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Human power circumnavigation: Dimitri Kieffer back on track

Posted: May 21, 2012 01:37 pm EDT

(Correne Coetzer) Currently in Russia, Dimitri Kieffer will soon start the 6730 km / 4180 miles ninth stage of his human powered expedition around the world. He will be flying from Moscow to Yakutsk on May 23rd for the final preparations of his cycle through Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.

At first Dimitri will cover the first 2240 km (~1400 miles) alone between Yakutsk (Yakutia – Sakha Republic, Russia) and Chita (Zabaykalsky Krai, Far Eastern Russia). Thereafter his partner Gulnara Miftakhova plans to join him.

See the details of the route plan below.

Dimitri is blogging over Contact5. His expedition (and other expeditions with RSS feeds) can be followed in the links streams at the Pythom app and at ExplorersWeb.

Overview of all expeditions with links to homepages can be found here.

Dimitri Kieffer was born in France and moved to the USA when he was 17. He runs ultra-marathons and participates in adventure races. Since 2005, Dimitri has continued to evolve, transferring from adventure racing to full blown expeditions, like this Circumnavigation around the Globe with only using human power.

The circumnavigation started on February 26, 2005 at Knik Lake, near Anchorage, Alaska. Dimitri plans to complete the entire Nexus Expedition by 2016.

First Section: Knik Lake (near Anchorage, Alaska) - Nome (Alaska)
Feb – April 2005, 37 days, 1100 miles 1770 kilometers
Completed by foot (trekking & snowshoeing) the Iditarod Trail Invitational race

Second Section: Nome (Alaska) – Wales (Alaska)
Feb 2006, 9 days, 115 miles 185 kilometers
Completed by foot (Trekking & Back Country Skiing)
(with Goliath Expedition - Karl Bushby)

Third Section: Nome (Alaska) – Uelen (Russia) Bering Strait Crossing
March 17-31 2006, 14 days, 5 days where swimming was required
200 miles 322 kilometers
Completed by foot (trekking & back country skiing) & swimming
(with Goliath Expedition - Karl Bushby)

Fourth section: Uelen to Egvekinot (Chukotka, Russia)
April 12- May 16 2007, 34 days, 425 miles 684 kilometers
Completed by foot (Back Country Skiing and only trekking after Vastoshisno)
Uelen - Anguema (with Goliath Expedition - Karl Bushby)
Anguema - Uelen (solo)

Fifth section:
Egvekinot to Vayegi (Chukotka, Russia)
April 15 - June 7, 2008
Approximately 600 miles / 965 km.

Completed on foot (back country skiing, trekking with a backpack and pulling the sled simultaneously, swimming and using the sled as kayak while going down rivers).

Sixth section:
Vayegi (Chukotka, Russia) - Paren (Kamchatka, Russia)
March 11 - May 13 2010
707 km completed, 63 days.

Location May 17, 2010:
N 62° 25.040'; E 163° 05.160'
Paren, Northwestern Kamchatka
Total kilometers covered Spring 2010: 707.2 km
Manily to Paren 199.4 km

Seventh section:
Paren (Kamchatka, Russia) - Omsukchan in Magadanskaya Oblast.
Dimitri is returning in Kamchatka in February 2011 to continue trekking and skiing 423 miles (680 km) from Paren in Kamchtaka Koryak Okrug to Omsukchan in Magadanskaya Oblast. He covered this section on skis and snowshoes, while pulling a sled on tundra, considering the absence of roads in this remote part of the world. His route should take him from Paren to Omsukchan via Verniy Paren, Chaibura, Ghiziga, Evensk, Tavatum and Merenga.

This section completes the “missing link”. Dimitri: “One can drive year around from South America to South Africa on permanent roads except through the Darien gap and between Anchorage and Omsukchan – the missing link.”

Position: April 25, 2011:
N62° 30.987, E155° 46.342 Omsukchan
595 km travelled

In an article on AskYakutia.com Dimitri gives a detailed description of the route he has taken from the farthest point of Chukotka, Uelen, to Omsukchan in Magadanskaya Oblast.

Dimitri plans to complete the entire expedition by 2016, upon reaching Knik Lake, after having circumnavigated the globe via human power.

Eighth section:
Omsukchan, Magadanskaya Oblast to Yakutsk in the Republic of Sakha.
August 2011 with Gulnara Miftakhova’s
Approx. 1760 km

Ninth section:

Russian section: 3180kms

1240kms: From Yakutsk (Yakutia – Sakha Republic) to Never (Amur Oblast)
Southbound on the infamous Lena Highway - M56 through Aldan,Neryungri, (in Yakutia – Sakha Republic) , Tynda, Skovoridno/Never (in Amur Oblast).

1000kms: Never (Amur Oblast) - Chita (Zabaykalsky Krai).
Then ride on the recently completed M58 “Amur highway”, 1000 kms westbound through Takhtamygda (in Amur Oblast), Amazar, Mogacha, Chernyshevsk and finally Chita (in Zabaykalsky Krai).

940kms Chita (Zabaykalsky Krai) – Khyakhta ( Buryatia Republic)
Once in Chita, I will meet Gulnara and together we will start riding 570 kms on the M55 highway westbound through Khilok (Zabaykalsky Krai) and proceed to Mukho-Shibir’ (Buryatia Republic).
In Mukho-Shibir’, we will leave M55 and start riding southwest on P441 through the Buryat countryside for 220 kms until we reach the Russian –Mongolian border-crossingpoint of Khyakhta /Altanbulag.

An alternate route from Mukho-Shibir’ to Khyakhta via Ulan Ude on roads M55 and A165 is 370kms long.

Mongolian section: 1710 kms

320 kms: Sükhbaatar - Mongolian capital Ulan Baatar, (southbound).
380 kms: Ulan Baatar-Arvaykheer, (southwestbound).
200 kms: Arvaykheer-Bayankhongor (westbound).
380 kms: Bayankhongor-Altay (westbound)
430 kms: Altay- Bulgan Mongolian - Chinese Border crossing (southwestbound)

Alternate scenic route from Ulan Baatar to Altai: 1200 kms (instead of 960 kms through the southern route)
500 kms: Ulan Baatar- Tsetserleg; 340kms: Tsetserleg-Tosontsengel; 180kms: Tosontsengel-Uliastai
180kms: Uliatsai-Altai

Chinese section (Xinjiang Province): 500 kms

380 kms: from Mongolian-Chinese border crossing located in Taskashiken to Burqin, via Sarbulak, Sibati, and Beitun on roads S320, G216.
120 kms: Burqin to the Chinese-Kazakhstan border crossing located in Jeminay- Maykapchagay

Kazakhstan section (until capital Astana, Kazakhstan): 1340 kms

470 kms: from Chinese-Mongolian border crossing Maykapchagay to Ayaköz (northwest bound via roads M38 and A346)
480 kms : Ayaköz to Karkaralinsk (northwest bound via road A345)
390 kms: Karkaralinsk to Astana (northwest bound via road M36)


Dimitri will be heading South.
Image by Gulnara Miftakhova courtesy Dimitri Kieffer
Route map.
courtesy Dimitri Kieffer, SOURCE