Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A 'FANNtastic' Trek in an exciting, lesser known destination...













The Fann Mountains in north western Tajikistan are becoming a popular place for trekkers who are looking for something a bit different to the usual travel destinations. This mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia shares borders with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Afghanistan and offers high peaks and stunning lakes as part of its breathtaking vistas.

Our ‘Tajikistan Fann Mountains and Lakes Trek’ in September 2019 involves trekking over high passes, past spectacular lakes and nights under canvas with the magnificent Fann Mountains as a backdrop.

Although it is increasing in popularity as a travel destination some people may not know much about Tajikistan, so we have compiled some interesting facts about this lesser known country and what is involved in our ‘FANNtastic’ trek.

We start our journey in Dushanbe, the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means ‘Monday’ in Tajik (the official language of Tajikistan) which became the capital’s name as it grew from a small village that used to have a popular market on Mondays. Here you can visit museums, see the Palace of Nations, experience the culture and enjoy the tranquillity of Rudaki Park with its beautiful tree canopy, flower gardens, lakes and fountains. It is also home to the second highest flagpole in the world, standing at 163m, and the Rudaki Statue in honour of the nation’s most revered poet.

Tajikistan is certainly a mountainous country, with 93 percent of its surface area covered by mountains and more than half of the country is over 3000m above sea level. These mountains contain a number of glaciers, the largest being the Fedchenko Glacier in the Pamir Mountains which, covering over 700 square kilometres, is the largest glacier in the world outside the polar regions.
Our trek begins in the Fann Mountains, part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system that is located in the northwest of the country. 

The area has become one of the largest tourist attractions in Tajikistan and it’s no surprise why. With lofty peaks, high passes and a number of alluring lakes, the views are breath-taking with many opportunities for trekking and climbing. The largest mountain in this range is Chimtarga peak standing at 5,489 m. The highest mountain in the country can be found further east in the Pamir Mountains. Standing at 7,494m (24,590ft) it was initially named Stalin Peak in 1933 (after Joseph Stalin) before being renamed in 1962 as Communism Peak. Today it is known as ‘Ismoil Somoni Peak’ to commemorate a former ruler of the Samanid dynasty.


The Fann Mountains features about 100 mountains many of which we will see as we trek over high passes before dropping back down to the valleys passing lakes of shimmering emerald green, turquoise and blue. With about 2% of the country’s area covered by lakes they feature widely in this area and throughout our trek we will experience some of the most beautiful ones, each with its own charm. After a long day travelling from Dushanbe we reach Pendjikent Margozur Lake where we will have time to relax by the lake and take in the views before sleeping under canvas in preparation to start the trek the next day.


Over the next 10 days the trek will involve a west to eastern traverse of the Fann Mountains, taking us over high passes such as Guitan Pass (2,650m), Govhona Pass (3,200m) and Alouddin Pass (3,860m). Each pass will provide magnificent views of the surrounding area including the high peaks. As we descend to the valleys below we will walk along rivers and to some of the most stunning lakes such as Kulikalon on the northern slope of Chimtarga peak, Alauddin with its clear and cool waters and Mutnoe Lake, surrounded by the highest peaks of the Fann mountains, including Chimtarga (5489m) and Energia (5120m). As we trek we will be keeping our eyes peeled for local flora and fauna such as mountains goats, marmot, eagles, wolves and foxes. If we are really lucky we may even spot the elusive snow leopard on the high peaks!



The days will be spent trekking throughout a stunning landscape, meeting friendly locals along the way and experiencing the food and culture of the people of the Fanns. Both their language and culture has been preserved ever since their ancestors lived here thousands of years ago when villages were placed near rivers.

Nights will be spent relaxing by the lakes, taking in the views and enjoying the local food before heading to our tents for a peaceful night’s sleep surrounded by nature.

As our trekking days come to an end we will be transported back to Dushanbe where we will enjoy the luxury of staying in a hotel after 11 nights camping! Here we will enjoy a celebratory meal and share stories and experiences of the trek before we head home the next day.




This is a fabulous trek to a spectacular location in a lesser known destination. If you are looking for a trek that offers something a bit different from the norm whilst being surrounded by nature and mountains with a great group of people this is ideal for you! One not to be missed, that’s for sure!

Your adventure awaits...to find out more about the itinerary and to book click here.

Should you have and further questions about this trek please feel free to get in touch with our Expedition Wise Team by emailing info@expeditionwise.com. We will be more than happy to help.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Grand Canyon Trek: 22nd - 30th September 2018

Grand Canyon Trek - Expedition WiseStunning waterfalls, travertine formed streams and huge red sandstone canyon walls are just some of the incredible things you will see on this fantastic 5 day trek through the Grand Canyon.



Having flown from London to Phoenix, Arizona you will be transferred to your hotel where you will have chance to freshen up and get to know the group as you all relax over dinner, prior to a good night’s sleep as you prepare to start trekking the following day.






Red Rock State Park
The next day you will depart Phoenix and head north through the Sonoran Desert and into the high elevation plateaus and red rock canyons of Sedona where you are introduced to your first hike in Red Rock State Park. This is an easy going acclimatisation 5-10km walk of about 300m height gain to help you acclimatise to the heat and get comfortable with walking with your kit. Just don’t forget to look up and admire the beautiful surroundings along the way! On finishing the trek the vehicles will be waiting for you to transport you across the Colorado Plateau to the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn where you will relax, enjoy dinner and prepare your kit for the next few days trekking. 

Grand Canyon Trek Today is the day! After an early breakfast you will be driven to the trailhead, which is perched at the edge of the canyon. This place is called Hualapai Hilltop (pronounced “Walapai”) and is the only land travel access to Havasupai. Starting at 5,200 feet (1,584 m) in elevation, the trail winds through a mile of switchbacks before levelling out in a dry streambed. After a trailside lunch, the red sandstone canyon walls seem to grow around you as you pass mile 8 and enter Supai, the most remote village in the U.S. where even the mail is still delivered by packhorse! Here at 3,200 feet (975 m) you can take a welcome rest stop before continuing to basecamp. 



Grand Canyon Trek Base CampThe surroundings are stunning and you will experience multiple waterfalls along the way, culminating in your first glimpse of the famous and awe-inspiring 100-foot Havasu Falls. Just minutes from the falls is your basecamp at 2,800 feet (853 m). Tonight, you will enjoy a freshly prepared dinner and sleep under the stars deep in the Grand Canyon, an experience like no other!



Beaver Falls, Grand Canyon TrekDay 3 of the trek will see you head for adventure in the gem of the Grand Canyon – Beaver Falls. Here you will trek 14km from camp to Beaver Falls, exploring more hidden waterfalls and gorgeous lagoons in this idyllic setting. Today’s trek involves both a dry route and a wet route with options for swimming – an ideal way to cool off, water jumps for those feeling adventurous and a descent of the red rock via a short section of ladders and chains. You will then head back to base camp to rest your legs and chat with the group as you enjoy another delicious dinner before heading to your tents for a well-deserved sleep.


Carbonate Canyon Waterfall

The penultimate day in the Grand Canyon will be another action packed day as you trek 14km from your camp to Carbonate Canyon explore caves, beautiful rock structures and have time to paddle, swim and relax in another beautiful waterfall. For those who are feeling brave there is an option for a low-grade scramble up to the Esplanade for an incredible bird’s eye view of the Canyon with all its different levels. Here you will be able to see your campsite, the waterfall at Beaver Falls, and across to Walapai where you started your journey from days prior. After another great day exploring more hidden gems of the canyon you will return to camp for your last night under the stars.




View from the Esplanade - Grand Canyon Trek


The last day in the canyon will see you rise very early to avoid the heat of the day as you trek 16-18km to the top of the Grand Canyon rim, a 700m rise in height gain. This is your last chance to take in the wonderful surroundings and views of this magical place as you ascend from paradise! The trek will be long and hot but what a beautiful location to spend your last day trekking as a group. 








Route 66 - Grand Canyon TrekOn arrival at your pick up point you will be met by the vehicles who will transfer you to Las Vegas via the historic Route 66, stopping in the kitschy town of Seligman, Arizona to enjoy lunch. After a few hours on the road you will arrive at your hotel in Las Vegas where you will have time to freshen up before enjoying a celebratory meal together. Be prepared for the bright lights and noises of Las Vegas, which are a bit of a sensory overload and contrast to the surroundings you have experienced over the last few days! It’s certainly not an experience to be missed though!



Las Vegas - Grand Canyon Trek
The following day you will have a full day to explore after breakfast so be sure to see what Las Vegas has to offer including the neon lights of the strip, the fountains of the Bellagio and maybe catch a show after dinner in one of the many fantastic restaurants.



As all things eventually come to an end it, the next day it will be time to leave the bright lights of Las Vegas following an incredible experience of trekking through the Grand Canyon. After a late breakfast you will be transferred to the airport where you will fly home having met some fantastic people, made great friendships and created wonderful memories. This certainly isn’t an experience to be missed! 

More information can be found here or register your interest & receive updates straight to your inbox.

Additional Information – What’s included in the trip cost:
·       Experienced UK Mountain Leader/Medic leading the challenge
·       Expedition Wise Buff & Expedition Bag
·       International Flights inc. fuel levy & taxes
·       All Vehicle transfers
·       All accommodation in twin en-suite hotel/lodges out of the canyon
·       Accommodation in twin share tents whilst in the canyon
·       All food on the trek and in hotel/lodges
·       Water on the trek
·       All local guides, support etc. whilst on the trek

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Unclimbed Peak Expedition, Nepal - 2016


One of the many spectacular views experienced on the Expedition

In April 2016 Expedition Wise Director, Brian, and his climbing partner James set off to attempt to summit a mountain in the Himalayas that no one had previously climbed before. This would be Brian's 3rd Unclimbed Peak Expedition having successfully summited Nar Phu Peak (5930m) in 2014 and Chubbohe (5640m) in 2013. Though this year's summit was not to be due to dangerous climbing conditions it was still an incredible experience as they got to speak to the Nepalese and Sherpa community to see how they have been rebuilding their lives following last year's devastating earthquake.

Brian was able to update daily using his satellite tracker so we have compiled these daily updates into a diary of sorts to show their journey.

Unclimbed Peak Expedition - Omi Tso Go

14th April 2016: Happy New Year 2073! Brian and his climbing partner James arrived in Nepal late as the plane had to hold over Kathmandu, then ran out of fuel, so were diverted to India!

They finally got into Kathmandu 5hrs late and arrived at New Year's Evening - 2073. They have met with the Nepali Mountain Guides who have been to 7,000m + before so are well experienced!

They are off to Ministry of Tourism now to sort out the climbing permits

15th April: Brian and James are currently at 1,440m having arrived at Chot Chot after a very bumpy car journey! They have set up camp by the river and are getting their kit ready for tomorrow where they will commence the first day of trekking!




Brian will have the tracker on so will be sending updates along the route and we will hopefully be able to see how they are getting along. All is well and we wish them a great first day of trekking tomorrow.

17th April: Just got in to Dovan (2,800m). All good apart from weather. Thunder, lightning and rain each afternoon and evening.


Passed landslides & building damage from earthquake today. Raining here so snowing higher up. Pray for better weather.


6 hrs walking - 800m height gain but lots of ups and downs. Hoping weather improves.

19th April 2016: 7 hrs walking.101m descent, 964m ascent. At Beding in rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Need weather to change for any chance of ascent!


Weather continues to be bad with snow and hail. Messages each day may need to be sent next morning as no satellite coverage due to clouds.

Off to Na today at 4180m. Clear this morning but lots of snow on slopes and big avalanche risk on peaks after overnight storm.



Spectacular half day walk in to Na with views of peaks. Cloud starting to form so will decide whether to camp or tea house this afternoon.

We are both looking forward to rest day tomorrow



20th April 2016: Enjoying our rest day. Last night was first evening without thunder, lightning and snow/rain. Today is beautiful.



Rolwaling valley very remote with few people; moved away after earthquake. Beding and Na are Sherpa villages so all men are away working.


21st April 2016: We have now trekked in to our valley and views are spectacular. Very isolated and remote. We can see our peak!


Both of us are doing well. Really felt the altitude gain today.

Today we ascended 527m and descended 34m. 4hrs walking.


22nd April 2016: Weather pattern continuing with thunder and large snow dump overnight. Very windy today and cold. Making way to Base Camp at base of glacier.


Tough day's walk to Base Camp over glacial moraine and up loose steep rock walls to find snow plateau at 5224m. Dug out tent platforms.


Route looks even harder in reality than on Google Earth. Snowing again & some minor powder avalanches on face. Both doing well; need rest day.

We need the wind to die down as 30-40 mph on route today and could see wind on ridge pushing off the snow. Need 5 clear days + no wind. Snowing heavily now.

23rd April 2016: At Base Camp on rest day. Snowing already at 10am with cloud and wind build up. This peak is not looking feasible for us.

We have made our decision that the weather is not improving, in fact it is deteriorating, so we will head down tomorrow to approach camp.

Sherpas went up today to plot route onto hanging glacier - no route found. Decision confirmed to descend before we get snowed in up here.


We have walked where no one has walked, seen views that no one has seen before - no regrets.

24th April 2016: Back down to approach camp. Weather now really good although overnight we had 6 inches of snow.



Took 4hrs to get down to approach camp, same as ascent, as very tricky descent on snow covered rocks.

Up Rolwaling glacier tomorrow to check out feasibility of Langdung peak before returning to Na.

25th April 2016: Back at Na - weather now perfect for climbing Omi Tso Go but not possible - dangerous crevasses on hanging glacier on route to col. Oh well!


26th April 2016: In Kelje at 2850m after double day walking out for 7hrs. Weather still great and views amazing.

27th April 2016: Returned to Chot Chot walking 40mins down the road passing the hydro power before being picked up for the drive back to Kathmandu.

Though the summit was not reached this time it does not take away the incredible experience they had trekking through the amazing landscape of the Himalayas. Just look at those epic, snow-capped peaks! Brian would like to say a huge thank you for all your kind words/messages of support throughout the expedition and the generous donations to ShelterBox UK via his Just Giving page. You have helped to make such a huge difference!


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Are you looking for a once in a lifetime experience or a challenge that will take you overseas to amazing places? We have some incredible overseas treks in 2016 that you can choose to do to raise money for your chosen charity or simply for the chance to tick some items off your Bucket List!

Take a look at Expedition Wise's 2016 Overseas Treks & Expeditions:

Kilimanjaro Trek - Sept 17th - 27th 2016 - Mt Kilimanjaro is a truly incredible mountain and is perfect for someone who is looking for a challenging trek overseas. The altitude can make the trek very tough going but we use the Rongai route which allows a better chance of acclimatising.

Find out more about our Kilimanjaro Trek here




















October 6th - 10th 2016 - Spend 3 days trekking over the stunning sand dunes of the Sahara and the nights sleeping under millions of stars in a traditional Berber Bedouin camp.

Find out more about our Sahara Trek here.




















November 5th - 20th 2016 - Imagine standing on the summit of a mountain in the Himalayas that has never been climbed before! Have the chance to go down in the mountaineering history books with a first ascent of a mountain in Nepal. An incredible, once in a lifetime experience!

Find out what's involved here.

Be Inspired! Watch the short film of our 2015 Unclimbed Peak Expedition.

Whatever you do, make 2016 a year of achieving the incredible!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Make History - Join us on our 2016 Unclimbed Peak Expedition and climb a mountain no one has before!

Have you ticked Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp or Machu Picchu off your adventure list and are now ready for the next challenge? Maybe you are looking to trek above 6000m or want to make your mark in the history books by climbing a mountain that no one has climbed before! If so, Expedition Wise has the perfect expedition for you!
 

 
Due to the popularity of the Unclimbed Peak Expedition 2015 which is fully booked, we are now promoting our Unclimbed Peak Expedition 2016!
     
In November 2016 we will be leading an expedition to climb Raungsiyar (6,224m), a previously unclimbed peak in the remote region of Rolwaling which lies in a truly "off the beaten track" area of Nepal. This is one of the 7 hidden valleys of the Himalaya, on the border with Tibet and said to be home of the Yeti!
 
 


This will be an amazing adventure and should appeal to any trekker or mountaineer wishing to complete a first ascent in a spectacular location, fully supported by climbing Sherpas and full camp crew.


Our 2016 Unclimbed Peak Expedition is perfect for those who have some experience in high altitude trekking, enjoy expedition life and are looking for the next challenge.
 
To give you a taste of what is involved in our Unclimbed Peak Expeditions take a look at our films about the Unclimbed Peak Expedition 2013  & Unclimbed Peak Expedition 2014  

 
 
So what are you waiting for?
 
Whether you take part to raise money for your chosen charity, or just fancy an epic adventure, we think you have found your next big challenge!
 
If you would like to find out more about the Unclimbed Peak Expedition 2016 or would like to discuss whether it is right for you, please feel free to contact us as we would be more than happy to answer any questions.

 
Please note: Spaces are limited so please book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
 
For more information and to book your place on this amazing trip click here.             

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Adventure Film Premiere - The Unclimbed Peak Expedition, Nepal


Join us for a FREE evening of adventure at the film premiere of 'The Unclimbed Peak Expedition Nepal'
Following the successful first ascent of Nar Phu Peak (5,930m) in the Chulu range of the Lost Valleys of Nepal, Expedition Wise would like to invite you to see the film premiere and meet the team of trekkers.


As well as the film premiere of the climb, there will be the following:
  • Free Tea and coffee
  • A chance to view all the equipment taken on the first ascent
  • Short Q&A session
  • Outdoor clothing and equipment, both new and second hand for sale (Nepalese wool hats, fleeces, 90litre expedition bags, down jackets, wicking base layers etc)
All proceeds go to Nightingale House Hospice.
For more information contact Brian Jackson at Expedition Wise Ltd:
 01978 750636

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Expedition Wise Shortlisted for PIFA Awards 2015!



We are delighted to announce that we have bee shortlisted for the Institute of Fundraising 'Partners in Fundraising Awards 2015' for 'Best Special/Challenge Events Partner'.


We are a small company with a big heart who pride ourselves on providing incredible challenges for remarkable people who raise huge amounts for a whole host of charities.


For many years we have worked with a variety of incredible charities and individuals who have taken part in a wide range of challenges we provide. We are always so impressed by the people who take on such challenges while raising fantastic amounts for such worthwhile causes and pride ourselves on working closely with charities to help them to achieve their dreams too.


We are therefore delighted to have been shortlisted in this category and would like to take the opportunity to thank all those we have worked with and have supported us over the years.


The winner will be announced on the 29th of January so we will keep you posted!