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Afghani Ski Guides_Afghan Ski Challenge 2014_COPYRIGHT_UntamedBorders

Autumn 2014 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • A note from James
  • Upcoming trips
  • Meet the Team
  • UB in the Press
Pictured: Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan

A note from James Willcox, Founder

Late Summer and early Autumn is always the busiest time of year for Untamed Borders and this year was no exception. As well as our trekking, horse riding and cultural trips we ran a number of private excursions. These included our longest ever tour (a 35 day bicycle trip on the Karakorum Highway), our shortest (a 5 hour city tour in Kabul), our first ever motorbike tour through Chechnya and Dagestan and our first tour to the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia (photos here).
However, the trip we are most proud of was a small private tour for six people in Kabul, Bamian and Herat in Afghanistan. As the group would be spread across two vehicles our lead guide needed an assistant guide with him in each city. It gave us the opportunity to hire Arzoo, the first female guide Untamed Borders has ever employed in Afghanistan - and quite possibly Afghanistan's first ever lady tour guide.

This was not some kind of affirmative action job. Untamed Borders has no political or social agenda. It was simply that Arzoo was the best person for the job and we do run a meritocracy. Our guests found having a female perspective on the trip illuminating, and Arzoo welcomed the opportunity to share her home city of Herat with such enthusiastic visitors.
In the last few years we have broken a lot of new ground with regards to tourism in Afghanistan. From running the country's first commercial ski trips to making first ascents on unclimbed peaks. Employing Arzoo may not lend itself to such grandiose accolades, but it quite possibly gives us the most satisfaction.

Adventure with us in 2015 - you know you want to!

We are still finalising our fixed date itineraries for 2015 but below are some early highlights. If there is anything you are keen to do that is not on our website please get in touch for costs for private trips.
Kabul photo_copyright Untamed Borders

Trek Pakistan & Afghanistan

We will be running two trekking expeditions to Pakistan and one to Afghanistan in 2015. Each trip offers some of the world's most incredible, remote landscapes. Whether it is standing in awe at the foot of K2, crossing 112 kilometres of glaciers on the Biafo-Hispar trek or experiencing life in the snowbound Afghan Pamir we think you'll have an amazing time on any of these treks. All led by our experienced guide Moritz Steinhilber. Further details. 
Kabul photo_copyright Untamed Borders

Hit the slopes in Afghanistan

We will be back skiing in Afghanistan for our 5th year running in 2015. This trip will be led by an internationally certified mountain guide assisted by local Afghan ski guides. Guests do not need any prior experience of ski touring and we know slopes suitable for all standards of skier. It is a chance to experience the incredible natural beauty of Afghanistan combined with skiing in one of the least visited regions in the world. Further details.
Wakhan Corridor photo_copyright Untamed Borders

Ethiopia and Somaliland

We have a fixed date itinerary to Ethiopia and Somaliland in Spring 2015 - places are still available. We will visit the hottest place on earth and the world's only permanent lava lake in the Danakil Depression, feed Harar's local Hyena population and see the stunning cave paintings of Las Gaal in Somaliland. There will then be the option of two nights in Mogadishu.
Further details.

Come and say hello!

If you'd like to meet some of the Untamed Borders team this winter then we will be appearing at the following events: 
  • Come see us at the Adventure Travel Show 2015 in Olympia, London on 17th & 18th January. We'd love to meet you for a chat PLUS James will be talking about his part in the development of ski tourism in Afghanistan.
  • Meet some of the Untamed Borders team at the Afghan Ski Challenge – St Moritz on 2nd January 2015. If you can't get to Afghanistan to ski this winter then try the next best thing and take part in the Swiss version. James will be in attendance as well as Ali Shah and Sajjad – two of the Afghan ski guides.
  • If you are near London, Amsterdam or Swabia this winter get in touch, one of our team would love to meet for a tea or something stronger.

Read all about it

Untamed Borders has been featured in numerous international media in recent months including: The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Lonely Planet Traveller, Newsweek and many more. Articles here.
If any of the above trips sound tempting or you'd like to have a chat with one of the Untamed Borders team please get in touch.

Untamed Borders Team

October 2014
Copyright © 2014 Untamed Borders Ltd, All rights reserved.

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