The 3rd WildArt Mongolia Expedition/Explorers Club Flag Expedition Has Returned!

At Khomyn Tal with Flag 179 and takhi/Przewalski's horses in the background.
At Khomyn Tal with Flag 179 and takhi/Przewalski’s horses in the background

I’m back in Ulaanbaatar, tired after three weeks in the field (resting today at a comfortable hotel, the Bayangol) but very, very pleased with the Expedition and its results. There will be a series of posts on all aspects of the 3rd WildArt Mongolia Expedition once I’m home, but for now I’ll share some favorite images with you. Consider these the appetizer…

In chronological order:

Hokh Serkiin Nuruu and Kazakh horsemen
Hokh Serkiin Nuruu Nature Reserve and some of the Kazakh horsemen who were hired to find and drive the argali
Hokh Serkiin Nuruu Nature Reserve; argali capture site with nets
Hokh Serkiin Nuruu Nature Reserve; argali capture site with nets ready to unroll and set up
Countryside scene enroute from Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu to Hovd
Countryside scene enroute from Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu to Hovd
Khar Us Nuur reedbeds; we stopped here for lunch
Khar Us Nuur reedbeds; we stopped here for lunch
Turuu wading at the "beach" on the east shore of Khar Us Nuur; he's a student I met last year who is quite a good artist and he came along on the first two weeks of the Expedition at my invitation
Turuu wading at the “beach” on the east shore of Khar Us Nuur; he’s a student I met last year who is quite a good artist and he came along on the first two weeks of the Expedition at my invitation
Maikhan Nature Reserve campsite with aspens
Maikhan Nature Reserve campsite with aspens
Jargalant Hairhan Uul in Khar Us Nuur National Park campsite in valley; ovoo is across from a sacred spring
Jargalant Hairhan Uul (in Khar Us Nuur National Park) campsite in valley; ovoo is across from a sacred spring
Khomyn Tal and takhi
Khomyn Tal and takhi
Khomyn Tal takhi
Khomyn Tal takhi; I saw all 53 horses over three days
Khar Nuur campsite
Khar Nuur campsite
Khur Nuur moonrise over Jargalant Hairhan Uul
Khar Nuur moonrise over Jargalant Hairhan Uul
Dorgon Nuur at sunset
Dorgon Nuur at sunset
Viewpoint in Khar Us Nuur National Park from which one can see three sacred mountains, including Hokh Serkiin Nuruu
Viewpoint in Khar Us Nuur National Park from which one can see three sacred mountains, including Hokh Serkiin Nuruu
Chandmani street scene; we went into the soum center to buy groceries and other supplies
Chandmani street scene; we went into the soum center to buy groceries and other supplies
Statue in Chandmani dating from socialist times
Statue in Chandmani dating from socialist times
A woman named Tsendayush who I met in one of the shops
A woman named Tsendayush who I met in one of the shops (photo by Narankhuu Sukhbat)
The second valley on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul that we camped in; the mountain is snow leopard habitat with currently 37 cats
The second valley on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul that we camped in; the mountain, which has many peaks, is snow leopard habitat with a currently estimated population of 37 cats; this image was taken of the slopes above a winter livestock shelter
Two camels came past our camp on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul while I was sketching
Two camels came past our camp on Jargalant Hairkhan Uul while I was sketching
Drawing the rock falls in the stream that runs through the second valley
Drawing the rock falls in the stream that runs through the second valley (photo by Narankhuu Sukhbat)

And to give credit where credit is due…no one does a trip like this alone. Those of us who travel deep into the countryside of Mongolia have to rely on our guides and drivers to get us there and back again. To mine, show below, a heartfelt “bayarlalaa”.

My guide and driver who made the Expedition possible: Narankhuu Sukhbat and Damdin Birvaa
My guide and driver: Narankhuu Sukhbat and Damdin Birvaa (photo by Turuu)

Thank you also to Jan Wigsten and the staff at Nomadic Journeys, who have provided all my travel resources and logistics since 2006.

 

The 2015 WildArt Mongolia Expedition Is Also An Explorers Club Flag Expedition!

1 Flag

I applied for an Explorers Club Flag last year for my 2015 WildArt Mongolia Expedition and was notified in January that the President and Board would give me that honor. I then was asked which Flag I wanted to take.  After doing some research on the Club website, I made my choices. I was notified late last week which one will go with me to Mongolia. It arrived via FedEx yesterday so now I can break the news….I will be carrying Flag 179, which as been taken out into the field 35 times since 1959. It has been carried to, among other places: Mt. Everest, the South Pacific, the North Pole, Ecuador, the Amazon, Thailand, the Caucasus Mountains, Rwanda, St. Pierre and Yeman. On June 27th it will travel with me to the Land of Blue Skies. I requested this one because one of my sponsors for my application to join the Club, Stephen Quinn, took it to Rwanda where he searched for and found the exact location where Carl Akeley painted the study which became the background painting of the mountain gorilla diorama at the American Museum of Natural HIstory. Steve painted his own study from that same spot and I got to see it when I visited his home. So I am now the second artist to carry this Flag.

There is also Expedition news! I’ve been offered the opportunity to join two argali researchers, Dr. Barry Rosenbaum and S. Amgalanbaatar, to observe and record the capture, collaring and release of Altai argali for four days at Hokh Serkhiin Nature Reserve. I will be flying from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii in the far west on July 16. Joining me will be a young Mongolian artist whom I met last year, Tuvshintur. We’ll be sketching and painting in the field for three weeks as we visit a variety of wildlife destinations. You can find out more on the Expedition page.

More on The Explorers Club, founded in 1904, here.