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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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...