Pole of Cold

Oymyakon extrem cold winter ice swimming. Andrey Vinokurov in the photo. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Mikhail Mestnikov.

Oymyakon extrem cold winter ice swimming. Andrey Vinokurov in the photo. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Mikhail Mestnikov.

Hereby, I continue the series of stories about the toughest people living in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia’s Siberia.

This time, it’s about Andrey Vinokurov, a school physical education trainer from the village of Tomtor in the Oymyakon valley. Yes, it’s very place known to the world as the coldest inhabited place on Earth.

Now he’s a type of celebrity. People says, It’s the very guy who excercises winter swimming in the never-freezing Kuydusun River. And it was him, who swam together with a Hollywood actor, Tom Hardy, in Discovery’s TV Show “Driven to Extremes.”

When you’ll see the following photographs and video taken by my travel partner Mikhail Mestnikov once in the winter at -52C, feel free to call Andrey’s activity as the world’s coldest ice winter swimming. Why not, if it takes places in the coldest place? ;)

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Red fox and Slava Mestnikov on the M56 Kolyma highway aka the Road of Bones in Republic Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo credit: Mikhail Mestnikov, VisitYakutia.com

Slava Mestnikov, a friend of mine, is chased by a red fox on the Kolyma highway in September. Photo credit: Mikhail Mestnikov/VisitYakutia.com.

This is the photo report on the recent Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan overland travel done by my partners, Slava & Mikhail Mestnikov. We work together in the tour operating company, Nord Stream LLC (VisitYakutia.com).

September 20 – 26, 2013, they did the road trip with Catalonians. One of them was Ignasi Calvo, a friend of mine, who is actually director of the Barcelona-based travel agency GR11 Viajes.

The late September is good time to travel along the M56 Kolyma highway (Road of Bones). Officially it’s the autumn month, but actually it looks more like mild winter. In the beginning, you might see gold-color trees. In the end, the surrrounding is utterly white.

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Travel to Oymykon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo by Bolot Bochkarev

The Pole of Cold Stella in Oymykon, Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia. Photo by Bolot Bochkarev

Travel to Oymykon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo provided by Slava Mestnikov. Travel to Oymykon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Photo provided by Slava Mestnikov.

Me in Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. Me in Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. Photo by Bjoern Steinz.

In the upcoming winter 2013 – 2014, I am arranging travels to Russia’s Siberian village of Oymyakon, the world’s coldest inhabited place. The road trip will be done with my constant partner, tour operator Nord Stream LLC (www.visityakutia.com). We charge for transport services only. This way we make the tour as cheap as possible.

Experience the extreme winter weather in Oymyakon, Yakutia, Russia’s Siberia! Learn how to join our trips to Oymyakon, Russia’s Siberia

Finally, I am publishing 127 photographs of the “Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan. The World’s Coldest Road Trip” overland adventure travel that was done on the Kolyma Road of Bones in winter 2013. That trip was announced previously here.

In the 2013 February winter trip, we had 8 travellers from different nations (1 Brazilian, 1 Catalonian, 1 French, 3 Germans, 1 Dutch, 1 American). They were great!

And…

Announce proudly the start of gathering groups for the “Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan. The World’s Coldest Road Trip” overland adventure tour in winter 2015.

Let’s have the greatest fun experience on the road trip from Yakutsk to Magadan via Oymyakon in the world’s coldest place!

Join us in the upcoming winter!

Tour Description + 127 Coldest Travel Photos

Reindeer sledding from Oymyakon to the Okhotsk Sea in Siberia, Russia.

Reindeer sledding from Oymyakon to the Okhotsk Sea in Siberia, Russia.

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Reindeer sledding expedition from Oymyakon in Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.

Reindeer sledding expedition from Oymyakon in Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.

Dear friends,

The next week I’m leaving for one-month reindeer sledding expedition with Explorer Mikael Strandberg from Oymyakon to the Okhotsk Sea. We will overcome as many as 600 km through the taiga, valleys, mountain ranges and the cold…

We’ll do a documentary for the U.S. company OutWildTv.com. The project is called Frozen Frontier!

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Kolyma Road in Winter. Between Yakutsk and Magadan. Oymyakon in the middle.

Kolyma Road in Winter. Between Yakutsk and Magadan. Oymyakon in the middle.

Yes! I started doing it!

I am gathering groups for the world’s coldest road trip Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Magadan in the upcoming winter.

2 days in Yakutsk. 7 days on Stalin’s Road of Bones (Kolyma Hwy). 3 days in Oymyakon. Extra time in Magadan.

-50C or less. In a warm van. Visiting reindeer herders, horse breeders, and ice fishermen. We can also try seeing Gulags.

The idea is simple. We take a car and drive the 2000-km winter road!

Join us!

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The Road of Bones, Kolyma Highway, in the late February of 2012.

The Road of Bones, Kolyma Highway, in the late February of 2012.

Leave your sticker at a gas station in Kyubyume on the Road of Bones, Kolyma Highway, Siberia, Russia.

In the previous post I wrote that I had returned from 5-day travel with reindeer herders in Oymyakon, one of the coldest places in the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.

When we were heading back to Yakutsk through the Road of Bones (officially known as Kolyma Highway), the temperature was somewhere under minus 40 degrees Celsius. Cold weather as usual.

We were driving on a Nissan Patrol 4wd vehicle without any long stops. On our way back – around 1000 km – we spent 16 hours only. Fast. It means the road appeared to be in good condition.

Clean. Partly icy, but covered with sand by road workers. As you know, the Kolyma Highway (including the route through Ust Nera) is considered to be a federal road. So even in the nowhere of Russsian Siberia, roads with such statuses might be maintained all around the year in pretty well manner.

So, if you’re going to Magadan from my city in winter, remember one of my travel advices.

Tip: Reserve one of your travel expedition stickers for a gas station in Kyubyume to attach on the right side of the tube from cashier’s window. It’s a new tradition.

Further, see more photos taken during a few short stops. They were done on February 24th, 2012.

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Reindeer sledding journey in Oymyakon, Yakutia, Siberia, Russia

Reindeer sledding journey in Oymyakon, Yakutia, Siberia, Russia

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you might already know and see photographs of my recent Oymyakon travel to Even reindeer herders, whom I and my friends experienced fascinating winter reindeer sledding through snowy rivers, mountains and hills with.

Hereby I am posting more photgoraphs and adding more journey details. I’ll post info part by part in this post, as I have a lot to say in fact. Meanwhile, enjoy 200+ pictures.

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From Yakutia through Magadan Oblast to Chukotka

From Yakutia through Magadan Oblast to Chukotka

Chukotka Expedition Vehicles

Chukotka Expedition Vehicles

This week famous Russian blogers, photographers and designers, embarked the winter off-road expedition from South Yakutia (Nerungri) to Chukotka (Mys Shmidta).

On March 07 they were already in Yakutsk. In two days in Oymyakon. Yesterday in Ust Nera. Currently, they are heading to Magadan on their pretty glamour 4wd vehicles.

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