American Hiker Froze to Death

July 8th, 2010

A 25 year old American, Colin McLain froze to death while hiking last weekend in the Bogd Khan Uul National Park overlooking the Capital city Ulaanbaatar.
Following a month in Mongolia, Colin left last weekend for a two day hike with another American friend. They had water, a map and the food supplies they needed. The two camped out the first night on the mountain slopes. When they were close to their final destination the following day, Colin was tired and decided to stop to rest. He reportedly told his friend to continue home without him and that he would catch up. His friend continued, assuming Colin would have no trouble finishing their hike. He did not report him missing until the following day when he realized Colin did not show up.

A search team went up the mountain on Tuesday to search for Colin. His body was found at the same place he stopped to rest.

The police ordered an autopsy, and  it seems that Colin McLain froze to his death on the Bogd Khan mountain during the night when temperatures dropped. Further investigation will take place.

Mongolia's Bogd Khan is one of the oldest National Parks in the world claiming its existence since 1778. Located within 5-20km from the capital , the area is known for its  ecosystem, wildlife and historical monuments. The most important monument is the Manzushir Monastery established in 1733. The Temple was famous for its school of philosophy and logic, attracting priests from as far as India coming for theological debates. In the winter of 1938 the monastery was completely destroyed by the Communist regime, and only after Mongolia became a democracy, was the monastery  reconstructed. This photo shows the stunning view from the summit of Bogd Khan mountain, one of the four sacred mountains surrounding  Ulaanbaatar.

Colin graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a degree in international relations and political economy.  . In the fall of 2009 he began law school at the American University in Washington D.C.

Colin came to Mongolia at the end of May for an eight-week study with the legal adviser to the President of Mongolia, as part of his legal studies. He  planned to return to the United States in August.

Colin wrote a fascinating blog during his visit to Mongolia, he posted three entries. The first entry describes in a humorous way the hardship he had to go through until he found the Mongolian immigration office to register his visit. (The office moved from the city to near the airport this past year). The second entry describes with a sharp eye the differences between the Mongolian legal system and the American legal system. The last post tells the story of a trip he did the previous weekend to the Terelj National Park, where he came across the hospitality and drinking traditions of the Mongolian people. The photo at the head of this article is of Colin with a hunting eagle, it was taken on that trip.


Kevin and Katie said...

This information is not correct. Who or what were your sources?

To Mongolia said...

Hi Kevin and Katie

You are kindly invited to post your corrections.

This story was published on July 8th 2010, a short time after the event, when very little detail was available.

I appreciate your contribution.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing...