February 22, 2009: 1st short message
Task force started from Bilibino towards Pevek.
February 22, 2009: 2nd short message
We have direct contact to the roadmaker - Due to heavy snowdrift at two passes, the track to Pevek is not usable - even not for the heavy 8x8 trucks. There are already trucks waiting on the side opposite to Bilibino. According to today's news, the roadmaker will start on Sunday to clean the passes. We try to manage to drive in convoy with the bulldozers. Therefore start is postponed to Sunday morning.
February 22, 2009: 3rd short message
We just reached the timber line. The last Asian trees on our way to America. There will be nothing but busches til Alaska.
February 22, 2009: 4th short message
We arrived at the bulldozer clearance team. Due to the fact that it has to clear the winter road for the trucks and often has to move a lot of snow, we passed it as agreed with the driver. There are two Kamaz trucks following the dozer. F1 reduced air pressure to 0.6 bar. Are driving on snow and with 6 mp/h. F2 follows in our tracks.
GPS-coordinates: N 68 17`03" / E 167 17`12"
February 22, 2009: 5th short message
Just arrived at first pass. Many snow drifts. Not too long before us a GAZ truck broke through, therefore deep tracks and stirred up snow. Reached the top after many attempts. Partially steap and inclined.
GPS-coordinates: N 68 15`34" / E 167 36`12"
February 22, 2009: 6th short message
We are between the first and second pass. Snowfall is getting heavier. Take a break for about 4 hours at GPS-coordinates: N 68 36`49" / E 168 26`16" Team and vehicles are doing well.
February 23, 2009: 7th short message (02:23 a.m. MEZ)
No horizon, no shrub, no more outlines visible, everything white, moderate snowfall, only a wooden bar or an old barrel every couple hundred meters to indicate the direction, always passing on the right side, that's what I expected from this area. We covered appr. 185 km in 20 hours since Bilibino.
GPS cords.: N 68 35`55" E 168 58`17"
February 23, 2009: 8th short message (03:10 a.m. MEZ)
Progress slowing down. Intense snowfall, moderate wind, visibility 0-15 m.
GPS-coordinates: N 68 37`24" E 169 14`09"
February 23, 2009: Lucky charms and the start towards Pevek (05:09 a.m. MEZ)
So many people wished us good luck. Either with words, in writing or presented us with lucky charms. Actually, up to now we have not suffered of anything crucial. Perhaps that is due to all the good blessings we received with all those talismans. We have them all on board: Two roses which we received in Berlin from our partner Pacwolf (meanwhile there are only the sticks left), amulets, horseshoes, icons, special bank notes, money coins, personal ball pens, lucky slogans written on the cars, pennants, buttons, badges, stickers and and and.
In Bilibino we received the biggest lucky charm so far: dear horns. With the horns in my hand I was searching for the best place on Jeep or trailer until it came to my mind that the best place for it to be is on top of the trailer. I held the horns in one hand and climbed on it. Laying it on the hydraulic extension in order to search for the best place to attach them, I realized that the main safety belts of the heavy iron parts are in correct position, but cut by a metal cant. We could possibly have lost those heavy parts in an inclined position. Unimaginable what amount of work that would have been to put them back on the trailer. So much for working lucky charms.
The hospitality in Bilibino was really immense. We were invited to food and beverage, we were introduced to people who have been important for us, and we received special equipment as well as many tips about the region and the streets. The day before our departure, we have been invited to a celebration of the military offspring by Major Garvasin. It was a special act of trustfulness from this man and we were happy to be his guest. We have been introduced as guests of honor and I was allowed to hold a short speech. Many thanks at this point for the trustfulness.
We left until the city border in a convoy after saying good-bye to our friendly mechanics Konstantin, Maxim, Alexey, Ingor, Ignat, Slava and his son as well as the major Garvasin and Vadim, the boss of the ministry of catastrophe protection (MCS). Many cars joined us for accompany, passing waving children and greeting grown-ups, all the time behind the bulldozers.
Bilibino and its people have been really friendly.
After even the last supporting car turned-over we were all alone again and optimally prepared for the most difficult winter track due to weather conditions so far: 380 km from Bilibino to Pevek.
February 23, 2009: 9th short message (06:04 a.m. MEZ)
We crossed the second pass and left the emergency accommodation behind us. After an eating break we are now on the "road" again with heavy storm and snow flurry. Speed appr. 5-10 km/h.
GPS cords: N 68 40`19" / E 169 22`37
February 23, 2009: 10th short message (07:15 a.m. MEZ)
Just now we reached the arctic ocean (outstanding!!) after struggling with the snow and heavy snow drifts with a visibility of 5-10 m.
GPS cords: N 68 45`32" / E 169 41`53"
February 23, 2009: 11th short message (10:55 a.m. MEZ)
We arrived at base camp kupol gold. This partner promised to rescue us in case of an emergency or breakdown on the last 160 km to Pevek. We just started for the last kilometers to Pevek.
GPS cords.: N 68 46`45" / E 170 07`33"
February 23, 2009: 12th short message (02:36 p.m. MEZ)
Difficult and extreme track. We have to bash into snow drifts in full speed from time to time in order to come through them. In between deep snow and old snow blurred tracks vom Urals or Kamaz trucks in which we suddenly broke into. All of that at night with snow flurries. Since leaving the base camp we approx. covered 95 km.
GPS cords: N 69 25`22" / E 170 47`03"
February 23, 2009: 13th short message (05:00 p.m. MEZ)
Team is in good health but tired approx. 50 km before Pevek. Time for rest.
GPS Cords: N 69 28`29" E 170 46`47"
February 24, 2009: 14th short message (05:26 a.m. MEZ)
We slept at the high plateau, and just started again. Behind us, two trucks got stuck at an inclination. In front us a convoy of 6 trucks got stuck in the deep snow of the high plateau. We reduced the air pressure of the tires once more. We reduced the air pressure several times. We crossed the truck onto the snow with 0.3 and 0.5 bar. Leaving the trucks behind we reached the road service at the GPS cords: N 69 30`32" / E 170 46`22". They are currently cleaning the track after the blizzard