Russian expedition drives across North Pole to Canada

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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A "Don't try this on your own" disclaimer should probably follow this article, because the 4,000-kilometre drive over the North Pole from Russia to Canada was a precarious journey requiring specialized equipment and a great deal of forward preparation.

The expedition, seven-man strong and lead by Vassili Ielaguine, used specially built busses with oversized tires, taking two and a half months to accomplish the feat. According to a report on website, at times the busses moved over drifting ice, while occasionally the team needed to use pickaxes to clear the way while always keeping lookout for splits in the ice that could open up and potentially swallow up their party.

The journey crawled along at speeds of about 10 km/h, and at times took to the water as the bloated tires allowed the busses to float. Chipping away the ice from the busses' undercarriages after dips in the ocean didn't make swimming worthwhile, according to team leader Ielaguine, so on-ice travel was preferable.

The big busses are powered by 2.0-litre Toyota turbo-diesel engines, giving a nod to the Japanese automaker about reliability when life and limb is on the line. Altogether the expedition used three tonnes of donated diesel fuel.

Now parked at Resolute Bay while team members recuperate, they plan to go back the same way to Russia in the near future after which they hope to make the busses available for commercial sale. The team was originally dropped off on the Russian archipelago Severnaya Zemlya (or Earth North) by a Russian icebreaker.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Toyota, Diesel, Canada, Russia, North Pole, Expedition,

Organizations: Toyota

Geographic location: North Pole, Canada, Russia

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