In far western Mongolia arethe Altai Mountains, the habitat of the lynx, argarli sheep and the snow leopard. In the most remote western corner is the Altai Tavan Bogd ("Five Holy Peaks") mountain range. In this range lie Monglia's highest peaks - Mt. Khuiten, Nairandal and Malchin - and Mongolia's longest glacier, the Potanii, stretching over 11 miles.
You'll have the opportunity to climb not only Malchin, but Nairandal, which marks the intersection of the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian borders. We'll also take a crack at climbing Mongolia's highest peak Mt. Khuiten (14,350ft). The journey to base camp gives us plenty of time to meet the local Kazakh herders of the region. The area offers great trekking for those with less of an inclination to climb.
Great hiking and climbing in a largely undiscovered corner of the world where you can wander across the Russian border without a visa! Take in Olgii's exciting, unique Kazakh Naadam Festival.
Mt. Khuiten "Cold" (4,374m/14,350ft) is the highest point in Mongolia. The classic route follows the NW ridge, about 400m vertical. The upper sections of the ridge approach 45? and can be hard ice. A single tool is sufficient, although you should be confident in use of crampons. We set up a fixed rope for the final 100m pitch.
Nairandal "Friendship" Peak (4,082m/13,388ft) is so named because it lies on the triple border of Russia, China and Mongolia. An easy snow plod up the glacier.
Malchin "Herder" Peak (4,037m/13,240ft) rises directly behind Base Camp. It's a rock scramble requiring no technical equipment, yet affords tremendous views over Russia and the glaciated peaks of Altai Tavan Bogd. It's elevation makes a good acclimatization day.
This expedition is suitable for both climbers and trekkers with good fitness and winter hiking experience. Malchin involves hiking a sustained scree ridge without snow cover and is suitable for trekkers of good fitness. Base camp is a very comfortable launching point for day hikes in the region; the proximity of the Russian border and many glaciated peaks make for stunning views.
Mt. Nairandal is located at the end of the Potanii Glacier and involves roped-glacier travel. Mt. Khuiten rises 800m vertical above advance base camp and involves climbing on hard snow on fixed ropes to 45? vertical. Difficulty varies with snow conditions, yet the climb can be graded 2+ according to New Zealand Alpine Grades. Climbers should have completed an introductory technical mountaineering course to attempt Mt. Khuiten. We place great emphasis on safety; appropriate safety measures are taken at all times. Overall Climb Grade