42 Download holiday itineraries from www. mountainkingdoms. com e: info@ mountainkingdoms. com Grade: Moderate/ Vigorous Grade: Vigorous Khiva from rooftops, Silk Road to Samarkand, Steve Berry Central Asia Central Asia has acted as the crossroads for the movement of people and goods along the Great Silk Road for thousands of years. Vast deserts and rolling steppe, cut occasionally by verdant valleys, contain massive mountain ranges such as the Altai, the Kun Lun, and the Tien Shan; the latter often called the ' Celestial Mountains'. T he story of the Silk Road is filled with fearless warriors, pioneering explorers and, of course, the enterprising traders who travelled in long caravans across deserts, mountains and steppes. This exciting new tour focuses on three of the Silk Road's greatest cities, where trade in spices, gems and porcelain gave rise to power and wealth. From Tashkent we fly west and travel to Khiva, whose city walls hold a treasure trove of ancient buildings. Heading south across the Kyzyl Kum desert we spend three nights in Bukhara, where we'll walk in the covered bazaars and see the colossal Kalyan Minaret. Finally we reach Samarkand, once a simple oasis but now filled with magnificent blue domed mosques, ornately decorated madrasas and fascinating collections of ancient treasures. T he little visited ' Heavenly' Tien Shan mountains offer great alpine walking for the adventurous trekker. Leaving Almaty in Kazakhstan, our eight- day acclimatisation trek takes us into neighbouring Kyrgyzstan through a range of snow capped mountains, rich in botanical and cultural interest, to the vast Issyk- Kul Lake. We spend time here relaxing and swimming before continuing eastwards to a camp near Karkara River. A wildly exciting helicopter flight takes us to Base Camp at the South Inylchek Glacier, from where we trek beneath Peak Pobeda ( 7,439m/ 24,406ft). Further up the glacier we can view the striking pyramid of Khan Tengri ( 7,010m/ 22,998ft) rated as one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. T his is the perfect trip for those wishing to follow in the footsteps of the great explorer Eric Shipton, in this remote and fascinating part of China. Flying in to Kashgar we have time to experience the exotic mix of noise, colour and people, before driving on to reach the trail head. Our trek passes through soaring snow covered summits, towering limestone cliffs and into wide river valleys, where local nomads may well invite us into their yurts to sample freshly made goat's milk, yoghurt and bread. After trekking for six days and crossing the Aghil Pass ( 4,800m/ 15,748ft) we reach the Chinese base camp of K2, and have three days to explore and walk to view the K2 glacier. Camels carry all the equipment and occasionally us, if river levels are high. Silk Road to Samarkand A new cultural tour visiting the fabled Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan. The Celestial Mountains Trek Spectacular mountain and glacier trekking in the glorious Tien Shan mountains. Kashgar to K2 Camel Trek An exciting trek through wild, dramatic, unspoilt scenery to the Chinese Base Camp for K2. £ 1,255£ 1,695 Land OnlyFlight Included Fri 28 May - Tue 08 Jun Fri 03 Sep - Tue 14 Sep Local leader Accommodation: Hotels: 10 Optional: Single Room £ 100 Insurance: £ 74 1- 2 Fly Tashkent, sightseeing 3- 4 Fly Urgench, drive Khiva, sightseeing 5- 7 Drive Bukhara, sightseeing 8- 10 Drive Samarkand, sightseeing, train to Tashkent 11- 12 Tashkent sightseeing, fly London Cultural Tour | Duration: 12 Days Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients £ 1,995£ 2,495£ 2,395£ 3,295 Land Only Land Only Flight Included Flight Included Tue 20 Jul - Sat 07 Aug Tue 03 Aug - Sat 21 AugSat 08 May - Sun 30 May ? Sat 18 Sep - Sun 10 Oct ? On Trek: 11 days Appointed Leader: tbc Accommodation: Hotels: 3 Camping: 14 Optional: Single Room £ 225 Single Tent £ 165 Insurance: £ 99 1- 2 Fly Almaty, sightseeing 3- 11 Drive Almarasan Gorge, trek Issyk- kul Lake, drive Karkara 12- 16 Helicopter to Inylchek BC, visit Pobeda & Khan Tengri peaks 17- 19 Drive Almaty, fly London On Trek: 13 days Appointed Leader: David Bathgate ? Barry Bond ? Accommodation: Hotels: 7 Camping: 14 Optional: Single Room £ 195 Single Tent £ 195 Insurance: £ 149 1- 3 Fly Kashgar via Islamabad ( transit) 4- 5 Drive Yilik 6- 19 Trek Chinese BC of K2 20- 21 Drive Kashgar 22- 23 Fly Urumqi, fly London via Islamabad ( transit) Trek | Duration: 19 Days Trek | Duration: 23 Days Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 6 clients Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients Other Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 13, 20, 24, 48, 49, 50 & 55 Why not extend your holiday to visit SAMARKAND - please call us for details and prices on 0845 330 8579
43 telephone: 0845 330 8579 ( local call rate, UK only) international telephone: + 44 1453 844 400 www. mountainkingdoms. com Grade: Moderate Grazing camels on the Nomads & Ibex trek, Catherine Darjaa Grade: Gentle I n true nomadic style we trek between the twin peaks of Mount Kharkhiraa ( 3,978m/ 13,051ft) and Mount Turgen, our bags carried by pack horse and camel. Glaciated mountains, brilliant lakes, wild flowers and dramatic rock formations can all be seen as we trek along high mountain ridges and through steep sided valleys, and the scenery is breathtaking from our two passes of roughly 3,050m/ 10,000ft. This is a wild, unkempt region where local people live a continuous nomadic existence and we will encounter their ' open house' hospitality. There is also a good chance of seeing ibex high on the steep, rocky mountainsides. At the end of the trek there is time for sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar. T he beautiful rolling hills and lush green valleys of central Mongolia are home to many nomadic families, offering the perfect combination of gentle trekking with cultural insight. Our journey to the Far East begins with a flight to Beijing where we will spend time sightseeing, including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, before taking the train across the Gobi Desert to Ulaanbaatar. We will visit Genghis Khan's old capital, Kharkhorin, and trek on the edge of the Khangai mountain range. Some nights we will sleep in traditional gers. We visit yak and horse breeding families and enjoy a mineral health spa. After our trek we will see Mongolia's National Day celebrations, Nadaam, this year in Tsetserleg, with wrestling, maybe archery contests and horse races to enjoy. Sightseeing in the capital Ulaanbaatar concludes the journey of a lifetime. The Nomads & Ibex Trek A two- week magical, mountain adventure in the remote northwest corner of Mongolia. The Genghis Khan Trek Ancient cities, desert travels, mountain walks and traditional festivities; all in one thrilling adventure. Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients £ 2,325£ 3,195 Land OnlyFlight Included Mon 28 Jun - Wed 14 Jul On Trek: 8 days Appointed/ Local Leader Catherine Darjaa in Mongolia, Local Leader in Beijing Accommodation: Hotels: 6 Train: 1 Gers: 7 Optional: Single Room £ 85 Insurance: £ 145 1- 5 Fly Beijing, visit Great Wall & Beijing sites 6- 7 Trans- Mongolian Express to Ulaanbaatar 8- 13 Travelling & trekking in Khangai mountains 14 Attend Nadaam festival 15- 17 Ulaanbaatar sightseeing, fly London Trek | Duration: 17 Days Trek | Duration: 15 Days £ 2,225£ 3,095 Land OnlyFlight Included Fri 16 Jul - Fri 30 Jul Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients On Trek: 8 days Appointed Leader Enkhbold Darjaa Accommodation: Hotels: 4 Camping: 8 Optional: Single Room £ 105 Single Tent: £ 45 Insurance: £ 145 1- 2 Fly Ulaanbaatar 3- 11 Fly Ulaangom, trek ' between the twin peaks' 12- 15 Fly Ulaanbaatar, city tour, fly London Festival Outer Mongolia A vast and spectacular wilderness, stretching from the Gobi desert through grassy steppe to snow capped mountains, Outer Mongolia remains largely untouched by the modern world and is a peaceful land where nomads and wild horses still roam freely. Looking for an unforgettable family adventure? See our Family Trek Mongolia on page 69 Featured in a book of ' The World's Great Adventure Treks' published by New Holland.