In February, as you might already know, I experienced just a magic reindeer sledding expedition across valleys and rivers of Oymyakon, East Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia. With the Even nomad family of the Cherkashins. Well, it was a sort of expedition to me, but not to reindeer herders. They considered two-day travel as a regular neighbourhood visit.
Yesterday I took photographs of how truck drivers — Michael Zakharov and his four sons — were preparing for this year’s last long run on the winter road from Yakutsk to Srednekolymsk, Kolyma area of North-East Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.
A long ride, indeed, and very risky. Around 2500 km on one way through the Kolyma federal road (settlements of Khandyga and Ust Nera) and the Arctic winter road (Ust Nera — Sasyr — Zyryanka — Srednekolymsk).
This winter scene is good for a Merry Christmas card, though reindeer here is in his natural environment… in Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places in the world. Located in Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, East Siberia & the Far East, Russia.
This magic is brought from my recent reindeer sledding with Even nomads through valleys, rivers, hills and mountains.
A friend of mine, Vyacheslav Ipatiev, who is the founder and CEO of YakutiaTravel LLC, has developed a new unique route for extreme cold hunters.
He gives a chance to embark an adventure journey on reindeer sleds across the Valley of Oymyakon, one of the coldest parts of Yakutia, Siberia / Russia.
10-day sledding in the Siberian extreme cold weather. From the village of Uchugey to the village of Oymyakon. The temp is as low as -55 C or even less. And, yeah, night spending in nomads’ sleeping bags in nomads’ tents. In short, it’s the coolest expedition experience!
In the early November, Yakutsk-based Vladimir Potapov (fb profile) arranged the winter snowmobile expedition to the Arctic zone of the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia (Siberia/Russia).
The route was Ust Kujga (map) — Kazach’e (map) — Laptev Sea.
The mission was to deliver the remains of the Yuka Mammoth from the area of the Yukagir community, Laptev Sea, to Yakutsk. It is the same place, where the famous Yukagir mammoth head was discovered seven years ago.
The Yuka mammoth corpse was found in the well-preserved condition by Vasily Gorokhov’s community four years ago. It has four legs, proboscis, and wool.
The expedition was filmed by BBC TV Channel and scheduled to be on the air on February 25th, 2012. It will be a 60-min story.
See more Arctic expedition photographs taken by Egor Fedorov.
Dersu (his blog) is great! Last August he and his friend, Sergey Ermak, completed another trekking expedition, but this time to Palatka Mountain, one of the biggest glaciers in East Yakutia, Siberia / Russia.
If you wonder, what young people do in Ust Nera, the administrative center of Yakutia’s Oymyakon region, especially on a sunny winter day, here is the answer. They take snowboards and snowboarding gears, get to the closest mountain, climb, climb, climb, and enjoy riding on the snow from uphill.
Watch this video done by a friend of mine, Dmitry, also known as UF58, in Yakutia’s Chersky Range last summer, and you’ll get an idea of what to do first, when meeting a brown bear in the Siberian wildness.
UF58 is a Yakutsk-based mountain climber and trekker, and a great photographer. His travel reports (in Russian) are usually published at adv.yktv.ru.
Dmitry prefers to hike mountains alone. In August 2010, he was in the Chersky Range. When he saw a bear, he thought it was a lonely horse. So, in the beginning, he did nothing about animal. He lay on a grass resting, watching around and taking pictures… and then he realized that a big shaggy horse turned out to be a bear.
Here what you can do, when you come across the bear, but before reading tips, enjoy UF58′s photographs of the Chersky Range. To enlarge, click on images. Read the rest of this entry…
I have a friend of mine, Mikhael Mestnikov. He appeared to be an active traveler and a big fan of rafting and mountain trekking. Moreover, he prefers to do all his summer expeditions within the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Mikhael is the chief of the Yakutsk-based travel club “Dokhsun.”
In summer of 2010, Mestnikov’s travel club arranged the combined expedition with rafting the Indigirka River and trekking the Chersky Range. The route was Ust-Nera – Kyuellyakh – Mustakh – Khonu.
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.»