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MUNKU- SARDYK ASCENT
Mountaineer the highest summit of Baikal region

Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Availability: April 21 - May 12 (starts on Mondays)

Vast areas of Lake Baikal have remained basically untouched due to its rough terrain. Gorgeous mountain ranges bound the lake from all sides. The most impressive of all are the East Sayan Mountains that stretch south from Lake Baikal with Munku Sardyk mount being the utmost summit in the whole Baikal region. It stands right on the Russian Mongolian border overlooking both countries from the height of 3491 m. This is the world of glaciers, stormy winds and fascinating landscape.

In late April for just 2 weeks the trails leading to Munku Sardyk become crowded with hundreds of tourists. Both newcomers and advanced mountaineers come here every year to explore the glaciers and the breathtaking canyons of Muguvek River, to meet friends and sing songs round the camp fire.




ITINEARY
Day 1
Mon

Arrival in Irkutsk. Breakfast in a café. After breakfast get prepared for a 330 km long drive to the confluence of 2 rivers (White Irkut and Irkut). Lunch en route in a road café. From the confluence we shall pack up all our load and hike up the river ice (about 6-7 km) to the base camp. The rest of the day will be devoted to storing fire wood, setting up tents and cooking dinner. (B/-/D)


Day 2
Easy day hikes up the canyon of White Irkut river. The goal of the day is to learn the basic skills of working as a team in the mountains to get physically and psychologically fit as well as test the equipment (crampons). Dry food and hot tea will be served for lunch. Dinner and overnight at the base camp. (B/L/D)
* The upper reaches of White Irkut river are famous for a number of ice falls and beautiful colorful rocks.

Day 3
After early breakfast well pack up the necessary equipment, clothes and provisions and set off.(*). Those who feel they are not fit to make it to the very top can turn back to the base camp. The last section of the slope can be surmounted only with the help of crampons. On a good day from the top of Munku Sardyk one can see hundreds of miles away. The Mongolian brother of lake Baikal lake Khovsgol is right under you - at the very foot of Munku Sardyk facing the Mongolian side.
The top of the mountain can host just a few people so after a short rest and photo session well turn back to the base camp. (B/L/D)
* The success of the assent largely depends on the weather conditions. In case of bad weather the ascent will be postponed for the next day. But even with favorable conditions tourists should be prepared for exhausting 9 hours hike (6 hours to the top and 3 hour back to the base camp).


Day 4
Free day to explore the surroundings (*). (B/L/D)

* We keep this day in reserve in case the first attempt to ascent Munku Sardyk was not a success due to weather or any other conditions.

Day 5
After breakfast well break up camp and head back to the highway. From there a minibus will drive us to a small location famous for its mineral springs. A hot mineral bath is really what youve been longing for the last several days of hard work and cold overnights in tents. Proceed to the Southern most point of lake Baikal Sludyanka town. Dinner and overnight in a guest house. (B/-/-)

Day 6
Breakfast in guest house. At 10:30 well catch a small tourist train that runs along the legendary Circum Baikal railroad. The train moves really slowly so well have plenty of time to appreciate both Siberian nature and the old tunnels and bridges. Lunch will be served in train. At about 7 p.m well reach the Angara river source the only river that flows out of the mighty Baikal. Cross the river by ferry and 5 minutes drive to your final destination of the day a cozy guest house in Listvyanka village. Enjoy sauna and dinner before going to bed. (BLD)
* The Circum Baikal railroad undoubtedly is one of the main attractions of the South of Lake Baikal. Built at the end of Russian Royalism and called the golden Buckle of the Iron belt of Russia it nowadays has become an open air museum of Russian architecture and marvels of construction ingenuity.

Day 7
Breakfast. Explore Listvyanka village - once a small fishermen village on lake Baikal shore that now is rapidly transforming into a tourist center. On this day we suggest you visit to the Baikal museum (*), the trading square where one can buy traditional Baikal souvenirs and see how the locals cook the endemic Baikal fish.
(B)

* Baikal Ecology Museum exhibits the lake's unique flora and fauna: some of the best known inhabitants are represented in a huge aquarium.
Day 8 After breakfast well set of on a mini bus back to Irkutsk city (about 70 km drive) En route a guided tour to Taltsy an open air Museum of Russian Wooden Architecture (*). Accommodation in Irkutsk in a downtown guest house. On request our guide will introduce you to the main historical sites of Irkutsk. (B)

* There is a numerous number of ethnographical and architectural sightseeing in the museum. The oldest buildings on the site are the Spass Tower of Ilimsk Fortress (1667) and active Kazan Chapel (1679)

Day 8
Transfer to the airport.


NOTES & PRICES

1. The tour is available from April 21 to May 12 (starts on Mondays).
2. Minimum group size 3 pax.
3. Its required that customers are physically fit for long day walks and have winter camping experience. (at night the temperatures can go as low as -15C)
4. Outfit and gear: tents for 2-4 pax, sleeping mats, crampons
5. Its required that customers have their own sleeping bag, warm clothes, mountaineering boots, as well as sun cream and sun glasses. Ask your manager for a detailed list of personal equipment.
6. Hot meals are cooked over camp fire 2 times a day. During the day tourists are offered dry food and hot tea.
7. Depending on the physical condition of the group the Munku Sardyk ascent can be interchanged for other summits.

Costs of the tour per person in euros:
3 pax
4 pax
5 pax
6 pax

Upon request

The cost includes:
Transfers on mini van as per program;
DBL accommodation in guest houses and hotels;
Circum Baikal Train ticket 1-st class;
meals as noted in the itinerary (B- breakfast, L lunch, D - dinner);
rent of equipment as noted in p.4;
English speaking guide;
insurance;
excursions as mentioned in itinerary;
sauna.