Russians drive to North Pole, head for Resolute, Nunavut
Group says specialized trucks cause little damage to tundra and ice
A group of Russian explorers have driven across the North Pole and are heading to Resolute, Nunavut, in specialized amphibious trucks.
The expedition sponsored by the Russian Geographic Society left Russia’s northern coast in February in two of the large trucks. They reached the geographical North Pole on April 6 and expect to reach the Nunavut hamlet in June.
The trip is part of the Marine Live-Ice Automobile Expedition.
"These are specially designed vehicles made to travel over ice and open water with an extra light aluminum body, six tires per vehicle with low pressure intended to cause little damage to the tundra," said Natalia Babikova, who is co-ordinating the expedition from Moscow.
Babikova said it's the second time in the history of the world’s automobile industry that cars have reached that area.
The vehicles are powered and heated by diesel fuel.
Now, the team is on its way to Ward Hunt Island, then on to Resolute where residents are used to seeing all sorts of adventurers in the community.
"Good for them! I mean, they have a new technology that they're test-proofing over the North Pole, which is probably the toughest ice there can be," said resident Wayne Davidson.
"It is a wonderful achievement in engineering and also a wonderful achievement in daring."
The Russians plan to leave the vehicles in Resolute until next winter. They will then try to get from there to the Bering Sea, and then back to Russia.