Terelj through the Dund Bayan Gol Valley. As before, luggage, food and equipment will be carried by packhorses. Towards the end of day, we will meet up with the support vehicles, and set up camp for the night.

Days 10-11

We will drive to our camp in Bayanbulagiin Adag and enjoy 2 days of rest. There will be opportunities to hike or visit local families and learn about their ways of life. On the last evening, you will have a traditional Mongolian meal of “Khorkhog”. This is mutton cooked slowly in a huge, metal urn with vegetables, water and hot stones from a flaming fire. The meat becomes soft and tasty and the water turns into a thick meaty broth.

Day 12

After breakfast we will return to UB and check into the hotel.

Prices include the following: Transportation within Mongolia. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, all sightseeing costs, 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: An additional ‘single supplement’ price is given with all our prices. This refers to single room accommodation in hotels only. Upon request single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. Incase, single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed. Undiscovered Mongolia cannot be hold responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can proof 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, Undiscovered Mongolia 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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