Showing that its SUVs really can go just about anywhere, Land Rover teamed up with the Royal Geographical Society for a “Pole of Cold” expedition. The group set out for Oymyakon, Russia, which is nicknamed “the Pole of Cold” since it is the coldest place on Earth. In fact, temperatures in the area can drop to as low as a negative 67.7 degrees C.
Transporting the members of the expedition was a Land Rover Defender that has been modified to deal with the extreme weather conditions. Modifications include a beefed up suspension, additional protection for the driveline and underbody in general, a long-range fuel tank, auxiliary heaters for the occupants and the engine, plus storage compartments for equipment and luggage. The vehicle performed wonderfully on official ice roads on the Lena River, plus even allowed the group to join a snowplow convoy, which helped them travel safely in a severe snowstorm on their way to NordKapp.
Leading the expedition was Felicity Aston, an experienced adventurer from Britain. Manu Palomeque was the photographer and filmmaker along for the ride, documenting the whole experience. The team also included Gisli Jonsson, who is a cold weather engineer, mechanic, and a winter driving advisor with extensive experience. For their incredible efforts, the entire team was awarded with the sixth annual Land Rover Bursary.
The journey to Siberia took the expedition on a 20,000 kilometer-plus drive, passing through countries such as Norway, Finland and Denmark on their way to the Pole of Cold. At several points during the expedition, the group went as far north as possible in both Finland and Norway, which is situated only a few hundred kilometers from the Arctic Circle. The group also traveled along the Trans-Siberian Highway.
The main reason for the expedition was to document and study the many effects of living in the coldest climate in the world.