Explorers Connect

Riding with Eagle Hunters

OtherJames Hipkiss


Hunting with Golden Eagles is a tradition that has continued uninterrupted in Western Mongolia for over a millennia.

Recently two young Brits returned from an adventure to document and photograph this ancient custom as part of a wider horse-riding and packrafting expedition. Over the course of six weeks, photojournalist Jamie Maddison and his expedition partner Matthew Traver travelled all over the Bayan-lgii Province of Western Mongolia, riding on horse-back across the empty plains; following the proud eagle hunters over shattered mountains and later navigating the icy Khovd river in temperatures down past -15'C.

The expedition was initially contemplated as a training run in preparation for an upcoming six-month adventure that the pair are undertaking next year to commemorate the centenary of a 30,000km journey by the Irish explorer Sir Charles Howard-Bury right across Central Asia. The project is titled One Steppe Ahead. From being bucked off a horse full-gallop to getting a boat overturned mid-river, Jamie and Matt certainly had a unique and exciting time of things, and now Jamie is offering a photographic lecture about his travels to meet the hunters and the team's various other escapades out in the wintry steppe.

But for the moment it's back to the planning board for the team; working out the next tentative steps for One Step Ahead.

Please keep an eye peeled for further updates soon! For more information about Jamie please visit www.jamiemaddison.com, or to see example of his previous journalistic and photographic work, please visit www.sidetracked.co.uk.

Details about Matthew Traver's previous adventures can be found at www.matthewtraver.com."