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Mike O'Shea and Clare O'Leary set off skiing across Lake Baikal

Posted: Mar 01, 2013 08:38 pm EST

(Newsdesk) Mid-January the Irish polar ski team, Mike and Clare, announced that they are deferring their planned 2013 full route North Pole expedition, from Canada to 90°N, because of the last year's record minimum sea ice and because of the shorter North Pole ski season.

They also announced that their new aim is to walk across all the major Ice Caps in the World, one of them, Lake Baikal. Three days ago Mike and Clare have set off and reported today (Day 3) to have covered 26 km while facing into 50 km/h headwinds all day. They are very happy with their progress. Melting water though is taking longer than planned due to very poor quality fuel for the stoves.

Yesterday they covered 20 km with slow going through snow. "They were delayed a bit getting started this morning having to do a few minor repairs on Mike's sled but they are in good form."

On day one they covered 26 km across snow covered ice, hauling 65kg sleds. "Temperatures were very variable today with temps as low as the mid -20s."

Team's Lake Baikal Live tracking.
The team biographies.

The distance across the lake in a straight line is appr. 650 km.

In February/March 2003 Stefan Wackerhagen and his friend Stephan Reichelt became, according to them, the first expedition to cross Lake Baikal in Russia lengthwise on foot. They completed a distance of about 700 km in 32 days.

This expedition (and other expeditions/ adventures/ projects with RSS feeds) can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone/iPad and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb Expedition List

Recommended reading: Cycling alone across the frozen Lake Baikal – a photo book

2013 North Pole skiers thwarted by 2012 record minimum sea ice

Lake Baikal wrap-up: Kevin Vallely and Ray Zahab finished their speed attempt

ExWeb interview with Kevin Vallely, “On an expedition like this the mental component is everything”

ExWeb interview with Ray Zahab: “Organizing student involvement it is the most rewarding part”

Lake Baikal on Wikipedia

The Ice Project (expedition website)

The Ice Project educational website


Mike at an ice gate before setting off hauling a 65 kg sled on Lake Baikal.
Image by Clare O Leary courtesy The Ice Project, SOURCE
Clare weighing gear before packing the sleds.
Image by Mike O Shea courtesy The Ice Project, SOURCE
"The journey from Moscow to Irkutsk [ski start point] is 5180km and takes 75 hours. The scenery is very pretty – snow covered plains, mountains, villages with timber houses and cities with ugly multistory blocks. The weather has been great – clear, dry and cold."
courtesy The Ice Project, SOURCE
Lake Baikal compared to Ireland.
courtesy The Ice Project, SOURCE