Part II: less than 3 weeks before departure!!!

We take the plane from France on may 3rd, some from Lyon, others from Paris; but we all meet in Istambul before flying to Oulan Bator via Bishkek.
Am I exited? That is the question everybody ask me. Of course I’m exicted but also very concentrated. Not concentrated, focused on all the things I need to do to be “really” ready!
I’ve browsed and browsed on the web for hours trying to find for some information, some pictures about the mountains we are planning to climb. Didn’t manage to find a lot of stuff. Even google map is blurred in this area and I can not zoom as much as I would like to!!! It is scary and so much fun at the same time! It is actually the best feeling of the trip. Well not the best because I haven’t been there, but it is one of my favorite part of planning a trip: you know you’re going, and you’re looking deeper, dreaming, guessing how it is gonna look like, what’s gonna happen… And of course we, I don’t know. It will be a discovery. And as any discovery, you can’t know before! And sometimes, you have lots of hints next to you, but you’re so focus about going so far, so wild that you don’t even think about asking… your sister for example! My sister went to Mongolia 5 years ago. She loves horse riding and Mongolia was “the country” to go. She spent there almost 3 months visiting the country, living with the Mongolians. Of course I told her I was going there too and she is super excited for me. But not a second I thought about asking if by any chance she visited the area I planning to go, not a second. This afternoon, she came over to say hi, with her computer in her car. We had a drink and the discussion came to Mongolia:
– so where are you going? Olgï? She asked me
– yes, how do you know?
– – Well I went there, in the “tavan ba…. Ba or bo something”. We wanted to do a trekking with a friend but weather was bad so we went somewhere else.

Incredible!!! I was looking for info everywhere, I planned to go somewhere almost nobody went and I just figured out that my own little sister knows the place!!!!! And she has pictures of course!!! In her car!!!!

Best parts of trips are the people you meet, the things you share, discover… I know my sister of course, but circumstances are quite fantastic, aren’t they?
She didn’t climb any mountain, not even trek but I have pictures of the mountains in the summer and some maps that she bought there. I need to check the maps before saying they are “real, usefull” maps but still it’s great.

So yes, I’m getting ready.
What I like to do first is always what I don’t like: administration stuff! I sent my passport with all the needed papers for the visa last week. Check the last logistical things with our contact in Mongolia. Arrange our lift to this airport…. Everything that is not so fun for me. I did it, or I did all I could. There will be more, or some changes for sure but nothing I can do now.
3 weeks before departure, it is time to prepare my gear. Well, when I say “prepare” I mean think about what I’m gonna need and see if I have all I want. I still have enough time to buy new stuff if I need or repair or …
At the end of this week, I will have my “gear list” which:
– all technical climbing and skiing gear I need
– all technical clothes I need
– first AID kit
– electronics: camera, video, music, … and how to charge them (solar panel)
– …

And then the most difficult part of the trip will start: try to fit all the gear I need/want into the only one 23kg baggage we can take on the plane…