At the end of November, when the real Siberian winter was getting colder and colder, three young guys decided to ski from the village of Elanka to the famous Lena Pillars (stone pillars) located on the Lena River bank a few hundreds of km south from the city of Yakutsk. When they were doing skiing expedition, the outdoor temperature was minus 45 degrees Celsius. They say, it was pretty windy. Skiers overcame 50 km only, but spent 5 days on the way.
These guys look pretty ordinary, but they are not as such. First, they are real Siberian villagers. Harsh cold conditions are not big deal to them. Second, one of them, Timofei Vasiliev, is from the village of Moma located in the Momsky National Park and surrounded by mountains of the Verkhoyansky Range. Trekking last summer, Timofei and his friends managed to find the volcano without any GPS navigator. Third, they are leaders of the newly-fledged Yakutsk student adventure club called simply, «Extreme.»
Below, please, see Timofei’s photos and comments.
Nov. 29, 2010. «Our plan was to start our journey from the village of Elanka. It was said that a few people live at that place. And it was true. Thanks to the family of Sokolovs for hosting us.»
«Our next stop was the village of Tit Ary. The distance was 22 km. Skiing appeared to be not tough and not cold. 6 hours on the way. Reached Tit Ary by 4 pm. Spent night at the Indeevs’ place.»
«Saying many thanks to the family of Indeevs for hosting!»
Nov. 30, 2010, 2nd day. 25 km to go.
«The next stop: the mouth of the Batamai river, where there is a summer camp owned by the Lena Pillars National Park. In winter, apart from the lonely guard no one is possible to meet at that place. The village of Tumul is located between Tit Ary and the mouth of the Batamai river. In that settlement we had a great delicious lunch with the Ivanovs. Rodion Arkadjevich is the village administration chief, his wife Lubov is head of studies at local school.»
«After the lunch we continued skiing to the river mouth. 13 km to go. It was getting dark faster. Hot tea gives much strength.»
«By 6 pm we made it to the final destination and found the surprise. Actually, we found none of human beings there. A guard’s house was locked. We left our stuff and went back to Tumul village. Saying a lot of thanks to the Ivanovs for hosting us. Thanks!»
«On 1st December we skied back to Batamai.»
«No one, except this lonely frozen laika dog, met us on the Batama territory.»
«Finally, we started our last lap crossing the Lena River and heading to the Lena Pillars. They are gorgeous and fantastic!»
«Saying a lot of thanks to the Lena Pillars National Park [for what? — Bolot], special thanks to Ion Yadrikhinsky for all expedition arrangements, and many thanks to the regional affiliate of the Russian Geographic Society and its representative, G.N. Savvinov, for giving us skis.»
«Each of us spent 2500 rubles only.» Note: they were hosted for free.
Photo credits: Timofei Vasiliev.