Here we go, I just received my passport with my visa! Finally…! We were kind of worried; the plane is on Friday morning…

My bag is almost ready. Well not exactly, I’ve checked all what I want to take: skis, safety gear for glacier, technical clothes… The big thing is I have not clue about the weather conditions and the temperatures over there. In the winter, Ulan Bator is well known to be the coldest capital of the world…. With freezing temperature up to April! I feel relax, I’m flying on May 3rd!!!! I need to be ready for cold temperatures just in case. In Chamonix, the past 2 weeks we had snow (15cm last Sunday) and 2 days after we were wearing shorts riding bikes with my kids. Spring is alw ays like that and it wouldn’t be a problem to pick all the gear I need if the airline company wouldn’t allow only 20kg per person in our bag! 20 kg including skis, ski boots, warm down Jkt, sleeping bags… every thing is quite a big challenge, believe me. From my experience I always take more than what we need, but still I don’t want to miss anything…
I will weight my bag tomorrow and see if I need to make choices or not! As I like to say, it is good troubles!

To give you an idea of what I ‘m packing here is a quick list:
– skis, ski shoes, ski pulls and skin for ski touring
– We will ski on glaciers so safety gear: 1 60m rope, harness, 2 ice screws, 5 carabineers, prussiks in case of crevasse rescue/ crampons and ice axe
– While skiing on our own, we need to be able to rescue or self in case of avalanche so avalanche transceiver, shovel & probe
– First aid kit for the all group
– Warm sleeping bag (-20°C)
– Good trekking shoes to reach BC and live in BC (crest event)
– Trekking pants (sierra pants)
– Ski pants & jkt (snowlypse)
– Nice warm down jkt (Gasherbrum one)
– Beanies, gloves (warm & thin), big down mittens
– Light down jkt (eiger one) while skiing
– Some warm top light sweaters
– Warm & light socks
– Tee shirts
– Underwear (lukla)
– Camera, iPod, solar cream…
– Radios
– Mattress
– …

Just the minimum! It is why mountaineers love light technical gear. Because 1 kg will be always 1 kg, the lighter is our equipment the more we can take and the less we carry! I always tell my clients that alpinist should be lazy to pack their bag to carry the less as possible! Taking only what we will need and not a single gram more!
I’m also taking some new “coming” features from BIGPACK that I will test in the field to let you discover them next season…

The big question last week was how to charge our batteries for cameras, radios, video camera, iPods… It is nice to think we can get electricity, but even if today we have solar energy it is not so easy to count on it. Jean Pierre and I spent some time to check some solar panels, some independent batteries to make sure we will manage to use our cameras and Gopro during the trip. It will be a shame to go so far and being unable to bring back some nice shoots to share this experience with friends! We didn’t find the perfect solution but at least we have one that we will try in less than 4 days now…

Getting ready is fun, really fun and in the same time just a few days before departure I always feel anxious. I don’t want to forget anything and even with quite some experience going on expeditions it is always kind of stressful, in a good way. Let’s say it is a good stress, at least for me. I’m getting deeper into the Mongol culture too just to get “acclimatized” and it is so fun to discover a new culture!

Not sure i’ll be able to give some news from Mongolia. Probably not, but don’t worry i’ll come back soon with pictures & movies to share my adventures and make us dream about new ones. Summits after summit…