Tim has been running small group treks in collaboration with World Expeditions since 2008, and specliazes in remote trekking and cultural tours of Mongolia and Russia. Most tours are for adults, but Tim also tries to run one trip a year for school groups to Western Mongolia which have fundraising for community work projects at its core. Tim is constantly trying to evolve as a guide and offer new itineraries that provide the kind of transformative experience that he has undergone himeself. Whether you are a group looking for a customised adventure, a school, or an individual, please browse below for information, and feel free to contact Tim via the enquiry page with queries. All itineraries below can be tailored for small group private trips depending on budget, timing needs, and level of comfort.
TRIPS WITH BOOKING PLACES REMAINING IN 2016:
NEW in 2016: MONGOLIA FIVE GODS RIVER AND TREK EXPEDITION (23 DAY TREK AND CANOE SMALL GROUP EXPEDITION DEPARTING AUGUST 22 (MAX GROUP SIZE 10, MINIMUM 4).
A trek over high passes on nomad trails supported by herdsmen with their camels and horses, followed by a canoe voyage down the Khovd River will offer unparalleled experience of both the diverse landscapes of Western Mongolia and its nomadic heritage. The region is not only home to Mongolia's highest peak, Tavan Bogd (meaning 'Five Gods' it reaches 4,374m), but a diversity of nomad cultures including Tuvans, Kazakhs, Uriankhai, and Oirat Mongolian tribes. Ancient burial mounds, Turkic stones, and petroglyphs found dotted throughout the valleys and slopes of the Khovd River basin remind visitors of the remarkable continuity of horseback, nomadic life that has been unbroken here for at least 5,000 years. The Khovd River, which originates in the highest peaks and glaciers of Tavan Bogd and flows 516 kilometres into the lakes and wetlands of the Great Lakes Depression, will be the guide for much of the journey - weaving, meandering, and sometimes tumbling its way from glacier-fed rapids across alpine lakes, through forests and steppe, and gorges that cut deep into rugged semi-deserts. At this time of year as summer crosses into autumn, nomads migrate down from the mountains to the banks of the Khovd River giving us the opportunity to experience their daily realities and understand the intricate nature of their migratory cycle. Experience in canoeing is not required. Please contact world expeditions or Tim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org withany queries.
There are 6 places remaining on this guaranteed departure (June 29). This trip incorprates an 8-10 day camel assisted trek over the Kharkhiraa-turgen massif in remote western Mongolia at a time of year when nomads are migrating to the high alpine pastures and alpine flowers are in full bloom. It integrates the same trek as the IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NOMADS tour, but will also include a visit to a regional Naadam - the renowned festival of three 'manly sports,' arhcery, wrestling, and horse racing. The trek tour will begin on June 29 and conclude July 14. Please contact Tim via his contact page, or through World Expeditions.
No departures scheduled, but also open to interested individuals and small private groups:
Nestled into a southern toe-hold of Siberia, on the frontiers of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China intersect, lie the remote Russian Altai - a remarkable range of 4000m+ glaciated peaks where dense taiga forest, alpine plateaus and raging rivers meet with camel-trodden steppe, and the fringes of Central Asian desert landscapes. The unique ecological tapestry of the region is mirrored by the Altai’s mixed cultural heritage, renowned as the cross-roads of Islam, Buddhism, Orthodox Christianity, and Shamanism. At the heart of Altai culture are the indigenous Altai people – nomads, who submitted to Russian suzerainty in the 19th century, but who still play an important role in the life, and governance of the semi-autonomous ‘Altai Republic.’
In September this year, Tim Cope will lead a 10 day trek for World Expeditions in the shadow of the Altai’s highest peak, Belukha (4506 metres). Tim, a Russian speaker who first visited the Altai in 2000 and has since become impassioned about travel to the greater Altai mountain range, will accompany the group from the village of Tyungur through a series of mixed forests, and alpine ridges, culminating with a crossing of the Karatiurek pass (3060m).
Scheduled in early autumn to coincide with the turning of the deciduous larch and birch and the tourism off-season, the trek promises to be characterised by stable warm days, cold clear nights, and quiet trails. Packhorses –a quintessential in the life of Altai nomads- will be used for the cartage of equipment, and the group will additionally be accompanied by local guides, and a translator.
Like on all of Tim’s journeys, he hopes that the journey will be vehicle for people to come to know the culture of the region, and the unique relationship that the people have forged with their environment over many centuries.
Other trips for 2016/2017
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NOMADS (18 day itinerary departing annually from Ulaan Baatar on the last sunday in July)
Voted by National Geographic Traveller as a "Tour of a lifetime" in 2011
In 2009, Tim returned to the remote Kharkhiraa-Turgen mountains of Western Mongolia where he reunited with Dashnyam - the man who had guided Tim over the high passes of Kharkhiraa in 2004 during Tim's epic ride from Mongoila to Hungary. This time, he was leading an exploratory trip for World Expeditions, along with long-time Mongolian friend, Tseren Enebish of Tseren Tours. The 18 day journey, taking in the Kharkhiraa-Turgen massif, and finishing among Kazakh nomads in Bayan Olgiy was a life-changing experience for all involved. Since 2009, Tim has been returning to the region anually to run a trek. In 2011 and 2013 he also took groups of Caulfield Grammar students from Melbourne on a trek, which included a community project element in the remote village of Khovd. For Tim, taking small groups to these special places is a way of bridging the nomad world of the steppe, and the realities of modern life in the Western World. All of Tim's tours have some fundraising element for local causes (primarily the Downsyndrome association of Mongolia, and Khovd Soum school in Uvs Aimag province.)
For more infromation on how you can book a trek with Tim please refer to the World Expeditions homepage. (please note, there are no spaces available in the 2015 trek. Places are To be guaranteed of a place on the trek, its better to enquire early on).
This trips usually books out 12 months in advance - for 2017 interest please enquire at your earliest convenience.
MOUNTED NOMADS OF WESTERN MONGOLIA (18 day trip departing 24th september 2015)
Journey with Tim Cope into the heart of the oldest horseback, nomad cultures in the world on a tour that will take you from remote desert landscapes, to high glacier capped peaks, and the bustle of some one of the most isolated, yet vibrant towns of anywhere in Central Asia - the capital of Mongolia's semi-autonomous kazakh province, Olgiy. The journey will feature a travelling safari by Russian jeep, a three day trek accompanied by nomads and their animals, and attendance at the annual 'eagle festival' - the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. Tim, who has become somewhat of an expert on the history and heritage of the Mongols and nomads more broadly, will be working together with veteran Mongolian traveller and guide Tseren Enebish to provide a unique, exploratory style journey with a focus on cultural encounters.
Please note that this is a unique trip run in collaboration with the Australian Geographic Society. This is fully booked for 2016, but if you are interested please enquire through World Expeditions.