Explore 360

Find Your Expedition

Mongolia

  • Where?

    Mongolia

  • Altitude

    2,975m

  • Duration

    16 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T2

  • P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQ's

Overview

Mongolia is known for many things – the Land of Blue skies, the Land of Genghis Khan, the Gobi Desert and more. Yet this country of just 2.2 million people, nestled between the two super-powers of China and Russia remains one of the world’s best kept travel secrets. A spectacular variety of landscapes, people and cultures await the intrepid traveller in this land where one can truly feel like an explorer from days of yore.

In remote western Mongolia lies the magnificent twin peaks of Mt Kharkhiraa (4,037m) and Mt Turgen (3,978m), an area renowned for Snow Leopard habitat. On this trek we walk up the Kharkhiraa valley, pass herds of yaks, camels and horses, grazing on lush alpine meadows dotted with daisies and edelweiss. We rest in a lush meadow at the pass between these peaks and explore the surrounding area including optional scrambles up ridgelines of the glacial peaks. Crossing a broad plateau between the two peaks we enjoy distant views of Mongolia’s highest peaks in the Altai Tavan Bogd range and trek through the stunning Yamaatiin Valley.

The trails follow the well-defined Kharkhiraa valley, rising from an elevation of 1,450m to a high point of 2,975m at the pass, and then descending gradually to the completion of the trek at an elevation of 2,000m.  Pack horses and camels carry all group equipment and trekkers’ personal bags during the trek. Fully supported by local guides and a Western guide you can savour this once-in-a lifetime experience whilst they take care of logistics and safety.

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Mongolia Mongolia

Date & Prices

We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.

Included

  • Local guides and a 360 guide (depending on group size)
  • All porters and cook team
  • International flights to Ullan Battor
  • Airport transfers
  • 4 nights in hotels
  • Transport to the trail head in private vehicles
  • All camping and cooking equipment
  • Local city tour
  • Return flights to Ullan Gom
  • All accommodation based on two people sharing
  • All meals on the trek and those detailed in the itinerary

Not Included

  • Personal equipment and excess baggage
  • Staff/guide gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Visas
  • Personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Depart UK

Fly to Ullan Battor, Mongolia.

DAY 2 : Arrive Ullan Battor, Mongolia

Arrive into Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia, and transfer to our hotel.

DAY 3 : Day Exploring Ulan Battor

Day exploring Ulaanbaatar, with a city tour. We start today with a trek briefing covering an overview of trek conditions, the route and essential logistics. After the briefing we begin a tour of the city: First stop is Sukhbaatar Square, the central square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921 Damdiny Sukhbaatar who declared independence from China. Next we visit Gandan Monastery the largest and most famous functioning monastery in Mongolia; here we may experience monks in worship and see the impressive Golden Buddha Statue of Migjid Janraisig. Next we will visit the National History Museum to get a perspective on Mongolia’s history, ancient, recent and modern. We will conclude today’s tour with a visit to the State Department Store, to make an early start on souvenir shopping. At 6pm we watch a performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance by the Tumen Ekh dance troupe.

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DAY 4 : Fly Ullan Gom, Uvs

In the morning we fly to Uvs aimag and receive a spectacular view of Mt Kharkhiraa as the plane banks to land. Arriving in Ulaangom the capital of Uvs at midday we have the afternoon to explore town and visit the local Museum and National Parks Centre for an introduction to the natural heritage of this region. Uvs aimag is most famous as a habitat of Snow Leopard in the Mt Turgen Strictly Protected Area (our destination) and for Uvs Lake, the largest lake in Mongolia and home to a recorded 220 species of birds. In the late afternoon we drive southwards to the small township of Tarialan Soum (40km) by the Kharkhiraa River. We continue through the Kharkhiraa gorge, crossing the fast-flowing river numerous times before making camp at the mouth of the gorge.

BLD

DAY 5 : Trek up Kharkhiraa Valley

Bactrian – two hump – camels and packhorses support our trek. This morning we meet our pack animals and load up for the first-time – the camel train is quite a sight. The Kharkhiraa valley broadens out above the narrow gorge and today’s walking is a relatively easy first day along smooth trails. Turkic gravestones dating back to the 6th Century AD dot the landscape by our trail and make interesting diversions along the way. In this broad river valley many herders’ gers flank the river in summer months. Here we can stop for tea, to exchange stories, and – as always – a horse ride for those who are keen. We cross the Turgen River before making camp in a grassy glen after a day’s walk of approximately 15km.

BLD

DAY 6 : Continue up the Kharkhira Valley

The morning light hitting the snow capped peak of Mt Turgen makes a beautiful start to the day. Herds of yaks and alpine camels will be grazing nearby in the lush green pastures of this region as we pack up camp and continue upstream. The Kharkhiraa valley is remote and seldom visited so the interest between the herders and us is mutual. This valley is a homeland for Hoton ethnic people who are famous for their special style of dancing so- called biyelgee. It is said that their children are taught how to dance at their early age of 2 or 3 years, even before they start to ride horses! Today we gain noticeable elevation and camp overnight besides the Kharkhiraa River after walking approximately 15km.

BLD

DAY 7 : Camp below Kharkhiraa and Turgen Mountains

We have gained approximately 1,000m over the past two days and are now nestled in a distinctly U-shaped valley at around 2,000m elevation. The Kharkhiraa River now cascades over boulders in a ravine below us. We have not seen Mt Kharkhiraa since flying into Ulaangom and so it makes a spectacular sight when we round a major bend in the valley to see its cathedral-like ice cliffs towering above the glacial moraine. We continue past herds of yaks and horses to camp in the confluence of rivers that lead to Mt Kharkhiraa and Mt Turgen, after 15km walk. This afternoon is free to scout out the surrounding region in preparation for tomorrow’s excursions.

BLD

DAY 8 : Rest and acclimatisation Day

Our camp is on lush green river pasture yet we are surrounded by glacial rivers, moraine and the peaks of Mt Turgen and Mt Kharkhiraa. Today we explore the region of our camp and can split into two groups – for gentle walking along the valley floors and for the energetic, scramble rock ridges to get fantastic views of Mt Turgen and the other glaciated peaks. As locals say, only local herders know how to cross the Kharkhiraa River when it is flooded and reach the mountains when paths are covered by snow. Many small glacial lakes dot the moraine and we may even see an Argali wild-sheep or snow leopard.

BLD

DAY 9 : Cross into the Yamaatiin (Goat) Valley

Back on the road and it is a short steep walk up the glacial moraine wall to the Kharkhiraa Pass (2,975m), before we travel across a broad alpine plateau beneath the massifs of Mts. Kharkhiraa and Turgen. The Altai Tavan Bogd range, Mongolia’s highest peaks, lies in the far distance beyond Lake Achit. After enjoying a picnic lunch at the picturesque ‘Blue Lake’, we camp tonight beneath the pass that will lead us to the Yamaatiin Valley. Today’s walk is 20km.

BLD

DAY 10 : Trek down Yamaatiin (Goat) Valley

Yamaatiin means Goat in Mongolian, and today we cross Yamaatiin Pass (2,950m) and cross into the Yamaatiin river valley. We make tonight’s camp after lunch by the Yamaatiin River. To our left and right are steep sided grassy hills rising almost 1000m above us, it is a spectacular valley, wild, remote and undisturbed by domestic animals. The Yamaatiin River flows from the permanent icecap of Mt Turgen, and this afternoon we take a short hike upstream to explore the upper reaches of this valley, 15km.

BLD

DAY 11 : Explore the Yamaatiin (Goat) Valley

Today is a full rest day to explore the Yamaatiin Valley and its surrounding ridgelines. Options are to valley hike, rest at camp, or hike to the skyline ridges for the best vantage points. This wild and remote region is renowned for its wildlife: Argali and Ibex will be grazing on the upper reaches of the surrounding hills. These animals are very skittish, and stealth is required to obtain a good view. This region is also Snow Leopard habitat and an area of active research.

BLD

DAY 12 : End of Trek and head to the beautiful Ureg Lake

In the morning we continue our walk to the road head where our vehicle meets us at midday. It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to our team of camels for the drive to Lake Uureg. Lake Uureg is nestled in a basin close to the Russian border; there are no permanent dwellings although we share the edge of the lake with herders. Little invitation is needed to swim in its clear fresh water.

BLD

DAY 13 : Morning exploring Ureg Lake, afternoon drive to Ullan Gom

We make the most of the stunning setting of Lake Uureg to explore, visit local herders, swim in the lake or just relax at camp. The lake is ringed by the Tsagaan Shuvuut Mountain Ranges on the border with Russia, and these rise upwards from the opposite shore to our camp. Weather permitting this is an ideal spot to bask in the sun on the lakeshores. We break camp late in the afternoon and make the 2.5hr drive to Ulaangom. Facilities are basic at the hotel, but our kitchen crew will ensure that we are well fed on the last night. After dinner the bright lights of Ulaangom beckon for those who are game!

BLD

DAY 14 : Fly back to Ullan Battor

This morning early risers have the opportunity for a fascinating visit to the markets and museum in Ulaangom, before transferring to the airport for the midday flight to Ulaanbaatar, arriving in the capital city late in the afternoon. Transfer to the hotel, hot showers and cold drinks! A free evening in Ulaanbaatar.

B

DAY 15 : Free day exploring Ullan Battor

A relaxing day in Ulaanbaatar, with plenty of time for further exploration and shopping; handicrafts, leather goods and cashmere wear at bargain prices make great souvenirs. This evening we will enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance by the world famous Tumen Ekh Troupe before a farewell dinner.

BL

DAY 16 : Fly to UK

A relaxing day in Ulaanbaatar, with plenty of time for further exploration and shopping; handicrafts, leather goods and cashmere wear at bargain prices make great souvenirs. This evening we will enjoy a performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance by the world famous Tumen Ekh Troupe before a farewell dinner.

B

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

A 110L duffel bag.  A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable

Dry stuffsacks

Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks

Daysack

Approx. 30L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Padlocks

For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag

Quantity: 2

Sleeping Gear

4 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag rated to -10C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the colder nights

Sleeping bag liner

Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer

Sleeping mat

A full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Buff/Scarf

Essential for protection from the sun and dust

Sunglasses

Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion

Quantity: 2

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack

Gilet (optional)

Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece

Light insulated jacket

A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering

Soft Shell (optional)

Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended

Down jacket

Generally made using feathers, these are the ultra-warm and insulated layer that are used when at camp or in extremely cold environments. Those with a windproof outer fabric will provide the best insulation. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -10C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you

Warm gloves

Consider a polartec pair for higher altitudes and evenings

Lower Body

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts

Softshell trousers

Windproof or thermal lined trekking trousers for higher altitudes and the summit phase. Thermal leggings can still be worn underneath if necessary

Shorts

Waterproof trousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you

Feet

Walking boots

3 season walking boots that are well broken in with mid – high ankle support

Trekking socks

Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice

Quantity: 3

Spare laces

Just in case

Comfortable trainers

Trainers for camp and town, saves stomping around in heavy boots for the entire day

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

2L capacity either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottle or just Nalgene bottles

Water purification

Purification tablets are better than any other system.  Highly unlikely to be needed.  Always good to have in your bag

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Travel towel

Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Wet wipes

These are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Mosquito/Insect repellent

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Toilet paper

Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps

Nappy sacks or dog poo bags

Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between camps and for keeping your rubbish tidy in your tent

Medications

Personal first aid kit

Blister patches, plasters, antiseptic, painkillers; (see FAQ’s)

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack

Misceallaneous

Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Penknife (optional)

Snacks

You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable

Entertainment

iPod, book, Kindle etc.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Passport photos x 4

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Money

We recommend you take around $350 with you in small denominations. This will allow for tip money plus any extras such as satellite phone calls and emergency funds. Small denominations are recommended as it may be difficult to obtain change and it will be easier to divide tip money

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

FAQ's

Food and Water

What is the food like on the trek?

All meals on the mountain are fresh, nutritious and varied. We try to ensure that dietary preferences are met and that local ingredients are used. You’ll be amazed what can be produced on a kerosene stove!

The underlying aim is to provide balanced, nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to refuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity. On top of well balanced meals you are provided with coffee, tea and snacks upon arrival into camp. The morning wake-up call is usually accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee in your tent. Do bring along any of your favourite snacks and goodie bags from home if you want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuff to give you that little boost on an arduous day.

I have food allergies, can these be catered for?

Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.

Where does the drinking water come from?

Drinking water on the trek will come from local streams and rivers. We treat the water with purification tablets and boil it to be on the safe side. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.

How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?

Before leaving camp in the morning you will fill your water bottles or camel bladder. If this runs low you will have ample more water to replace it with. For most walking days water can be replenished at the lunchtime site.

Accommodation

What will the accommodation be like?

Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend tent sharing from the onset of all our expeditions. Tent share is always organised according to sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if trekking with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents.

If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made. We use high quality 3 man tents to be shared between 2 people to provide extra space for your comfort. In Ulaanbaatar and Ulaangom we are in 3 – 4 star hotels, we look for character as well as proximity to town rather than spartan business hotels devoid of personality.

Will the camp be set up or will we be staying at fixed camps at set sites on the way?

Our local camp crew will set up the tents for you each night. We send them ahead of the group to secure the best site and to get the site prepared before you arrive. Bear in mind that these guys are also porters and when our walking days are shorter we might get to camp before them. If this occurs then have a cup of tea in the dining tent and wait for your tents to be ready.

Will the toileting facilities will be “Au naturel”, or pit latrines?

We bring along our own toilet tents with a pit toilet dug in the tent. This allows us to maintain the best possible levels of hygiene without contributing to the toilet and subsequent health problems that can happen at some camps.

Health and Safety

Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?

There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude related problems can happen. The most common of these is acute mountain sickness (AMS).

Symptoms for this generally include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

In all this sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others.

For our leaders this is all part and parcel of ascending high into the mountains.

What should I do if I start suffering from AMS?

There are some basic measures you can take to help yourself should you start suffering from AMS. As headache is the most common symptom of AMS try taking a simple painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve the headache. If the headache disappears all well and good.

Please remember to inform your 360 Leader of any altitude symptom you may have and any medication you have taken as a result so they can keep an eye on you and advise accordingly.

Should someone develop severe AMS then the only cure is descent and as safety is our priority you will be taken down appropriately.

What can I do to help prevent AMS?

AMS might sound frightening but our leaders are fully trained (and experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed. Reducing the chances of AMS can be helped by following some simple yet effective guidelines:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Walk slowly
  • Stay warm
  • Eat well

Please don’t fear AMS, it is part and parcel of climbing mountains of this nature. Learn to respect it and to know how to deal with it but importantly tell your 360 Leader how you feel.

What happens if there is a problem in the mountain?

All our guides are in communication with each other bySatelite phoneo. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local trekking crew are all experienced in dealing with problems that could arise. Our guides are either doctors or qualified with the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle an emergency to the highest level of competency, in the vast majority of cases without national park assistance.

You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it contain?

We advocate a little bit of self-help on the trek. If you have a blister developing for instance then please stop, take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.

Your own first aid kit should contain: a basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, high factor sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes the mules might get to camp after you and if one is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (aspirin and Ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters.

Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday.

Your 360 expedition leader carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications. He is fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own FA kit as compact and light as possible.

Do I need to take Malarial drugs?

The Malaria protozoa generally does not survive over an altitude of 1,500m so Malaria should pose no threat. We recommend that you visit your doctor or travel clinic before departure to get the latest advice.

What vaccinations do I need?

The following vaccinations are recommended:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

This list is not absolute and it is important you should see your GP Surgery or travel clinic for latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations.

Kit

Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?

It is possible to rent kit in the UK. While we recommend the use of personal equipment whenever possible if you will be doing many more expeditions, the cost of equipping yourself can be a big deterrrent and hiring (or borrowing) is a worthwhile economy. Should you wish to rent any equipment, please take a look at www.outdoorhire.co.uk and then the 360 kit lists

What clothing should I wear on this trek?

Think about the time of year, and how high you are going. While you may swelter at the bottom of the mountains, it can get surprisingly nippy at altitude.

Both long sleeve tops and trekking trousers are recommended rather than shorts. Long sleeves and trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, scratches from bushes and to act as sun protection. Equally, if you wish to bring short sleeve tops or shorts, that’s fine, just be careful. Keep an eye on sunburn. The prevailing conditions of the day will dictate what you feel like wearing. And the layering system never fails. If you’re cold, put a layer on, if you’re hot, take one off.

Are down jackets necessary?

They are highly recommended, our guides wear them every evening. A layer system comprising of several layer of base layers, fleeces, jumpers and a jacket will suffice on most nights but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (especially when topped with a water proof layer).

Will I need to bring waterproofs?

As much as we’d like to guarantee eternal sunshine, we can’t fix the weather for you. You should bring waterproofs and they should be accessible. It is quite possible to be caught out in an afternoon rainstorm low down on the mountain. Once you get wet and your core temperature drops slightly, it becomes very hard to warm up and dry out your clothing. Waterproofs should be breathable Goretex material or similar to save you drowning in your own sweat. Additionally they can be used as an invaluable wind shield to protect you against the effect of wind-chill when a strong wind blows.

What is the best type of footwear to use?

Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending these mountains it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support.

In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A wide range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local outdoor store. The leather / Goretex combinations are endless and each with their merits.

When in-store try lots of boots on, use the ramps in the shops to test their traction, make sure they are comfortable as you will be almost living in them for days on end and they are very important. Once you’ve found a pair you like, you think they’re comfortable, and will be for several hours a day, buy them. It is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used for climbing this mountain. But you may enjoy wearing lighter trekking shoes on more genteel days.

What sort of bag should I have for this trip?

Duffel bags are ideal for this sort of trip. North Face are among the toughest, but Mountain Equipment make one similar that is often very good value in Cotswold Outdoor. Whatever bag you go for make sure they are robust and have a large capacity. As one goes higher in altitude it becomes harder to pack the bag and some people struggle closing their bags due to bulky sleeping bags and other pieces of kit. It will be far better having a large capacity bag with extra room (after all air doesn’t weigh much) than having a bag too small and finding problems packing your kit. A 100 litre plus duffel bag is not too large.

Pack no more than you would want to carry yourself: 15kg is the limit for the trek and the muleteers (and mules) will not take kindly to heavy bags. Any extra weight such as spare clothes etc can be left at the hotel before you head for trek.

What should I carry inside my daysack?

A daysack is worn at all times during the trek. The content of this is mandatory and should include: a fleece (if we take a break later in the day when it has cooled down or weather changes), lightweight waterproofs (primarily to act as wind protection), sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.

How much should my daysack weigh? What size does that equate to?

Your daysack should weigh no more then 3 – 4 kg and a pack of around 30L capacity will more than suffice. This rucksack can be filled to brim with extra stuff when you check in at the airport. It is important that this bag has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs so that your strongest muscles do most of the carrying. It’s important to go as light as possible as weight makes a huge difference at altitude. You will be carrying your daysack so think twice before putting too many hipflasks in.

How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?

It should be rated within the -10 C comfort zone. From the first camp upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night’s sleep is important to giving you the best chance to complete this trek. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating as its comfort zone, not extreme zone. Our guides take sleeping bags rated to well below -10C to ensure that they are warm at night. 3 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using an inner silk sheet (or similar).

The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that’s your own body temperature.

For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.

What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the trek?

Shorts and T-shirts are fine to wear during the course of the day. Evening wear generally tends to be casual with long trousers and casual shirt being appropriate for all hotels and restaurants.

Mongolians are generally quite conservative in their dress code and are generally well dressed. Your town and party clothes can be left in a safe lock up at the hotel and will not have to be taken on the trek.

The Trek

How out of my comfort zone will I be?

On a day to day level remember that you will be camping at altitude. You are likely to be cold, washing and toilet facilities will be limited, your appetite may be affected by the altitude and as you get higher on the trek you are likely to suffer shortness of breath and many people experience difficulty sleeping.

Remember that everyone on the trek is likely to be experiencing exactly the same symptoms: physical and mental.

The Weather

How hot or cold can it get?

During the day temperatures can be warm and can even reach the mid 20C’s. In the evening higher up, it could drop to below freezing and have a distinct chill in the air. As you will be trekking in a mountain environment, the weather can change rapidly for the worse so you need to be prepared for all conditions. Even in good weather it is not uncommon to have short heavy downpours.

Travel

What if I arrive early or depart late? Is there a single room option on this trip?

If you would like to arrive early before the trek or stay out for a few days then let us know and we can make arrangements for you. There is a single room option when we are city-based, again, contact the office for more details.

When will you let me know my flight times?

360 will send you a flight schedule as soon as we have booked your flights. Final confirmation will be sent to you about three weeks before departure.

What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?

If a trekker needs to leave early arrangements can be made with the assistance our 360 Guide. Additional Costs (transport, hotels flights etc.) will be incurred by you but our guides will be able to assist in every detail of your departure.

Insurance

Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Entry into Country

Do I need a visa to get into Mongolia?

The current cost of a visa for British Citizens is £40 and further information can be found at http://www.embassyofmongolia. co.uk/.

American passport holders are offered 30-days visa-free entry to Mongolia on presentation of a valid passport at the time of entry.

Visa regulations can and do change without notice and if you are not a British passport holder please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Training

How can I best train / prepare for this trek?

Obviously the best way to train for any expedition is to recreate the conditions of the climb as closely as possible. This is going to be difficult depending on where you are based geographically and we appreciate people have busy lives with work and family commitments.

Personal fitness is important for this trek, if you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip. Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio-vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long walks (a decent six hours or 12 miles) carrying a rucksack of around 5kg in a reasonably hilly environment. Not sure what 5kg is? Put 5 one litre bottles of water into it.

This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the trek itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get you used to your equipment.

Finance

When is the money due for this expedition?

Generally speaking deposits (which are non-refundable) are due upon booking, particularly if we are handling your flight bookings. The full amount should be paid 4 months prior to departure. However having said this our aim is to get you into the mountains and we understand that personal financial situations can vary. Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan. We have after all been in your shoes and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.

If you are doing this for charity, your chosen charity will have particular requirements that they will communicate with you.

What currency is used in Mongolia?

Mongolia uses the Mongolian Tughriks (MNT) (around 1.00 GBP = 3350 MNT and 1.00 USD = 2400 MNT). However, you should keep an eye on the changing exchange rates. ATM’s are widespread in Ullan Battor but not in more urban areas.

What additional spending money will we need?

The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy or how much you wish to drink when you come off the hill. As a basic rule of thumb $200 USD should be more than adequate for any post expedition spending.

Mongolia is a relatively cheap place and when indulging in the local custom of haggling then goods can be very good value for money. Your 360 leader will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices plus where to get the best value for money.

How much do we tip our local crew?

Our local crew work extremely hard to ensure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory, it is very much ingrained in the Mongolian culture. Once someone sees the hard work the crew provides and realises the small amount of money they get paid relative to your own income, tipping will seem the least you can do to say thank you. As a guide we suggest around $120 – $150 per trekker for the entire local crew to be shared amongst them.

Tipping the 360 Leader is entirely at your discretion, although it is their skill, effort and dedication that can make an expedition a success.

What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?

Please read our terms and conditions carefully before you depart for details on this. 360 Expeditions highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions as we must adhere to a stringent cancellation policy.

Electronics

Do we need a travel adaptor for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as UK?

Electricity in Mongolia is 220V, alternating at 60 Hertz which is similar to the UK. However, you will need either a flat blade or a two round pin plug adaptor or both as Mongolia generally accepts these two types of plug. You can buy these adaptors quite easily in the UK or at the airport.

Is there mobile phone reception in the trek?

Mobiles will work sporadically.

Will I be able to charge my phone or camera out in the trek?

Opportunities to charge your batteries may be limited. If you can get hold of a lightweight solar battery charger this is probably the best option.

General

Will my valuables be safe?

While we will do everything we can to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times. As with travel in any foreign country, you need to look after yourself and your possessions, and this is no different.

Who will I be talking to before departure?

We’re all here to answer any questions you may have, but you will mostly likely be talking to Marni about the trek, and Helen about any flight, invoice or financial queries. If you do have any queries, whether it’s about medical concerns, you’re unsure about certain things on the kit list, or you want to add a few days onto the expedition at the end to relax a bit, we encourage you to get in touch with us and Marni really loves to talk! The better informed you are, the more likely you are to take on your expedition with confidence, and thus reach your objective.

The organisation was impeccable and the support all through the expedition was amazing.

Paula Cairey, General, 2015
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