A Mongolian Siberian Winter

by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

February 18th, 2010

Much of this winter I’ve been in Mongolia, attending various Government related meetings and dealing with personal issues. The Mongolian Government has relaxed the regulations for investing in mining projects, and I’m also purchasing an apartment in Ulaan Baatar. My Mongolia Expat magazine will also be re-launched in Spring. But what is there to do in a country so frigid it regularly dips below minus 40 and its lakes freeze six feet solid ?

Plenty actually. I’m OK with the cold – I know when it’s minus 20 or below because my moustache freezes. Minus 40 is a bit severe however, and water based moisturizers are not a good idea. But decent thermal underwear, hat, gloves and of course natural Mongolian cashmere – the best in the world – will generally keep you as warm as toast. Plus the Gers are set up to be roasting inside. In fact mine was so hot I had to open the door to let some of the heat out! But here’s a few snaps of what a Mongolian – Siberian – winter looks like.   


The Rivers Become The Roads


You Can Walk On Water. In Fact All The Way To Lake Baikal


Or Horse Riding. The Horses have special spiked shoes to grip the ice    


Ice Fishing. Frozen as soon as they’re hauled out of the water, fresh, and later grilled Perch, Greyling and Trout.


Sleigh Riding.


Siberian Mountain Climbing


Have a picnic with the locals


Take the Dog for a walk


Hang out with the Shamen