Trekking at Khovsgol Lake
After four days of horse trekking at Khovsgol Lake, Gal and I decided to go back to the basics and do some trekking up the West side of the Lake.
Day 1 started with an easy walk from Khatgal village along the shore of the lake for a few miles.
Pretty quickly, though, we ascended to the high points overlooking Khovsgol Lake.
We ended the day with a nice view over still waters, looking up at the mountains we were planning to top out the next morning.
In retrospect, though, we should have seen what was coming.
Gal and I awoke the next morning to a campsite, and indeed an entire landscape, covered in snow.
Not to be deterred, once the weather broke we started up the hills. About an hour into the hike, though, we got caught in a real-life snowstorm and built a fire to wait it out.
After an extended lunch under the treeline, the snow finally let up.
With clear skies, we started again towards the top.
We arrived to a gorgeous view, and with aspirations of making it to the top of the highest peak nearby at just under 2300 meters high.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
After getting most of the way to the peak, we were waylaid by a renewed snowfall that cut visibility down to little more than our immediate area.
As we started down the clouds broke once more, but with not enough time to finish our climb.
Unprepared for cold weather sleeping, I decided to spend one last night in a Mongolian ger in the name of the warmth I knew the woodstove would provide.
The next morning, much of the snow melted, we strolled easily back towards Khatgal.
On getting back to the village, we walked back to our guesthouse to end the only hike I’ve ever had that saw a round-trip on foot from door to door of my hostel without needing public transport at all.
This hike was a ton of fun, and actually did a lot to rehabilitate snow in my mind from the terrible frozen beast I once thought it was. All it really takes is a warm fire and some good hiking to make snow bearable!
The map situation around here isn’t great. You can buy Mongolia maps on Amazon, which are a good start but not exactly trekking scale. We ended up taking digital photos of the maps in the tourism office and using those as a reference. Not ideal, but it worked out ok for us!
Looking for somewhere warm to sleep once you get back to Ulan Baatur? There are a ton of hostels in the city, but I found Gana’s Guesthouse to be the coolest one around. Quiet area, dorms in yurts, and a really good atmosphere. Check them out!