Details on Winter 2011 Route (Paren - Omsukchan)
Thursday January 20, 2011 -
Total of kilometers estimated: 680 kms / 422 miles
Planned max amount of days on trail: 70
Going northwest, following potentially (and hopefully!) a small snowmobile trail, going through the Paren river bed, and along the flanks of the hills located on the eastern side of the river.
Moving between the two remote Koryak fishing & hunting villages, of Paren (Парень) & Verniy Paren which have a current local population of about 60 souls each.
On a sidenote, the village of Paren was well-known in the past throughout Russia for its infamous knives which were built massively with the shipwrecked metal collected on the shore!
Along the way, I will be crossing the "border" between the two states, leaving Kamchatka behind and entering for the first time my 3rd Russian state by foot: Magadanskaya Oblast!
(More information on Magadan Region)
2d section: Verniy Paren to Ghiziga (Magadanskaya Oblast)
200 kms estimated. Max 20 days
This is probably going to be the hardest and most remote section this winter. I plan to trek between Verniy Paren and Ghiziga, hopefully following the wezdehod route where a single wezdehod (вездеход) makes the monthly round trip from Ghiziga to Verniy Paren in order to resupply Verniy Paren with food products.
Needless to say that as soon as the first blistering storm/purga (пурга) would have passed through, I will probably not be able to find any more wezdehod tracks to follow and will simply have to rely on my map, GPS and common sense to be able to move forward towards Ghiziga.
However, I have heard that 10 kms northwest of Verniy Paren, I might come across a Koryak reindeer brigade where I will be glad to stop and meet/stay with the nomadic herders if I come across them, as I have had the chance to experience twice last year in Chukotka and Kamchatka!
After that, I am planning to continue following the Paren, Chernaya and finally Ghiziga river systems towards Ghiziga (Гижига).
3rd section: Ghiziga to Evensk (Magadanskaya Oblast)
80 kms estimated, Max 8 days
Planning to follow the winter/zimnik road (зимник) between Ghiziga and Evensk.
4th section: Evensk to Tavatum (Magadanskaya Oblast)
100 kms, Max 10 days
In Evensk (Эвенск), planning to resupply with food & stove fuel.
Then, follow the coast on hopefully an existing winter/zimnik road towards Tavatum.
I have seen pictures of the Tavatum hot springs, Таватумские горячие источники in a book and definitely hope I will be able to stop there for some well deserved rest!
Alternate route: In Evensk, I will gather more information from the local authorities on whether the route through Tavatum to Omsukchan is the most suitable or whether I should consider going on the zimnik route leading to the gold mine of Kubaka (кувака) via Tenkeli & Buksunda.
5th section: Tavatum to Viliga -Kushka (Magadanskaya Oblast)
70 kms estimated, Max 7 days
After Tavatum, I plan to continue along the coastline, following hopefully an existing zimnik/winter road.
6th section: Viliga-Kushka to Merenga (Magadanskaya Oblast)
80 kms, Max 8 days
After Viliga-Kushka, I plan to follow the Viliga river upstream towards Merenga on hopefully an existing zimnik/winter road.
7th section: Merenga to Omsukchan (Magadanskaya Oblast)
100 kms, Max 10 days
After Merenga, I plan to continue upstream towards Omsukchan on hopefully an existing zimnik/winter road.
I plan to stop in Omsukchan (Омсукчан) (More info at Мой Омсукчан) once I reach the infamous M56 Kolyma Highway also known as "road of bones" which connects Magadan to Yakutsk and plan to return this summer to continue my circumnavigation of the globe. This time I will be biking for a change instead of skiing & pulling a sled!
Landing in Omsukchan will mark my completion of what I called the "Missing Link".
Indeed, the roadless section from Anchorage, Alaska to Omsukchan, Russia represents a "missing link" in the chain of asphalt, gravel and dirt roads which connect our continents going from Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the Americas to Capetown at the bottom of South Africa!