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SHERP / Case Study - VIP tourism

More Information about SHERP: https://www.esc.guide/sherp

 

THE LAND OF OLONKHO

 

Join us on a unique trip on all-terrain vehicles through the uncharted areas of northern Yakutia. The name «Olonkho» refers to the ancient epic art of the Sakha people (the Yakuts).

Not everyone knows that Yakutia is not only the largest region in Russia, but also the largest administrative and territorial unit in the world. That is, if Yakutia were a separate state, it would be the seventh largest country, larger than India and Argentina. At the same time, only 967 thousand people live in Yakutia, which makes the population density a record low.


Where we go, there are no people — only the unexpected expanses of the Lena delta, arctic sand deserts, mountain ranges and rocky shores, and, of course, endless, multi-colored, alluring tundra stretching to the horizon.

 

TOUR PRICE

The cost of participating in the «Land of Olonkho» expedition in August 2020


14 130 €

per person if traveling together on one ATV


21 200 €

per person for individual tourists (alone with single ATV)

What is included in the tour price?

  1. Local flights - Yakutsk - Tiksi - Yakutsk.

  2. Permission to visit the border area.

  3. Accommodation in Yakutsk at the Tygyn Darkhan hotel in single rooms (for individual tourists) or double rooms (if you are traveling together).

  4. Accommodation on the route in the ATV vehicle or tent (2 people in one ATV/tent in case you travel together).

  5. Rental of ATV vehicle for the entire duration of the trip (2 people in one ATV if you travel together).

  6. Driving of the ATV vehicle on the entire route (2 people in one ATV if you travel together). you need AII (A2) category driving licence to drive Sherp.

  7. Three meals a day on the entire route.

  8. Alcohol on the proposed menu.

  9. Fuel needed for the entire route.

  10. Hot showers and a comfortable toilet daily throughout the route.

  11. Services of a cook, mechanic, hunting and fishing guides, camping specialist.

  12. Additional activities according to the program.

  13. Fishing gear.

  14. Life and Health Insurance for the whole trip.

  15. ATV vehicle insurance with a deductible of 2114 €.

  16. Fleece jacket and hat with expedition logo.

What is not included in the tour price?

  1. Flight to Yakutsk.

  2. Extra alcohol.

  3. Personal equipment.

  4. Any changes in the program.

What to bring for tour?

To make your journey as comfortable as possible, we recommend that you take with the following equipment. We recommend packing everything in a single watertight travel bag:

  • Socks – 4 - 10 pairs

  • Trekking socks – 2-4 pairs

  • Underwear

  • Thermal underwear – 2-3 sets

  • T-shirt with short sleeve – 2 - 6 pcs

  • T-shirt with long sleeve – 2 – 4

  • Hiking pants – 2-3 pcs

  • Hiking jacket – 2 pcs

  • Down jacket / parka – 1 pc

  • Raincoat – 1 pc

  • Cap / hat – 1 pc

  • Hiking boots – 1 pair

  • Sneakers – 1-2 pairs

  • Sunglasses

  • A set of "civilian" clothes for returning to civilization.

  • Individual medicines

 

TOUR PROGRAM

  • DAY 1. Introduction to Yakutia

  • DAY 2. Flight to Tiksi

  • DAY 3. Initiation into all-terrain vehicles

  • DAY 4. Touching the true beauty of the Yakutia

  • DAY 5. The absolute magic of the northern rivers

  • DAY 6. Geological formations and geographical discoveries

  • DAY 7. Sacraments and traditions of fishing

  • DAY 8. The endless sands of Olonkho

  • DAY 9. Across the sea on dry land

  • DAY 10. Ghosts of the Soviet empire

  • DAY 11. Returning home

 

DAY 1. Introduction to Yakutia

Your introduction to Yakutia begins in Yakutsk - the capital of the largest administrative-territorial unit in the world. You arrive in the city on an S7 or Aeroflot flight. At the airport, you are greeted by the wide smiles of representatives of 72 North. In a comfortable minibus, we set off for the best hotel in the city called «Tygyn Darkhan». Not only is it named after the protagonist of Yakut traditions, but also has an official four-star rating. In addition, it is located in the heart of the capital of Sakha.

After a short rest you will be served lunch, followed by a fascinating walking tour of the city center, which will allow you to be acquainted with Yakutia.

In the evening, you will experience a gourmet dinner at the Makhtal restaurant, located next to the hotel in a reconstructed traditional wooden building in the Old City of Yakutsk. You will try the best dishes of Yakut cuisine from fish and venison, to stroganin and homemade tinctures.

 

DAY 2. Flight to Tiksi

The second day of our journey is a comfortable trip of one thousand sixty eight kilometers to the city of Tiksi on the Laptev Sea. There are no motorways in the usual sense of the word. There is only a frozen waterway that is useable for a few months a year. It becomes a highway and doubles the distance to one of the northernmost outposts in Russia. We will fly to Tiksi in a comfortable, modern airplane provided by Yakutia airlines or Polar airlines. During takeoff and landing, you can enjoy incredible views of the endless tundra and high, snowy mountain ranges. Tiksi Airport, with the largest runway in the north, will surprise you with its scale and diverse military aircrafts.

This day will end with the arrival at a field camp located in a picturesque and secluded place, where you will have a welcome drink, dinner, and, of course, your all-terrain vehicles! Our guides will introduce you to the organisation of the camp, where you will find both a hot shower in a warm room and an urban-style toilet.

Yes, yes, we want you to feel at home! As for the overnight stay, here we offer two options: a comfortable equipped double berth in your all-terrain vehicle, or comfortable tent accommodations, which our guides are happy to install for you, preparing everything you need: a sleeping bag, an inflatable mat, a pillow, flashlight and everything you may need for extra comfort. By the way, we use only the best equipment specifically designed for serious expeditions made by MSR, North Face, etc.

 

DAY 3. Initiation into all-terrain vehicles

On this day, you will try how to drive your Sherp all-terrain vehicle. Do not be alarmed, it is not difficult at all. The all-terrain vehicle will win you over with its maneuverability, cross-country ability, and comfort. Please note that you need AII category driving licence to drive Sherp.

An easy, picturesque 45-kilometer (three-hour) route along the foothills of the Verkhoyansk Range will help you consolidate your ATV skills. We will make a lunch stop along the way. In the evening, we will arrive on the shore of the Kengdei River, adorned with small pebbles. This is the closest location to the Tiksi "fish place"- in the icy, infinitely transparent waters of the river, Arctic char, grayling, and chir live freely. That means fishing and delicacies for dinner await you!

 

DAY 4. Touching the true beauty of the Yakutia

The 65-kilometer (six-hour) route of the fourth day takes us from the banks of the Kengdei River, cut fantastically by centuries of erosion, into the depths of the mystical Verkhoyansk Range. The route here will be more difficult than on the previous day, which will allow you to enjoy the off-road capabilities of an all-terrain vehicle. The fun does not stop at lunch, which will be served on one of the mountain peaks. Towards evening, we will find ourselves on the banks of the Lena River, the largest river in the world, flowing through the entirety of the permafrost region.

We will camp in a clearing overlooking the famous Chekursky cheeks. They look like the popular Lena Pillars, with only the "insignificant" difference that just a hundreds of people have seen Chekursky cheeks for the entire time of their thousand-year existence, and up to a thousand people a week visit Lena Pillars near Yakutsk. This is the kind of exclusive experience offered by this journey!

 

DAY 5. The absolute magic of the northern rivers

On the fifth day, we will not go anywhere. We will devote ourselves entirely to contemplation of the beauty of Yakutia and fishing. After all, this is the ideal place.

Near our camp, the Erkit River flows into the Lena River. There is a cornucopia of fishing places. Here you can even catch the giant taimen, and if you are lucky, you can also take out a gigantic sturgeon, as well as omul, chira, char, and other local representatives of the salmon family. Guaranteed successful fishing in an incredibly picturesque place - what could be better?

At your request, all of your catches will be immediately prepared and served in the best possible way.

 

DAY 6. Geological formations and geographical discoveries

After the previous day, we will have had a good rest, and will have replenished our strength. On the sixth day, we will need it, because today's 120-kilometer daily route is the longest of the entire expedition. All day we will go down the river Lena. Behind the windows of the all-terrain vehicles, there will be an unbelievable kaleidoscope of geological formations and beautiful sights.


The little-studied Chekurovsky cheeks give way to rocky clamps. The rocky shores will give way to many kilometers of sandy beaches, multi-colored moss of swamp lenses. Prepare a piggy bank for impressions! By sunset, we will direct the wheels of all-terrain vehicles perpendicular to the shore and sail across the Lena to Tit-Ary Island.


A delicious dinner awaits you in a small fishing artel, where only 17 fishermen live during short summer time. After several days in a deserted tundra, it will be an unexpected and warm meeting!


The day's overnight is in a comfortable lodge, built specifically for the participants of our expedition.

 

DAY 7. Sacraments and traditions of fishing

The fishing artel on the island of Tit-Ary carefully preserves the traditions of Yakutia fishing, combining them with the advantages of new technologies. Given the fact that you need to travel by river or sea for weeks to get to the nearest large settlement, almost all fish was frozen to be preserved. For this, adits, manmade caves, several floors deep, were created as ice-rooms, hollowed out from the permafrost.


On this day, we will show you a functioning 90 year old adit, and a modern installation of shock freezing, thanks to which it is no longer necessary.


However, the main entertainment for the day will be participation in real fishing with artel fishermen. After fishing you will have lunch and, in the late afternoon, a traditional sauna. The fish you catch will be shock froze, which takes only three hours. For dinner, stroganin- small slices made from a frozen fish, will be prepared before you very eyes. The overnight stay is in the same comfortable lodge.

 

DAY 8. The endless sands of Olonkho

A real desert is not what you expect to see in the Arctic. That is why we suggested you go there, to exceed any, even the most daring expectations. The eighth day is a 100-kilometer circular route along the Lena River Delta, during which endless sands await against the backdrop of the mountains.


After the island of Tit-Ary, the Lena River spreads into many channels separated by small sandy islands. In the first half of June, immediately after the ice drift, the Lena Delta in this place is completely covered by water, and the width of the channel can reach 30 km.


Around the beginning of July, the delta, as if by magic, is divided into thousands of sandy islands separated by channels, dotted with countless ponds. With the beginning of August, water becomes very scarce, and the river delta turns into a gigantic mass of sand with an area of thirty thousand square kilometers, making it the largest sand massif in the world within the Arctic Circle. Along the way, we will encounter real dunes and sandstorms.


A relatively flat sand makes it possible to move at maximum speed (more than 25 km / h), which makes the route of this day very comfortable, despite its considerable length. Lunch will be held at a point overlooking the endless and cold Arctic Ocean. Dinner and overnight will be in the familiar lodge on the island of Tit-Ary.

 

DAY 9. Across the sea on dry land

Our way back to civilization begins with decisive action. Behind the levers of all-terrain vehicles, you have to... cross the Lena River! The width of the river at the intersection will be from four to eight kilometers. But do not be afraid! Unlike usual caterpillar all-terrain vehicles, which have a very limited buoyancy margin and, in fact, slowly drown rather than swim, our ATV vehicles effortlessly deal with such obstacles.

Thanks to the wide horizontal paddles of the lugs, the wheels of the all-terrain vehicle perfectly row in the water, allowing you to maintain a speed of about 8 kilometers per hour on the water. A watertight body and a significant amount of air in the tires allow you to safetly overcome water obstacles of any possible length.


After crossing the Lena River, the route will again enter the winding channel of the Kengdei River. For the rest of the day, we will move along the Verkhoyansk Range, after which we will stop for fishing and an overnight.

 

DAY 10. Ghosts of the Soviet empire

Our leisurely return to civilization will begin with a hearty breakfast and fishing. After that, through the reddened tundra, we will return to the city of Tiksi after a two-hour drive on all-terrain vehicles. Upon our return, we will have a tour of this mystic location.


During the Soviet era, a large number of strategic and special-purpose military bases were deployed in Tiksi, Arctic convoys were formed, and a huge port functioned. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many bases were decommissioned, a significant portion of the buildings and equipment was abandoned.


Today, due to the development of the Russian military presence in the Arctic, Tiksi is gradually reviving. At the same time, abandoned buildings and an abundance of rusty equipment represent a man-made monument of the past era. You will be able to see this for yourself during a small excursion led by the scientist, who devoted his whole life to Tiksi.


After this, we will go to the airport and fly back to Yakutsk, where we check into the familiar hotel "Tygyn Darkhan". Afterwards, a gala dinner awaits us, during which we will watch photo and video footage of your journey prepared by our team, share our impressions with each other and mark the successful end of this amazing expedition.

 

DAY 11. Returning home

After breakfast at the hotel, our drivers will take you to the airport of Yakutsk so that your flight home will be in the most comfortable atmosphere.


`This concludes our project, but we await new experiences with you!

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