New Iraqi Kurdistan dates added for sell-out winter adventure

Posted by & filed under Asia, Middle East.


High demand for adventure travel to Iraqi Kurdistan has led Secret Compass to add new March dates to its sell-out winter expedition, which aims to summit the Zagros mountains’ highest peak.

“Our April expedition to scale Mount Halgurd filled up in record time. Adventurous types seeking a challenge now have until 25 January to join the new March team,” said Kerry O’Neill, marketing director of Secret Compass.


Iraqi Kurdistan team mate


“For those who love Alpine exploration, rugged Iraqi Kurdistan offers a similar physical challenge – with none of the crowds or tourist infrastructure – plus a chance to get beyond the headlines in one of the world’s more hard-to-access spots,” said Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass.


Expedition fact box

  • Expedition name: Secret Peaks of Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • Aim: Scale Iraqi Kurdistan’s highest peak, Mount Halgurd at 3,607m.
  • Dates: 19 – 27 March (8 nights).
  • Cost: £1,499pp (all inc. except international flights).
  • Flights: London – Erbil return from £350 with Pegasus.
  • Visas: British nationals get a 14-day visitor visa on arrival.
  • Insurance: Specialist insurers like Campbell Irvine cover the region.


O’Neill continued, “Adventure travel has myriad definitions but whichever way you look at it, Secret Compass expeditions are at the tougher, more ambitious end of the scale.

“Our expedition teams often set out to achieve exploratory firsts, from challenging first-ascents on Mongolia’s unclimbed high peaks to pioneering pack-raft missions in the wilds of Gabon.

“The type of people that join our teams often have previous adventure travel experience but our expeditions are also open to anyone with a fit and healthy lifestyle and a robust, positive attitude.”

Former team-mate Tracey Croke said she felt like an ‘explorist’ as part of an expedition team, adding, “I travel with Secret Compass because they let me make history on my annual leave! I’m now the first woman to have traversed Kyrgyzstan’s Talas Range by mountain bike, and was part of the first commercial expedition to mountain bike to Ras Deshan, the roof of Ethiopia at 4,543m.”


Expedition destinations for 2016 and 2017

In 2016 and 2017, Secret Compass’s expedition and adventure travel destinations include Afghanistan, Armenia, Burma, Ethiopia, Gabon, Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Panama, Mongolia, Kamchatka, Siberia’s Arctic Circle, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad, the southern Sinai and Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Expedition styles range from mixed-terrain trekking and minimalist desert traverses to mountain-biking, rafting and horseback expeditions. Secret Compass welcomes applications from anyone with a good level of fitness who’s keen to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places.



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Secret Compass Expeditions

Secret Compass redefines what is possible by creating pioneering projects in the world’s wildest places. It’s built around a team of trusted experts who combine a passion for exploration with industry-leading professionalism. Secret Compass reignites your primal need for adventure, providing the catalyst for you to come alive and achieve the extraordinary.


Secret Compass TV
Secret Compass TV provides expert pre-production and in-country location management services to the TV and film industries. Clients to date include the BBC, Nat Geo, Discovery, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, South Sudan and Siberia.





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