During the coming winter and spring, Gilles Elkem, a French traveler intends to go about 4,000 km on dog sleds over the northern parts of Russia. Yesterday, speaking at a press conference, Mr. Elkem said he would start on his way from the town of Tixi in November 2002, planning to arrive in the village of Uelen in the Chukotka Peninsula in May next year.
Mr. Elkem explained that the run from Tiksi to Uelem will become the last stage of the 12,000 km route he began in May 2000 at the cape Nordkap in Norway. In a little more than three years, with short intermissions, Mr. Elkem expects to travel on foot, skis, and dog and deer sleds, along the whole coast of the Northern Ocean.
Mr. Elkem said that, should his enterprise end successfully, he would become the first man ever to have traveled alone along the whole northern edge of the Eurasian continent.
He also said that while traveling he studied the migrations and traditional ways of the peoples of the North. The principal objective of this undertaking is drawing public attention to the problem of the preservation of the original ethnic minorities and their natural environment.