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In order to be ready for the total solar eclipse of Friday 2008 August 1, an inspection visit in Siberia (dormant land in mongol language) was mandatory. During the summer 2006, my "Eclipse-City" associates and myself will scout the Chinese Gobi along the "Silk Road" and Western Mongolia to get the best weather on all the eclipse path. Three eclipse trips will then be available: in China, in Mongolia and in Siberia.
The point of greatest eclipse (totality phase during 2 min 27 sec) lies in northern Siberia near the Kara Sea. This hardly reachable and isolated area is also swampy and the weather at this time of the year not good enough. An inspection visit in this area will however be conducted in 2007. To get a better weather while still being able to observe the eclipse in the best conditions (totality phase between 2 min 15 sec and 2 min 11 sec) and be able to visit the area it is much more interesting to be in the Altai Republic, southern Siberia. Gorno-Altaisk is the capital city of this Russian Federation autonomous region well known for its Altai Mountains, belonging to UNESCO’s World Heritage.
The south of the Altai Republic is covered with beautiful mountains and is one of the rare locations to offer the unique opportunity to observe the endangered elusive Snow Leopards. Rafting is also an outdoor activity that can be practiced.
Novosibirsk, capital city of Siberia, is the starting point of this over 2,000-kilometer 4WD exploration trip. This recce was done mid-August 2004. The road going from Novosibirsk to Kosh-Agach is called "Chuysky Trakt" and goes through Biysk, Gorno-Altaisk, Onguday, Inya, Chibit, Aktash and Kurai. The eclipse viewing site is located near the borders of Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. The search for the endangered Snow Leopard was done in the Tapduair Massif (3,505 m — 11,500 ft), not far from Mongolia.

The Altai eclipse tour is unavailable, but you can still book the short Novosibirsk package (limited space available so register soon) or the tours in China.

Tours in China :

Ancient Silk Road
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Great Wall
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Tours in Russia :

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  2008 Total Solar Eclipse
2008 Total Solar Eclipse

Last page update on January 25, 2005.
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