MSR tents in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass

KURDISTAN SUMMIT SUCCESS

media release: 11/04/17

Written by Kerry O'Neill Photography by Secret Compass teammates

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 April 2017

Iraqi Kurdistan: summit success for adventurous expedition team

A team of adventurous travellers has just reached the summit of Iraqi Kurdistan’s highest peak, Mount Halgurd (3,607m), on a pioneering Kurdistan trekking expedition led by UK-based Secret Compass.

Teammate contemplates the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass

Mount Halgurd is the highest peak in the region’s Zagros ranges. It is the highest mountain wholly within Iraq (Cheekah Dar is reputedly 4m higher but straddles the Iranian border, rendering it unclimbable).

“Everyone is thrilled that our 12-strong group of teammates and leaders reached the summit,” said Kerry O’Neill, communications director at Secret Compass. “It’s fantastic to see such positive news coming out of Kurdistan.

“On this epic expedition, our teammates really got behind the headlines and under the skin of a place that’s usually in the spotlight for less positive reasons. We hope that our teammates will speak widely of the realities of life in Kurdistan once home.”

Expedition vehicle in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass
Driver in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass
Children in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass
Trekkers on the mountain in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 2
MSR tents in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass

Phil de Beger, the expedition professional who led the effort for Secret Compass, said, “We had two teams in country in 2017 with the goal of reaching the summit of the region’s highest mountain and exploring the nearby Zagros ranges.

“Weather and snow conditions meant that our March team fell short of the summit. Our April team, which returned on 9 April 2017, had the weather on its side and achieved its goal.”

Team with MSR tents in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 6
Team celebrates summit success in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 2

Expedition kit and equipment

Both expedition teams were equipped with industry-leading kit and equipment, such as expedition-strength MSR tents and high-calorie dehydrated rations from Expedition Foods. Having the right kit and equipment and easily prepared, nutritious meals all helps to keep team strength and morale high in testing environments.

Expedition foods in action in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 4
Expedition Foods about to be prepared in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros ranges on an expedition to Iraqi Kurdistan © Secret Compass.
Expedition Foods about to be enjoyed in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros ranges on an expedition to Iraqi Kurdistan © Secret Compass.
Expedition Foods enjoyed in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros ranges on an expedition to Iraqi Kurdistan © Secret Compass.

Highlights of the Iraqi Kurdistan expedition

  • Summit Iraqi Kurdistan’s highest peak, Mount Halgard.
  • Explore the rugged and remote Zagros ranges.
  • Trek and wild camp in a true mountain wilderness.
  • Visit a remote region with no tourist infrastructure.
  • Experience first-hand Kurdish life and hospitality.

Anyone seeking to join a colder weather expedition team for late spring or early summer 2017 can apply to trek Iceland’s iconic Laugavegur Trail, to claim some adventurous first ascents while trekking in Greenland, or to learn Alpine skills while trekking in Georgia. Find all expeditions here.

Group at the summit, in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 3
Mountain view in the Mount Halgurd region of the Zagros mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan on an expedition with (c) Secret Compass 5

With its military background, expedition company Secret Compass is renowned for offering expeditions and adventure travel to countries eschewed by most operators due to their remoteness, post-conflict reputations or inaccessibility.

Expedition styles range from mixed-terrain trekking and minimalist desert traverses to packrafting, whitewater rafting and horseback expeditions.

Secret Compass expeditions are grouped into adventure themes. These are Classics Redefined, Epic Expeditions, Adventure Academy and Cultural Immersion styled adventures. Visit Expedition Basecamp to view all upcoming 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.

For further press information contact communications director Kerry O’Neill on 0207 096 8428 or via email info@secretcompass.com.

Notes for editors: Secret Compass

Secret Compass redefines what is possible by creating pioneering projects in the world’s wildest places. Secret Compass is 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. Upcoming destinations include Afghanistan, Armenia, Bhutan, Burma, Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan, Madagascar, North Korea, Panama, Siberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad and the southern Sinai.

Secret Compass for TV, film and brand projects

Secret Compass is trusted by production companies and brands to create and capture the extraordinary in remote and wild regions thanks to its unrivalled location and risk-management expertise. Credits include location-managing Channel 4’s Walking the Nile and Walking the Himalayas series, alongside projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. Brand clients to date include Mitsubishi, Sony, Nespresso, Giro, Xbox and Jagermeister.

Apply to summit Mount Halgurd

To apply for the next Iraqi Kurdistan expedition as a teammate, visit Secret Compass Expedition Basecamp now and select Epic Expeditions.

The Journal

Terms and Conditions
  1. One entry per person.
  2. Closing date for entries is 12:00 AUG 3.
  3. Entrants must be at least 18 years old.
  4. The prize includes: two weekend tickets to attend The Adventure Travel Film Festival in North London The prize does not include: meals, paying workshops, camping equipment or travel expenses.
  5. Getting to the venue in London is the responsibility of the winner.
  6. The prize is only available from 11th – 13th August 2017.
  7. The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
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