The Russian North has long become a mysterious place with a reputation that is scary enough to spook any first-time foreign traveler to Russia. But some people feel a rush of adrenaline every time they hear about that region. Two American tourists who radioed SOS from the Taimyr Peninsula apparently belong to the few.
Two Americans decided to take a walk from Taimyr to Canada using canoe and skis. Their journey kicked off on May 10th. It seems that the travelers failed to foresee the impact of Russian climate and circumstances on their capabilities. They had to cut short their Arctic feat and requested their travel coordinator to remove them from their present location.
They contacted their travel coordinator at a travel agency Vikaar to advise him they could not carry on with their journey. Ice conditions along the route are complex and a head drift prevents the travelers from moving forward. Other reports indicate that having realized they were falling behind with the deadline, the Americans decided not to take any risks. Their travel coordinator got in touch with the rescue service of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies of the Taimyr Autonomous Region.
The Americans are currently located some 80 km northeast of the starting point of their journey. “We are getting ready to carry out evacuation of the travelers, we are going to use 2 choppers Mi-8 and a team of rescue workers,” said a representative of the rescue service. According to him, there is no threat whatsoever to the Americans at the moment, they have enough food and their equipment is fully operational.
Meanwhile, two Japanese travelers successfully complete their bicycle ride to Yakutia. They began pedaling their bikes in a snow-clad Sakhalin in winter and managed to reach Oimyakon, a settlement in Yautia considered to be the coldest location in the Northern Hemisphere. Ando Hiromasa, one of the travelers, called the ride a “tough challenge” which the travelers accepted in order to “put our capabilities to the limit.”