The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. In a regionwide pattern, the average annual temperature in Yakutsk has risen more than four degrees, to 18.5 F from 14 F, over several decades, said Mr. Fedorov of the permafrost institute. I'm fine.". A man looks at a photographer walking in a street as the temperature dropped to about -50 degrees (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) in Yakutsk, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. This was the coldest temperature recorded in the community in 15 years. ", I get a last blast of Yakutsk air at the airport, where we have to walk to the plane and are then forced to wait for 10 minutes on the tarmac before we are allowed to board. The other options are a 1,000-mile boat ride up the Lena river during the few months of the year when it isn't frozen, or the "Road of Bones". Australia is comprised of mainland Australia, Tasmania, Seram, New Guinea, sometimes Timor, and surrounding islands. In the bunker, where ice crystals have formed on the ceiling in perfect geometric squares, it quickly becomes apparent why it's so difficult to build on permafrost. In these conditions, traditional Yakut food always made use of whatever it could. For Britons, who are wont to label any temperature the wrong side of zero "Siberian", the difference between cold and even colder might seem intangible. In such a climate, ethics count for little. Now he lives in Tuva’s capital, Kyzyl, plays ethnic Tuvan music, raises five kids with his Tuvan wife and speaks Russian… with a Tuvan accent. "Of course it's cold, but you get used to it," says Nina, a Yakut woman who spends eight hours every day standing at her stall in the fish market. Being a Yakutian horse doesn't seem like much fun – you are reared in miserably cold temperatures until you're old enough to be slaughtered and turned into "thin slices of baby horse steak" or "slices of raw horse liver with spices". "Of course it's difficult to live here," says Fyodorov of Gazeta Yakutia. ", These days there aren't any bare arms around, but the locals know how to cope. The native Yakuts, a Turkic tribe with Asiatic features who speak a language full of throaty, mooing vowels, were largely engaged in reindeer herding. As I'm about to learn, the inhuman temperatures and the winter fog cover are just part of daily life for its hardy residents. Tours and travels from Yakutsk in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia's Siberia & Far East. Also popular are local versions of valenki, the fur boots that are common across Russia. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. The first place to suffer is the exposed skin on my face, which begins to sting, and then experience shooting pains, before going numb, which is apparently dangerous, because it means blood flow to the skin has stopped. I know this because I've just arrived in Yakutsk, a place where friendly locals warn you against wearing spectacles outdoors. "At the time, people thought it was amazingly cruel to keep people in exile like that," says Vladimir Fyodorov, the editor of Gazeta Yakutia, the main regional newspaper. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. "But cold itself doesn't play a huge part in our traditions. Download the PDF file with tour description & rates. As an 1825 poem has it: "Fearing the winters/ Endless and icy/ Nobody will visit/ This wretched country/ This vast prison house for exiles." Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Both Moscow and Yakutsk are currently in the midst of cold, snowy winters. Russian police detained Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow on Saturday, she wrote on her Instagram from inside a police van. Men bathe in the icy waters of the Lena River during a traditional Epiphany celebration as the temperature dropped to about -56 degrees Celsius (-68 Fahrenheit) outside Yakutsk… The woolly hat and padded hood are no match for minus 43C either, and my ears begin to sting. There is no railway to Yakutsk. The conditions are also a nightmare for building. Russia is abundant in regions that can claim to be very big, very remote and very cold, but Yakutsk takes the (frozen) biscuit. Locals are a little more adept at dealing with their meteorological short straw. Finally, I find myself with severe pain all across my body and have to return indoors. The Lena river, more than 10 miles wide at Yakutsk, is not bridged anywhere for hundreds of miles, so villages on the other side have to be stocked up for the months when the river isn't navigable but the ice hasn't thickened enough for a road to be built across it. "So accustomed, however, do the natives become to the cold, that with the thermometer at unheard-of degrees below freezing point, the Yakut women, with bare arms, stand in the open-air markets, chattering and joking as pleasantly as if in genial spring. The most unpleasant part comes after 15 minutes, when my legs, returning to normal body temperature, have an unpleasantly warm cramp radiating from within and a dull, itchy feeling all over. Such a layer of frozen ground is designated exclusively on the basis of temperature. But there's still a level of endurance that is hard to comprehend. It looked like fun – of a sort. Remarkably, a study carried out by British and Russian doctors in the late 1990s found that, while in Britain the number of people reporting illnesses goes up during the winter months, in Yakutsk it doesn't. Within a few minutes, however, the icy weather begins to assert itself forcefully. Yakutsk – Oymyakon – Verkhoyansk, 12 days, Lena Pillars Nature Park winter tour (1 day). "Human beings can get used to anything," she says. Yakutsk in Russia’s eastern Siberia is said to be the coldest large city on earth. Normally, high temperatures remain in the -30s F (34 below zero to 39 below zero C) from the middle of December through the beginning of February. The paper was first set up just before the February Revolution of 1917 by political dissidents. Southern Europe has a distinctively Mediterranean climate, which features warm to hot, dry summers and cool to mild winters and frequent sunny skies. Now, it takes just six hours in a ropey Tupolev plane, but tickets start at £500 return, a huge sum in a country where the average wage is £250 per month. There's cold, then there's Siberia cold. The burly Siberian sitting next to me whoops with delight and takes another swig from the bottle of whisky he'ss brought on board. Click here to find the perfect hotel in Yakutsk. But most Yakutsk residents don't plan on going anywhere soon – and don't much want to, either. In winter the temperature drops to - 40 - 50 degrees by Celsius. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Known as the Pole of Cold, Oymyakon has an average January temperature of minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius). 7-Day Yakutsk – Oymyakon Private Tour Price for Winter 2020-2021. Yakutia, the region of which it is the capital, covers more than a million square miles, but it is home to fewer than one million people. In 2003, Gaddy co-authored a book called The Siberian Curse arguing that Russia's huge territory was in fact a weakness and not something to be proud of. I ask if standing outside in such temperatures every day caused her any health problems. Over 40% of its territory is beyond the Arctic Circle. A decent fur coat can cost anything from several hundred to several thousand pounds, but it's seen as a good investment, and something to be used year after year. We rode a reindeer sleigh to the mountain peaks. It's our homeland. With all the oil wealth that Russia has, they can theoretically make any place liveable," he adds. One (possibly apocryphal) tale tells of reindeer dying because they were unable to breathe, so thick were the clouds of insects. His story is very soulful! Anton Chekhov, on his journey through Siberia in 1890, painted a grim picture of the life of the prisoners held there. "It would be enough just to turn off the heating for a few hours.". If a building is erected in these conditions, the warmth that emanates from the building melts the ice and destroys the stability of the foundations. It was an extreme trip -- that's why I remember it so well, I guess," Vasilyev says. 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