The team will cross the Mongolian Steppe, the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountain Range experiencing temperatures of 5C to 45C. The ambitious journey is planned to take not more than 60 days.
Team leader and explorer Ripley Davenport said: “I wanted a country that could offer a variety of landscapes including a desert environment. Mongolia was on that short list. The very word “Gobi” summons a variety of images for many people and it holds a special attraction.”
Davenport has previously crossed the Namib Desert and Karakum Desert alone but this time he will be leading a team, which will be setting off along with their 12 camels in May.
He selected his fellow explorers through a series of interviews. He said: “I wanted people prepared for the worse and ready to muck in and knuckle down. The real test of my team will be out there, where the metal meets the meat, and they begin to immerse in the routine of expedition. Tiredness will set in, exhaustion, monotony, and the heat, which will show everyone’s true colours.”
One of the aims of the expedition is to highlight how the environment of the Gobi is changing both because of climate change and man’s actions.
Davenport said: “The impacts on provinces in Mongolia are harrowing. Livestock are dying in large numbers due to lack of grazing ground, people struggle for water as groundwater levels reach all-time lows, goats eat each other's coats in a desperate search for nutrition, and the threat of mass migration of people grows with each season.”
Davenport, who will celebrate his 41st birthday on the expedition, said: “I believe that all humans are natural born explorers. From birth we learn about life and continue to entertain our curiosity all through life but most step back from the realm of learning and choose to sit in a comfort zone afraid of stepping out and making mistakes.”
The team is raising money for a charity called Edurelief
that provides texts books for Mongolian school children.
For more information visit the website Gobi2011.com