Ski Iraq 2020

from US$2,400

A country more associated with deserts has some vast mountainous terrain in the northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region which we will explore with a qualified international ski guide. Using the experience the Untamed Borders team has of guiding and climbing in Iraq, we have identified areas that offer some exciting ski touring terrain.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Ski Tours
    • Activity Level Challenging
      5/8
    • Group Size Medium Group
      10
    All about the Ski Iraq 2020.

    In 2017 we arranged the first-ever commercial ski trip to Iraq. 2020 will be our fourth year taking skiers to Iraq and third year of taking skiers to compete at the Iraq Ski Rally. For a country more associated with deserts, Iraq has some great mountainous terrain in the northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. We’ll explore the area together with a qualified international ski guide.
    Through Untamed Borders previous skiing and climbing trips to Iraq, we have identified areas that offer exciting ski touring terrain.

    Guests should have some prior experience of ski touring and be able to make turns in all conditions.

    We will start in Erbil and head straight to the peaks around the town of Choman near the Iranian border. Here we will find the best and most reliable snow. In addition to the ski touring, we are timing the trip to coincide with the Choman Winter Festival and Iraq Ski Rally. The Winter Festival started in 1952 but was stopped under Saddam, however it has and now includes a fun ski touring race designed for people of mixed abilities.

    Iraq has some significant problems at the moment, but security is good in the far north of the country. It is possible to experience some of the famous Kurdish hospitality amongst the peaks. The chance to truly blaze a tourist trail is a rare opportunity.

    Also, we are running an optional 10-day add-on crossing the border over into Iran to continue skiing. Please get in touch for further details.

    Start Point : Erbil
    End Point : Erbil

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • All accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch when skiing
    • All ground transport
    • Guiding
    • Entry to the Iraq Ski rally (worth US$100)
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Iraqi Kurdistan
    • Entrance fees
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Tips
    • Ski equipment
    1. Day 1 Arrive - Erbil

      Sunday 26th January 2020
      Arrive in Erbil. Briefing.
      Depending on the time of arrival we will be able to arrange a city tour to some of Erbil’s sights, including the ancient citadel that dominates the centre of the city.
      Overnight in Erbil.

    2. Day 2 Erbil - Choman

      Monday 27th January 2020
      Drive from Erbil to Choman along the Hamilton Road. Built by the British, it winds its way through the mountains of Kurdistan towards the Iranian border. If the snow is good enough, we will stop off at the Korek mountain resort. This resort has a chairlift. Sightseers mainly use the lift, but if the snow has been heavy then it will be possible to ski on the slopes too. We will then continue to Choman.
      Overnight in simple homestay in Choman.

    3. Days 3 - 6 Choman and around

      Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st January 2020
      Following paths and routes explored on our 2017 trip, the group will ski the slopes of Halgurd – Iraq’s highest peak and other areas. The group will also be exploring new routes and runs. Much of the area has never been skied before.
      During this period, we plan to spend one night in a simple local home high in the mountains.
      Overnight in simple homestay in Choman.

    4. Day 7 Choman - Iraq Ski Rally

      Saturday 1st February 2020
      The proposed date of the Iraq Ski Rally. The trip includes entry to this event.
      Overnight in a simple homestay in Choman.

    5. Day 8 Choman

      Sunday 2nd February 2020
      A final day skiing in Choman.
      Overnight in a simple homestay in Choman.

    6. Day 9 Choman - Erbil - End

      Monday 3rd February 2020
      We will drive back to Erbil to connect with afternoon or evening flights home.

    Accommodation

    We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. Even if we wanted to, the reality is that standards and costs in Erbil cannot be compared to a homestay in Choman. We consider comfort, location, design, character, security, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.
    The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing a room in Erbil.
    In Choman guests will stay in a communal room

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Included in the price:
    • All accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch when skiing
    • All ground transport
    • Guiding
    • Entry to the Iraq Ski rally (worth US$100)
    Not included in the price:
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Iraqi Kurdistan
    • Entrance fees
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Tips
    • Ski equipment

    We do not directly arrange international flights to Iraqi Kurdistan. We can suggest routes and operators.
    You can also contact the Untamed Borders dedicated team at Flight Centre for suggested routes.
    Mail: untamedborders@rtwexperts.co.uk
    Phone: +44(0) 844 560 9966
    If you are bringing skis then please ensure that the carrier will take skis.
    If you do want to extend your trip in Iraqi Kurdistan either before or after this one please contact us for arranging something or simply for advice and suggestions.

    For most nationalities, a visa is available on arrival at Erbil airport. The visa is valid for Iraqi Kurdistan only and NOT for southern Iraq.

    We provide breakfast every day and lunch when skiing. We know plenty of places in Erbil. From traditional kebab houses to international restaurants at international prices. When there is an option, we let you choose how much you want to spend.

    Unless the group is very small we take two vehicles when driving between towns and to the ski areas. If there is a breakdown, we will not be left stranded. When we choose our vehicles and drivers, we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of the journey, and the competence of the man behind the wheel. Your comfort, enjoyment, and safety of the trip is our priority.

    Guests should bring their own equipment. A full list of recommended equipment will be given nearer the time.

    You will be accompanied by a European ski guide for the length of the trip. There will also be a local Iraqi guide to translate when not on the slopes.

    Trips to Iraq do create dangers of their own. While we want you to have as much freedom as possible, we must state that the tour leader has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. The route we have chosen passes through areas which we consider to be relatively stable. However, things can change, and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.
    In Iraq, areas away from the roads do have a risk of landmines. We have experience in the region, including access to maps and information about where to ski and avoid.
    As with off-piste skiing in the rest of the world, there is a small but serious avalanche risk.

    Get in touch for further details of our Ski Iran trip which will run straight after the Iraq section.

    Emailinfo@untamedborders.com

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    Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
    January 26, 2020 - February 3, 2020
    Available to book
    US$2,400
    N/A