Canadian journey to a Russian peninsula

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Ray Zahab at Toronto Pearson International Airport on February 13, 2019 (Facebook)

A wish to explore the “Land of Fire and Ice”

Canadian adventurer Ray Zahab is on his way to Kamchatka, a peninsula in the Far East of Russia, which he intends to cross coast to coast, from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Pacific Ocean, on foot and by ski in 25-30 days.

According to the information of the news agency Kamchatka, the expedition called Trans Kamchatka is scheduled to start in the village of Krutogorovskiy on February 19, 2019. The expedition team made of Ray Zahab and his Italian friend Stefano Gregoretti will navigate on their own over frozen rivers, mountain passes and volcano caldera. This 455-km-long route with a final destination in the uninhabited village of Zhupanovo was created from scratch through the mediation of the RussiaDiscovery company and the tour guide from Kamchatka Konstantin Langburd, as reported by the RussiaDiscovery blog. The Russian side offered recommendations on logistics, equipment and food supplies based on distinctive climate features of the area. The official website of the expedition provides an opportunity to follow real-time tracking of the team progress and updates posted by the participants. Special content, including local stories, video footage and photos created by the professional media crew of the project, will be also uploaded for schools from all over the globe to use in their curriculum, with a possibility for students to have their questions answered in the course of the expedition.

“It’s a place I have dreamed about since I was a kid, playing the board game ‘Risk’ and ever since the Running the Sahara expedition (2007) I have dreamed of Kamchatka in every expedition I have been on,” writes Ray Zahab on his Facebook page.

On his website, Ray Zahab traces his ultra-runner’s path back to 2006, when he, together with his two friends, crossed the Sahara Desert on foot in 111 days. Since then, the Canadian adventurer has travelled more than 14,000 km across Canada, Chile, Mongolia, Namibia, the South Pole, etc. Trans Kamchatka will be his second Russia expedition. In 2010, Ray Zahab with his Canadian friend Kevin Vallely ran the length of frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia, 650 km, in 13 days.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is famous for its nature with more than 150 volcanoes, the Valley of Geysers, lots of brown bears, etc. Winters are stormy there, with frequent heavy snowfalls. The temperature in the area of the expedition path is expected to fluctuate between -40 C and -25 C.

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