Drive to the Pole of Cold

In Land Rover, Places by Jonathan Humphrey

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A Land Rover Defender, the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers reach the Pole of Cold in Siberia


The expedition team reached their goal – Oymyakon, Russia – aka the ‘Pole of Cold.’ After travelling more than 20,000km, through countries including Denmark and Norway they reached their destination. The expedition took them as far north as the top of Norway and Finland, above the Arctic Circle by hundreds of kilometres. The route went along the Trans-Siberian Highway. So far temperatures have been as low as -58 degrees C.

The freeing cold Oymyakon region earned its title as the ‘Pole of Cold’ when -67.7 degrees C was recorded in February 1933.  The district reaches such low temperatures, even though it is relatively far South, it is limited by continental geography limits  and the warming effects from the oceans. The area suffers from high pressure weather systems which bring cloudless skies, letting heat radiate out.

There are Educational resources produced from the expedition will be available online for schools by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Team highlights along the way included joining the Skolt Sami of Finnmark for their annual reindeer roundup and watching the aurora while listening to a Sami Shaman.

The expedition’s modified Land Rover Defender transported the team across many challenging terrains on the journey. The trip joined a convoy of snowploughs in a storm to on their way to reach NordKapp, right at the top of Europe. Drives along official ice roads on the frozen Lena River. The Defender was enhanced with uprated suspension, underbody and driveline protections, welcome auxiliary heaters for the engine and occupants and a long range fuel tank and extra equipment and luggage storage.

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