Author Archives: Katrin Becker

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

Day 12: Nearing Khuzir

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


Cloudy, more wind, some windchill.
This was the most windy am so far.
To have a vital piece of equipment or clothing be blown away would obviously be a disaster.
Breaking camp this morning Day 12 took a bit longer because of the wind.
One needs to take more care with everything.

Evening Update

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

 

Day 11 Continued

Day Eleven, Continued
Current Location: Just before the straight separating
Olkhon Island from the mainland.


Day 11 Sunrise

Day 11 Ice Cracks

This place continues to amaze!

The constant cracking and explosive sounds reflect the continued dynamic nature below the ice.

Day 11 First bit of blue ice seen on the afternoon

The difference travelling on blue ice is like night and day.
Scellig feels much happier also.
Hope it continues…

 

 

 

The sound of the Hobnails on ice remind me of the magical footsteps of Irish Dancers such as David Geaney and colleagues on the floors of the west Kerry halls and pubs

Day 11 Finally some patches of blue ice

Worked hard to find a camp spot on the ice closer to some cliffs to avoid being very exposed in this open, windy patch of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result stopped walking around 6.15 pm after starting at 8 am.

Day 11-12 Scellig on lunch break

One challenge is to get close to land and avoid open water area before light fades for the day.
One is much limited here with darkness coming around 7 pm.
It usually takes about 1 hour to set up tent etc and another 30 mins to melt snow etc.
With camping on the ice , ice anchors are needed which takes a lot more time than snow pegs etc.
The reverse needs to be done breaking down camp each morning.

 

It’s amazing how simple life can be with spending 8-9 hrs each day seeking out ice patches to walk on to reduce the load

That’s one reason why time efficiency is so important.

Hobnails and Scellig

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 11

Day Eleven
Current Location: Just before the straight separating
Olkhon Island from the mainland.


Signs of Icefishers’ presence.

Editor’s note: there is no email reception today, so we have an audio report (broken into 2 parts b/c of upload limits) and a few pictures from yesterday.

Stay tuned for more.

 

 

 

The Simple Life in Baikal

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill

Day 10 Continued…

Day TEN, Continued


Most evenings I have camped close to shore but yet on the ice.
This is for more protection from the winds and general safety.

Day 10 Evening Camp

Tonight Hobnails and Scellig will camp further out because of travel route to reduce spending another 30 -40 minutes travelling closer to shore.

 

 

 

 

As mentioned earlier, this is a very dynamic geothermal place.
 

Day 10 Broken Ice

Lots going on beneath the lake at the site of at least 3 tectonic plates.
There is constant activity going on beneath the ice.
Camping on the ice takes a certain amount of adjustment.

 

 

 

Day 10 Snow Covered Ice

There is constant cracking and whomfing not unlike the sound of unstable snow whomfing at times of higher avalanche risk.
The whomfing is usually followed by an extended cracking sound that can travel quite a distance. The first time I heard it , it scared the shit out of me.

 

Day 10 Cool ice crystals on icy patches

At this point I have got a bit more used to it and embrace it as part of this special, unique dynamic place.

Editor’s note: Try HERE (FaceBook)  for a recording of singing ice, or HERE for another example, with some explanation.

 

 

 

 

How amazing snow temporarily shows our presence just like animal tracks

Met a group of Russian tourists this afternoon travelling in 4 wheel drives.
It reminded me of meeting the occasional jeep while travelling in the Gobi in Mongolia many years ago.
By coincidence most of the jeeps in the Gobi were Russian made which makes complete sense.
 
That’s it for now.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. 

Bill