Final preparations are underway for the ‘Pole of Cold’ expedition, an initiative supported by Land Rover, The Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers. The ‘Pole of Cold’ expedition – which aims to explore the social, cultural and physical effects of living in harsh climates during winter – will engage with communities along a decided route to Siberia.
The three-person team led by experienced British adventurer Felicity Aston will research how the communities have managed to adapt to life in sub-zero temperatures.
The team -- recipients of the sixth annual Land Rover Bursary -- will ride on a Land Rover Defender from Land Rover and will get up to £30,000 of funding. The Land Rover Defender 110 – known for its all-terrain capabilities as well as being able to tackle most challenging conditions on the planet – underwent a slew of modifications in addition to its already inclusive list of standard features.
The Land Rover Defender 110 now boasts of uprated suspension, underbody and driveline protection, auxiliary heaters for the engine and occupants, a long range fuel tank and extra equipment and luggage storage. Around six weeks into the expedition, the team has already completed their training, which entailed spending time with the Land Rover Defender 110 in the Climatic Development Suite at the Jaguar Land Rover facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
The facility is an integral part of the development of all Jaguar Land Rover Product testing, as it provides engineers with the ability to test the vehicles from +55 degrees to -60 degrees Centigrade.
The team also went to the mountain ranges of Skjalbreidurr in Iceland to experience first-hand the Land Rover Defender’s all-terrain capabilities as well as the driving techniques needed for the expedition. The team faced slippery highways, icy tracks, rough roads and other challenging conditions that are more or less similar to what they might experience on their route to Siberia.
The team will make a camp on the Langjökull glacier to find out how they could cope with the sub-zero conditions. The expedition will cover 30,000 km en route to Oymyakon, also known as the ‘Pole of Cold’ where conditions are extreme, with temperatures regularly hitting -20 deg C and at times as low as -50 deg C.