The Swedish explorers Mikael
Strandberg and Johan Ivarrson have successfully completed
their nine-month long expedition along the Kolyma River. On
April 21, 2005 they reached the Ambarchik Polar Station
at the coast of the East-Siberian Sea. The explorers started
their grueling expedition at the south near the sources of
the legendary Siberian River and have followed the River north
for over 2500 km.
Mikael Strandberg and Johan
Ivarsson started their route on August 1, 2004 from
the confluence of the Ayan-Yarekh and Kulu Rivers – the sources
of the Kolyma River. The two men were initially accompanied
by Titti Strandberg, the third member of the expedition and
the expedition project manager. The first part of the expedition
passed along a water route. The two explorers sailed on a
kayak over the River north through the most inhospitable terrain
The first short stop was made
on September 2, 2004 at the Seimchan settlement. Then the
team forwarded their route to Zyryanka – a settlement, situated
in the middle part of the Kolyma River.
In Zyryanka the explorers made
a stop, waiting for the beginning of winter. On November 17,
2004 they continued their route on skies over the ice of the
frozen River. During this period the explorers experienced
all power of the Siberian frosts. The temperatures fell to
-60°C. Each breath was transformed into a shower of ice crystals.
At that time Mikael Strandberg
wrote the following in his diary:
"The main problem right now is that there´s almost
impossible to take a break. It is almost unbearably cold.
Almost terrifyingly cold. The only thing one can do is constantly
move and hope to avoid as many obstacles as possible. We´ve
been pretty lucky so far. We´ve navigated to near perfection,
even though we cannot follow the shortest way due to big
areas of broken up ice which are extremely difficult to
pass. We´ve, so far, had no problems with spotting open
water, since it´s smoking like the worst fire due to the
cold. An inch of snow covers the ice, so it could be much
harder. But the cold is harder to handle than I imagined.
And worst of all is, it´ll just get colder every day from
now on until mid-February".
Besides unbearable cold and danger of meeting with wild animals
the explorers had stand the test of polar night. During almost
three months the Swedish explorers travelled in complete darkness
with only occasional moonlight. On December 11, 2004 they
reached the town of Srednekolymsk, overcoming two thirds of
On March 16, 2005 the team arrived in the Kolymskoye settlement,
from which they started the next to last stage of their route
to the Chersky settlement, situated in the mouth of the Kolyma
Mikael Strandberg and Johan Ivarsson reached this point on
April 10 and after a short rest started their final leg to
the coast of the Arctic Ocean, which they reached in 11 days
at the Ambarchik polar station. The Expedition was completed.
The team returned back to Chersky and then took a flight to
You can see the latest
news, photographs and diaries of the Swedish expedition "Siberia"
(Mikael Strandberg and Johan Ivarsson) at the site: www.siberia.nu