Mongolia

Below the Baatar Khairkhan glacier

Ascent to elevation 3692 below a small mountain glacier

Pavel Čáp
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Below the Baatar Khairkhan glacier
Inserted: 13.08.2018
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

A one-day ascent below the small peak mountain glacier Baatar Khairkhan (also Baatar Hayrhan / Баатар хайрхан уул) a less steep northwest road. In the summit of the Baatar-Khairkhana ridge, there are many interesting morphological phenomena associated with extreme climate and glacier activity. The elevation of 3692 m itself has no name, although the side hump with a height of 3646 m has a name (Бурхад уул).

View of the Baatar-Khairkhany ridge from the west

At the beginning of June, there is still snow in the higher parts. The glacier is a white peak on the far right. The rugged terrain allows you to climb from this side in one day, if you start from the end of the valley Gants Modny gol.

View of the Baatar-Khairkhany ridge from the west
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

It is no longer possible to drive

The farthest can be reached by car to the confluence of the tributaries of the river Gants Modny. The whole valley is passable upstream by off-road car all the way here, you have to continue on foot.

It is no longer possible to drive
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Climbing the valley

About half of the way leads along the bottom of the valley in an east-south-east direction, so the road goes quite fast. It is necessary to climb a little over 500 altitude meters (approximately from 2450 to 3000 m above sea level).

Climbing the valley
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Frozen valley

There is still plenty of snow and ice in the narrow valleys at the beginning of June. In some places, the melting water gnaws at narrow deep gaps.

Frozen valley
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Ravine

Later, the valley slowly closes and turns into a relatively narrow gorge. You still need to go through this (and if spring or summer is advanced, also watch out for snakes) and only then start to climb. Climbing over the gorge right at the beginning and trying to climb the ridge from there would certainly be possible as well, but it would be more difficult and probably steeper.

Ravine
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

The upper end of the gorge

After passing through the gorge, the valley opens slightly again and here it is possible to start climbing the ridge.

The upper end of the gorge
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Perpendicular to the contour lines

Then it has to be perpendicular to the contour lines, it is necessary to overcome another 500 meters of altitude.

Perpendicular to the contour lines
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Flora

Thus, in the spring, the slopes are still covered with quite rich (locally) alpine flora.

Flora
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Panorama of Altai

After a challenging climb, beautiful views are already opening up. The valley in the middle of the photo is what we climbed up.

Panorama of Altai
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Up after the rubble

The ascent in the higher part of the slope is a bit more difficult, because it is basically in the rubble. It is a bit stabilized by clay and finer stones, but you still can't look under your feet. Temperature changes during the year easily fluctuate between values from +30 to –50 ° C, so the slopes are constantly sliding down slowly. There are no roads or footpaths here, so the movement of places resembles climbing an active volcano.

Up after the rubble
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Granite rock town

The top parts of the ridge are formed mainly by granite, or granite. It usually breaks down into rocky seas, but in this case there is a small rock town, providing a small lee. Alternatively, you could also camp here, if the hike should last longer.

Granite rock town
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Wasteland

The view to the south looks more like from another world, like somewhere in the middle of Iceland. The landscape is more semi-desert than steppe.

Wasteland
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

Final view of the glacier

From elevation 3692 it doesn't seem too far to the glacier, but let's not underestimate the clean mountain air – it is still almost 7 km as the crow flies to the edge of the ice field. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we did not manage to get to the glacier, but if the trip is planned for two days, it is quite real. However, the ridge is quite exposed and without lee, so it is better to look for a place on the tent carefully.

Final view of the glacier
Author: Pavel Čáp © gigaplaces.com

...and finally

We chose the return route similarly to the ascent route, with slight turns and descents. It gave almost 30 km to the starting point of this one-day hike with a total elevation gain of about 1200 m up and down. There is a theoretical possibility of climbing to the glacier from the north, from the Zereg somon, but on the one hand the slopes are much steeper from this side and on the other hand the permeability through the valleys is even worse.

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