5 freezing cold places in Russia you never want to go

5 freezing cold places in Russia you never want to go

By Callum Ng

Russia is a lot like Canada. Plenty of cold, empty, beautiful places no one should ever really go in the name of personal safety.

Fortunately, the Sochi 2014 torch relay is going to many of those places and we get to learn about them, from the comfort of a warm room.

SEE ALSO: How the Olympic torch made it to space

Lake Baikal

This is Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. Three torchbearers passed a special flare between one another at a depth of 13 metres. The flare was lit by the Olympic flame.
lake Baikal, November 23, 2013 Day 47_web

After the underwater trip, the flame was given to Mikhail Chuev who more importantly was wearing a jetpack. A real jetpack. Chuev rocketed at height of 10 metres to shore.

lake Baikal, November 23, 2013 Day 47_2_web

Avachinskiy volcano

The Avachinskiy volcano is an active stratovolcano and sits on the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east of Russia. It last erupted in 2001 according to the Smithsonian Institute. It didn’t erupt on Day 36 of the torch relay. A team of snowboarders, snowmobilers, dog sleds and jeeps carried the Olympic flame to the bottom.

Torch Relay at Avachinskaya sopka, November 12, 2013 Day 36_web

Avachinskaya bay

A day after the volcano adventure, the torch went to massive Avachinskaya bay which is second in size only to Port Jackson in Australia. The total surface area of icy water is 215 square kilometres. Three massive rock eruptions are a local symbol, called the “Three Brothers”. According to local legend, they guard the entrance of the bay.

Torch Relay in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, November 13, 2013 day 37_web


Day 33 of the torch relay found its way to the city of Yakutsk, where it rode in a sled pulled by reindeer.

the Olympic torch relay in Jakutsk. Чочур Муран day 33_web


There’s a lot of water in Russia. We suppose it wouldn’t be a proper tour without someone attempting a polar bear swim. This is Blagoveshchensk, where the torch went for a 100 metre dip. And it got real. The slush resulted in some bloody hands and knees from the floating chunks of ice.

Sochi 2014 Torch Relay in Blagoveshchensk, November 19, 2013 Day 43_web
Other torchbearers: human, animal and machine.

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Photos: Sochi 2014

By Callum Ng

Senior Writer/Producer for Olympic.ca: I tell sport stories. I also like songs and dim sum. Liable to be found rink side, track side, pool side, any side.

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