Royal Geographic Society Explores "Pole of Cold" in Land Rover Defender
Journey Part of Educational Initiative in U.K.
The subjective definition of "cold" varies, with Southern Californians considering anything below 60 degrees "cold," whereas Michiganders or New Englanders would call 10 degrees Fahrenheit cold. But those temperatures seem positively balmy compared with the extreme temperatures faced by the Pole of Cold expedition team, which explored Northern Scandinavia and Siberia, on to Oymyakon, Russia, in Eastern Siberia, known for being one of the coldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world. Oymyakon earned this reputation with a recorded low of -89 degrees Fahrenheit in 1933. It has since been known as the Pole of Cold.
The team, led by British adventurer Felicity Aston, received the sixth-annual Land Rover Bursary award. Aston was joined by documentary photographer and videographer Manu Palomeque, and cold-weather engineer and mechanical expert Gisli Jonsson. The team's 20,000-mile round-trip journey will take them across Scandinavia and Siberia. The Royal Geographic Society, which is supporting the expedition, will use footage and the adventurers' experiences of the journey as part of the new national curriculum, which covers Russia and cold environments.
Among the most fascinating observations of the group on the journey is how extreme cold weather affects daily life. Ice cream, for example, is sold on open tables, whereas fruit and vegetables are kept covered by blankets. Locals often prefer driving on frozen rivers rather than paved roads, and vehicles are kept running around-the-clock to keep the engines from freezing. Special adaptations were made to the team's Land Rover Defender with an auxiliary heater, modified suspension, and underbody protection.
Source: Land Rover