«KOLYMA TRACT» MOTOR RALLY YAKUTSK – OYMYAKON – MAGADAN (2432 км)

Description


«KOLYMA TRACT» MOTOR RALLY YAKUTSK – OYMYAKON – MAGADAN (2432 км)

1. Theme

SIGHTSEEING & FIRST SIGHT

EHTNOS & LOCAL MINORITIES

NATURE & SNOW EMPIRE

ACTIVITIES ADVENTURES EXTREME

2. Region, city, itinerary

Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Magadan oblast.

Yakutsk – Khandyga – Oimyakon – Ust-Nera – Talaya – Magadan.

3. Seasonality

Summer term: May-September (expected t  +10 ~ +18 C)

Winter term: December-March (expected t -25 ~ -60 C)

4. The complexity, style of the tour

Comfortable extreme, Moderate

Wildlife watching and trekking

Daring & challenging

Winter adventure

5. Accommodation

Hotel, guest house, hostel

6. Number of days

5-10 days

7. Number of people

2-12 people

8. Booking conditions

2 months before the tour start

The construction of the famous Kolyma tract began in 1932. The starting point was Magadan, then a village on the shore of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. A need for the construction of a transport highway was obvious: active industrial development of the richest deposits of gold, silver, tin and coal began on Kolyma and in Yakutia, and transportation of valuable cargo was planned through the Nagaev Bay in Magadan - the most convenient port on the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. Implementation of the road project demanded a significant work force. The first consignment of the future workforce arrived in Magadan consisting of 4400 prisoners and “enemies of the state” and only 570 civilian employees.

The federal highway M56 “Kolyma” has become a familiar symbol of the two northern regions in Russia - the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Magadan Region. The length of the route is 2032 km, of which 1197 km are laid through the territory of Yakutia, 835 km - through Magadan Region. The Magadan - Yakutsk Highway is one of the ten most difficult roads in the world and is the longest in length. Uniqueness of the rally in that the route passes through very remote and sparsely populated places.

We also recommend that you visit the Pole of Cold (+400 km) and villages of Oymyakon and Tomtor located slightly off the main route along the old road towards Magadan.

The rally takes place on SUVs or expeditionary minivans specially prepared to sustain extremely low temperatures. The entire trip is divided into segments for comfortable toleration of the trip at a speed of 40-60 km per hour. Meals are organized at roadside cafes, in villages along the way or from prepared in advance food boxes during some longer stretches without stops.

 

Magadan - Susman Distance: ~ 625 km. Travel time is 12-15 hours.

Magadan - Susuman segment of the trip is notable for many abandoned gold mines and a large bridge across the Kolyma River (length of the bridge is 385 m).

Having turned off the main road, after 32 km you arrive in Sinegorye, where you can enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery. The village is located at the source of Kolyma River. In the village of Yagodnoye, after the Burkhalinsky Pass (altitude 1005 m), you can stop over for a refreshment or a hot tea drink at a cafe. Before entering the city of Susuman you see the main attraction of Susuman - the plane sticking out of the building.

Susuman - Ust-Nera Distance ~ 394 km, ~ 11 hours, including stops.

On this segment of the road trip you see:

- Kolyma-Indigirka Mountain Pass;

- Kadykchan, a large mining ghost town abandoned in the 1990s. Here a 30-minute stop-over for shooting is planned;

- The abandoned village of Ozernoye, a former gold processing factory during the Gulag era. Another stop-over for photographing;

- The border crossing between the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Magadan region;

- A weather station and a commemorative stele. Here you can have lunch ordered at Ust-Nera cafe at our own expense;

- The remains of the Gulag power plant;

- The small village of Artyk - a base location for road workers.

 

Ust-Nera - Tomtor - Oymyakon Distance: ~ 435 km. Accommodation in Oymyakon at Yakut family’s.

Through a snowy forest you reach a base of reindeer herders. Here, in a well-heated wooden house, you will be treated to traditional Even food. After lunch you ride reindeer sleds to feel like a northern nomad! Here you spend 2.5 to 3 hours. Passing the rivers of Suntar, Agayakan and Tireh-Yuryakh you can see old wooden bridges. In Tomtor, you visit an ice tunnel, which used to be a food warehouse, and now the residence of Chyskhan - the legendary keeper of the cold. Giant snowflakes cover the walls and ceiling; the temperature inside the tunnel is constant at -8-10C. Additionally, you visit the never frozen Kuidusun River, a tributary of Indigirka. Tomtor has its own airport, operated in the summer, as well as a weather station.


Oymyakon is the coldest place with permanent population on Earth


Accommodation in Oymyakon is at a Yakut family’s. Each morning in Oymyakon begins with a street thermometer check-up and a hearty breakfast prepared by a hospitable hostess. Do not be surprised to see meat, fish and potato dishes on the table in the morning. All these calories are very much needed when walking around in Oymyakon.

At 10 o’clock, you will go for a walk in the village. You visit “The Pole of Cold” monument, where Chyskhaan, the keeper of the Yakut cold, will be waiting for you to hand you the certificate. Then you visit the Yakut cow-breeding farm. This is a unique breed. Yakut cows are small, adapted to life in harsh climates.

Upon returning home, you will conduct exciting experiments with frozen things. For example, you will see how quickly a wet T-shirt or your national flag freezes outside, hammer a nail with a frozen banana, smash a head of frozen cabbage or an apple, and observe how different liquids freeze in a variety of ways (naturally, alcohol-containing liquids will come out victorious), you will blow bubbles in the cold, arrange fireworks from boiling water.

After lunch, you will visit the Indigirka River to see traditional ice fishing. If you want to fish yourself, you will be given gear for fishing on ice. This mountain river is home to grayling and local fish species. The hostess will cook an “indigirka” - the famous Yakut appetizer of raw frozen fish.

Oymyakon - Khandyga Distance ~ 514 km, ~ 12 hours (including stops for lunch and photo shooting)

 

This part of the trip is long, but very picturesque. Built by Gulag prisoners, the Road of Bones, passes through the Verkhoyansk Mountains. Beautiful mountain landscapes surround you along the road for 200 kilometers; you can enjoy the views throughout the daylight hours. An average height of the mountains is about 1300 m, the highest mountain is Muus Haya (3000 m above sea level). The road is in good condition. During the day you will see the most famous places of the Kolyma Highway: the Tomoruk Pass with a memorial cross to the victims of the Gulag, Yellow and Black Clips, Hare Loop serpentine road, Swallow's Nest, East Khandyga weather station, etc. Photostops are pre-planned in the above-mentioned places. There is not a single settlement on this mountain segment, only some few road worker bases.

Stop for dinner in a cafe in the village of Teply Klyuch. Arrival in Khandygu is in the evening. This is the administrative center of Tompon Ulus, currently in decline. In Soviet times, Khandyga flourished, coal and gold were mined here. Initially, the village was founded as a distribution center of the Gulag. It is here that the infamous Road of Bones begins, leading to Magadan. During the 2nd World War, near the Khandygi, in the village of Teply Klyuch (70 km from Khandygi) an airport was built, which was actively used to transfer military aircraft from Alaska to the front.

 

Khandyga - Yakutsk Distance: 432 km, travel time 10 hours (including stops for lunch and photoshooting)

There are 2 stops at roadside cafes on the way. Lunch will be served before arrival in the village of Cherkekh. After driving for 40 km, you cross the Aldan River along the 5-kilometer winter road (the sixth longest in Russia, the length of the river is 2273 km). The stretch of road between Khandyga and Yakutsk is the most densely populated region of Yakutia. You will pass through 4 uluses (administrative regions): Megino-Kangalassky, Churapchinsky, Tattinsky and Tomponsky. Along the way, you will see traditional Yakut villages with small wooden huts, heated by stoves in winter. You will also observe numerous Yakut horses grazing around, despite the extremely cold climate, digging for grass under the snow. Tatta ulus is a so-called cradle of the Yakut culture. You will make a stop at the border of the ulus and, if there is time, you get to visit an open-air museum in Cherkekh. Here the traditional dwellings of the Yakuts, an old wooden church and a chapel with a bell tower are preserved in original state.

In the city of Yakutsk, you cross the Lena River on ice. The width of the river at this place is 3 kilometers. The length of the winter road is 8.7 km. You will make a shortstop among the hummocks to take a photo of the group with a panoramic view of Yakutsk in the background. On the opposite bank, you will pass through the village of Nizhny Bestyakh, the most important transport and trade hub. Two federal roads meet here: the Amur-Yakut Highway leading to the city of Neryungri, in the south of Yakutia, as well as the Kolyma highway ending in Magadan.



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