The Taklamakhan Anglo-Chinese Expedition 2017 through the Desert

The Taklamakan Anglo-Chinese Expedition 2017 (TAC Expedition). 塔克拉玛干沙漠联合探险队

A brief overview TAC Expedition

The Taklamakan desert has a fearsome reputation as China’s largest dune desert. Many have dared to venture into its interior in a quest for legendary treasures buried beneath her shifting dunes and never been seen again. Taklamakan’s literal translation is ‘the desert you go in and don’t come out’.

My forthcoming expedition, taking place in September 2017, whist being British-led by myself, will be a joint anglo-sino one, into and across the interior of the Taklamakan, travelling the full length of nearly 1,000 km over giant, shifting sand dunes – and out the other side. Taklamakan Anglo-Chinese Expedition 2017 Brochure

Each expedition invariably offers up its own ‘cause’ and in this instance, it is hard to ignore the role of water; I am keen to develop that idea as the central theme to this challenge in one of the worlds driest deserts.

With temperatures reaching between -20c at night and above 38c by day the expedition will provide challenging extremes to be tackled along the way. Further details of the planning and expedition resources will be posted on the website over the coming months leading up to September 2017.

Route

Taklamakan Desert Facts

Transport for Water in the Desert

Camels and their handler

Although the crossing of the Taklamakan Desert will take approximately 60 days on foot, a number of Bactrian camels are used to transport water and resupplies along the journey. These are examples of some of the animals the team have already chosen for the expedition.
塔克拉玛干沙漠联合探险队

The Taklamakan Anglo-Chinese Expedition 2017

Planning for the Expedition

The Expedition expects to travel some 1,000 km, crossing the desert west to east.
Past expeditions include one undertaken by Victorian explorer Sven Hedin, who crossed North to South (the shortest and easiest route between the dunes) but lost two men, nearly all the camels, and very nearly perished himself. Recorded earlier attempts were short-lived being defeated by hunger, thirst, and the desert’s notoriously ferocious sandstorms.

ONLY THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITION IN OVER 500 YEARS TO CROSS THE LENGTH OF THE FEARSOME TAKLAMAKAN DESERT and the FIRST FEMALE-LED EXPEDITION TO CROSS THE TAKLAMAKAN DESERT.

One of the world’s largest and least explored deserts of giant shifting dunes.
A central Asian desert in the centre of Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Province, Western China. Skirted north & south by the old silk route to and from China, a route which had to circumnavigate this inhospitable desert.
Local population Turkic, Muslim, Chinese Han & Uyghur. The desert is also home to 409 vertebrates, wild camels, reptiles, & snakes

TERRAIN & CONDITIONS
Altitudes of up to 5,000 feet (1,500m) – Dunes up to 1,500 feet high (450m)
Shifting dunes, creating extremely difficult and challenging terrain. Severe scarcity of water Subject to ferocious sandstorms, including the black ‘Kara-buran. Daytime
Swinging temperatures daytime 30º C plus to night temperatures – 20º’ C & lower

Rosie Stancer - 2017 Taklamakan Anglo-Chinese Expedition

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