M56 Kolyma Highway (Road of Bones) in the middle of October. Between Yakutsk and Oymyakon. Republic Sakha (Yakutia), Siberia, Russia. Photo by Mac Mackenney, MaxAdventure.co.uk. Especially for AskYakutia.com
When does the first snowfall happen on the Kolyma highway (also known as M56 and the Road of Bones) in Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia? How does it look like in October? Is it dangerous to drive on the road? When do ferries stop crossing rivers on the route? Etc, etc, etc…
1. The question “When does the first snowfall happen on the M56 Kolyma road?” sounds a bit incorrectly. In Yakutia, it might be snowing at any time… even in June and July. In September, snowfalls happen periodically. Check out, for example, my post about the Scottish MAD Expedition “Magadan – Yakutsk” in September.
This year’s summer, for istance, Oymyakon area that stands in West Yakutia on the old summer route of the Kolyma road, was covered with snow in the end of August and snow didn’t melt for a couple of days. So, in the summer time snow might fall, but it tends to disappear eventually.
The question is when snow comes down on the Road of Bones permanently… It is in the middle of October, when below-subzero weather becomes stable and when the winter arrives and stays on the Yakutian (Siberian) land till the end of April.
2. How does the Kolyma Road of Bones look like in October? This question is also tricky, as October is tricky itself.
In the beginning of October, it might be muddy or dusty, but chilly. You know, when weather is around zero, it is always cold a bit and no snow. So, in the warm daytime, mud on the road, especially in the area of Churapcha, might be just crazy. The muddest mud you might see ever. Closer to the evening, this mud might turn out to be as strong as stones are. Just keep in mind. The area of Churapcha and Ytyk Kyol, the road is muddy, further it is dusty gravel.
October is the time, when the winter’s frost becomes stable and stronger and stronger day by day. It is the month, when the winter gains grounds and pushes autumn out of the agenda.
So, in the middle of October, heavy snowfalls do happen… almost daily. In the end of October, it’s already winter in terms of the Europeans’ perception.
3. Is it dangerous to drive the Road of Bones? No, if it is the early or late October, but yes, if it’s in the middle. When the road is covered with the fresh snow, it becomes dangerously slippery. The ice-crusted road should be taken seriously!
4. Ferries stop walking on the Lena and Aldan rivers in the end of October.
Watch the Road of Bones pictures/photos now. Guess filmmakers will enjoy the action.
Photo credits: Mac Mackenney, MaxAdventure.co.uk. Especially for AskYakutia.com.
One story about filmmakers…
I do really like to help international TV production companies with their shoot in Yakutia. It is a good chance for the unknown Siberian region to get the worldwide exposure.
Though there is one big disadvantage of dealing with them. They always say, “Please, don’t… don’t say anything about the upcoming project on your blog and your other websites.” Some of them even ask me to sign Non-Disclosure papers. So much hassle with them.
Can you imagine? I spend so much time on corresponding them, giving tons of useful information in replies to their questions and… they ask to keep silence till the moment their TV product will go on air.
So, if you see my blog not updated for a long time, you should know… it’s me travelling somewhere in Yakutia or it’s TV production companies that make me busy with their questions.
I don’t complain. I just know that their final product will be awesome!
Ok. Back to the story…
In the spring of 2011, I started receiving questions from Mac Mackenney, of MaxAdventure.co.uk, whose photos I published in this post.
He said that he was working on the logistics of the upcoming big winter off-roading project. Shell would be a sponsor. A Hollywood A-list actor and a F-1 pilot would participate. Precisely, they would drive Nissan Patrol 4wd vehicles from Yakutsk to Oymyakon along the Road of Bones in the deep, deep winter. And the show would be broadcasted on Discovery Channel.
Once again, he repeated, “Don’t say anything about it till the show being broadcasted…”
He asked what the Kolyma road condition will be in the winter. Check, by the way, this post How does the Road of Bones (Kolyma Highway) look like in winter? [photos].
He asked also, “Will it be possible to make a recon trip from Yakutsk to Oymyakon in October? When is it better to do it? Will ferries work on rivers?..” See above for answers.
..Mac Mackenney made the recon trip to Oymyakon in the autumn (see photos above) and they broadcasted the TV reality show “Driven to Extreme: The Coldest Road” with Tom Hardy & Mika Salo on Discovery Channel. And now I feel free to tell about it.
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