Sunday, 14 October 2012

Winter is coming...

No kidding, the temperature dropped like a stone over the last couple of days, it's been cold in the morning and at night -10C or a bit lower but rising to +15C in the afternoons, except not any more. Yesterday the high was 1C and today similar, with snow flurries yesterday and overnight. The mountains are white.

But today was the day we chose to take our mini, Young Adventures Club up the mountain, its not a long hike but the oldest of these nippers is 10 and it was cold.

We started out going through the ger camp, it was sunny with a little snow on the ground.

A little higher the snow was thicker and made a pleasant crunching sound, it was cold but fun in the sun.

 We went to the stream to look at the ice.

and had a brief chat about ice safety, how you tell which ice is thick, which is not, and why the ice was not forming on the water but a couple of inches above it. All interesting but we became aware of the fact that it was cold in the shade especially when stood still. We also learned that the larch needles on the snow added a little traction and made it easier to walk. Though we all fell at least once, some a lot more than others.

 Only 5 of the possible 19 showed up and by the lunch break they were wearing every spare bit of clothing Sarah, Pam (another accompanying teacher) and I had been carrying. We'd wrapped them in a survival blanket, made them put on everything they had brought with them and cooked them a couple of pots of spicy noodle soup to eat and still they shivered. (I'll update with those photos when I can get them from Pam.)
come on now - sort yourself out.

 It wasn't long after we set off down though that they warmed up again.

Once they had warmed up a bit and dropped down a few hundred feet we could begin to take off some of the layers. Though the little guy did not want to give up "Big Orange".

Posing in the sun much further down, near some Khadak
They were fun, really good company, they were for the most part interested and interesting. Apparently you must not wear two hats in Mongolia - do not even consider putting a cap on over your woolly bonnet - it means you will have 2 wives (or husbands) and is considered very wrong, as is stealing another persons hat. 

We were all pleased to make it back to the bus after 'nearly freezing to death' near the top.

The school runs 3 'Young Adventurers  Clubs' The senior YAC's (15-18 year olds) were camping out elsewhere and are working towards a John Muir Trust Award, the Junior YAC's (11-15 year olds) were camping with them and were working on an environmental project. Our Mini YAC's (8-10) climbed the Bogh Khan range towards White Circle and were given many compliments for being 'strong' by local hikers.

These kids know about how to put the 'Adventure' into Young Adventurers Club.

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