Pole of Cold
The (northern) Pole of Cold is a region in Siberia.
Geographic peculiarities of the vast continental region of Siberia create extraordinarily low temperatures in certain parts of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The coldest temperature ever definitively measured in the Northern Hemisphere was at Verkhoyansk, although there are other claimants to the title in the region. The average January temperature in Oymyakon, for one, is 61 degrees below zero - Centigrade. There is an odd competitiveness among villages in the region for the title of the Northern Hemisphere's coldest place; see the Wikipedia article for details of the controversy.
These conditions have created a weird sort of opportunity for adventure travel. Every year since 2001, the Annual Pole of Cold Festival takes place there. The exhibition of the national clothes, applied art and the national food of the people of the North, deer-drawn race teams, ice fishing and other activities are held within the festival. The major event of the Festival is the auto tour Yakutsk-Oymyakon, 1270km (789mi) of snowy trails including 403km (250mi) of regularity rally. Although this event is an extreme sport it also includes sightseeing, visiting museums, ethnographic complexes and historic places. Santa Claus from Lapland and Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug are the regular visitors of the festival.
Usually travellers get in via Yakutsk, the administrative centre of Yakutia (Pepublic of Sakha) and take a motorcar for a long way to Oymyakon.
The best season for a trip to the Pole of Cold is from the beginning of December to April.
During the trip participants use automotive carriers and take local flights. One of the roads to travel along to Oymyakon was built by GULAG prisoners during the Stalin times. Along the road there are carved bridges, barracks, and other remains of former GULAGs. There is a possibility to find some fragments of "Aircobra" aircraft crashed during World War II.
During the long road it is possible to view magnificent local nature: great mountains, fast rivers and waterfalls, and vast reindeer pastures…
In Oymyakon you have the opportunity to experience extremely cold temperature (possibly the coldest one in the season – if you are lucky, for nobody can rule the weather yet).
Here you'll have a lot of things to do: learning of meteorological observations, sub-ice fishing, attending folklore concert and the Ceremony of the Pole of Cold Certificate Award.
In Oymyakon you can stay with local hosting families. Staying at local people's houses enables you to see and even feel the life of Russian province.