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Europe > Russia > Russian Far East > Yakutia > Pole of Cold

Pole of Cold

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The (northern) Pole of Cold is a region in Siberia.


Geographic peculiarities of the vast continental region of Siberia create extraordinarily low temperatures in certain parts of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The coldest temperature ever definitively measured in the Northern Hemisphere was at Verkhoyansk, although there are other claimants to the title in the region. The average January temperature in Oymyakon, for one, is 61 degrees below zero Celsius. There is an odd competition among villages in the region for the title of the northern hemisphere's coldest place.

These conditions have created a weird sort of opportunity for adventure travel. Every year since 2001, the Annual Pole of Cold Festival takes place there. The exhibition of the national clothes, applied art and the national food of the people of the North, deer-drawn race teams, ice fishing and other activities are held during the festival. The major event of the festival is the auto tour Yakutsk-Oymyakon, 1,270 km (789 mi) of snowy trails including 403 km (250 mi) of regularity rally. Although this event is an extreme sport it also includes sightseeing, visiting museums, ethnographic complexes and historic places. Santa Claus from Lapland and Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug are regular visitors to the festival.

Get in[edit]

Usually travellers get in via Yakutsk, the administrative centre of Yakutia (Republic of Sakha) and drive from there.

By land[edit]

The best season for a trip to the Pole of Cold - if you want to experience the cold, that is - is from the beginning of December to April.

During the trip participants use automotive carriers and take local flights. One of the roads to travel along to Oymyakon was built by gulag prisoners during Stalin's era. Along the road there are carved bridges, barracks, and other remains of former prisons. There is the possibility of finding fragments of "Aircobra" aircraft crashed during World War II.

On the long road it is possible to view magnificent mountains, fast rivers, waterfalls, and vast reindeer pastures...

Get around[edit]


In 1 Oymyakon you have the opportunity to experience extremely cold temperatures.


Here you'll have a lot of things to do: meteorological observations, ice fishing, attending folklore concerts, and the Ceremony of the Pole of Cold Certificate Award.





In Oymyakon you can stay with local families. Staying at locals' houses enables you to see and feel Russian life.

Go next[edit]

  • Vostock, a Russian (Soviet) research station in East Antarctica, is the southern Pole of Cold; it measured the coldest recorded naturally-occurring temperature on Earth of −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) in 1983.

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Pole of Cold
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