Coldest Inhabited Place on Earth – Oymayakon, Russia
The first thing they do is take you shopping for warmer clothing. Ain’t nothing from your homeland going to prepare you for this permafrost. Sure it’s just a road trip, but the challenge is surviving the -51 Celsius weather. That is on average. In 1933 it plunged to minus 90. This is a place where your spit freezes into painful lipscicles and your cold beer steams. If that’s not enough, enjoy the pleasure of pissing outside, because indoor plumbing is virtually nonexistent due to obvious challenges. Here people leave their cars running overnight and still likely have to pull the flamethrower out of their toolbox to tend to the frozen bits. Stop at the teasingly named “Cuba Road Cafe” for a snack. If you are sick of the local staple, reindeer meat, try the pasta with chunks of frozen horse blood. You’ll meet the locals, go ice fishing, visit a school’s heating station and receive a certificate from the “keeper of the cold” at the pole of cold. The highlight is a sledding trip where you silently apologize to the reindeer you have been eating for a week while they drag you around the frozen tundra…or melting the world with your piss, depending on your version of highlights.
Ice Climb – Iceland
It ain’t called Iceland for nothing. Sure, it’s greener than Greenland, but there is still some adventure to be had. Get a couple of axes and some spiky-toed shoes and you are well on your way to joining a infamous gang, or taking your rage out on a glacier. Attached to a rope and cheered on by your guide sans pom-poms, you will gash, slash and gouge your way up an otherwise impossible incline like a ladder made of blades and rage. This is like the new-fangled anger management rooms which allow you to smash dishes and pummel your old copy machine like a scene out of Office Space, but in real life and with a bit of travel, some national parks, a healthy hike and a hot cup of cocoa to boot.
Heliski – Whistler
More interested in the decline, like your waning savings and mid-life crisis? Perhaps you should take the easy, yet terrifying way up and the even more adult diaper wearing way down. The mountain is as ungroomed as your neighbor when they wander outside in a robe and slippers to retrieve the morning journal. If a double black diamond sounds like a good poker hand to you, you best find another hobby, likely in a warm desert land. This is a whole new version of powder not meant for your nose. The drop from the copter is only the beginning of what promises to be a long, uncertain and speedy trip down the mountain. Keep your head up and your skis together for the ride of your life, or the end of it. *Most of the information regards the importance of the waivers you must sign before heading to the helipad. *The Adventourists are not responsible for your decision-making skills, or lack thereof.
Polar Plunge – Greenland
Speaking of Greenland, this is where the truly arctic water calls. If you really have something to prove, a “must do” where ice flows in running water, is to cannonball plunge into the frozen depths. You must really have something to prove. It is likely a challenge amongst the cruisers and visitors of all sorts. Those who are visiting from warmer climates, i.e. everywhere else except Oymayakon. You don’t want to be the only one left standing, and when they start telling you that it is okay if you aren’t a real man, you forget that your manhood would shrink to the size of coffee beans. It is already being reduced by their words of sympathy. You take a deep breath for no reason, because the cold is going to knock it right out of you, but you take the leap and propel yourself back to the water line screaming with a helium-sucked voice of triumph, while scrambling to your towel and a hot toddy. Sure you feel like you were socked in the gut while having a heart attack and the ice cubes in your ears block the cheering of your mates, but your manhood is still in tact…you think.