Author Archives: Katrin Becker

Last Few Days in Siberia

Last Few Days in Siberia

Thanks to all the team members including Hobnails( feet and boots), Scellig the sled, Snowshoe the hare, Sally the stove, Tommy the tent, Freddy the food, Foxy the fuel and all the other support equipment for holding together to help bring the expedition to a conclusion

We look forward to receiving those drawings from all those kids and wanna be kids out there!


To see the full photo gallery from this trip, look here.

Off The Ice

Off The Ice

Had a lovely visit with friends and family of friends in Canada in Severobaikalsk on Day 23
Caught the 36 hour Irkutsk train at 10.20 pm
Time to rest this aging body, replenish the calories and reflect
A train in Siberia is no better place to do all of the above

Firstly I would like to thank family and friends, donors to Basic Health International Foundation for their great support and encouragement during this expedition and over the past 14 years since the foundation was established

Visiting family of Banff friends in Severobaikalsk

This expedition would not have happened and completed without the help of a large number of people including Katrin Becker who managed and set up the website
She helped immensely in keeping up the communications from such a remote location
Thanks also to Jim Parker for putting up with those any time of day calls from the ice

Thanks to MEC for their sponsorship and Icespikes for their support and their “Hobnails”

Thanks for technical support from the following:
Eugene, Anna, Evgeny,Rene(Siberia)

Clare O Leary, Mike O Shea, Gavin Hennigan (Ireland)

Elena Vandakurova, Kevin Vallaly, Ray Zahab, Serge Touchinski, Vitaly, Gil Grandahl, Hank van Weeldon, Steve Rothfels(meteorologist) ( Canada)

Transportation : Peter Schledermann (Canada)
Vincent Hanlon (Ireland)
Timur(Siberia)

And any other contributor that I may have forgotten

Thanks to the spirits of Baikal for allowing the team safe passage in this magical place


To see the full photo gallery from this trip, look here.

Day 23 – Nizhneangarsk

Day 23
Distance traveled: Approx 720 Km
Location: Nizhneangarsk


At 1.30 pm local time today on Day 23 of the Basic Health International Foundation Lake Baikal Expedition. Hobnails,Scellig and the rest of the team arrived at the northern tip of the lake!!


We are thrilled and humbled by the experience.

Will forward more information
and photos over the next few days.

Looking forward to meeting some locals friends and families of friends here in Severobaikalsk before taking the 36 hour train back to Irkutsk.

Thanks all for following.

Will continue to post until leave Siberia.


To see the full photo gallery from this trip, look here.

Day 22 – Severobaikalsk

Day 22
Distance traveled: 37+ Km
Location: Severobaikalsk


Long hard day.
Mixed conditions.
Good visibility.
Mix of sun and cloud.


Hobnails, Scellig and team made it to Severobaikalsk this evening.
A 37 km plus day.
Having a bite to eat and then catch some sleep for final day on ice tomorrow.
20 km approx to go !
Hope everybody is well.
Will send more information tomorrow.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Thanks for following
Hobnails, Scellig and the team for BHI


To see the full photo gallery from this trip, look here.

Day 21 – Almost There

Day 21
Distance traveled: ~36 Km
Location: 55°16.128’N 109°10.074’E


Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

How amazing snow temporarily shows our presence just like animal tracks

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Snowshoe the Hare, and Bill

Day 20

Day 20
Distance traveled: ~33 Km

Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

Day 8 ice formations

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Snowshoe the Hare, and Bill

Day 19

Day 19
Current Location: About 120 KM from the end

Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

Sunrise Start

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Snowshoe the Hare, and Bill

Day 18

Day 18

Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Snowshoe the Hare, and Bill

Day 17

Day 17
Current Location: 54°09’18.7″N 108°21’09.2″E
Distance traveled: 35 Km


 

Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails, Scellig, Snowshoe the Hare, and Bill

Day 16 – Interview with the CBC Today

Editor’s note: Bill is still out of cellphone range, so today’s post comes as an audio report.

Bill was on CBC’s Homestretch today. THANKS CBC!
Check their website to hear his interview.

Until Bill gets back, please direct media inquiries to K.Becker, Mink Hollow Media hello@minkhollow.ca

Sunrise Start

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 15

Day 15
Current Location: N 53 26 35 E 107 36 8

Slept in a more open area last night between two capes.

Sunrise

Not ideal re protection but sometimes it’s a necessity because of loss of light at the end of the day.
I am also more conscious of time right now and with the widespread snow this year it’s unlikely I’ll see any more significant black ice..so it will be heavy going.

Sunrise Start

Limited by my 30 day Russian visa and getting back to work on Cochrane.

Let’s see what today brings

Hobnails and Scellig

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 14 – Back on the Ice

Day 14
Current Location: North end of Olkhon Island 
Distance Traveled: Just over 33 Km


Hobnails and Scellig got back onto the ice this morning after a day’s rest in Khuzir.

Leaving home stay with help of Rene and friend ..they dropped Hobnails and Scellig down to the ice from the village of Khuzir

We got a ride down to the ice with a friend of Rene.

It was a beautiful morning, sunny, light wind and warm.

It was good to get back on the ice again.

I find a long break in the middle of an expedition knocks me out of the rhythm a bit.

Day 14-05 Great to see some ice starting out

We took a day off in the middle of a 47 day ski in Antarctica… found it took a few days to settle back in.

It’s as if once one stops the body gets this message the expedition is over.

 

Part of the home stay team

However it was great to visit Khuzir and meet some locals and visitors.

As we head north there will be much less people and very few tourists.

 

 

 

Day 14-20 End of a longish day

End of longish day.. covered just over 33km
Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 13 Sunset on Ice – Khuzir

Day 13
Current Location: At Khuzhir 


Have been staying at a great home stay in Khuzir.
Tomorrow morning Scellig and Hobnails saddle up and head north.
The second half of the trip is more remote and likely will have less chance to send photos and rely on voicemail sat phone contact until close to Severobaikalsk in the north .

It will be an adjustment again trying to bet in the walking routine and tent life.
Had many of the creature comforts of life here in Khuzir over the past 24 hrs.
Like Antarctica, it took a few hours to get used to going up and down steps etc compared to a constant horizontal surface.

Almost full moon Shaman rock Khuzir

Beautiful sunset at Shaman rock this evening

Sunset Shaman rock Khuzir

Sunset Shaman rock Khuzir

Sunset Shaman rock Khuzir

Sunset Shaman rock Khuzir

Sunset on ice Khuzir day 13

Sunset Shaman rock Khuzir

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Hobnails and Scellig

Day 13 Khuzir

Day 13
Current Location: At Khuzhir 


Visited the local hospital in Khuzir this afternoon.
Run by nurses with irregular visits from doctor from mainland.
This depends on weather and time of year.

 

 

Hospital founder/ director Khuzir

That period between ice melting and open water + the opposite in fall are especially difficult for the community.
Was told today that electricity from mainland only appeared approximately 11 years ago.

 

 

Khuzir has unfortunately become a victim of its own success in relation to being overloaded with tourists ( a lot of Chinese recently)in summer especially but increasing in winter months with ice/snow sports, mountain biking, marathons, motor bike rally’s etc

Most employment is in tourism and fishing.
Apparently the fish stocks are quite depleted at present.

Signs of international corporate presence used in summer months only Khuzir

Church

Shaman rock sign Khuzir

Sunset on ice Khuzir day 13

Khuzir

A time to recharge and dry things out

Museum/arts centre closedown winter Khuzir

Old house and well near centre of Khuzir

2 Russian ladies Khuzir

Almost full moon Shaman rock Khuzir

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 12: Khuzir

Day 12
Current Location: At Khuzhir 
Distance Traveled: 37 Km.


Day 12-17 Almost full moon as we get closer to Khuzir

Hobnails and Scellig are now in Khuzir … tired after a long 37 km day
The blue ice made a big difference getting here
Looks like more snow to the north.. not what we were hoping to see
We plan on spending 2 nights in Khuzir and visit some local families and learn more about the history of this very special place
It will also provide the opportunity to get some rest , dry out some clothing etc
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Hobnails and Scellig