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  • 'Yakutsk in Winter' Photo Contest

    Ten people responded to the call of the city hall. The best photos will be placed at warm bus stops, said the head of the Department of Culture and Spiritual Development of Yakutsk, Antonida Koryakina, live on the Sakha State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.

  • “Roads to die on.” How bloggers searched for the lowest temperature in Yakutia

    The first Сold Conquerors expedition to the Arctic zones of the Sakha Republic has ended. Its participants recorded extreme temperatures in Oymyakon district – -54ºC.

  • 140 companies are ready to promote Oymyakon

    The concept of a tourism cluster at the Pole of Cold will be developed in the framework of the Open All-Russian Competition

  • Across Eurasia to London on Yakut horses: Yes, I am afraid, but will not back down

    A resident of Great Britain, Nikita Gretsi, is about to go on a trip from Magadan to London. The traveler says that he is going to overcome this whole path in two years on Yakut horses.

    Your people are strong in spirit

    I have long wanted to visit Yakutia. For the first time I learned about your republic in childhood. I was told: “In Yakutia, the Sakha people live in very harsh conditions. If you complain, we will send you there so that you know what real difficulties are.”

    You live in really harsh conditions. And such difficulties temper people - your people have a strong spirit. Yakuts are very welcoming and hospitable. Everywhere I go, people invite me to their home.

    Your culture is somewhat reminiscent of the Mongolian. The Mongols are hospitable; they are also used to difficulties. And they venerate horses just as much as the Sakha people.

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    “A great journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean”

    I want to ride on horseback all of Eurasia from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Such travels - from the shores of one ocean to another - are called "great." In America, many people made such horse trips, and in Eurasia no one even tried.

    Now I am supported by the international movement of equestrian travelers The Long Riders' Guild and Egor Makarov (entrepreneur, producer of the documentary film ‘24 Snow’ - ed.note). The Long Riders' Guild consists of riders from 48 countries. All of them are great enthusiasts of long horseback riding.

    For the first time I learned about Yakut horses from CuChullaine O'Reilly, the founder of The Long Riders' Guild. He talked about Colonel Dmitry Peshkov, who in winter alone went on a horseback trip from Blagoveshchensk to St. Petersburg. Peshkov covered all the way on a Yakut horse.

    I also learned about Egor Makarov from O'Reilly. In the world, Egor is known as the main promoter of the Yakut horse. When I saw his book (the photo album Sakha Sylgyta, released in 2013, - ed.note), I felt compelled to meet with him. I wrote to him, told about my trip, and he immediately answered me: “Come! I will help." Few can so easily volunteer to help a stranger.

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    Route: from Magadan to London

    The starting point of my journey will be Magadan, and the final - London. I will leave from Magadan to Oymyakon, then to Yakutsk, from here I will go to Baikal, then I will get to Moscow. I’ll go to Europe from Russia, it will be much easier there.

    I’ll ride horses all the way. Only once will I have to catch a ferry to sail across the English Channel between France and Great Britain.

     The most difficult part of the route will be Yakutia. Your horse breeders overcome 50 kilometers a day in severe frosts. That is why it is so important for me to consult with them and learn from them. I'm going to do everything exactly the same way as they do.

     I’ll start next year. This journey will last approximately two years. I do not set any clear deadlines. For me, the process itself is much more important. And I do not want to rush anywhere.

    About preparation

    Preparation for the expedition began in the summer. I flew from London to Moscow. Then from there I went by train to Ulan Bator, spent two months in Mongolia. Mongols are some of the best riders in the world. I did not know Mongolian, and they did not speak English. We communicated with gestures, but at the same time perfectly understood each other.

    At the end of August, I arrived in Yakutia and immediately went to Yuchugei (a village in Oymyakon ulus - ed.note). There I met with horse breeders, consulted about the upcoming expedition, and traveled on Yakut horses.

    Soon I will go to Verkhoyansk district. I want to buy two Yakut horses there. Your horses are unique. They are incredibly powerful, just like small tanks. Only they can live in such extreme conditions: not survive, but live.

    It is important to let the horses get used to the new owner. We must establish a relationship with them so that we understand each other well. Horses are just like humans. Imagine the situation when a person suddenly comes to your home, without any explanation drags you to Africa. You will be at a loss. And the same with horses. They have a home to which they are accustomed, their own family - a herd. Horses are very smart creatures. They fret and worry just like us, and they feel human emotions well.

    The final part of the preparation will be held in January-February in Oymyakon. I’ll stay one or two months with horse breeders, I will do trial trips - for 30-50 kilometers. This is necessary to understand whether the horses will cope and what will be the main difficulties during the expedition. I don't want the situation like this happen -  that I’m traveling from Magadan in the cold, a problem arises, and I: “How did this happen? I didn’t even think about it!” I understand that the journey is very difficult and I need to prepare for it as carefully as possible.

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    “And what horses did this guy ride all over Eurasia?” Where did he find them?”

    I will have one riding horse and one cargo horse. And that’s all - no fallback options.

    They also have their own hierarchy. A freight horse follows a riding horse. So, a riding one must be very confident and strong. If you need to cross the river, and the riding horse is scared, then the freight one will not go there either.

    Will horses take such a long journey? It is not distance that kills them, but the need to carry too heavy stuff on themselves for a long time. Then I will need to bring along a minimum of things and equipment.

    When I finish my journey, people around the world will ask: “And what horses did this guy ride all over Eurasia? Where did he find them?” In order not to get confused and answer these questions well, I need to study your history and culture.

    How to choose horses

    The first thing you look at when choosing a horse is its physical characteristics. How the horse behaves, how it stands and moves.

    After that, you check the individual characteristics (say, character) of the animal. You approach a horse to saddle it, and you look: whether it is nervous or behaves calmly.

    Best horses always test you. Some are too gentle: they are slow-goers, do everything as you tell them. Definitely such horses are not for my expedition. I need a horse with a strong character. They get the length of your foot - trying to throw you out of the saddle or trying to be difficult. They agree to obey you only if they like you and you inspire respect.

    Ideally, the rider and the horse should trust each other.  You are at a crossroads and want to go one way, and the horse feels it. A horse can turn its head in the other direction, as if telling you: “Look here. You better go this way.” It turns out that together you decide which route is better. And the longer you ride together, the better you understand each other. There are many horseback riding enthusiasts in England. Prince Charles loves to talk about harmonious horsemanship. Literally translated, this means "harmonious art of riding." There must be a peculiar energy balance between the rider, the horse and nature. You must respect them. If you litter, beat a horse, behave as if you are stronger and smarter than nature, you will not go far. In Yakutia, you feel this careful attitude to nature, especially in villages.

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    About tourists and travelers

    Tourists and travelers are completely different types of people. When a tourist arrives in another country, he stops at a comfortable hotel, tries to eat what he is used to at home. But for the traveler it is important to see how people really live in this country. He communicates with locals, tries to understand their way of life and traditions, wants to see everything with his own eyes and experience everything himself.

    And tourists always see only one side of life in another country - this is not interesting. I always go to places where there are no tourists, where everything is real, where nature is wild and untouched.

    Sometimes it’s hard for me in London: a lot of people, very crowded, you don’t even hear your own voice, not to mention others. And in places like Yakutia, life is calm. I really liked Yuchyugei: nobody around, so quiet and peaceful.

    “I invested everything I had in this idea!”

    I was born in Estonia. People often ask what my nationality is, and it’s difficult for me to immediately give one answer. Mom has Russian and Ukrainian background, and Dad has Russian, Uzbek and Estonian. Until the age of seven, I lived between Ukraine and Estonia. We spoke Russian in the family, so now I am fluent in it. Thanks to the fact that I have so many different bloods, I have always been interested in other cultures, especially those that the world knows little about.

    When I was seven, our family moved to England. Now I live in the small town of Welwyn Garden City near London. Worked as a manager in a restaurant. Last year I decided to save money and quit everything. At the beginning of this year, I quit and began to plan my trip. I invested in this idea everything I had! So I have nowhere to retreat. Even if it is scary and difficult, I will still go forward step by step.

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    Documentary film about life in Yakutia

    Now I’m looking for a director and a film crew to shoot a documentary during my equestrian trip. This film will be not so much about me as about Yakutia, the Sakha people, their traditions, beliefs and, of course, the Yakut horses.

    I myself would not be interested in watching a documentary about how a person gets from point A to point B. It is much more interesting to find out what motivates this traveler and who helps him. Behind every person who has achieved something big, there is always a whole army of people - family, friends, mentors. Take any champion, for example, Muhammad Ali. His wins are a merit not only of himself, but also of the coach and relatives who supported him.

    I want as many people as possible to learn about Yakutia. Recently, my friends from Germany, Australia and New Zealand came to Yakutsk. We were at the same meeting with them, and they asked me to translate what the locals were talking about. I told them: "They speak their language - Yakut, I do not understand them." Friends were very surprised: “Wow, so this is not Russian? Do they have their own language?” I explained to them that the Sakha people have their own language, culture, traditions. I have already learned several phrases in Yakut - “makhtal” (thanks - ed. note) And “minnigestik utuy” (sweet dreams; good night - ed.note).

    About fears

    Of course, I am not a stranger to fear. I'm an ordinary person, not some kind of superman or extreme sports lover with many years of experience. But if you are afraid of something, you should do it anyway. It helps you grow and develop.

    I hope that young people will be inspired by my experience and think: “People travel, and even on horses. So we can do it as well.” So, I believe that it is important not to lie and honestly say: I am also afraid. I'm afraid that it will be difficult or will not work, but I'm not going to back down.

    by Maria Alekseeva

    Photo: Vadim Skryabin, Nikita Gretsi’s archive 

  • Arctic expedition explores the coldest points of Yakutia

    The Cold Conquerors test expedition, which studied areas with the lowest temperatures in the North of Yakutia, recorded minimum temperature in Yakutia in January. According to preliminary data, it was -54ºC. The expedition leader Vyacheslav Ipatiev reported this to TASS on Wednesday.

  • Gold mining in Yakutia - 5 facts

    This year, the gold mining industry of Yakutia is celebrating its 95th anniversary. YSIA has prepared a selection of interesting facts on the extraction of noble metal in the republic.

  • Mititaka Hattori (Asahi Shimbun): No alcohol stores, but jewelry stores everywhere (video)

    Mititaka Hattori is Deputy Director of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and the New Independent States. Born in 1964 in Shizuoka Prefecture. He is the editor of the monthly 'Study of Russia and the New Independent States.'

  • Oymyakon: a thrill-seeker mecca

    Oymyakon, with its lowest temperatures in the world, is a priori an extreme locality for living. To arrive here is already extreme even for Yakut people from other districts of the Republic!

    But recently, people from all over the world have started to come here to spice things up and double or even triple the scale of extreme sports in the coldest locality on the planet!

    This article recalls the most original and extreme tourists of Oymyakon in recent years.

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    In 2017, the Pole of Cold set a new record – thousands of people have already visited it since the beginning of the year.

    During the new year holidays in 2019, 70 tourists from foreign countries and more than 100 from other regions of Russia visited the Pole of Cold with tourist groups.

    Absolute minimum of December and January is -65.4°C, February – -64.6°C.

    The average temperature in Oymyakon during these months is from -42°C to -50°C.

    Summer, on the other hand, can be unusually hot. The average temperature in July is from +14°C to +22°C.

    According to unofficial data, the record-breaking temperature in Oymyakon was recorded in 1938 – -77.8°C.

    Guinness world record: 48 hours on a bicycle

    On February 9, 2017, team Project VR from Poland set a new Guinness world record by cycling for 48 hours in winter.

    48 часов на велосипеде

    Valerian Romanovsky, the record holder:

    “I drove about 360 kilometers on a slippery and snow-covered road for two days. Some people may think it’s easy to get on a bike and ride it for 48 hours. I assure you that it’s not that easy. Even just being awake for two days is already difficult. This is probably the most difficult project of my life.”

    Italian police officer’s run

    A police officer from Italy, Paolo Venturini, made an extreme run in January this year – more than 39 kilometers from Tomtor to Oymyakon in -52ºC.

    The Italian took his project very seriously. Last year, he came to Yakutia specifically to determine the route. Moreover, he made a trial run in -40ºC to check whether he can run a 39-kilometer distance in the Pole of Cold.

    Extreme marathon

    On January 5, 2019, Oymyakon held an extreme marathon in a record-breaking low temperature for the first time in the world. At the start, the thermometer showed -48ºC. In four hours, 16 experienced athletes and amateur runners ran several different distances. Tourists from France, Austria, India, Taiwan, and Italy participated in the first international marathon.

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    Iran-Oymyakon cycling

    The Pole of Cold also met a peace ambassador, a cyclist, and a thrill-seeker from Iran, Mahmoud Hussein, who traveled a huge distance alone to get from the South to the extreme North.

    Marriage proposal to a French woman

    Swiss-born Patrik Baumann and French-born Anne Severine Boulard decided they wanted to become husband and wife in the Pole of Cold. A film about this romantic trip, made by the newlyweds themselves and titled “Pole of cold-2018. Love rules the world,” can be found on YouTube.

    They went to the Pole of Cold by car, got acquainted with the traditions and customs of the northerners, and it was there that Patrik proposed to his girlfriend. However, the fierce Northern frost did not allow the Frenchwoman put the ring on her finger.

    A Japanese swims in an ice hole

    A Japanese man also decided to test himself. He swam in a river in -60ºC in Oymyakon. The footage shows him in his underpants running out of a minibus and jumping into the water. He dives several times and returns to the car screaming. The video has more than 200 thousand views on YouTube.

    Hollywood actor Tom Hardy

    Tom Hardy visited Yakutia in February 2012 with the Discovery Channel crew. The film can be found on the Internet. Recently, Hardy said in an interview with Channel One Russia: “This is the coldest place I have ever visited. I always wanted to visit Siberia.”

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    The difficult path of a French cyclist

    Yves Chaloin, a 61-year-old tourist from France, reached his cherished goal – the Pole of Cold – by bicycle. Locals organized a warm greeting at the famous stele for the thrill-seeker, whose journey was watched by whole Yakutia.

    The cyclist started his journey on December 6, 2018 in Skovorodino, Amur Region. On December 24, he reached Yakutsk, where his wife, Olivia, was waiting for him. On January 1, 2019, the Frenchman left Yakutsk for Oymyakon. But he had to suspend his journey on January 8 due to technical difficulties with his bike. On January 21, Yves left Khandyga, and reached Oymyakon only on January 30.

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    Failures also happen

    Four students from Kyoto left Yakutsk for Oymyakon on bicycles. Unfortunately, the young people never reached the end point. They didn’t expect that it would be so cold, and one of them was hospitalized with frostbitten feet. Local tourist companies felt sorry for the poor guys and promised to take them by car to their destination.

    Can you imagine that this is only the latest and most sensational news? And so many more stories with numerous emotions, trials, victories, and defeats absorbed this simultaneously alluring, frightening, and beautiful Oymyakon...

  • Russian bloggers to look for record-breaking low temperatures in Yakutia

    The first Cold Conquerors expedition will have bloggers Pavel Matveev, Ilia Voskresensky, a travel show host Natalia Belyakova, and a Vokrug Sveta correspondent Konstantin Chalabov. They will travel to the North of the Republic on January 12.

  • Tourism in the Pole of Cold. How to not only survive but have fun at -60°C

    A young entrepreneur Tumen Kyrerba long wanted to organize a tour in Oymyakonsky district in the North-East of Yakutia — the coldest inhabited place in Russia, where winter temperatures get to -60°C. And he was right: many—not only Russians, but also foreigners – want to test their bodies in -60°C and experience the culture of the Northern peoples

  • Tourist cluster at the Pole of Cold will be presented at the EEF

    The project of a tourist cluster at the Pole of Cold in the Oymyakon district of Yakutia will be presented at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum.

  • Yakutsk tops the list of the most extreme cities in the world

    The El Pais Spanish newspaper has compiled a list of the most extreme cities in the world. The publication notes that the cities on this list are challenged by the coldest or most suffocating hot temperatures or are located at such heights where it is difficult to breathe.

     

    In its rating, the newspaper simultaneously puts the Russian city of Yakutsk and the village of Oymyakon in the first place. According to the authors, Yakutsk stands out for its extremely extreme climate, because the air temperature in winter drops to minus 40 degrees Celsius, and in summer it can reach 29 degrees, which is why the city rarely attracts tourists and creates serious difficulties for local residents. The publication notes that Yakutsk is a regional center, and at the same time it is an important cultural, scientific and economic center of Siberia.

    Along with Yakutsk, the edition recognizes the village of Oymyakon as the most extreme place on the planet that is also located in Yakutia. It is distinguished by the lowest temperature recorded on the inhabited part of the Earth, in particular, in 1926 the air temperature there fell to minus 71.2 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the newspaper notes that there are very many elderly Russian citizens living there.

    The rating of El Pais has another Yakut town, Verkhoyansk. According to the authors, this city is one of the most extreme due to the record temperature drops. The lowest recorded temperature there is minus 69.8 degrees Celsius, and the highest is 37 degrees Celsius, and the difference is 106.8 degrees, which is why the city even got into the Guinness Book of Records. At the same time, the publication notes a rather large population for such places - 1.3 thousand people.

    The publication recognized San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico the hottest city in the world, where the maximum temperature reached 59.5 degrees Celsius. El Pais considers the mining town of La Rinconada in Peru, located at an altitude of 5,099 meters above sea level, to be the most inaccessible city on Earth. The city is located in the permafrost zone, however, more than 30 thousand people live there.

    The ranking also includes the cities of Jericho and Tabgha in Israel - as the lowest cities in the world (more than 200 meters below sea level). The most remote in the world is called the city-island of Adak in the group of the Aleutian Islands. According to the newspaper, Hammerfest in northern Norway and Longyer in the Norwegian Spitsbergen archipelago, as well as the small town of Barrow in northern Alaska (USA), claim the title of the northernmost settlement.

    The Argentinean city of Ushuaia and the Chilean Puerto Williams compete for the title of the most southern settlements of the world.

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