For the last several years it has been my custom to visit the summit of Bogd Khan Uul, the huge massif just to the south of Ulaan Baatar, on the day of the Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice occurs this year at exactly 9:27 pm on June 21. This year I decided to move up my annual pilgrimage to the mountain to a Sunday, June 18, so that my friend Saraa, who had a day off work, could go along. From Ulaan Baatar we drove to Mandshir Monastery, on the south side of the mountain, and took the 4.5 kilometer-long trail to the summit. From Mandshir the altitude gain to the summit is 1727 feet; from Ulaan Baatar 2940 feet.
Bogd Khan Uul is of course one of the Four Sacred Mountains which surround Ulaan Baatar, and one the three mountains in Mongolia official declared sacred by State Decree, the other two being Burkhan Khaldun in Khentii Aimag and Otgon Tenger in Zavkhan Aimag.