The 2015 Adventure Hotlist from Secret Compass Expeditions

London, United Kingdom, April 09, 2015 --( Expedition company Secret Compass has finalised its expedition list for late 2015 with new destinations, world-firsts, minimalist adventures and ambitious MTB exploration featuring strongly.

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “Though our iconic adventures to Afghanistan and to Kurdistan remain popular, for 2015 we’re introducing new destinations including Armenia, Burma, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia and the Sinai.”

The 2015 Adventure Hotlist

1. Afghanistan (Jul/2015): high-altitude trek in the Wakhan Corridor National Park.
2. Siberia (Aug 2015): trek to climb Eurasia’s highest active volcanoes in Kamchatka.
3. Malawi (Aug 2015): fundraising trek to climb the country’s 3,000m+ Mount Mulanje.
4. Armenia (Aug 2015): exploration of a fabled land and its UNESCO-protected peaks.
5. Kyrgyzstan (Sep 2015): mountain-biking (MTB) expedition exploring the Talas Range.
6. Namibia (Sep 2015): minimalistic, hunter-gatherer expedition with the San Bushmen.
7. Ethiopia (Oct 2015): MTB expedition exploring the Simien Mountains and villages.
8. Sinai (Oct 2015): minimalistic, camel-supported desert trek with the Bedouin.
9. Iran (Oct 2015): ‘Desert stars and solitude’ – a Lut Desert traverse.
10. Burma (Oct 2015): expedition into Saigang/ Nagaland to summit Saramati Peak.

Minimalist expeditions
Bodkin, who set up Secret Compass with army colleague Levison Wood, continued, “Our Namibia and Sinai expeditions are minimalist in style to help team members feel immersed in their environments away from the gadgets and clutter of their day-today lives.

“In Sinai, our team members will wear a Bedouin cloak, carry a goat-skin water bladder and sleep around fires beneath the stars as local nomadic cultures have done for centuries. No extraneous kit is permitted and the team will barter with camel traders for food en route.

“In Namibia, working with the Nanofasa eco-tourism project, the expedition team will live with and learn from the San Bushmen in the wilds of the Kalahari. On this extended hunter-gatherer expedition they’ll put their new-found bush skills into practice to find food and water.”

High-altitude trekking
Bryony Balen, expedition researcher, said, “Secret Compass also runs high-altitude expeditions in some of the world’s most pristine natural habitats, with teams unlikely to bump into other westerners. Though challenging, each involves trekking, not mountaineering, meaning that anyone with an active lifestyle can apply – you don’t have to be superhuman or to have specialist skills.

“In Afghanistan we discover the Pamir mountains, home to Wakhi and Kyrgyz nomads, on a trek that is often at or above 3,500m. On Siberia’s vast Kamchatka peninsula, our teams will summit some of Eurasia’s highest active volcanoes. And in the Armenian highlands, they’ll follow a high-altitude, UNESCO-protected ridgeline in the country’s little-visited Southern Highlands.

Exploration in hard-to-reach destinations
Kerry O’Neill, marketing director with Secret Compass, said, “Experienced adventure travellers join our challenging expedition teams if they’re keen to explore places that can seem daunting – impenetrable even – when going alone.

“This year marks our first expedition into Iran. A team of 12 will traverse the Lut Desert in the footsteps of Wilfred Thesiger and Marco Polo to approach the hottest place on earth (during its cool season) passing geological phenomena, lunar landscapes and desert star dunes.

“Our mountain-biking expeditions offer a complete antidote to Western Europe’s busy bike trails. We offer an exploratory MTB expedition through Ethiopia’s UNESCO-protected Simien Ranges (climbing the highest mountain) and will become the first MTB team to traverse the Talas Mountains, in Kyrgyzstan’s remote wilderness.”

Burma is another new destination for 2015. Tom McShane, operations director with Secret Compass, said, “Though many companies visit Burma’s main sites, we will leave the crowds behind, exploring Burmese Nagaland en route to summit mainland Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Saramati Peak.”

Modern exploration and achievement
O’Neill continued, “The Internet is full of questions like ‘Are there any real firsts left?’ and ‘In the age of Google Earth, can exploration still exist?’ We believe that there are many genuine challenges left, and that many regions, mountains and rivers remain unexplored.

“There is much opportunity out there for normal people to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places – and that’s what our expeditions offer. They’re not easy and they’re not guided tours: they’re tough, they’re satisfying and they’re what experienced adventure travellers want.”

For further press information on Secret Compass expedition destinations throughout 2015, contact Kerry O’Neill.

Notes To Editors

Secret Compass Expeditions
Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers.

Secret Compass TV and Film
Secret Compass provides expert pre-production and in-country location management services to the TV and film industries. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, South Sudan to Siberia.
Secret Compass
Kerry O'Neill
0203 2398 038