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Blog Kytalyk 2013: 27 April

Expedition to Chokurdakh (Sakha Republic) 23 April - 5 May 2013


27 April, Chokurdakh- Kytalyk

Picture 4 smallMemorable bumpy trip to Kytalyk research station. (Photo: R. Lootens)We have a nine a.m. appointment with Valerij, to prepare the snow-mobiles and load them with the luggage, instruments and supplies. The ride to Kytalyk lasts 2h 35 min covering just 37 km travelling north wards trajectory. We are a long convoy of 6 snow mobiles, sometimes snaking along the same path, at other times heading straight in parallel, rides over the sea-like tundra and its rapidly changing snow waves: sometimes iced and crispy, sometimes small and floury, others higher and curved like rolling waves.
Arriving in Kytalyk the first task is devoted to set up the camp including rearranging the space in our storage container in order to store our food supply for our next summer campaign. Then we attempt to free the large wind generator base, which is to be moved to a new site, from the permafrost which is still firmly frozen in place.
Picture 5 small croppedThe convoy of snowmobiles stops by the last larch along the way to Kytalyk. As a tradition travellers should leave a gift to the tree and, no need to say, make a toast. (Photo: L. Belelli)We soon realized it is not an easy task. Perhaps the new steam drill could be of some help. After the locals from Chokurdakh left us we begin the important tasks of arranged our personal luggage and sleeping bags inside the house, which is usually used as a kitchen in summer.
A "Buran" snowmobile is left so we can use it to transport equipment but when it is needed to transport wood to our accommodation it will not start, despite the numerous attempts by Roman to fix it. Therefore a new experience, and the last one of the day, me towing the sleigh loaded with wood and supplies from the container to the house, together with my colleagues, in a horse-like style.
Picture 6 smallClose up of twigs and cones of a solitary larch tree. (Photo: L. Belelli) Finally I chopped some wood and piled it against the wall close to the entrance door. My studies in forest sciences turn to be always useful.