2nd Expedition of the THE LAST ICE project that will take us to cross the largest frozen lakes of each continent that borders the Arctic to show the effects of climate change and pollution in the Arctic areas.
On march 17th we will begin the crossing of Lake ONEGA, the largest in Europe that freezes. A few decades ago, the largest one was LADOGA, but due to the effects of the accelerated climate change that we are experiencing, it is no longer frozen.
Our journey will start in the city of Medvezhyegorsk, ending in Petrozavodsk, and passing by the island of Kizhi, UNESCO World Heritage, with 87 wooden churches from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. We will do about 220Km, between 6 and 10 stages, in total self-sufficiency, moving with cross country skis and pulling sleds with all the necessary material.
We highlight some of the particularities that have made us choose Lake Onega as the objective of our next expedition:
- It is the largest lake in Europe that freezes 100%. In total surface it is the 2nd largest (18 in the world) after Lake Lagoda, but it no longer freezes.
- It has 9.894m2, with 245Km long and 90 wide, and has 1,650 islands.
- 58 rivers flow into this lake, and then it flows into the Neva River, which feeds Lake Ladoga, the largest in Europe and a little further south.
- The coastal region is surrounded by dense virgin forests, where the most common animals are: moose, brown bear, wolf, fox, squirrel, hare and lynx. And it harbors 200 species of birds and 47 species of fish.
- Until 2 decades ago the lake was almost unpolluted, but the industrial development of the northwest area(Petrozavodsk, Kondopoga and Medvezhyegorsk) is causing a very accelerated pollution.
- During the year there are frequent storms, more characteristics of a sea than a lake; with frequent 2-3 meters waves wich can even reach 5 m.
- It freezes at the end of November-December, and its center part n mid-January. The melting begins in April on the tributaries and reaches the lake in the month of May.
- Until the 60s of the 20th century, the largest lake in Europe that frezees was the Ladoga, which is known as the “way of life” being the communication channel that saved Leningrad from the German and Finnish sites. But it has not been frozen for decades, due to the accelerated climate change that we are suffering.