As expected, the Siberian Express Expedition got off and running earlier this week, with Ray Zahab and Kevin Vallely beginning their attempt to set a speed record for crossing Lake Baikal in Russia’s Siberia. The lake is the largest single source of freshwater in the world, stretching more than 400 miles across, and reaching depths of over a mile down.
According to Ray and Kevin’s updates, the expedition has been a mixed bag so far. High winds have been common, with both men saying that it feels like they’re back in Antarctica again. (Ray and Kevin made a speed record to the South Pole last year as well) Despite those winds however, they have made good progress racking up 22 miles, 27 miles, and 28.5 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, wile adding another 26 today. While those numbers are impressive, they are well below the 35-38 miles per day that they were hoping to average across the entire length of the lake.
The two endurance athletes are making this impressive run to raise awareness of the growing global water crisis. They also hope to raise funds to complete two clean water drinking projects in conjunction with the Ryan’s Well Foundation and GivingWater.org. They are also reaching out to thousands of school children from around the globe as part of the impossible2Possible educational programs too.
In the four-and-a-half days that they’ve been out on the ice, Ray and Kevin have covered more than 125 miles in extremely challenging conditions. It remains to be seen if they can get the speed record, but they are certainly giving it all they can. For more on the project, be sure to catch ExWeb’s interview with Ray, which can be found by clicking here.