Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What the Hell is Rose Doing Now? - A Camel Trek in Mongolia. In January.

December 20 2017
by Merri

It seems that Poway California's Rose Sandler can't get enough adventure.

She finished the Mongol Derby in 2014. She finished South Africa's Race the Wild Coast in 2015. She finished Tevis in 2017.

And then what? Post adventure letdown. "There’s a certain letdown after a huge accomplishment."

The antidote for that is, of course, another adventure. Rose was hoping to be chosen to participate in the Fjallraven Polar, an epic annual event where 20 people from around the world have the opportunity to compete in an Iditarod style dogsled race in the Norwegian arctic. For each of 10 regions of the world, two people get a spot. One is selected by Fjallraven jury, the other by popular vote. (This adventure is still possible: while Rose didn't win the popular vote, she could still be juried in by Fjallraven).

But of course she had a backup plan. A 200-mile winter camel trek in the Gobi desert with friend and fellow explorer Chloe Phillips-Harris. What else?

"In January 2018 with the help of Tsestgee and Unenburen, Chloe is leading a winter expedition through the Gobi Desert. The inspiration came from a trek she did in the Simpson Desert of Australia. 

We will be trekking across the Gobi by camel, covering about 300km in total. As part of this we will be saddling, packing and caring for the camels with the help and guidance of local herders. We change camels every two days as not to take them to far out of their home range.

Why winter? Because the camels look truly beautiful this time of year with their winter coats, and its a very different way of life to experience compared to the summer months. There will be snow and its going to be cold.  Average temperatures in January in the Gobi range from -4 F down to -40 F.  

We will be staying with different families along the way in gers and will give us a chance to experience a way of life that hasn’t changed in hundreds, even thousands of years. 

Unenburen has already selected the route and it looks amazing. Everything from mountains, flat steppe to sand dunes.

Some of the highlights will obviously be the scenery, but also traveling through areas rich in wildlife ( antelope, saga, camels, horses, foxes, wolves, big horn sheep, snow leopords etc), and historically significant mountains where monks used to hide in caves from persecution. We should also be able to see some bronze age cave paintings and a huge frozen waterfall. But most of all getting to learn how to care for, ride and travel with camels, in a very unique way. 

One last bit of great news is that we are going to start  our trek from a Camel Festival. There will be 300 camels in one place, with beauty competitions, races and a chance to milk camels and taste camel vodka. 

Who has a proper parka and -20 sleeping bag I can borrow??" 

To keep up with Rose and her adventure(s), see

No comments: