Steppes To The West, a Mongolian girl’s dream to trek 12,000km supported by camels, becomes reality after joining forces with British adventurer Karl Bushby.
An official ceremony to mark the start of the Steppes To The West (#STTWest) journey was held in Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar. The Steppes To The West team, accompanied by their camels, paraded around the historic square accompanied by traditional Mongolian food, drink, dancers and music.
Steppes To The West is a journey conceived by Mongolian adventurer Baigalmaa Norjmaa and co-lead by British record-breaking adventurer Karl Bushby, who is currently walking around the world. The objective is to trek c.12,000km with ten Bactrian camels from the heart of Mongolia through Europe, tracing the ancient Silk Road down through Asia, the old Persian and Ottoman empires, and into Europe. The expedition is scheduled to commence on 5 November 2017.
The proposed route starts near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and intends to cross through China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany and France before finishing in London in c.2021. Challenges and obstacles along the route include extreme weather conditions, harsh environments, limited access to supplies and the bureaucracy of crossing numerous international borders with livestock. Famous explorers who have journeyed along this route include Chinggis Khan, Marco Polo, Bento de Goes, Sven Hedin and Zhang Qian.
Baigalmaa Norjmaa and Karl Bushby are co-leading the journey and will be joined by international adventurers for specific stages along the proposed route. The initial team for the Mongolian stage includes worldwide walker and female empowerment ambassador, Angela Maxwell (USA), environmental activist, Erika Kightlinger (USA), musician and long-distance hiker, Gabriel Showered (USA), Arctic adventurer, Murat Yalcin Tengrisson (DE), and endurance adventurer, Jamie Ramsay (UK). The team will be supported by ten Bactrian Camels from the Mongolian Gobi Desert.
The Steppes To The West team would like to thank Vetnet, AustralianCamels.com, The Garage Hostel, The Seven Summits, OffRoad Mongolia and Nyamka Idema for their support while preparing for the expedition in Ulaanbaatar.
Baigalmaa Norjmaa, Mongolian female adventurer and co-expedition leader: “I have been dreaming about this journey for many years and to find myself co-leading an international expedition of this scale is truly a dream come true and opens the means for me to promote Mongolia and the Mongolian culture to the world. Working with Bactrian camels from the Gobi Desert, using traditional Mongolian methods and partnering with a diverse group of adventurers from around the world makes this expedition even more exciting.”
Karl Bushby, British Adventurer and expedition leader: “Humanity was born of exploration, great horizons and the need to survive. From the day we walked up right, epic journeys have been our primordial legacy, it’s written into the fabric of everything that makes us, our history and our future. STTW, an impossible journey, is the very essence of adventure, steeped in challenges, textured with history, we carry our ancestor’s tale proudly into the 21st century”.