For the first time in the history of polar explorations
the expedition "Arktika-2000" had the objective
to cross the Arctic coast of Eurasia from the West (the Nord
Cape, Norway) to the Dezhnev Cape at Chukotka, using the traditional
means of travelling: on foot, by ski, on dog sleds and by
deer teams. This unique expedition, with the length of the
route of more than 10000 km, lasted four years. The leader
of the project "Arktika-2000": Gilles Elkaim, a
French journalist and a cameraman. He travelled solo the entire
route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. The main part
of the planned route passed through the difficult of assess
Arctic regions. During four years Gilles Elkaim was sailing
on a kayak along the rigorous north margins of the continent,
or adapted to the winter Arctic, travelling by ski, dog sleds
or deer teams.
The main part of the route passed over the Russian territory.
The expedition started on May 30, 2004. After sailing 350
km on kayak, Gilles Elkaim crossed the Russian-Norwegian border
and in four years, after replacing the kayak and the reindeer
team for a dog's team, completed his journey in the Uelen
settlement at the shore of the Bering Strait.
The first part of the route was finished in the Mezen settlement
(Arkhangelskaia oblast) in September 2000. The explorer travelled
on foot across the Kola Peninsula. After that Gilles Elkaim
sailed over the White Sea: Gilles Elkaim passed from Kandalaksha
to the Solovetsky Islands, and then – to Arkhangelsk and Mezen.
The second stage of the expedition started at the beginning
of November 2000. In the conditions of the polar night Gilles
Elkaim travelled over the wild and remote Arctic regions.
The part of the route from Mezen to Naryan-Mar he overcame
on skis, hauling sledges, loaded with equipment and foodstuffs.
This stage was completed in spring 2001 at the Salekhard.
The explorer carried out the third stage of his expedition
in summer and autumn 2001. He sailed on kayak along the Ob
River and the Ob Inlet and reached the Nyda settlement.
The forth stage, which was the longest and the most difficult
one, started in November 2001. Gilles Elkaim on skis and dog
sleds crossed the south of the Taymyr peninsula. Travelling
along tundra and ice of the frozen rivers, he arrived in the
Ust-Olenek settlement at the end of August 2002. Here the
explorer left his dogs and reached the Arctic port Tiksi by
his kayak (the fifth stage of the expedition).
The six stage of the route started from Tiksy in November
2002. By spring 2003 Gilles Elkaim on his dog team reached
the port of Pevek. The explorer did not want to part with
his dogs and to sail by kayak that's why he made a stop for
summer. Gilles Elkaim restored a ruinous home in the abandoned
settlement Yanranay in the vicinity of Pevek, and lived with
his dogs in this house till the next winter came.
In January 2004 Gilles Elakim again started his expedition
in order to complete his grandiose four-year expedition at
the Dezhnev Cape at the edge of the Eurasia continent.