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Frozen: Iain's icy adventure

A supporter tells us what it was like walking across an East Asian lake under the watchful eyes of wolves!



"On 3rd March this year I flew out to Mongolia to traverse 100 miles across a frozen lake in aid of The Fragile X Society in an event called The Mongol 100.


My cousin and his wife have three beautiful children – two boys and a girl. The boys both have fragile X. They have very likeable personalities, sensitivity to others’ emotions and their sense of humour and laughter are hugely infectious.


So… the challenge…


I travelled to Lake Khovsgol, which is in a remote corner of north-western Mongolia. It is one of 17 ancient lakes in the world – over 2 million years old – and contains the world’s purest fresh water.


The lake’s shores are lined with ancient boreal forest and packed with wolves. In winter, temperatures drop as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius and the ice freezes across the lake’s entire near-100 miles length to a depth of over a metre thick. The average temperature is minus 25.


The objective was to cross the entirety of the lake from north to south by any means – foot, skate or bike. I was to spend 4 days on the ice, camping each night in traditional ger camps. This really was a once in a lifetime experience, one I was both looking forward to and was more than a little nervous about.


I did it! It was ridiculously tough. Walking roughly 25 miles every day for 4 days, in crampons, on concrete hard ice, seriously destroys your feet. And my ankles were absolutely screaming at me. By the second half of day 3 I'd mentally given up. But the guys at the last check point got me going again and I completed the day.

I didn't think I'd be able to do the whole of day 4, but it was only 18 miles on that last day. I was really struggling by the end, and going very slowly, but again, I did it. Really happy!"


The Fragile X Society adds: “We are tremendously grateful to Iain for using this huge challenge as a way of raising much needed funds that are essential to our ability to provide support to our fragile X community. To date Iain has raised over £900 for the Society and if you would like to contribute to his fundraising effort here is the link to his page online: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/iain-lathe-mongol-100 Thank you, Iain!”