The Anadyr-Egvekinot route… There are no roads… There are no people… No civilization along the way… Only tundra, mountains, rivers, lakes… Zolotogorny ridge, Ushkaniy ridge; rivers: Vaamchergyrgyn, Tadleoan, Ergyveem; mountains: Katastrofnaya (Catastrophic), Tumannaya (Foggy), Nedostupnaya (Inaccessible)… For some reason, such geographical names have a striking appeal and make you forget about everything, drop everything, and rush over there – into the tundra …

The idea of ​​this trip arose long ago, but was constantly postponed due to various objective and not really so, reasons. But finally, it happened… The departure was planned for mid-August, the most favorable time for traveling in Chukotka – the mosquitos and midge are already passing, while it is still warm and the rains are not so long at this time. Initially, the team was to consist of four ATVs and two UTVs. But in the course of getting ready for the trip, the team decreased by two quads – they were objective reasons, but that doesn’t mean they are okay! So, for the equipment left we had Yamaha Grizzly – 2 pcs., Yamaha Rhino – 1 pc., Kawasaki Teryx – 1 pc. Our team consisted of four drivers and one lovely lady passenger. We tried to take as much fuel as possible, there would be nowhere to find it until Egvekinot. For each ATV, in addition to refueling, we loaded 85 liters, on Rhino we had 145 liters, on Teryx – 160. Tents, clothes, weapons, food for two weeks – wow, it’s already too much… Okay, gotta be prepared no matter what…

Finally, departure. The weather is wonderful. Since the beginning of the path partly goes along the roads, both normal and conventional, we decide to go the maximum distance till the first overnight stay later today.

We cross the Anadyr estuary on a barge.


We passed the abandoned military townships: Gudym, Vtoroi (Second).


Conventional roads begin. Mountain Pologaya. Descending to the Raskokurkina river.



And once again – hello there, Zolotogorye!




As we left closed mine Bystryi (Fast) (70 km) behind we decided to have a snack and refuel.

From here we go to another closed mine – Tikhiy (Quiet).



As we left closed mine Bystryi (Fast) (70 km) behind we decided to have a snack and refuel.

From here we go to another closed mine – Tikhiy (Quiet).



River Tnekweem. The old bathhouse of geologists.


We go up the Skalistaya (Rocky) river. For our first overnight stay we chose the fork of Skalistaya river and Zvonky brook. It got colder in the evening. Like, much colder.

Travel time – 12 hours.


Climb up and forward to the Skalistaya river. The weather has improved – it’s sunny. We are baldly planning to reach the Pravyi (Right) Vaamchergyrgyn, but are secretly hoping to reach at least Lake Gornoe (Mountain). The Skalistaya River lives up to its name – continuous stones around.

I should also add that tundra lands, especially near the river, are also no better – rocky swamp.






Ascending to the pass of Mount Katastrofnaya.


We are going over there, to that pass… I am so sick of these rocks…


We slide down from the pass and climb to the next hill.

We go out to the Valunnaya River. Another pass and we’ll reach Gornoe Lake.




Valunnaya River.



Well, here it is… Gornoe Lake.



I guess we’ve done something not very smart here… Instead of going around the mountain on the right and coming out of the upper reaches of the river we needed, we went to the left along the lake. We drove 4 kilometers for 1,5 hours … Rocks with a size of a wheel, on the right we got a mountain wall, on the left – a deep lake-cliff.


Long story short, we spent an hour and a half paving the road with stones, and bending the protection… Not the best time for taking pictures, I’m telling you.

Remains of the plane. In these places, if I’m not mistaken, the Li-2 crashed in 1946. Both pilots died, buried by a geologist conducting an exploration of the area around here. The engine is star-shaped, piston-typed and looks similar to the ASH-62, but the markings are in English. Maybe some other one, who knows…


Again, we got tundra, again we got bumps and hills. Correcting our mistake, we crawl from hill to hill to the river we need.

We are deciding to spend the night by that lake.

As we set up the camp, we are starting to sum up the disappointing results … Hmmm … At 60th km of today’s run, we burned a couple of tanks. If this goes on like this later the fuel, we got may not be enough since the exact mileage and the complexity of the further path remain to be unknown. We decide to go to the point of no return. And then we’ll see… The mood was slightly brightened by a bottle of Lagavulin.

Travel time – 11 hours.



In the morning we continue our trip.


After a lot of jumping on the hummock and tumbling in the swamp, we slide down to the river.

Finally, the Pravyi Vaamchergyrgyn. Let’s go further for Vaamchergyrgyn.


The river is really nice – long braids, not particularly deep. That’s what we need! Let’s go!

We came across a bear along the way. But sadly, it was in no mood for being photographed as it quickly vanished into the tundra.



We reach the confluence of the Vaamchergyrgyn River with the Burnaya (Rapid) River. Inspired by a good road, we decided – to hell with the fuel, let’s go further! We should have enough of it!

In an extreme case, if we “dry up”, we will drain the remaining fuel to fill up a couple of UTVs and will send them to Egvekinot for additional fuel while the remaining quads will wait in the tundra.


Having a quick snack, we go up the Burnaya River. At first, the river was good for driving. Shallow, small gravel and pebbles, wide braids. But gradually the banks shrank, so that the river began to resemble a canyon, stones and depth appeared. At one of the crossings, the Rhino sat down in the sand really flooding the variator bay, the Teryx got stuck next. We take them out one by one with two ATV’s.

While drying ourselves we try to relax by taking pictures of the birds.

Let’s climb out from the river to the bank and go further. We set up a camp a little before reaching the Napornaya (Pressure) River.

Travel time – 11 hours.





Morning. Warmth. As if we are not in Chukotka… It turned out that we did not reach about 100 meters till Napornaya. While crossing the mouth of Napornaya, the variator of Rhino was flooded again.

The river is also not a gift, a narrow channel compressed by high banks, and clogged with stones. We pass it to the middle, and quickly jump out onto the tundra again.


Somewhere over there is the South Tadleoan River. Let’s move on. It’s getting really hot.

Where the hell is this river!


Oh, there it is! South Tadleoan.

A small snack and further forward we go. The river is not that hard to pass, but it’s really deep. We haven’t gotten afloat yet, but the level is close to critical.

Along the way we see small splinters of reindeer here and there.

We leave the river and set our path on the tundra. It is as hard as concrete, but we find an old all-terrain road.

The mountains are getting closer and closer.



The closer to the mountains, the colder it gets. The wind rises in the evening. We begin to warm ourselves up.

The Shirokiy (Wide) pass is about to appear. After a little twisting in the foothills, we find it, at last! As well as we find tracks rolled by cars. We feel both joy and disappointment at the approach of civilization. We climbed up the pass.

Wow it really is getting cold! We are warming up more.

Then we go down.

The road is excellent, you can even roll sideways if you like. It’s getting darker and maybe it would be smart to set up a camp and stay for the night, but we decide to drive further nevertheless. We notice something that looks like a balok (Chukchi’s fishing house) ahead. As we drive closer, we suddenly jump out onto the road Valunisty (Bouldery)-Egvekinot. That surely was unexpected!




We call our friends in Egvekinot. As we decide about our hotel stay, we go back on our way. Finally, by the normal road. The Valunisty-Egvekinot road seriously is something else! Laid in the mountains, squeezed and surrounded by gloomy pointed peaks, in the dark it made a really strong impression…

65 km behind, and here we are – at the entrance to Egvekinot, where we were already met and escorted to the hotel.

We were surprised and pleased with the local traffic police – they took us to the hotel, asked how we got there, whether everything was fine. They reassured us that the ATV’s and UTV’s could be safely left on the street, and that’s it – they went away for their business.

Travel time – 14 hours.

In the morning we were moved from the hotel to these lovely cottages. We planned to rest for a couple of days and hit a road back home.

Here are some photos of the village.






On the first day they did nothing. On the second we drove a little along the Iultinskaya track. So dusty!






And of course, the mandatory photo.


Well, let’s leave! See you later Egvekinot! We must try to slip through the Tadleoan and Kanchalan rivers before the rain. We drive along the Egvekinot-Valunisty highway.







On the Shirokiy pass, the trunk breaks down on one of the quads. It’s really strange – purely out of the blue… Metal burst under the bolts near the seat. We pull it through the footrests with luggage straps, fill it with some fuel from the canisters and drive on.



Going down South Tadleoan we land on an all-terrain road that takes us to the right through the mountains and goes down to the Ergyveem River. We go along it.

We will try to walk along the river to the confluence of the three rivers Ergyveem, Tadleoan, Kanchalan.

Initially, we planned to reach the confluence in the evening, but seeing that we could not make it in time, we decided to push further. The road that led us decently to the right, unexpectedly ended on the shore of the lake, at two broken baloks.

Swearing, like – “Why we even bothered to take this way” – we begin to take it to the left, through the swampy floodplain of the river, overgrown with bushes. We were so tired that we did not even bother to take pictures of the bear, which stood on its hind legs for a long time, fifty meters away from the ATV’s passing by it.







And before reaching the confluence of the rivers, we stop for the night. Slowly the rain is starting to drizzle….

Travel time – 12 hours.


The morning made us happy with sunny weather. We quickly got ready and set off. We continued to make our way to the confluence of the rivers. Yesterday’s road trip cost us an extra 50 km along the tussock tundra.




Old reindeer coral.



Finally, we came to the merger. Then we moved along the Kanchalan River through the tundra.

We tried to ride along the river, from spit to spit, but almost drowned the ATV’s – the current was strong and too deep.



Shaking further… Knee-deep hummock and swamp cut by streams and lakes.




The trunk on the second ATV’s is pulled apart, too… Damn it! We poured gasoline from cans into the tanks, and having lightened the trunk we pull it in the same way as we did with the first ATV.


Let’s go further. The Ushkany Mountains are getting closer and closer. Over there we go!



The sky is slowly drawing in. As Piglet used to say – “it seems like the rain is starting”…

We must jump from Kanchalan to the river Myrgychgyvaam. Where is it? Hummock, bumps and swamp are really driving me crazy…

We climb the hill.

Ah, here it is! From the main river to the left.


At the entrance to the river we got stuck in a swamp. ATV’s pass, but UTV’s sit down at once and moreover constantly. Taking turns in dragging them with two ATV’s, we leave to the river. We finally see the braids!



From Myrgychgyvaam we move to its tributary – the Peschanaya River. We are moving along it.



It is getting darker. It’s time to set up a camp. About two kilometers away, on a hill, we see yarangas. Apparently, it’s a reindeer herding brigade. The wind rises and rain begins to drizzle.

Travel time – 12 hours.



Well, it rained last night … In the morning, under the drum-like crackling of rain on the tents, we barely forced ourselves to crawl out. Rain, coldness and wind are getting stronger. We must pack and go before the mountain rivers swell.

Here is such a creature that was caught in the morning by a pile of garbage


After passing along Peschanaya (Sandy) we enter the Ushkany mountains.


We jump off from Peschanaya to the Gorny stream. From it we will go to the River Tavaivaam.


The rain has intensified even more




We reached Tavaivaam. The river rose a lot. We swim along it to the Levyi (Left) Tavaivaam. We even stopped taking pictures – it is pouring too hard.

Climbing the mountains, we begin to look for the necessary pass of the mountain Nedostupnaya. In the fog of course we made a mistake and lost our path to the pass.

We went the wrong way and began to climb higher and higher up the mountain, bypassing the rocky ledges. In the end we decided to rename the mountain from Nedostupnaya (Inaccessible) to Dostupnaya (Accessible), because…

When the fog broke for a short time, we saw that we foolishly practically climbed on it. No more than a hundred meters left to the top …

Well, aren’t we tired from this descent! Almost ditching Rhino, we finally crawl down.

Again, on the Skalistaya river. Refuel and move on. The rain is still pouring.


The river is unrecognizable because of the rising water. It’s getting darker. We finally reach the old geological bathhouse on the Tnekveem river. The roof is leaking, the stove is smoking, but at least it’s some shelter. We put up one tent – we don’t fit into the bath. Now, quick supper and hopefully long sleep.


We get up late. The fatigue of the last days is evident. We decide to go to the Bystryi mine and spend the night over there. The downpour has finally stopped. Fog and drizzle remained. We fill up the tanks and leave. For a long time, we are looking for where to cross the Tnekveem – there is too much water.

We pass the Tichiy mine without any incident. We go up and down the Otradnaya (Happy) hill, a little more, and here we are – finally at Bystryi. We dry ourselves and get some rest. During the ride, Teryx began to pull to the side. We search the problem. A grenade of the left rear wheel was smashed – a rock got stuck between the protection and tore an anther … We’ll get there, we’re almost at home. There is only 70 km left.




In the morning the weather improved. We are heading home.

Last climb and road.



Closed military town Vtoroy (Second)


At last we’re at home, waiting for the barge. It’s a little sad to meet civilization. Thoughts are still there, in the tundra …


Already crossing the estuary, we begin to argue and talk about the future route…

Maybe we will go to Egvekinot again, and then to Cape Vankarem… Or maybe we will find out what is there in the Black Square … Or maybe we will head in the direction Beringovsky to Lake Mainitz… Or maybe we will storm the Rarytkin ridge… Or maybe… We’ll see… We have enough interesting places in Chukotka.

Total mileage – 1200 km. Travel time – 11 days

Route: red – there, blue – back.






Олег и Настя


Фото: Артем Гунькин, Олег Калюжный, Игорь Добродеев