Ural Expeditions &smp; Tours

Blue ice of the Sayan Mountains

Hiking and ice climbing in the Eastern Sayan Mountains

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Dates: On request from December 1 to May 15

In Summer time tiny streams that run down the steep slopes are hardly noticeable. But in winter everything changes: those hardly visible streams transforms into huge blue-sparkling ice cascades that that are sure to catch your eye! During the trip youll spend several nights in a small village located at the very foot of gorgeous Eastern Sayan Mountains making day trips to some of the most exciting ice falls and learn how to climb those frozen giants! Use this unique chance to complete your collection of adventures!!!

Day Itinerary Notes

1 Day

Arrival to Irkutsk. Meeting with a local guide followed by a sightseeing city-tour (*). Lunch in one of the restaurants at your own expenses. After lunch transfer by minivan to Arshan a small village located at the foot of Eastern Sayan mountains. (3,5 hours drive).
Accommodation at a guest log-house in Arshan village. Dinner at a local café.  Overnight in guest house. (D)

* You'll visit the place where Irkutsk was founded 350 years ago at the confluence of two Siberian rivers: Irkut and Angara. The place is framed by three churches, two of which are Russian Orthodox with golden domes and the third one is Roman Catholic

2 Day

After breakfast well take all the necessary equipment and walk up the gorgeous rocky canyon of Kyngarga river. In about 1 hour well approach 2 huge icefalls. During lunch time our guide will introduce you to the basic course of ice-climbing technique and personal safety (*). After lunch youll fit personal equipment and try your first steps up the icefalls.

This evening as we return back to the guest house youll be welcomed with Russian steam sauna. Dinner at a local café. Overnight in a guest house. (BLD)


* During the climbing trip our guide will provide your safety and lead you to the top of the icefall through the chain of sparkling ice cascades. Even people who had never done any climbing before find this activity quite easy and exciting.

3 Day

Today well spend the day climbing up one of the nearby peaks. But first well first visit a holy place to follow a traditional ceremony of local worshipers. Well ask spirits to give us a good day that is a necessary condition for a successful ascent.

The trail traverses the steep mountain slopes with several natural observation points from were one can appreciate a magnificent view of the so called Tunka valley lying underneath. The height of the Peak is about 2000 meters. There youll have a great chance to take some memorable photos. In the evening well come back to Arshan village for dinner and overnight. Overnight in a guesthouse.   (BLD)

* Locals believe that to have a lucky day one should tie a colored ribbon around a tree trunk or on a branch. In the area youll see lots of trees covered with thousands of ribbons.

4 Day

After breakfast youll be offered a walking excursion to a Buddhist temple - Datsan which is located next to Arshan village.

After that well leave Arshan village and travel by car to natural hot springs. You can take a hot steaming bath with a great open view of the snow covered peaks. The difference of water and air temperature can be extremely high: the water is +48C while the air temperature can be -30C. Thats why the huge cloud of steam covers the whole area of these thermal springs. After bathing well head back to Irkutsk. It will take us 3 hours to get back. (B)

Native people of Arshan village  - Buryats are mostly Buddhists. If lucky we might have a chance to watch a traditional morning Buddhist ceremony which includes reading mantras.

1.The tour is available from December 1 to May 15. 
2.Maximum group size 8 pax.
3.No special training required
4. Ask your manager for a detailed list of personal equipment.

The cost includes:
 transfers on mini van or car;
 accommodation in a guest house (amenities outdoors);
meals as noted in the itinerary (B- breakfast, L lunch, D - dinner);
rent of special ice climbing equipment

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