Adventurers home after frozen lake challenge

Tuesday 09 April 2013 11.50
The adventurers are aiming to cross all of the world's main ice caps by the end of 2016
The adventurers are aiming to cross all of the world's main ice caps by the end of 2016

Two adventurers who spent 26 days battling temperatures of - 30C while traversing the world's largest frozen lake in Russia have returned home to Ireland.

The trek was the second expedition in what Mike O'Shea from Dingle in Co Kerry and Clare O'Leary from Bandon in Co Cork.

They are aiming to cross all of the world's main ice caps by the end of 2016.

A small but loyal band of family and friends welcomed first Mr O'Shea and shortly afterwards Ms O'Leary on their arrival at Cork Airport.

Both are veterans of so many foreign adventures, that the novelty of a homecoming isn't obviously what it used to be.

But after 26 days in temperatures of -30 C and lower at Lake Baikal in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, it was still good to be home.

Lake Baikal is the world's largest frozen lake. Measuring 640km in length, it's so big it's clearly visible from space and it holds 20% of the world's fresh water.

The lake's surface is usually icy, but falls of snow of around 30cm per day made the crossing even more difficult.

In such difficult conditions, the question does arise: why?

The crossing of Lake Baikal is part of a series of expeditions which Mr O'Shea and Ms O'Leary call the Ice Project.

Over the next four years they hope to cross all of the world's major ice caps, including both poles.

For now, though, Mike O'Shea has more immediate priorities.

“I’m going to Adams of Dingle for a steak sandwich and a pint afterwards in Vaughan’s,” he said.

So the Ice Project may go into cold storage for a few weeks to allow a little time to recover.

The next challenge is deciding whether it will continue with the Iceland ice cap or the Greenland crossing.

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