Irish Adventurers Kerryman Mike O Shea and Corkwoman Clare O Leary have successfully completed their 26 day challenge of walking the length of the frozen Lake Baikal in Northern Russia. The pair faced temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade as they walked , ice skated and skied the length of the 640 km long lake. Clearly visible on the world map the lake is the biggest and deepest in the world and holds 20 percent of the worlds fresh water.
The usually icey lake saw extremely high levels of snowfall during the teams expedition making the challenge even harder than predicted – with 60cm of fresh snow falling over one 48 hour period. Sleeping in tents with the ice groaning and creaking around them , they also had to haul their sleds over large pressure ridges caused by the ice buckling due to the pressure . High winds also hampered progress with 100km an hour winds knocking the team over up to 5 times in a day , and making the 70kg sleds that Mike and Clare towed almost impossible to handle. Thought to be just the fourth or fifth complete crossing of the lake the pair covered up to 40km daily.
In daily contact with their support team in Dingle , Co. Kerry the team kept followers up to date with daily updates to their Facebook page , and live GPS updates to their website. Having successfully completed a crossing of the North Patagonian icecap in 2012 , Lake Baikal was the second expedition of “The Ice Project” which will see Mike & Clare attempt to complete all the main icecaps of the world including walking to both the North & South Poles.