Rock Climbing Travel

Rock Climbing Mongolia

A couple of weeks back, my two climbing partners, Marcel and Johanes, took me to a couple of cliffs they found near the the observatory on the summit of the Sly Resort Mountain.

Who would have guessed that just 30 minutes from the center of Ulaanbaatar

, we’d find an observatory, some nice hiking trails, and pleasant climbing routes too.

So far, we’ve played on three cliff on did some boulder problems. Within 20 to 30 minutes of Ulaanbaatar, this could be the most convenient climbing area for me while I’m in Mongolia.

The first cliff they showed me, Thriller Rock,  had some fun and interesting routes about 15 to 17 meters high. Two excellent dihedrals in the 5.9 range that both take excellent protections were an obvious first choice.

Marcel top-roping the right dihedral. Both dihedrals have a name, but I am not sure what they are. I believe the left one is called “King of Pop” after some German fetish related to Micheal Jackson.

 To the right of those excellent dihedral is a fantastic roof. With a top-rope in place, and
some rather cold temperatures, I broke from my usual habit and decided to top-rope. What a mistake, I really should have waited for better weather and lead it instead of learning anything about the route. Well, at least I have something challenging to lead next spring. I visualize two starts, both will have “exciting gear” placements.
 On a separate trip, Johanes and I headed out to check some of the bouldering during some of the first snow on the winter season. I can honestly say I’m not excited about winter. On top of not being able to rock climb, I hear that they is no ice climbing anywhere near Ulaanbaatar either.
Very course rock, but fun problems with lots of potential. A couple of local climbers established several routes already, but I think they are more

variations waiting to be done. In the spring, when the ground isn’t frozen, I’ll bring a crowbar and remove some of the large rocks that create a bad landing. Being only 20 minutes from the school, it might be possible for me to visit after work if the days are long enough.

Johanes tolerated the cold much more than I did. Hoping he and I will meet to climb in Dresden one summer.

Johanes leading a new route on a unnamed formation. This cliff with hold some fun easy, moderate, and a couple hard routes. The face could easily hold five or six top-ropes and make a funouting for a group of mixed ability. I think a couple of bolted anchors would be nice, and I also think they is room for three or four excellent sport routes.

Of all the cliffs they showed me behind the observatory, non caught my interest more than  “Camel Rock.” It’s gorgeous, appears to be slightly overhanging, but turns out to be very overhung, and has my new project.

Even with temperatures just above freezing, I needed to give this a go. The first moves were already in the 5.11- range. I was shocked.

My first fall came when I was just above my gear. I’d placed the cam early to prevent falling down a steed granite slope below. Glad I did.My next few attempts were much better, each getting me slightly higher than the previous. My hands were numb which was the only reason I was able to pull a couple of the moves. Of course, numb hands didn’t help on some of the bigger slopping holds.

About a third of the way up, I decided this would have to wait till Spring. The weather was to cold, the moves to hard, and I was wipes. Of course, the small peanuts protecting some 5.11 moves didn’t help me either. I’m such a chicken sometimes.
Bouldering during first snow
Hiking out, Sato was to cold to walk.
Last lead of the season. Nice job Johanes
Avoiding snow when he can.
One last boulder problem before going home.
Packing it up
Johanes on his last boulder problem in Mongolia.
Enjoying his last long walk of the year. Kuma


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