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YEP 7 Exp Kamchatka Day 4

2nd of Dec 2010

We are already into the 4th day of the Kamchatka Expedition. Not everything has worked out as planned but that is unfortunately often the case when traveling in Russia. At the last minute we were reduced by one team member as his visa was denied one day before departure. Secondly, and much to our disappointment, entry into the Mutnovsky Geothermal Power plant was not granted to us and thirdly (and most importantly) the harsh weather conditions have constrained our plans to climb Mutnovsky and Goryeliy Volcanoes.

Although this might sound bad, it is not. We are all thrilled to be here and the team spirit is great. The Young Explorers are all reveling in the experience of being in this remote part of Russia and are eager to get out and explore with Mike Horn and learn with our on team geologist Franzsika.

With the help of Martha Madsen, our local Russian connection, we scanned the charts and made our first attempt to summit Mutnovsky Volcano. This experience was a huge wakeup call for all of the Young explorers. It showed them what the elements are really about. We experienced very harsh, changeable weather conditions, with strong winds and temperatures dropping to -20 degrees celcius with wind chill. Wisely we decided not to take on Nature in these conditions, turned back to the Geothermal Plant and abandoned the ascent of Mutnovsky Volcano.

We are at present back at the hostel at the Geothermal Power Plant, nice and warm, protected from the cold, snow and howling winds outside. With all the equipment laid out to dry in every room, close to the heaters.

Tonight Mike will talk about survival in Arctic conditions and all the ‘must knows’ about equipment, pitching tents in strong winds, clothing care and cooking, etc. Subjects that he is very knowledgeable about after surviving three full years in the Arctic during his many expeditions. This morning Mike asked them if they think they could survive for 27 months as he did on his journey around the world along the Arctic Circle, living two Siberian winters, from day to day. There were a couple of headshakes and the response from Mikki “you are crazy!”.

We have now changed our game plan and the new plan is to overnight at the Geothermal Power plant’s Hostel and head out in the morning with the snow rackets to explore a mountain range not far from here from where we can see the Pacific Ocean.

From there we plan to head out on the morning of the 3rd of Dec, 2 days earlier than previously scheduled from the Geothermal Power Plant, towards the north of Petropavlovsk where we will meet our dog mushing team Andrey and Anastasia. This works out well as this will give us two extra days with the dogs. We are all very excited and looking forward to this new experience of travelling with dog teams over the cold snow covered plains of the Land of Fire And Ice.

Please watch this space for more news to come in a couple of days.

All the best from Martin Horn and the rest of the Pangaea Expedition team.

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