[at-l] jack pack reviewed

dfaddleton at gmail.com dfaddleton at gmail.com
Mon Apr 19 07:30:30 CDT 2010

you don't want to get caught in winter in Mongolia without a ger, a stove,  
and a lot of dung or coal
the place has awesome hiking: no trails: you need a good map and compass;  
you also should have a guide to help locate water sources.
the views in late winter, early spring reminded me of pictures from mars in  
their stark, desolation . . . everyone says they turn green and colorful  
from wild flowers in summer.
bailing isn't an easy option: be prepared for anything because it can take  
days to locate and obtain help for an injury . . . . unless you're hiking  
near a well traveled track or road; strangers will assist
i'm working on some pictures from Hustai National Park and Terelj National  
by the way, I think maybe national parks were a mongolian, not a US  
invention . . . .
I did two day hikes in Terellj and both wore me out: both involved a climb,  
mostly ridge climbing, and then a plunge of a descent through snow to a  
valley and a long walk back to the vehicle. The mountains were comparable  
in elevation to the Smokies, but the location in north central Asia makes  
them crazy cold most of the year. I did not view a lot of forest, though  
there is some forest in protected areas (both protected from arctic  
elements and by government or custom from grazing and cutting) and the land  
seems over-grazed by sheep, goats, cows, yaks, and horses.

Getting there: 10 days + or - by rail from Moscow; 36 hrs by rail from  
Beijing, to Ulaanbaatar the capital and best location to find local  
guides . . . . I understand UB is accessible by air from Moscow, Beijing,  
and Seoul. I can recommend the railway from Beijing and Korean Air . . . .  
Air China has a reputation for tardy departures, refusals to land in UB,  
and cancellations due to "weather" although Mongolian Air and its internal  
domestic air carriers, aeroflot, and korean don't appear so paranoid of the  
mongolian winds which seem to come mostly from siberia . . . .

Gers are the round, felt and canvas tents the mongolian herders use to stay  
warm in winter . . . they do the job marvelously if there's enough fuel to  
keep the fire running through the night. They tend to be a bit dark, but  
they're dry and warm and I slept really well in a regular bed with a hard  
mattress. Do NOT lean against either of the two supports inside: it's a  
very rude behavior . . . . i did not have the opportunity to taste the  
fermented mare's milk because I wasn't there in late spring. but I did have  
Khor-khog, a mutton stew I really enjoyed, and their stuffed dumplings and  
bread. It's a little bland for my south-asian preference for spices and you  
can always bring your own to spice it up without offending the host . . . .  
I was not impressed with the weak milk tea . . . .

The national, traditional dress is elegant and functional: the del is a  
quilted, long coat that keeps you warm even during periods of extreme cold  
when sheep's fur lines the interior . . . The traditional mongolian women's  
jewelry and hair dressings provided inspiration to the Star Wars costume  
designers . . . .

I want to go back and enjoy some over-night trekking in the summer . . . .  
the fishing is supposed to be awesome . . . .

On Apr 19, 2010 7:21am, rcli4 at comcast.net wrote:
> How about that trip report?

> Clyde

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: David Addleton
> To: at-l
> Sent: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 09:45:57 +0000 (UTC)
> Subject: [at-l] jack pack reviewed

> http://www.wired.com/reviews/product/pr_jakpak

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