Nexus Expedition began in February of 2005 at Knik Lake in Alaska. Dimitri Kieffer competed in the Iditarod Invitational Race, traveling 1,100 miles in 37 days by foot and snowshoe from Knik Lake to Nome. He was the 6th person to ever finish this race by foot, following the trail of the infamous Iditarod dog race. During the race, he met with Karl Bushby with whom he joined the Goliath expedition and continued North West from Nome to Wales.
In March 2006, Dimitri was able to complete the first successful Westbound crossing of the Bering Strait between Wales, Alaska and Uelen, Russia. Undertaken with Karl Bushby as part of the Goliath Expedition, the 14 day crossing would span 200 miles of swimming, trekking and skiing over ice floes.
In April 2007, Dimitri continued his human powered expedition in Chukotka, Russia, starting in Uelen where he had last stopped after having crossed the Bering Strait. He covered 425 miles in 34 days from Uelen to Egvekinot on foot and skis while pulling a sled along the Siberian coast and across the frozen tundra. In April 2008, Dimitri continued his expedition solo, in Chukotka, Russia, where he had last stopped and covered approximately 600 miles. He completed this section by foot and skis while pulling a sled along the Siberian coast and river beds. As the spring advanced and the snow started to rapidly melt, Dimitri had to trek some of the last hundred miles with a backpack and pulling the sled simultaneously, swimming, and finally using the sled as a kayak with a shovel as a paddle while going down rivers.
In January 2009, Dimitri fractured his L1 vertebrae while back home in Seattle, USA. As a result, he underwent a successful posterior spinal instrumental fusion surgery which allows him to fully function today, after having taken a 1 year sabbatical from the expedition.
In March 2010, Dimitri returned to the village of Vayegi and continued by foot and skis while pulling a sled moving southwest towards Kamchatka. He completed the first month in company of Yakut trekker Nyurgun Efremov. From there on, Dimitri completed the next 120 miles in company of three adventurous dogs to reach Kamenskoye. He then continued solo, mostly following the coastline until he reached the remote Koryak fishing village of Paren.
In February 2011, Dimitri returned to Kamchatka to continue trekking and skiing 595km from Paren to Omsukchan in Magadanskaya Oblast.
In August 2011, Dimitri returned to Omsukchan, where he began cycling westbound in the company of his girlfriend Gulnara Miftakhova, who has since become his wife. Together, they cycled 1962 kms to reach Nixhny Bestyakh (Yakutsk) on the Kolyma Highway, also known as the "road of bones" and Dimitri rowed across the Aldan River, along the way.
In 2012, Dimitri cycled further 4049 kms (2515 miles) from Yakutsk, Russia to Khakhorin, Mongolia.
In 2013, Dimitri cycled further 3473 kms (2158 miles) from Kharkhorin, Mongolia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
His wife Gulnara was able to join him for 30 days: 1504 kms (934 miles) from Urumqi, China to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
In 2014, Dimitri and Gulnara cycled 2950 kilometers (1833 miles) across the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
They cycled through the famous Pamir Highway (M41), where they climbed through mountain passes as high as 4600 meters (15,000 feet).
Total Mileage (as of July 25th 2015):
Dimitri has covered so far 17,812 kms (11,067 miles) since he started, which he has accomplished over the course of 514 days of motion (279 days trekking/skiing/swimming and 235 days cycling/rowing).
- 5228 kms (3248 miles) in 6 winters (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011) while trekking, snowshoeing, skiing and swimming through Alaska, the Bering Strait and Far Eastern Russia.
- 12,584 kms (7,819 miles) in 4 summers (2011, 2012,2013,2014) while cycling through Far Eastern Russia, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and rowed across the Aldan river in Yakutia/Sakha Republic, Russia.
Dimitri and Gulnara are going to start on August 14th 2015 the next phase of the expedition which will take them cycling from Uzbekistan to the Western coast of Africa, where the row across the Atlantic Ocean will begin.