All-terrain vehicles SHERP, Expedition

“To the East” expedition – behind Cherskogo Range

After we passed Cherskogo Range, the expedition went further “to the East!”. The days were slowly changing into evening, then nights. While the navigating officers keep track of maps and directions, Vladimir Shilnikov is writing another interesting report.

  • The weather feels Novemberish (if you compare it to St Petersburg), although the calendar only shows the beginning of September. The morning was dull; it was raining, then snowing. In a cabin though it was warm and nice. We had breakfast and went back on the road.

  • The mountains stayed behind. Ahead was just swamp, forest and tundra. We moved along the old track, checking direction on the map and satellite pictures. If tracks went aside we kept on moving in our own direction. The river stayed near with its rapid stream and the water level was rising. Autumn rains kept fueling it, awakening the river from august idleness.

  • We passed ice cover on the River Kyra. The ice field was rather big and it survived summer. Now it was expecting the cold weather to add some more thickness.  

  • We passed abandoned village Suordakh. As usual there are fallen fences and semi-destroyed houses. But also there are a couple of really strong buildings with stoves and benches in a good condition. Those are possibly hunting houses. Meanwhile it was snowing. It stopped melting on the grass and painted the landscape into white colour. A story that was told in Zhigansk museum comes to mind – “In mid-September it was snowing and Kazaks had to stop and start building winter houses”. We will not build any winter houses; instead we will keep on moving to the east.  

 

  • It is our turn to be on duty today. For that reason we woke up an hour earlier than the rest. The sun is up, but the sky is covered in grey clouds all the way to the horizon. The air temperature is around zero and yesterday’s snow has stayed untouched.

  • So let’s begin. First we need to heat the stove. The wood has been prepared beforehand and all we need to do is start the fire. Water is boiling and porridge is cooking on the gas hob. We are putting products on the table from a storage. Here is what we have – rice porridge, black or green tea. For those who don’t like tea we’ve got coffee and hot chocolate. Condensed milk, sugar, cookies, jam, sweets. Also canned meat, sweat corn. I can’t list it all. There are variations of the sweets – candy, marshmallow sticks, marmalade, halva. Where did we get it all? The attentive readers will say: “yes, we know, from “Pyaterockka”. Of course, we wrote about it before a few times. But it doesn’t hurt to tell again. X5 Retail Group which represents Pyaterochka, Karusel and Perekrestok has kindly offered us a wide assortment of groceries for our expedition. These products are high quality, diverse and cover all the needs of the expedition members. Thanks to X5 Retail Group we don’t feel ourselves far from home.


  • Breakfast is over, dishes are washed and it is time to get going. Today we will also have lunch and dinner to cook. And every time we will have groceries from “Pyaterochka” on our table, and each time we will be grateful to X5 Retail Group.  

  • Everywhere in the country Sunday is a day off, but for us it is a usual working day as if we are workers of an uninterrupted technological process. We wake up at 6 on the dot. In one hour we get inside our ATVs and drive off. As usual we try to find direction on the map. In fact every now and then the old track roads keep popping up and disappearing and we are forced to go by the azimuth. Around there is forest-tundra. On the right hand side the mountain peaks of Cherkasskogo Range can barely be seen and soon will disappear completely. However, straight ahead we can see three bears, who are running away at the sight of our ATVs.

  • Meanwhile we arrived to the River Nahatta and start moving along it. Water level in the river has risen significantly. The stream is fast and we are floating at a speed of ten kilometers per hour. Snow has disappeared, most likely melted. It is a little warmer. Nahatta soon joinsanother river, creating a wide and dee Syuryuhtyah. On one of its shores we saw GTN left in tundra. It is not abandoned, because it has no outer damages and it carefully covered by a tent. It seems that hunters or fishers left the equipment for storage in here until the time came to use it again.

  • At the place of joining with the stream with a funny name Kes-Uyryakh we went aside, hoping to find a winter road or some old tracks that will take us to Honuu – another stopover for our expedition.

  • Indian summer came unexpectedly. We have already said our good-byes to warm days, even experienced snow, and here it comes. It didn’t become very warm because there was still ice on the paddles in the morning, but the sun is out and the sky is blue. All in all it is much better this way.

  • We started moving not early, had to stay behind for a while. But almost immediately we found the old track and used it to move along. Around there is forest and nothing much to look at. Just larches and willows. He road goes higher up and we can see the first pines. The navigator shows almost six hundred meters above the sea level. Sometimes in the little gaps among the parts of the forest we can see hills. It is a game of light and shadow. Really amazing view to see how the sun lights the slopes. Far ahead we can see peaks of Momskiy Range covered in snow. Between it and us there is the River Idndigirka, which can be seen rather well from the altitude too.

  • Slowly but surely the road goes lower and sometimes even takes a steep descent. We have to actively use our breaks, help transition to keep Sherps in the right trajectory. Everywhere can be seen the marks of the previous activity – fences, buildings’ remains. Our tracks go to the river Arga-Asselyakh and then disappears. Possibly it goes in a shallow and winding river bottom. But this is for our next day, today it is time to have dinner and go to bed.

 

 

The organizers and participants of the expedition thank their partners and sponsors:

The company Ravenol, the main technical partner

Iridium Russia, thanks to them the team will always be connected. The equipment for the data transfer was made available by the companies “Satellite mobile technologies” and “Iridium 360”

Product sponsor for the expedition – the company X5 Retail Group, managing brands “Pyaterochka”, ‘Perekrestok” and “Karusel” for the support of the idea of moving to the east

Technical partner Paptor U-Pol

Garmin Russia – for the navigation and action cameras Garmin Virb

Webasto – technical partner and sponsor of the expedition

Company “Dinakor – strength technologies” and brand Kubota

Company DJI alongside the 4vision.ru – the provider of quadcopters for the video shooting from the air

4×4 Club and brand Warn

Zinc – navigation programs for all terrain and expeditions. It helps us stay the course!

“Medical technologies of survival” for the organization of the medical part of the expedition and the expedition’s medical kits

KB “Radar”, transport company “Promit” for the help in transportation of the cargo to the East

Transport company “Promit” for help with package deliveries

Informational partners of the expedition:

National Geographic Russia, Popular mechanic, Men’s Health, strana.ru, vesti.ru, Russia.travel.ru

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