After crossing Kolyma, the team was warmly met by the citizens of Cherskiy. After overcoming the difficult path to the settlement the team members could finally take a day long break.
- 10th October all day we were moving along tundra. The road was wide that is why we passed 83 kilometers. On the way we saw streams, which are called “Whiskas” around here. Whiskey with their shores reminded us ditches with steep sides – can’t descend and can’t go up. That is why we had to go along the stream for a long time, looking for a suitable descent place. All in all tundra looks quite smooth. We were going at around 20 km per hour. In some places we managed to ride on ice. The paddles are already thoroughly frozen and can’t withhold the ATVs. I must say that the weather was rather dull but at the same time it was around -15 degrees. It is a true winter. At the same time in St Petersburg the leaves only start going yellow. On the way I saw many hares’ footprints, but amazingly enough I saw no hares so far. Sometimes we encountered tracks crossing our path and some rusty barrels, which are used in tundra as a landmark. The evening has met us with surprisingly orange sun and highlighted clouds on the horizon.
- 11th of October was really dull. The morning was windy and snowy. We quickly had breakfast and set off. First part of the day we spent riding across tundra .In some parts we used our small ATVs to go on the edge of the lakes to make sure the ice holds. Sometimes we fell through, went back and retreated back to the shore. Ice is covered in snow, so it is really hard to judge how deep it is. I do this, I go to the shore at a straight angle, touch the ice with the front wheels. If the ice withholds, I keep going very slowly and if I don’t get stuck I press the gas pedal into the floor and fly off. Having seen this picture, Alex also decided to try it and fly on top of the ice of the lake edge. And he was riding smoothly at first. But if the ice is 12 cm thick and your vehicle is about 7 ton, then it could be well expected… Alex eventually fell through. There is nothing bad in it, just a normal work situation as the ATV can float and slide on ice, but he got stuck in ice at a significant speed. As a result ice pressed on a front section door and pushed it off. It had already been previously damaged by a sharp log sticking out of water and it got hit yet again. But after four hours of repairs it is as good as new. It is a shame we had to spend so long though; it was only 13 km to Cherskiy. We would have been clean and fresh there by this time.
- After the door repairs tundra had finished and we started going through shrubs along the lake. The speed went down to 5 km. On the way we found a snowmobile track going roughly in the same direction and we keep along up until the end. Then we reached a house in the woods with some barns around it. There was no one there even though the track was very fresh. We turned around and went looking for a way round it. And eventually met the house owner with his really kind dog. I must admit that in the entire time that we have been going through Yakutiya, we haven’t met a single angry dog. The owner helped us find our way on the map up until the point where we would be crossing Kolyma. Our produce manager shared with him some tasty foods that we have loads in our ATVs. Overall we passed 53 km that day.
- 12 October was a packed with events day. After going a short distance in the morning, we encountered another whiska, Karetovskaya whiska. The river itself is about 50 meters wide and has some steep shores. First of course was Alexey Garagashyan. He stuck his front bumper in ice, that was around 5 centimeters deep. He had to stop not to damage the front again. We used hoist and pulled him up. Well, good that we pulled him, but we had to go down anyway. It was very dangerous to descent the small ATVs, because there was a big danger of rolling over the front and damage to the same front door, if not the windscreen itself. And that is when Pavel had a great idea to drop a large larch into the river in such a way that when Alex would go down it, it would break the ice. And the broken by the larch channel wouldn’t let ice to break the door. That is what we did. We pushed it down, it created a channel in the ice in the steepest part of the descent and went down under the ice to look for a place to float up again. In the meantime Pavel Emelin descended Timofey, then me, using a hoist. We descended with our front part down. Pavel and Dima went down by themselves on hoist, but they did it with their back side down. While the crew of “Turbo Snail” was going down the large ATV was already going up on the hoist. When they got up Garagashyan pulled us all one by one using a dynamic cord. OK, whiska had been passed. We spent around two hours on it. Kolyma awaits us.
- We were riding along for a long time and then we found a place to cross it. We had to go another 7 kilometers to reach it. 7 kilometers of really rough hummocky and many lakes with thin ice. But we reached it eventually. Here it is – the Great Kolyma. Along the entire shore that we could see there was 300 meter wide ice and then clean water. First on ice was of course the ten-wheeler. Meanwhile we were standing and looking when it would go down the ice, but it didn’t. It was going nice and smooth up until water where it started floating. As it appeared ice was really thick by the shore. So we went on it and started moving too. We spent around 30 minutes. The entire way on water was 3,5 kilometers. The stream wasn’t strong.
- When we reached the shore we were greeted by a large amount of people. First one of us on the ground was Timofey. We were immediately approached by a local reported – Kurilo Alexey. He presented to us the head of Lower Kolymskiy area – Suzdalov Ivan Pavlovich. Also there we were approached by the head of the port Mikhail Pavlovich, who kindly lent us a place for parking on his base.
- When others came, Ivan Pavlovich invited us to the administration to have some tea. During the tea ceremony the head told us about the region and we told him about our vehicles and the expedition.
- There are around 1,8 thousand people in Cherskiy and in the Green cape another 800. In the latter there is a port, and it is quite large. It was there since the USSR times. There are around 16 large cranes in the port. In the 90s they were meant to be dismantled, but they were won over and kept there. .
- Cherskiy is an urban village, that is why there are mainly 5-storey buildings around. The settlement is called after a famous scientist, polar researched and traveler Ivan Dementievich Cherskiy.
- Passing it on the ATV I notices that in the both settlements there are new boiler plants. Also there are two plane monuments An-2 and Li-2. The second is dedicated to the ice air exploration in the Arctic (I may be mistaken). It was piloted by the only female pilot in the entire Polar aviation. I can’t recall her name now.
- After the administration we went to the Green Cape. I was leading the way and on the road not far from the settlement I and the entire caravan were stopped by a policeman. He came up to me and asked – “Who are you? Where from? Where do you go to? What sort of vehicles?” And of course he asked for the documents for the vehicles. I told him everything he wanted to know and said that our documents were just fine. We said our goodbyes and left. Throughout the entire expedition this was the first time that we were stopped on the road by the police.
- We settled in a two bedroom flat, had shower and went to bed. Tomorrow we are leaving for Bilibino.
The expedition “to the East” is continuing…
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