Rus News Journal

The pole lonely

Vladimir Chukova`s expeditions yet grows white the correspondent " was not possible to steal up to it

; - Sports Marina Belova has visited polar explorers near to archipelago Northern Earth

High-altitude expedition the Polar ring leaves Dickson island and this year more there will not return. To Vladimir Chukova`s planning for the first time in history of the Arctic travel to reach of the North Pole on pneumocross-country vehicles the group, yet it was not possible to carry out the conceived.

ocean Ledovityj up and down
Plans at Vladimir Chukova, the colonel in resignation and the professional traveller, a member of every possible geographical societies and the organizer of 20 polar expeditions, were, as always, Napoleonic. Having put not one world record in North conquest (three successful independent ski expeditions to the North Pole and transarctic ski transition from Russia to Canada), it was not going to stop on the reached. Its new grandiose purpose - round-the-world travel along an Arctic circle. And for the first time in history all Arctic ocean along coast of Russia, Canada and Greenland on land wheel transport is planned to go round development of Arctic regions. Unique means of transportation which could overcome both tundra open spaces, and Arctic melkolese, both drifting ices, and open ice-holes of ocean, have been recognised unique pneumocross-country vehicles with tyres of the lowered pressure, which forwarding centre Arctic regions has tested during travel across Antarctica where Vladimir Chukova`s command has met 2000. To realise the new project - expedition the Polar ring - undertook the forwarding centre Arctic regions and the company Rambler the Television network with support of group of the enterprises Ost - Chernogolovka . It is a part of the complex international forwarding program Road to the third millenium And simultaneously United Nations programs Dialogue between civilisations .
This grandiose project is calculated for some years. All route is broken by the general extent of 25 thousand in km into three stages. At the first stage expedition should pass on northern coast of Russia from Salekhard to Chukotka, on the second - to cross on drifting ices ocean Ledovityj through a point of the North Pole and to reach territory of Canada, on the third - to pass along coast of Alaska and through Bering strait to return to Russia, having closed the Polar ring in the most northern city of the world - Chukchi Peveke.

  Horses on a crossing change
the First stage of expedition Vladimir Chukova`s command has successfully executed in the spring of 2002. Collected by ours umeltsami and not having world analogues a miracle - cars have consulted and with pitted by deep ravines and porosshej dwarfish birches tundra, and with ice hummocks, and with artful bogs from small beaten ice, and with sites of open water, on which cross-country vehicles it was necessary to float. The easy case and great volume of air in six huge chambers allow cars to float, but move forward they can only at the expense of single rotation of wheels. For two months on a share of participants of this risky travel many adventures have dropped out. At times it was necessary to go blindly - in the conditions of zero visibility, being guided only on navigating devices. Cross-country vehicles failed in snow traps, drop from multimeter breakages and broke. Expedition could face the present sandy storms when sand through cracks got in cars, and with the spring high water which has transformed small rivulets in rough streams blocking a way. In the areas completely deprived of the transport message, cross-country vehicles had to carry out a taxi role, bringing up local residents whom weeks opportunities - passing " wait; the Snow-storm or the helicopter to reach from one settlement in another. In this automobile race our universal off-road cars have proved as an ideal vehicle which so does not suffice the inhabitants of the North torn off from a civilisation.
the second stage of expedition was even more difficult and, it is possible to tell, solving. Vladimir Chukova`s command should make a cross-country march - a throw to Canada through a pole point on drifting ices of ocean Ledovitogo. Such in the history of conquest of the North Pole yet was not. By dogs went, by the ships floated, by balloons and planes flied, even on skis repeatedly went, but that on wheels... Nobody knew, how off-road cars at open ocean in the conditions of drift of ices will lead. The old cars which have passed over 6 thousand Km on the Arctic impassability, remained there, on Chukotka, and now work in natural reserve Wrangel island . For a following stage of expedition Vladimir Chukova`s command has decided to make new, advanced cross-country vehicles. Here problems also have begun.
to collect the unique technics developed by firm the Ex-trance have charged to the Minsk factory, and, probably, it was the main error in expedition preparation. The Belarus contractors were late with order performance. To a start place in Salekhard cars have come much after the planned term in the form of the designer Make itself and Vladimir Chukova`s command had to collect hastily them the hands. As a result start has been postponed almost for a month, and finally this annoying delay has defeated all plans of expedition.

  Ice rears
However on April, 12th, saying goodbye to journalists seeing off a command among whom there was also a correspondent - Sports (see - Sports for April, 19th), Vladimir Chukov assured all of success of forthcoming expedition. Hardly the skilled polar explorer did not understand already then that the monthly delay will not allow them to reach a pole prior to the beginning of active drift of ices, but to a kind, however, did not submit: let the press while blows about forthcoming feats of Russian polar explorers, and there it will be visible.
but to fulfil the promises it has appeared completely not simply. The brand new cross-country vehicles which have not run kilometre before start, continually glitched, and crews had to stop, repair and lead up technics often. But the present difficulties have begun, when expedition at last has taken to the open sea and, having made a start from archipelago Nordenshelda coast, has gone straight towards Northern Earth. There Vladimir Chukova`s command had to face such heaps of hummocks that all previous obstacles have seemed to them children`s babble.
the way to Northern Earth has been covered by multikilometer fields vzdybivshegosja from ice motions. Thus to orient in hummocks low visibility disturbed. The white haze - the phenomenon familiar to all participants of polar expeditions - absolutely concealed a relief, and the surrounding space turned to the continuous clean sheet pasted on a windshield. Trying to discover more or less equal way to these huge labyrinths, travellers left in investigation on skis and then went forward, keeping own trace. But at times the cross-country vehicles showing miracles of passableness, rested against the deadlocks surrounded with walls of hummocks, reaching sometimes to 10 m. And then crews had to lay to cars a way, peshnjami and shovels cutting down ice and throwing snow cubic metre. Speed of movement thus fell from 20 km at an o`clock to 20 in day.
Cross-country vehicles hardly roll over through hummocks, hanging in air on a belly, and through an instant after that uvjazajut on the bottom in deep snow. Engines roar, in salon a smell of burning. Five minutes we go, 20 - we are dug out. Thus we fail knee-deep during snow between sharp blocks of ice, and sometimes and on a belt. Loadings enormous. We make the way literally on metres, and everyone taken about by assault kilometre raises to us mood and gives to confidence that we all is fast - taki we will get out of this porridge of snow and hummocks on usual, human, equal impassability .
From a forwarding diary.

  in a poor diet of polar explorers stroganina was the present delicacy In search of road cross-country vehicles spent a lot of fuel, and it simply could not suffice them before the following refuelling on island the Average. On the way expedition met set of the thrown polar stations, frontier posts and hydrographic bases, where - that well remained as if people have left them only yesterday where - that swept up by snow outside and from within. Risking proporot soft chambers of cross-country vehicles about scattered around poljarok metal stuff, travellers combed all left economy in search of fuel. Where - that was possible to find the whole butts of solar oil where - that was necessary to merge it from tanks of the thrown rusted technics.
in this Arctic automobile race two types of cars were used: two models CHukotok with the big soft chambers, similar to that participated in the first stage of expedition, and two facilitated cross-country vehicles the Hummock with wheels of smaller diameter and rigid tyre covers which in general - that did not intend for a campaign on a pole and left on a route without preliminary preparation. It was more difficult to easy cars to drag heavy trailers, and their rigid wheels buried during snow more strongly, and they constantly lagged behind leaders. Therefore CHukotkam it was necessary to take them on a tow, and they have not brought - easily dragged behind itself two loaded trailers and one more cross-country vehicle. Movement in sheaves has appeared mutually advantageous: when one of cross-country vehicles jammed in hummocks, another softly extended it from a trap for a rope.
when expedition at last - that has reached the first island of archipelago, severe Northern Earth has seemed to travellers the promised land. Here there was an operating polar station where they were waited by full butts of solar oil, warm banka and a tasty entertainment. Here it was possible not to hollow ice, and easy to go and admire neighbouring landscapes.
the road at us improbably beautiful - all around pleases today an eye and cheers up. Around on horizon of mountain and a cap of glaciers, and over a head of a cloud of absolutely unimaginable form and beauty. Freakish outlines of hummocks, icebergs and naduvov snow seem on a shining sun any natural museum of ice figures and the whole cities from ice. To go here it is so pleasant that all our travel would cost only for the sake of one this day...
from a forwarding diary.

  a musk oxen is found in high widths besides polar explorers and polar bears On Amundsen`s traces
Have arrived on a frontier post of island Average. Earlier here there was not simply a settlement, and the whole city where different parts and divisions - air field service, distant aircraft have been concentrated many, ` poljarki `, air defence, frontier guards... And now from former glory there were only fragments of the bent metal, the broken technics, the destroyed constructions and thousand butts. As there not so it is a lot of frontier guards (probably, it is no more 30 persons) they occupy imperceptible enough one-storeyed building which we and have found not at once. The person on duty drawing duty on a fighting post has met us. It was necessary to see his face when to it Vladimir Chukov has entered! The frontier guard nearly has not lost a speech power from surprise. After all to reach dosjuda from Continent it is possible only by air, and about their all flights, naturally, warn, so they did not wait for anybody " in this morning;.
From a forwarding diary.

by this moment travellers already knew that on a pole they will not go. At least, this year. Therefore the first big site of the open water which have appeared behind one of islands of archipelago, was for them not so much absolute obstacle, how many a good place for photographing and bathing. In February or March when the temperature in these edges reaches - 40 With, the multikilometer ice-hole can be tightened for a night by young ice which will sustain even the cross-country vehicle. But in May when the sun starts to burn and kindle snow on black wheels of cars to hope for it senselessly. Forwarding cross-country vehicles can keep afloat, but rush on them in open water, without seeing even opposite coast, is a suicide. Approximately so Vladimir Chukov has explained causes of a failure from a pole in conversation with the correspondent on improvised a press - conferences which has taken place directly on ice of Kara sea, near to Northern Earth.
originally journalists were going to meet brave subjugators of the North directly on a pole, but with change of a route of expedition the meeting place has changed also. Having landed from the helicopter, representatives of the press in a free mode communicated with members of expedition, drank with them, having a snack fat, and were photographed against the icebergs similar to the ships which have frozen in in ice. At operators Tajmyr - a blue-eyed dog of breed haska which took with itself Victor Pomelov, the factory owner of the draught dogs who have got to this expedition by results of interactive competition, spent by company Rambler on the Internet used the greatest popularity. And the correspondent - Sports having found out about forwarding tent scrap iron with the M letter on one side, at once has remembered the events described by Veniamin Kaverin in Two captains : about found Sledge Grigoriev a hook from a schooner Sacred Maria which drifted approximately in these edges (after all under the book Northern Earth has opened not Vilkitsky, and captain Tatarinov) and eventually was lost, as has been badly equipped. Since then has passed almost hundred years, there were up-to-date navigating devices and the satellite communication facilities allowing a message direct reportings from high widths, a miracle - cross-country vehicles, for a day overcoming distances which to the first subjugators of the North was not to master for a week, but purely Russian sensation and confusion remained former.
the project head the Polar ring did not begin to do any official statements, and on my request to explain the reasons of failure of expedition has answered that does not consider a present campaign unsuccessful. As he said, on the route which has made 4355 km, the command has learnt to overcome a new kind of obstacles - huge hummocks - and has fulfilled an optimum variant of advancement in these huge ice labyrinths, has tested new models of cross-country vehicles and has understood that in them it is necessary to finish for a successful campaign to a pole. In general, has spent developing attack. As Vladimir Semenovich has told, such risky projects are not carried out by swoop. For example, one of pioneers of the North Pole admiral Robert Piri went to the purpose 23 years. However, a command the Polar ring is not going so long to wait and next year hopes to make up for lost time.