THE EXPEDITION

THE BERING STRAIT

The Bering Strait separates the two continents of Asia and North America. The strait is 82 kilometres (51 miles) wide at its narrowest point, between Cape Dezhnev on the Chukchi Peninsula in Russia and Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska, USA. It was named after Vitus Bering, a Russian explorer born in Denmark, and lies slightly south of the Polar Circle at approximately 65 40' N latitude.

THE DIOMEDE ISLANDS

Sitting more or less in the middle of the strait are the Diomede Islands; Big Diomede (Russia) and Little Diomede (USA). The two islands are also known as Tomorrow Island (Big Diomede) and Yesterday Isle (Little Diomede) due to them being separated by the International Date Line.

Little Diomede Island

THE CROSSING

Walking from Russia to USA in a south-easterly direction the group anticipate that the north-easterly wind and sea currents will initially push them northwards and that their most northerly position will be when they are roughly half way between the eastern coast of Russia and the Greater Diomede Island.

When they reach the leeward side of Greater Diomede Island they anticipate being able to progress in a southerly direction directly towards the midpoint between the two Diomede Islands. Their intention will then be to walk southwards between Greater and Little Diomede where the integrity of the sea ice is likely to be favourable and to cross the border and International Date Line between Russia to USA at this point.

They will then walk down to the southern end of Little Diomede from where they shall walk eastwards towards the western coast of Alaska, USA. It is probable that drifting sea ice could push them considerably farther north up the coast and if this happens they shall either walk back down the coast or arrange an air lift.

In addition to temperatures which regularly plummet below -40C the group may need to deal with approaches from polar bears. They are our largest land based predator and although generally only inquisitive, they can be both territorial and aggressive. Several expeditions in this region have had to be extracted, having been relentlessly hunted by groups of polar bears.



The Bering Strait Challenge 2017
Expedition Patron: His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO