We just returned from our trips 2017 and happy to say that we were very lucky.
Lucky with the weather. We had some rains but they were just in time and didn’t disturb us. For example, the dark clouds in the background together with the sun made the coloured mountains of Kyzyl-Chin even more beautiful and impressive.
We had one night at high altitude when the temperature dropped to -5 °C but the next morning there was an absolutely clear sky and bright sun. So we enjoyed shining eternal snow and ice during our walk to the glacier. The rest of the days we had wonderful and high temperatures.
Lucky with the animals. We met a lot of animals, many of them from very short distance – marmots, hares, corsac foxes, pikas, ground squirrels, sables, argali (mountain sheep) and a lot of different birds.
We camped close to the rock where on the top the nest of a rare bearded vulture was situated and we could enjoy how the mom fed her chick. Often Steppe eagles, black kites, black vultures and hoopoes were our fellow-travelers.
And our major happiness – we checked the wildcams and were the first to see the video of two visits of snow leopards. One of them with a cub. We will share the photos and videos soon.
Lucky with the new experience. We learned to search animals’ marks – we found snow leopards’ fur and scratches, studied pugmarks and smelled the rock where snow leopard and wolverine marked their territory.
We stayed for a night in a forest-free area and made wonderful fire from dung cakes. Our guide gave us a workshop “how to make fire with cow-shit”
We stalked to argali, using hunters’ methods – hiding in the rocks and moving with a stoop in order not to scare them and come closer.
Lucky with the people. During our trip, we met only friendly and welcoming people. We visited the family of a local farmer in the very remote area and looked how they live nowadays. Following the traditions of hospitality, they didn’t let us go without a small present. We are happy that our tourists were very curious and really interested in nature, culture and history of Altai.